15 October 2006

Annals of Gardening

Now that the temperature has dipped below 32°F at least once, I guess tomato season is officially over. Last year, I got a six pack of some ordinary hybrid...but because I didn't get them in the ground until after the Fourth of July, we harvested nothing but green tomatoes. This year, I got my act together sooner and got five robust plants into the ground just before Memorial Day. Here's the verdict:

Black Brandywine - good producer, good fruit.
Green Zebra - good producer, good fruit.
Sugar Lump - lots of mostly tiny cherry tomatoes, although not terrific flavor and somewhat tough skins.
Mortgage Lifter - lousy producer: we did not harvest a single ripe tomato. I'd love to know where it got its inaccurate moniker.
Heartland - nice compact plant, with a reasonable amount of plain red tomatoes of decent quality.

Black Brandywine and Green Zebra were sprawling, vibrant, out-of-control vines. I might have gotten more fruit if I'd been a little more ruthless about pruning them earlier in the season.

I would definitely plant Black Brandywine and Green Zebra again, and maybe Heartland. I think I'll look for a different cherry tomato, and maybe a different all around red tomato.

There is a whole mess of mostly green tomatoes now resident on cookie sheets in the basement - some will undoubtably ripen, thereby extending tomato season for at least another couple of weeks. Of course, all the basil is gone. Tant pis.