Couple's tomatoes thrive in unlikely spot

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Thanks to the hard work of his wife, Joe Mitchell may not recognize the family tomato garden when he returns from a business trip.

Dot Mitchell of Cape Girardeau will mail homegrown tomatoes to her husband away in Wisconsin in an effort to share the results of an ideal crop of tomatoes established early on.

The couple worked together in planting the Better Boy plant along the back brick wall of their Cape Girardeau home.

"People told me they wouldn't grow there," said Mitchell.

The vines, so heavy, have broken one trellis already and Mitchell has them supported to the trellis with pantyhose remnants. "String just cuts into the vine," she said.

Mitchell waters the plants daily and spreads grass clippings weekly. "They get sun until 1 p.m. daily. I pick off the first blooms to make them stronger and fertilize them just once at first planting."

Her husband, Joe, left for business when the plants were only about 2 1/2 feet high.They've now grown to 9 feet.

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