Ahh, summertime. If you are a gardener, and of course you are or you wouldn’t be reading this!, your thoughts probably turn immediately to pictures of big, red, juicy tomatoes. Rich dark green leaves and vines, studded with big, red, juicy tomatoes. And of course, your mind never sees all the imperfections… until you wake up and walk outside to look at your own tomato plants.

Maybe it’s just that we expect perfection in a garden, no weeds, no bugs, just the lazy buzz of honeybees going about their work of collecting pollen and in the process, pollinating our plants so we get better crops.

We don’t want to think of yellowing leaves with brown spots… huge, wicked-looking green caterpillars that can strip a plant in a matter of hours… stink bugs of every imaginable color, biting into our fruits and leaving behind a mass of tiny black holes…

But the reality of it all is that few people ever see that imaginary perfection. Most of us will fall somewhat short of that goal but with a little effort, we can still get a good crop of those big, red, juicy tomatoes!

We will be adding some tips on how to get a little closer to that perfection over the next few days. Or maybe weeks… depends on how much rain we get. If it rains, I can’t work outside so I write here.