Posted by on July 24, 2012

It may be hot and it may be dry, but the tomatoes are loving it. Yes – I have been watering the garden – not a lot – but every two to three days I either run the sprinkler a bit or go around with a bucket to water individual plants and rows. Temperatures have been high but the tomatoes have been loving it.

Tomatoes? You might remember my sad saga of my tomato starts. My starts did not make it, but the plants that I bought at the farmer’s market are doing just great. I bought seven heirloom plants, mostly Red and Yellow Brandywine, my favorite. And I bought 4 Roma plants, mainly for canning since I know that Romas are very prolific.

Today I had my first taste and it was very, very good. Fresh from the garden, still sun-kissed and warm, and full of flavor. (Sometimes I do think that minimal watering helps concentrate the flavor.)

These slices came from this tomato, nicely round, though it was splitting on one side (the side away from the camera – the split that may not look too appetizing).

That tomato came from these plants.

And more tomatoes are on their way!

Standard tomato cages, even large ones, are not really meant for large indeterminate heirloom tomato plants. Many of my plants are and trying to escape their cages (not that I blame them). And when the plants get heavy with tomatoes, the cages just can’t support them anymore. So I reinforce them with stakes. A few years ago I got some metal posts from my sister that work wonderfully. Even so, branches still manage to snake out and have to be tied. I think most people would use something made for gardening – twine for instance. But, in the spirit of recycling, my mum and I came up with a perfect alternative – newspaper bags! The Goshen News gets delivered to my mum’s house every day, usually in a bright orange plastic bag, just the right length to tie an unruly tomato branch to a pole.

These bright orange ties are also good for adding warning color to stakes that mark little baby trees that Arbor Day sends me to plant.

So my heirlooms are doing well. But the Romas are doing more than well. Each plant is bursting with tomatoes.

It’s a good thing there are so many tomatoes. I need to restock the panty. I think I’ll be very busy next month.

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