Garden lesson in leaves

You all know by now what kinda of garden buff I am. Pretty much all things garden, I’m in on it. I love researching, planning, mapping it out. Other’s may find it strange or time consuming, but really throwing myself into the garden is always an adventure.

 Lately I have been categorizing my tomato plants by their leaves. Yes. By their leaves. Go ahead say it, I’m strange, but read on, because it’s interesting.

 Each plant of course has different leaves, my reasoning behind this project is simple really. Infact if you have kids, you can almost guess just why I must do this. I’ll give you a hint, kids love picking up labels and tossing them to the ground.

While my kids love helping me in the garden, they can very easily and all too quickly mix things up. By the time my plants make it into the ground, my kids have switched, hid or taken labels out and suddenly they are “missing” . With over 50 tomato plants, and several different varieties of them, it’s a must to be able to tell which is which by their leaves. I want certain kinds together mostly for seeds saving which again is important to keep them well guarded. This way by keeping an eye on the leaves, I can easily get them back in order or at least for the most part.

Brandywine

It’s not easy, but I have in the last few years broken it down to a very close study. I can tell the Cherry tomatoes leaves apart from a Sweet 100, or a Brandywine from a Roma now or from a big beef.

Cherry Tomato

Sweet 100

Cherokee Purple 
Amish Paste

While I must admit it will take another few years to get them all down, I have the basics where at least I can a get them into a selected group. It’s a long process, I’ve been comparing them the last few years and so far some of them are true to form, others are incredibly hard to tell apart. Let’s call it a work in progress!