Garden Update #12: Tomatoes! (and What’s New at Blogher Food?)
posted by Kalyn Denny on August 6, 2006
Now we’re entering the time of the year when my garden is completely bursting with tomatoes. I’ve been eating bacon and tomato sandwiches, at least one a day, and today I’m going to make my first batch of slow roasted tomatoes. On my thirteen tomato plants (counting the one volunteer, which is thriving) I’m guessing there are more than 300 tomatoes. See if you can count how many tomatoes I have on some of my plants.
This is the celebrity tomato plant, one of my favorite kinds of tomatoes for making tomato salads. The celebrity tomato seems to thrive in Utah where it’s so dry.
This is a type of Roma tomato called Viva Italia. It’s my first time growing this variety. The plant is pretty small compared to my other tomatoes, but it has a lot of tomatoes on it.
Next to the fence I have yellow Lemon Boy tomatoes. I’ve only had two ripe ones so far, but the flavor is delicious. Later in the summer I like to combine the yellow tomatoes with red ones and make my favorite summer tomato salad. I made it last night for some friends who came to dinner and everyone loved it.
Of course the huge Brandywine tomato is the star of the garden. I have three Brandywine plants, counting the volunteer that showed up from last year, and they have a lot of tomatoes on them already. Brandywines are a bit slow to ripen, and they don’t usually produce a huge amount, but each tomato is so big you can make a tomato sandwich from one slice. The tomato above is actually ripe, even though the top looks green. I picked it that day and made tomato sandwiches which I shared with my nephew Jake.
As you can see, I have a lot more tomatoes in my future. Now I’m going to confess how I get so many blooms on my plants and hope that a lot of organic gardeners don’t immediately delete me from their blogrolls! I use a product called Bud and Bloom which stimulates the plant to produce more blooms due to the high phosphorus content. Even though I don’t need to use a lot of chemical fertilizer on my garden (thanks to my great friend Robin who brings me horse manure each spring and fall) using this on plants which produce blossoms once each year at the starting of the summer makes a huge difference in production.
I do have one tomato plant which seems a bit sickly, and I’m not sure why. Starting at the bottom of the plant, the leaves are getting brown, although the plant is still producing a lot of tomatoes. Anyone know what this might be?
I am happy to report that even though I felt a tiny bit sad to resort to poisoning the snails, the basil plants have sprung back to life and I’ll be freezing fresh basil again this week, to last me all through the winter.
If you’re planning to participate in Weekend Herb Blogging, don’t forget it’s being hosted by Christa from Calendula and Concrete this week. Send her your link (calendula1 AT gmail DOT com) by 3:00 today, Washington D.C. time. Be sure to include the words “weekend herb blogging” and a link to Christa somewhere in the post.Last, but definitely not least, check out some of the great Blogher Food posts from the past week, most of which are surfing guides which will take you to a whole collection of food blog posts on a particular topic.