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BLOG OF THE WEEK: Ripe with just-in-time growing tips and gorgeous photography, the Grit team found Joan's colorful, summer-ful post to be a standout source of weekend gardening (and eating!) inspiration. Does anyone else feel like they're in the garden with Joan instead of reading? You don't get more local than that.
Hello Gardening Friends!
Yesterday I harvested a wonderful assortment of tomatoes from the front yard garden. This season, we have had a great crop, so I thought I'd share my all-stars:
The Sun Gold cherry tomato is my all-time favorite among favorites. They taste like candy. Sun Gold cherry tomatoes are very sweet and glow a beautiful brilliant yellow-orange. WOW. Size-wise, they grow about a half inch to one inch in diameter. It is a hybrid tomato and gives me very few problems, though they are indeterminate and do need some room and support with stakes. The one downside: it almost never makes it to the table because it is so good to snack right off the vine. This also makes it a wonderful introduction to the world of tomatoes for children.
Another champ among tomatoes is the San Marzano pole tomato. I like to grow this variety specifically for making sauce. It has a rich, meaty flavor, low sugar, and low acid, but has a high solids content. The plant itself is high yielding. It is oblong in shape and bright red in color. It is indeterminate and will need staking. Caution: You will want to keep an eye out for blossom end rot with this variety.
The third variety of tomato that I want to highlight this season is the Red and Yellow pear tomatoes. These indeterminate tomatoes are really fun to grow. They have a whacky pear shape and grow in both yellow and red shades. They have a fruity flavor and are excellent for salads and canning. This variety is an heirloom tomato that dates back to the 1800s. Heirloom veggies are great because they are open pollinated and you can save your seeds for the next season. It is a plant that keeps giving...
Left to right: Red Pear; Sun Gold cherry; Sugar Sweetie; Yellow Pear; San Marzano
If you would like to start a fall crop of tomatoes, now is the time to take your cuttings. Just cut a four- to five-inch piece of the tomato stem. Remove the lower third of the stem’s leaves and pinch off any blooms. Place in a glass of water in a windowsill with dappled light. Change water every few days. In about two weeks, you should have roots. Pot the cutting in a small pot (about 6 inches) with fresh, well-amended soil. Keep it well-watered in dappled light. Once cutting shows signs of new growth, move to sunny location. When roots fill the pot, sometimes poking through the bottom, you are ready to transplant to garden. Prepare garden bed with soil amendments. Tomatoes like to have their root ball sunk when planted. Again, remove some lower leaves and place about one-third of the stem below the soil line. This stem will develop a stronger root system and give you a stronger plant. Fall tomatoes are right around the corner!
Tomatoes rooting on windowsill
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