Saturday, July 06, 2013

True love and ....

The tomatoes are, of course the main act in the garden.  I HAD been holding at 29 plants when yesterday, I was able to carve out space for number 30.  The varieties are as follows:

Rutgers -3, Hillbilly -1, Italian Sweet - 6, Sungold - 2, Big Zac - 2, Soldacki - 2, Better Boy -7 Pink Ponderosa -2 and Cosmonaut Voklov - 5

Everything but the Rutgers and Hillbilly I grew from seed.  I chose the Cosmonaut Voklov because Lynne Rossetto Kasper had it at the top of her taste list for 2011.  Pink Ponderosa was a result of catalogue lure probably due to potential size.  I needed a backup in case my Big Zacs failed to come through.

Soldacki returns this year after making a splendid debut in my garden the last few summers.  It comes close in flavor to the Italian Sweet which is by my reckoning the best tomato I have ever tasted.   
The potato leafed Italian Sweet
a cluster of Sungolds
The Sungolds, to my palate, remain the best tasting cherry tomato and the Better Boys are there because after all the blossom drop, blossom end rot and blight the heirlooms are prone to, the Better Boy will insure that SOME tomatoes will make it into the house.
Sungolds already over the top of the tomato ladder
In recent years I have adopted the practice of saving plants for fall harvest.  I let the first fruit set, then until about the middle of July, I remove all subsequent blossoms from the plant.  Then I let fruiting resume.  The result is that these plants are able to withstand the assaults of August and produce solidly up until frost.  I might do this with 3 of my 30 plants.

This year I tried to keep up with the practice of removing all leaves below the first fruit.  It reduces the spread of disease on the leaves.  The problem is I NOTICE this in the morning when the plants are wet, and I have learned not to touch a wet tomato plant.  So I must return in the evening to do my pruning.
the 30th plant ... a Cosmonaut Voklov ... needs to catch up
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love & homegrown tomatoes  ~ Guy Clark