I will admit, there was a point this summer when it occurred to me I should actually get up on the step-ladder and figure out whether there was, you know, enough dirt in the hanging basket, or anything worth noting up there, or whatever.
It occurred to me, but I had zero follow-through. I just kept dumping water in, preferring to operate under the don’t ask-don’t tell policy of tomato growth.
As I said last week, I had noticed the little bumps coming out of the plant’s main stem, but chalked them up to something akin to disease. Then Maggie tipped me off to the fact that it was, in fact, root growth.
I’m still reeling a bit at how gross that is. Amazing, of course, because can you imagine if you were thirsty and you could just grow a straw out of your arm or your buttock or something and suck up some extra moisture? But still gross. Still a sign of plant abuse.
So yesterday, I went out and bought some plants to hang in the basket after I put the non-productive, overly-thirsty yellow pear plant to rest in the compost bin. When I took the hanging basket down, the picture you see here is what I saw. Tons of random root growth just above the dirt. Roots stretching, futilely, for any purchase in the impotent dirt.
It was an unpleasant business, unpotting that plant and potting the new ones. An unpleasant business because I knew I was the one who had made that particular tomato plant miserable all summer long.
I really can’t stomach being cruel and unusual—even inadvertently so.