Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tomatoes – Patience, Patience

DSC_1675_4586 Farmer MacGregor overseeing his estate while tending to his Red Flame Grapes.  Bed 1 = tomatoes, Bed 2 = watermelons, squash, Bed 3 = hot peppers, tomatoes, Bed 4 = tomatoes.

July  is here.  We’ve endured our 1st heat wave.  Around here, a heat wave is a cluster of days where the temperature exceeds 100.  Another definition is a cluster of days where you experience swamp pants.  The tomatoes have reacted in a variety of ways to the heat.  There is a push of growth in all the varieties.  Some varieties handle the heat much better than others.  Al Kuffa seems to be the champion so far.  They’re tough.  Every variety has some kind of pest munching on it – caterpillars & grasshoppers.  I spied a wasp in one of the Mule Team rows helping with the pest control by battling a caterpillar. 

There are companion plants growing amongst most all of the crops.  The radishes are bolting and I don’t care.  I’m leaving them alone.  I did notice something rolled up in one of the radish leaves.  Any idea what it could be?  I don’t want to disturb it if it’s beneficial.

DSC_1679_4590 I picked a couple of tomatoes for Farmer MacGregor to participate in a taste test in the kitchen.  Al Kuffa and Arkansas Traveler went head to head with no winner determined.  Farmer MacGregor instructed me to let them ripen a bit more before the next test.  Meanwhile, a few miles east of Maybelline’s Garden, my mother harvested her 1st tomato of the season from her Al Kuffa plant. She is very weak when it comes to tomatoes.  Right there in her garden she simple plucked the fruit, wiped it on her shirt and ate it.  She’s tough.  The review was “delicious”!

DSC_1682_4593 Arkansas Traveler – July 1, 2010 (Planted March 1, 2010).


Francesca said...

No idea of what that might be, but it looks like you'll soon be able to harvest your first tomato too! I just spotted my first tiny baby one, the size of a (small) marble. Patience, patience:)
PS I don't know much about aprons ... I don't use them! Could you not just wing it? My mom has several that cross at the back and don't tie on, next time I visit her, I'll check out how they're made!

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Tomato is a plant that is haunting. The moment flowers and fruits start to appear, you keep coming and checking... ~bangchik

Melissa Price said...

Maybelline, I can TOTALLY relate to this post. It gets unbearable here over the summer months as well. One evening when I was headed to the hospital to see my Papa, the temperature gauge read 107 degrees... at 6:00pm! Yeah, I get swamp pants, too. I try to get all of my outside chores done before 10:00am. Otherwise, it just has to wait.

Fortunately, it's been a little less hot this week. We've had cloud cover and a few showers in the afternoons. Yay! I've even let the kids play in the rain a time or two when there was no thunder. Good clean fun. BTW, your tomatoes look fabulous! I have a friend who grow Arkansas travelers and they are delicious. : ) Melissa


*Francesca: Thanks. I always appreciate a good pattern.
*Bangchik: I'm mostly haunted by the upcoming massive canning event.
*Melissa: Okay. I suppose I shouldn't complain too much. At least I don't have any humidity.

A Deacon's Wife said...

My 3 word solution for all this tomato-waiting: Fried. Green. Tomatoes. They don't completely solve the red-jucy-tomato cravings, but they help.

Your garden is so beautiful! I am particularly enamored of your trellis structures. Gorgeous!

And Sow My Garden Grows said...

Your tomato plants look amazing! What an interesting way (and eye appealing) to stake them. Are you tying them up as they grow? Great picture!


*A Deacon's: Trying to stay away from the delicious fried foods.
*And: I wind the plants around the jute that runs vertically from the wooden supports.

Bill Bird said...

Your plants are LOADED. I remember when mine looked like that last year. Not so much this year. Color me jealous -- and make it official!

And Sow My Garden Grows said...

I hear you Bill - same thing here. Last year's tomatoes were amazing - this year not looking as hot. Her plants are amazingly full and yes loaded!


*Bill & And: This may not make you feel any better but I am dealing with an army of grasshoppers and caterpillars.