Sunday, August 29, 2010

Garden Update - Tomatoes

I have been waiting and waiting on tomatoes this year! I'm not sure what's keeping them from ripening, but I suspect it may be the overall cooler weather. You can see there are many, many tomatoes that are green and growing. In fact, the plants are so heavy that several have fallen over despite their tomato cages - the cages just fall with them!

My solution to this was to pull the cages upright again and to secure them to the fence that runs behind the garden. I twisted a couple of hooks into nearby fence posts and used old pantyhose as a 'rope' to pull the cages upright. You can see this setup in the above photo. I used pantyhose because the material gives a little and is easy to tighten up if I need to. I also used small pieces of the nylons to tie individual stalks to cages and stakes because a) slugs will get to any tomatoes lying on the ground and b) pantyhose is stretchy and won't bite into the plants/cut the stalk.

The cherry tomatoes have been ripening steadily at a rate that we can use. I have been using them in salad, soups, tomato sauce when I made lasagna and I've given a few away. Cherry tomatoes are pretty reliable as far as production goes in my limited experience. The girls also love to help pick these ones and are only supposed to pick the red ones, not the orange. I regularly hear DD#1 telling DD#2 "Not that one!" or "Just the really red ones." or "Oh, No! (*sigh*) That's OK."

I ocassionaly find a large ripe tomato among all the green, but I really have to look! You can see in the below photo where I found one ripe fruit hidden amongst all the green. See that bit of red? Yeah, I was happy to spot it, too.

I was hoping all of these would be ripening by now so I could be harvesting and canning before Pheobe's arrival. As it is I think I'll be blanching and freezing the tomatoes whole instead of canning. We'll see how I'm doing on freezer space in the next month or so.

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So, what do you think?