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Archive for June 30th, 2010

Truly, Truly Summer!

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Oh, the joys of summer! We had a bunch of rain and now everything is growing like crazy. I picked this tomato, the first healthy ripe one of the season, a day or two ago.

I want to make guacamole. It’s just the right size for that.

FirstTomato2010

I am so happy that I got fruit this year! One more looks like I can pick it tomorrow, too!

I have learned to grow tomatoes in large containers. They sit on the landing of our back steps, which is on a southwest corner of the house. I see them every time I enter the house, so I don’t forget to water.

I use “container soil” instead of standard potting soil. This has small granules of a gel which absorbs an amazing amount of water when it can, and then releases it slowly later. The plant can go longer between waterings without going totally dry. This works great on weeks/weekends when we go away and the weather is hot.

Last year was an awful year for me and tomatoes. I started a bit late, and even my “Early Girl” tomato plant did not make a single ripe fruit on the vine. I got one red one off a vine all year, and I had five pots going.

I did harvest a few (five, to be exact – see above) green ones in October, and put them on the windowsill to ripen. The smallest one never did turn red, the others I used for cooking when they looked OK.

Fortunately, knitting friend Rita B. is an amazing gardener. She grew a lot of types of tomatoes, including some heirloom ones in gorgeous colors.

She was generous in sharing, so I had fresh, off-the-vine tomatoes even though mine were useless. Here is a photo of a fully-ripe green heirloom variety she shared with me:

Here is a photo of a pot of some amazing chili I made up with a bumper crop she gave me one night. (Sometimes Thursday Knitting night is harvest-sharing night, and I was delighted.)

This year? I bought one huge pot with a large plant in it, right away. It had flowers and tiny fruit on it when I took it home. That is how I got the tomato pictured first today.

I also have four smaller plants which are growing but not large yet. One of the smallest ones has several small tomato fruits growing and a few flowers.

We will see what we will see. Meanwhile, guacamole for lunch on Wednesday?