For 2013, I started tomatoes from seed, and ended up with 16 tomato plants, which seemed like a ridiculously large number just for home use. But given past tomato failures, it seemed like about the right number to guarantee SOME tomatoes. As it turned out, it was a lackluster season, so that number was about right. I planted a bunch of varieties, but only a few did really well. None of the slicing or beefsteak tomatoes took off (don’t even ask what happened to the ‘Green Zebras,’ it was tragic) but the paste tomatoes (‘Granadero’ and ‘San Marzano’) did pretty well, and it was a great year for cherry tomatoes. (‘Sungold’ and ‘Sweet Cherry’).
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I started tomatoes from seeds. Most of the time they were in the basement under the grow lights, but they got occasional trips outside.
Once they outgrew the seed flats, I transplanted them into plastic cups.
And from the cups, I transplanted the tomato seedlings into the garden.
So… into the ground.
… And then when they got a little larger, we put the tomato cages around the plants.
It’s always exciting to see those first yellow blossoms.
… Followed by little green tomatoes.
These are cherry tomatoes.
And we harvested a bunch of them this year!
A few other interesting things about tomatoes…
I didn’t have enough tomato cages, so half were tied to bamboo stakes. Yep those are panty hose.
You can see in this photo that the plants in the wire cages got WAY bigger then those tied to the stakes, which grew much more densely. (And it was harder to pick the fruit.)
Actually the tomatoes in the wire cages got so tall it was ridiculous. To the sky tomatoes!
It was a lackluster year for tomatoes, the only ones that did really well were the cherry tomatoes. Part of the problem may have been that it was a rainy year.
We had a lot of problems with blossom end rot, probably caused partly by uneven watering combined with heavy rain.
Another problem associated with uneven watering: splitting tomatoes.
And we had some disease problems. Still not sure, but I think this might be blight.
Still, we ate cherry tomatoes all summer, and plenty of paste tomatoes for the freezer. And that works for me. I’m in it for the salsa.