More Therapy with Dr. Hortfreud: Tomatoes & Rabbits

Another session with Dr. Hortfreud...

Carol, welcome back. I’m pleased you decided to continue your hort therapy sessions. What’s on your mind this week?

Well, Dr. Hortfreud, I’m worried about my tomato plants.

So I heard. What are you worried about?

Well, they are kind of small, but I planted them anyway and then a few mornings ago we had a light frost.

I see. If you think the seedlings are too small, why don’t you just buy new ones?

I thought about that, but I picked these varieties out special and started them all from seed and now I’ve bonded with them.

Hmmmm… but what’s that one really tall tomato plant that I saw in your garden all about?

Well, I did buy one tomato plant because it had a few blooms on it, and I wanted to get a tomato earlier than August this year. But I don’t think it will form a tomato from those particular buds because of the frost.

Isn’t that cheating if you are going to compete with your tomatoes?

Cheating? I don’t think so, Dr. Hortfreud, not according to the International Rules Committee for Tomato Growing Contests and Rituals (IRCTGCR).

I’ve never heard of this committee. Who’s on it?

Well, I am, so far.

I should have known. Anyway, this seedling problem is a challenging problem you have. I recommend a few more days of “wait and see” and if doesn’t appear like the seedlings are going to do much, we’ll have to go through some intense therapy to break your bond with the seedlings so you can buy some more tomato plants.

But, Dr. Hortfreud, won’t that be expensive to buy seedlings?

Carol, suddenly you're worried about spending money on plants? After all that money you spent last week buying plants? I’ve never known you to have a dollar that you weren’t willing to spend on a plant!

Can we switch subjects?

Certainly, Carol, this is your hort therapy session, but eventually you’ll have to deal with your tomato issues. What else is bothering you?


Rabbits? But you haven’t seen any rabbits this spring.

I know, that’s what’s bothering me. I don’t know where they are, if they are here and just not eating in the garden, or if they’ve actually left.

That actually sounds like good news. I don't understand what the issue is?

Well, after my success last year with building mini plastic spoon fortresses around the bean plants to keep the rabbits away, I bought a box of 600 plastic forks, thinking they would work even better. And now I don’t know if I should set them up or not.

I see. Well, your time is up for today. We need to schedule another long session to go in-depth on this rabbit issue.

Thank you, Dr. Hortfreud, I’ll do that. And may I ask how it is going for you?

Well, business is kind of slow. I’d appreciate some referrals.

Okay, if someone wants a hort therapy consult with you, they can just send me an email and I’ll send it along to you.

Thanks, Carol, I appreciate it. Now before our next session, please re-read the tomato lessons from your Dad and then go check those tomato seedlings for the 100th time to see if they are growing!


  1. Yikes, I wonder where all the rascally rabbits are hiding. Do you have coyotes or a fox nearby? Gail ps Set an appointment with the good doctor for me Carol...there is this little problem with rocks, well, I'll just wait to tell the doctor!

  2. thankyou for making me laugh for 5 whole minutes, it was therapy in itself! Tomato bonding, now don't tell me you play favouirites!?! (I do, but don't tell the other tomatoes)

  3. Maybe the rabbits think its too cold out. I saw a few in my flower bed eating all the annuals I was growing from seed last month, but they left my vegetable garden untouched. Plus, I haven't seen any since April, so either someone else has better food options, or they don't like the cool May we've been having and are holed up in their burrow.

  4. I would suggest leaving your counter in the house when going out to check the tomatoes Carol. That way you won't know how many times you have checked on your tomatoes and you won't worry about them so much.

    OUr one little tomato grew quite a bit while we were away on vacation last week. Amazing how much they grow if you don't look at them daily.

  5. hang in there, it will be okay. This is too funny. You should write children's books.

  6. The rabbits are kept in check in my vegetable garden only by the coyotes. Which is a mixed blessing indeed. Your therapy session seemed to help you, if not your tomatoes.

  7. It's good to start the day off with a smile. I've seen that very same look on some of my plants in past years but can't quite remember what happened. I'll keep my plants until the bitter end arrives. When you have a short season such as yours it's very disappointing but not too late to get down to the store for some retail therapy.

  8. I had a great laugh, too. I have some baby tomatoes that I neglected to bring back in while hardening them off when a few nights got down into the 40s. They look similar to yours, but I got them planted the last few days.

    I also bought some plants of different sizes. If all the tomatoes I planted at home and my garden at the neighbor's, we are going to have lots of tomatoes! Maybe the squirrels will be nice and not take all the first ones to ripen.

    We have a rabbit that is quite tame. I think I'll go fork the spinach it's been munching on. I keep forgetting to spray the stinky spray.

    I hope your tomatoes grow and the rabbits stay away.

  9. Oh no! You can't leave us with all our dinky little home grown plants to get store bought ones. hehehe...

    I'm so trying to hang in there too. My hubbie says I've visited the garden more this year than EVER before. I think it's because of my little tomatoes... sigh...

  10. I've really been enjoying your site! I, too, grow my tomatoes from seed and feel terrible if I have to buy some. :-)
    Look at my attempts to get early (July 4!) tomatoes and taking care of my "babies" hereand here. I think you will relate...

  11. Your rabbits are at my house, and so are your deer, and your geese.
    I've built a fortress around my raised beds, and they are all waiting for me to slip up and leave the gate open.

  12. Dr. Hortfreud has his work cut out for him with you as a patient, my friend! Six HUNDRED plastic forks? Seriously? Oh, dear, dear, dear ...


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