Gotta Garden

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Taking Out the Tomatoes...

Since I got them in early (for me), I might as well take them out early, right? Well, not exactly. It feels a bit like I am rushing fall (am I?). Anyway, all have been pulled out except the Sungold which is happily taking all the space it used to share with Eva's Purple Ball. As a cherry tomato, it isn't a heavy vine and causes me no problems in the staking department. It's still producing and I expect it to until frost...which could be Oct or Nov, depending on the whims of frost.

Why, you ask, did I take them out a whole month earlier than I might have had to? Good question. I'm not a neat freak (that might be an improvement) or anything, but when they grow up past your stakes (the ones that actually managed to stay in the ground) and back down to the ground again, it is probably time to reconsider. I have all winter to formulate a new plan of action. Things like cutting off the growing point, removing extra branches, more space (yes, that would help...that's one for the dream list, along with winning the lottery), maybe trying to make those cages out of concrete reinforcing wire (those might require staking, maybe not), maybe actually using some of the big pots I have...etc.

I'll definitely replant Sungold (cannot imagine not growing it), Pink Caspian and German Johnson. Maybe even that Champion, if I should come across it. This winter, when it's cold and dreary out, I'll go into that seed drawer and look at all the tomato seeds I have...and maybe actually grow some. Add a good paste tomato to my must-grow list. I did miss those this year.

The current tomato areas look like good candidates for garlic. By the time the tomatoes get big enough to really need the space, the garlic will be coming out. Sounds like a plan. Maybe. Need to amend the soil (note to self) for sure. After all, the blanket flowers insist on seeding themselves into one of my current garlic areas.

Maybe I shouldn't fight them, they seem to grow well without any help from me. I would like it/them better (the blanket flowers) if they would seed themselves in a nice row in that empty area (except for the weeds that fill it in) between the daylily seedlings and the garlic area. That would be convenient and helpful. But no.

Anyway, I harvested all the tomatoes except for some teeny ones and a few that looked like they might have wildlife. I got two big bags of tomatoes! See:

They've been ripening quite nicely. I've made four batches of sauce, so far, and think I should get another two, at least. Plus ones for eating, so all in all, not a bad harvest. Just to give you an idea, those two bags filled five dinner plates (for ripening) plus the window sill (and only one green worm!).

I think maybe I should feel sad about taking the tomato plants out, especially early, but I don't. It's just one of those years. I'm sure when the last of the tomatoes ripens, then I'll have regrets. For now, it's just good eating (and no picking up vines lying all over).


On other fronts, I found a few Black Swallowtails to be:

Parsley is another one of those things I let seed around. It does a pretty good job. I'm now finding seedlings in the daylily seedling bed which is quite a ways from the original planting site. Can't have too much parsley, right? (You're thinking...she must put parsley and garlic in everything...well, almost!)

Pet Humor

Leo, who has a question

Riley, who has the answer

Kobe, who agrees with Riley

Sam has requested his privacy. He is probably asleep in a closet somewhere and therefore has issued a 'no comment' statement.


Marvie said...

I took out my tomato plants yesterday. They were an overgrown, huge mess. Plus, I saw a rat out there not too long ago and it grossed me out.

I'm ready for fall anyway =) I need the fall and winter to plan better for next year!

Muum said...

It is always hard to decide when to pull stuff in the fall. The weather is so glorious, it is hard to remember that soon it will be too cold and wet to enjoy the time in the garden! Plus some years I cover my tomatoes and peppers at night so they will continue to ripen. This year I hope/think! I will do better! The peppers were so abysmal that I can pull them w/out feeling bad. The tomatoes are going soon, too. I am sick of dealing with them!

Annie in Austin said...

Our tomatoes are a mess - if I had a harvest like yours Gotta Garden, I'd be estatic! My husband said to just leave the remaining fruit for the birds since they punched holes in every one already.

Our peppers will probably keep going for another 6 weeks, so they stay, even if the tomatoes go.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Andrea's Garden said...

We took ours out before we went on vacation, but they were in pots this year since we don't really have a vegetable garden. Over here they are already selling greenhouse tomatoes and one can really tell by the taste (not much of it). We have had 3 beautiful fall days and got lots of garden work done. Greetings, Andrea

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I do believe that the answers the Riley and Kobe are providing are a little biased. In my experience, anyway, my dog's opinion is always something along the lines of: "I deserve a nice huge steak right now." *grin*

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