Sunday, August 06, 2006

Garden Update #12: Tomatoes! (and What's New at Blogher Food?)

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.

For those who are following the progress, here are my other garden updates.
first garden update
Garden Update #2
Garden Update #3
Garden Update #4
Garden Update #5
Garden Update #6
Garden Update #7
Garden Update #8 (Rand's Garden)

Garden Update #9
Garden Update #10
Mini Garden Update #11


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.



counter customizable free hit

10 comments:

  1. Next time don't poison the snails - eat them instead! I guess my own blogher posts got to me. I had to have avocado on bread again for lunch yesterday and then for dinner I just had to eat snails, the french, not italian, way. No - I didn't cook themself though!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sam, I used to love snails the french way, with lots and lots of butter and garlic. I say used to only because I haven't had them for years now. I learned to like them when I worked at a French restaurant in college, which is now closed. In the garden, it was either snails or basil, no contest in my mind!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ooooh, nice tamaters! Be careful with the budding spray and anything that encourages lots of top growth, you're just asking for a whitefly invasion.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Steven, what I'm using is a product that you mix with water and soak the roots of the plant, so is that still going to cause whiteflies? (I don't have any idea what whiteflies are and don't think I've ever had them. Maybe they don't live where it's so dry?)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Whiteflies are attracted to new growth on plants and they're a pain. I got put on the organic method years ago when my tomatoes were attacked constantly by whiteflies and my neighbor's weren't. He told me he never used chemical fertiliser and that chemical fertilisers like Miracle-Gro caused too much rapid growth and it was like laying out a buffet for whiteflies. I've only used compost since and I've never had any insect problems with my tomatoes other than the odd hornworm.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your tomato plants look wonderful. Mine are very beat up, from the heat. Plus, I think the heat gave me blossom drop. I've never heard of that budding spray. Hmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Steven, I had to google whiteflies because I've never heard of it. After reading about it, I don't think I've ever had them in my garden, at least I haven't noticed them. I don't think Utah has a lot of bugs, at least compared with lots of other places. (Hooray for that!)

    Sher, the stuff I use isn't a spray. It's a powder you mix with water, then you drench the roots with it. It's great on anything with blossoms.

    ReplyDelete
  8. We finally started some basil plants, but thats it around here until next growing season - the tomatoes look like they are thriving!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Kalyn,
    I just want to come to your garden and have a taste of each variety! I'm not a salad fan, but love any dish with tomato sauce; am eyeing on your Roma tomato!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm in awe. I am so NOT a tomato-ranchin' bum this year. You bum! You are.
    Continued good luck with your plants.
    PS: We have insecticide-free edible snails all over the place here, but I just don't think I'm going to try it. I can just as easily have buttery garlic bread and get all the same flavor (except for garden hose)!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible. Sometimes I'm answering by iPhone, so my replies may be short!

Comments don't appear on the blog until they're approved by me, so no need to try again if you don't see it! Feel free make your signature a link to your site if you're a blogger, but links posted within the body of the comment will never be published.

Blogging tips