Tag Archives: tomato

Like a sleeping red giant, a tomato glows

Here it is: my first tomato of the year!

Bright red tomato

Good old Better Bush tomato!



This heat is good for one thing…

A bitty green tomato

A bitty green tomato

My first tomato has set fruit!

If a squirrel can plant corn, I can too

A big bag of sun-burnt spinach and a bag of of  Chinese mustard greens in flower.

A big bag of sun-burnt spinach and a bag of of Chinese mustard greens in flower.

It’s finally shorts weather, and I went a little nuts today planting warm-weather seeds. In my herb garden, where a squirrel grew some corn last year, I planted to some corn. Also a random packet of sweet basil, which may or may not sprout.

In the pocket where I grow a tomato, I sowed edamame, and Cousa squash. Also a random packet of Dusty Miller, which is even less likely to come up.

At my community garden plot, I harvested another pound of Chinese mustard greens, and a couple pounds of spinach, slightly sun-burnt. And planted some green beans. By then, it was too hot to pick a random packet to sow, but the spinach was growing in all sorts of random spots, so that has to do.

Penultimate Harvest

A frost warning sent me out to my community garden plot yesterday to gather all the green tomatoes that were never going to get ripe.

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I picked a heavy bagful of tomatoes, a few from my Butter Bush, a lot from the Rutgers, plus four more huge tomatoes from a volunteer tomato plant in my home garden. It was so many, it felt like more than all the ripe red tomatoes I’ve picked put together.

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Compost fixes everything

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Finally, finally one of my compost tumblers finished cooking the leaves and weeds, and finally I emptied it. So today I brought over a couple more bags of compost to my community garden plot, and the most important “finally” is that the whole plot has a layer of compost on it. The best part is already the swath of vermicompost is helping.

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Tomato in the snow?

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After a snowstorm, you expect to see scallions poking out the snow. You’re not even all that surprised to find snapdragons cheerily smiling at you. But a tomato plant should not be looking frisky when a couple inches of wet snow melts away. Nor should you be glimpsing red under the vines.

So you can imagine my surprise when I lifted up a tomato vine and found, not only two more green tomatoes, but a beautiful round red ripe one! Now that’s what I call a sheltered location!

These are definitely the last tomatoes

The last two tomatoes

There’s a chance of wet snow tonight, and even though I don’t entirely believe it, that’s still cold enough to tell the last two tomato hangers-on that it’s time to come in.  This is nothing like the end of season bowls brimming with green tomatoes that I’ve harvested in the past. Just two. If I cut them up and put them in a stew, I’ll hardly notice them. Maybe when the cilantro grows up, they can be salsa.

Sometimes red means go ahead and eat

The various bright reds in the garden are catching my eye.

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Tomatoes are red.
Strawberries are red.
Raspberries are red.
Even crabapples and rose hips are red.

They are the reds of little round traffic lights,
Reds that mean Stop and pick me,
Reds than mean Go ahead and eat me.

Maybe these are the last tomatoes?

Three of five tomatoes ripening -- in October

After I picked the “last” tomato, my Celebrity tomato plant is not giving up. It’s ripening three in good shape and there’s two more on the other side of the plant in not so good shape. I think it’s taking a personal challenge to see how long it can make summer last. It’s done a good job since August of providing a steady stream of firm tomatoes weighing about four ounces with a nice fruity tomato flavor. I do believe I’ll be looking for another Celebrity next year.

Is this the last ripe tomato?

A ripe tomato in the ruins of itself

The rate of tomatoes ripening has fallen from three at a time, to one at a time. But as the weather cools and the days shorten, I don’t expect to get any more ripe tomatoes at all. So this might be one last gift from my tomato plant. Never mind how dead half of it looks. It’s still alive, still growing, and it thinks it’s going to go out for a walk.