maters

We might be seeing the start of our best tomato crop yet. Many large fruit varieties are doing well in the original bed. The from-seed starts are behind but are budding prolifically.

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The plant above (and below) is a volunteer. At this point I would say it was a red beefsteak, and it already has more fruit on it than we have gotten from a beefsteak in the last two years. The tomatoes in the photo are already three inches across.

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The following three photos are of two San Marzano plants. They were the first fruit in the bed, and are a new variety for us. I am happy to have found an heirloom plum tomato.

Although the larger fruit is doing well, some of the smaller ones have shown the start of end-rot. I have discarded the bad fruit and applied more bone meal to the soil around these plants. The hybrid Romas we grew last year had the same problem, losing half the yield. So far, I have only seen end-rot on plum tomatoes in our garden.

If I see more, I may try this product.

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Growing up, the across-the-street neighbors often had a surplus of plum tomatoes (my family only ever planted beefsteak) and they were always so enjoyable to me. I look forward to a good crop this year.

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The image below should be our Pink Brandywine, a new variety for us. I had a difficult time finding large not-red tomatoes this year; this is it. Next year, I plan to include more large fruit varieties for growing from seed.

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Below is a red beefsteak that I purchased this year. At this stage, the fruit seems whiter than that on the volunteer beefsteak, but I don’t isolate our varieties so that could be due to cross-pollination of last years varieties… (I did grow second generation Mr. Stripey plants that produced cherry tomatoes that had an ombre more than stripes.)

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The second tomato bed, with the from-seed plants, is doing well, but only has a few small fruits setting up. I pruned and tied up that bed yesterday (underneath the bombardment of neighborhood fireworks) and the plants are nearly the size of the volunteers and bought plants, and have many blooms, but have only just begin producing fruit.

I see many fried green tomatoes and BLTs, homemade salsas and sauces coming in the near future as we move through another summer of our wabi-sabi life.

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