Saturday, September 19, 2009

tomato report.

So I find myself with a lot to say about growing tomatoes. This year was my first attempt. It went well in some ways, not so well in others. I'm going to try to be brief here. I feel in danger of prattling on forever about the details of my tomato plants and each piece of fruit they bore. But I know you all really don't care that much. Let me just say a few things, and show you some pictures.

My tomato plants got huge. They were unruly. I think I should have been out there more often in the beginning stages, to help guide them on to the supports. By the time I realized what needed to be done, the vines were too strong and branch-like for me to manipulate them. As a result they stayed where they had naturally grown, sprawled all over the ground. This meant lots of my tomatoes touched the ground as they grew. Not good.

My plants yielded a lot of tomatoes, but only about half of them were fit to eat. Many rotted on the ground as they grew. Others seemed to grow so big that they cracked open and then rotted on the vine. And many more were nibbled by my garden rabbit.

The tomatoes I brought inside featured imperfections galore, but I was able to cut around them and use the better part of the fruit. Most of them had these ugly looking tops.
This one here looks okay, but do you spy something on the lower left side?That's right, a huge crack running through the bottom. Lots of my tomatoes had this problem. I don't know if I waited too long to pick them or what. I brought some of them inside and tried to use them quickly before they collapsed into themselves or attracted hoards of fruit flies.
Here's a pretty yellow number, but with the same ugly gauges and brown stripes on the top.
See? Is this normal? I don't know.
Here's a pretty lady that looks just right...Turning to its other side, though, reveals more weird stretch mark looking blemishes and a big burrowed hole. Again, had to use this one quickly before running into rotting/fruit fly issues.
This one was like two tomatoes fused together. Still tasted good.
These purplish ones did pretty well. I think they are called Cherokee Purple.I didn't get many of them. They seemed to be my rabbit's favorite variety.
I will grow tomatoes again next year, and try to be a little more attentive. For my first time I think I did okay. My biggest problem, honestly, was that I'm in the midst of a very uninspired season in my kitchen, and I couldn't think how to use them except for on sandwiches. What did you all do with your tomatoes this year?


eRoc said...

Having followed a professional tomato-grower my entire youth I can tell you a few things. One, your tomatoes are fine. The scare tissue is formed, I think, because of the rate and degree they grow to; they are just big.

Second, to control the size of your plants and control the amount of nutrients each tomato gets, you need to pluck the "suckers" which grow out from between the "v" branches.

Another thing, some times you need to manually pull the bloom after the fruit starts to grow to avoid stem rot.

I love to talk gardening. Sorry for the annoying obtuse comment.

kelly and eric said...

who knew eric seaman was such a bad ass gardner? WHERE ARE MY TOMATOES?

Colin said...

Kristin canned hers, about four jars worth, and it was surprisingly easy!

Angela said...

My parents used to make a lot of tomato and green pepper salad in vinegar. We often put them in a "thai" salad with thinly sliced cucumber and white onion topped with sugary vinegar dressing. Lots of similar cold/sweet side salad recipes online. PS - I want to try those purple tomatoes!

Rondell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kellie said...

We just eat ours with salt & pepper. Every night it seems like we have a plat of them on the table. And we also add cucumbers and red onions with a vinaigrette. And then always, always Salsa...with margaritas...ole!