You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to, but the darn thing's nine feet tall

Local man credits tunes for nine-foot plant BERLIN TWP. You've heard of Jack and the beanstalk, but this is the story
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Local man credits tunes for nine-foot plant

BERLIN TWP.

You've heard of Jack and the beanstalk, but this is the story of John and the tomato plant.

A tomato plant from John Sedely's backyard garden on Church Road grew more than nine feet tall.

Sedely, 53, said this is tallest tomato plant he's ever grown. So what is Sedely's secret?

It may be the melodies his plants listen to all day.

"I play 107.3 continuously," Sedely said with a smile. "That's the only station I listen to, so they don't have a choice. I haven't seen them pop out of the ground to change the station."

He explained the music also helps to keep rabbits and other rodents away from his garden.

His secret may also be his "magic socket," which a mechanic gave him more than 30 years ago.

"It's always brought me good luck," Sedely said of the shiny silver socket he always carries with him.

Sedely has 70 tomato plants in his garden, along with broccoli, cucumbers, red skin potatoes and six varieties of peppers.

He uses crushed lime to fertilize the soil and "sweeten it up" before planting his garden, and then uses grass clippings and slow-release fertilizer to help keep the plants healthy, Sedely said.

Sedely is now retired after working at Ford Motor Co. in Avon for more than 30 years.

"It was my first and only job," he added.

Now he's enjoying his garden and taking care of the house he's lived in for 17 years.

He said the quiet life of the country is for him.

"There's no traffic and no nonsense," he said.

Tom Long Sr., 70, of Huron and his wife Emily own Long's Country Market, 3602 Cleveland Road.

Tom Long said he's known Sedely since he opened the market nine years ago.

"He's always bought his plants here," he said.

Long said tomato plants will usually grow between five and six feet tall if they're staked and cared for.

"Nine foot, that's pretty good," Long said after hearing about Sedely's plant.

Sedely said whatever fruits and vegetables from the garden his family doesn't eat, he gives away to friends, neighbors and even strangers.

His explanation is simple.

"When you do something for somebody, you get it back tenfold."