giant maters

Tahlequah resident Eugene Martin tends to his 9-foot-tall tomato plants.

It’s probably safe to say the Tahlequah Daily Press has run its share of stories about unusual fruit, exceptionally large vegetables and the like.

But no one at the newspaper has never seen tomato plants like those of Tahlequah resident Eugene Martin.

Measuring a whopping 9 feet tall, Martin’s tomato plants aren’t just a surprise to him, but to his neighbors as well.

“I’ve never seen any that tall before, and the neighbors kept telling me I should call the Press,” said Martin. “I didn’t really know if the paper would be interested in something like this.”

According to Martin, who has been gardening for the past 42 years, the plants pretty much did all this growing on their own.

“All I’ve done is water them and put Miracle-Gro on every seven to 10 days,” Martin said. “I started with a 5-foot T-post, but had to put on two extensions as they kept growing.”

Martin said if the plants get any taller, they’ll be on their own.

“I had to stand on a step-ladder to put on the extensions,” said Martin. “I said if it goes any higher, it’ll have to just fall over – I can’t climb up any higher.”

But tomatoes aren’t the extent of the vegetation around Martin’s yard. And Martin’s neighbors seem to enjoy his gardening handiwork as well.

“I raise a lot of flowers, too,” Martin said. “Everybody likes to say I’ve got a green thumb.”

Contact Garron Marsh at

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