Tomato Talk

my garden is producing many tomatoes every day!

It would be completely inappropriate if I didn’t write about tomatoes before the end of the gardening season. I’m hoping all throughout August you’ve had an ample tomato harvest. Nothing compares to a sweet homegrown tomato.

The storm a few weeks back damaged some of my plants, but all things considered, I have a good crop. If we don’t get a cold spell or another big storm our plants will continue to produce throughout September. I planted a variety as always. This year there are some heirloom, beefsteak, cherry, and cocktail tomatoes. There are over 10,000 varieties of tomato. They come in a variety of colors including pink, purple, black, yellow and even white!

Also, the original Aztec name for tomato is xitomatl, which translates as “plump thing with a navel.” How adorable! And insane!

I’ve noticed my cherry tomatoes have been splitting and beefsteaks cracking. Every wonder what that’s from? Heavy rain, especially when preceded by dry weather, causes the fruit to crack and split. It most often occurs when tomatoes begin to ripen. So essentially, it’s when there is a dramatic change in the moisture level which causes tomatoes to expand faster than the skin can grow.

example of a split tomato

Soon after the tomato splits it will become insect food. If you’re seeing this problem, remove the fruit a little before it’s fully ripe. Better a tart tomato than none at all. Keep these tomatoes on your window sill. The sunshine will help them ripen naturally. And I remind you garden newbies, never put tomatoes in the refrigerator. The cool temperature changes the texture and taste, for the worse.

It’s been a good year as far as the absence of the tomato hornworm. At least speaking in the Beach 91st Street Community Garden. You’ll know them, if you see them. Those thick green worms, sometimes five inches long! They will blend into your tomato plant foliage and without removal, the worm will kill your whole crop. If you made it this far without the pest, then you’re free and clear. A tip: make sure you till your soil after this season in a couple of weeks to destroy overwintering larvae. Do this again in the spring. This is the best prevention.

I hope you’re making some delicious recipes with tomatoes this season. They are so versatile and flavorful. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of cooking with homegrown foods. If you have a unique tomato recipe I would love to hear about it.

simple sliced tomatoes with cream chease on toasted bread with salt and pepper (1)

Simple sliced tomatoes with cream cheese on toasted bread with salt and pepper, so good. 

For more on gardening  follow me for the day-to-day on IG @theglorifiedtomato


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