This morning I got five more tomatoes into the ground in the backyard cutout area. These five tomatoes are Giant Syrian, Japanese Black Trifele, Thessaloniki, Crimson Cushion and Carmello.
Last year I spent a great deal of time digging holes and removing rocks and asphalt from the "Far East" area of our backyard -- the area to the east of our grass area (and grass cutout area) near our eastern fence. The results of hours and hours of digging was dramatic. This area was near spectacular, and I'd argue even slightly better than our signature area, the "koi pond" in the front yard. Prior years in the "Far East" were, at best, mediocre.
So what's the point? I had realized that our backyard cutout area (where we planted today's five tomato seedlings) has done reasonably well, but nothing that has knocked our socks off. But then again, not bad either. It's my supposition that this area may have asphalt in the soil (which I knew to be true already), just not as concentrated as the "Far East".
So I dug as keep as I could go for these five holes. Two were done on Saturday, three today. And my findings were consistent with my theory. There were significant amounts of asphalt to throw away, but the concentration wasn't as heavy as in the "Far East". The soil below Japanese Black Trifele had the biggest pieces -- a couple were as wide (and thicker) than hamburger patties.
So we only planted five new tomato seedlings in this area. But note, it will be harder to plant these five tomatoes than it will be to plant the whole front yard. There's no buried asphalt there and the soil has been previously dug out and replaced.