Saturday, June 7, 2008

All about tomatoes


I LOVE growing tomatoes. I love the way the plants smell, and the way my hands smell after handling the plants. I love the amazing variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. I love the taste! And the versatility of using them. They're delicious fresh in salad, or any number of appetizers. They're delicious on pizza. They make fantastic sauce for pasta or eggplant parmesan. Tomatoes juice is yummy and nutritious. And ketchup! Yummmmmmmmmm.

In my garden, I have six heirlooms (which I believe I wrote about in a previous post), and 24 roma tomato plants. The heirlooms are in cages, and I did try to limit the number of vines they have, although I haven't been too successful. A few of them aren't looking all that great, but a couple already have some nice-sized tomatoes. They're planted down at the end of the rows of romas.

The romas are planted about 18 inches apart in two rows, which are about two feet apart. There's just enough space for me to walk between the rows. I'm keeping myself busy, especially now with the warm weather, because the plants are growing quickly. I'm busy picking off the side shoots, to try to keep the plants to one main stem. The problem is that I'm not sure whether these romas are determinate or indeterminate. If they're determinate, I'm not sure that picking off the side shoots is the best idea. But it's what I was told to do, so I'm doing it. I'll have to look into it more next year.

The plants are anywhere from 1 to 2 feet high right now, and I've just begun tying them to their stakes. I think perhaps I put the stakes a little too far from the plants. They're about 4-6 inches away. I'll update later on how things turn out later in the season.

At this point, I've gradually decreased watering from twice a week to once every 5-6 days. I try to let the water run for at least an hour, more if possible. Today I probably let it run for almost 2 hours. This is really what tomatoes need.

We certainly have our first green tomatoes. When we have our first red, orange, yellow, or purples tomatoes - I'll certainly post a picture!

1 comment:

Calcandide said...

Can you please post recipes/directions for making and canning tomato sauce, ketchup, and tomato juice?