Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Case for the Late Tomato

Last year was the summer of the green tomato, but this year our tomatoes did even worse. After an extremely short warm season, with few days over 80 degrees, fall arrived with a rainy vengeance in the northwest.

Our tomatoes were still mostly green on the vine, and we covered them with a blue tarp for a day during the heaviest rains, so they wouldn't split and mold.

When we uncovered them, we realized that our warm days had passed, and we had no hope of any more red-ripe tomatoes this year.

But wait! My enterprising husband pulled the best ones from the ground, and hung them upside-down in the barn.

Look at those amazing plants trying to ripen their fruit! Anything that shows a little color gets taken into the kitchen to ripen fully, and they taste great!

As the days grow colder and winter looms - I say "Yay for Late Tomatoes!"

Did you get tomatoes from your garden this year?

Ever tried this method to keep your tomatoes going?


Francesca Prescott said...

Interesting. So they no longer have any earth? Or water? My tomatoes didn't do so well this summer, although the ones that grew were delicious. I think I tried growing the wrong types; I went for the enormously huge ones instead of the regular sized ones. The cherry tomatoes did well though! I've still got loads of Swiss Chard growing, and plenty of potatoes to dig out. Love eating food straight from the garden!

Dreaming said...

How wonderful!
We have a few sad, hanger's on, on the vine outside - no leaves, just a few tomatoes.
I don't know why we even try to grow them here.
Oh, but wait... the few that we did get were like candy. Mmmm... sweet! That's why! We'll do it again in the hopes that we get just a few!

Patricia said...

We've had a heck of a time growing tomatoes for the last two years and have no explanation for it. We used to have a lot of dirt in our backyard but now we have to grow vegies in pots and it just doesn't work for us. We did get a few tomatoes but the skins were tough and no one wanted to eat them.

Linda Benson said...

Francesca - isn't that amazing? When you remove them from dirt and water, they still try so hard to ripen their fruit. Nature is awesome.

Dreaming and Patti - Almost everyone I've talked to had a hard time with tomatoes this year, except for cherry tomatoes, which grow like weeds no matter what.

But if you can even get one or two ripe tomatoes right off the vine, it's almost worth all the trouble because they are SO Delicious!

Ellen's Poetry said...

didn't I read to put greenish tomatoes into a brown paperbag to help them ripen? I got like 5 tomatoes so that's the last of try to grow them for me!

East Bound said...

I would suggest growing cold weather types like Siberia, Siberian, Glacier Heirloom, Stupice, Manitoba, Oregon Spring or the New Yorker. starting them inside early will also give them a good head start. :)

Linda Benson said...

Ellen - I've used the brown paper bag trick to ripen avacadoes. I've never tried it for tomaotes, but it might work.

East Bound - thanks for the suggestions for varieties. We may try some next year that do better with less warm weather and see how they do.

Ripe tomatoes are just so yummy that we always plant some, and if we have a successful year, it's so worthwhile!