Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Love/Hate Relationship

There's no need for this heat. None at all. There's no reason I should go tomato picking at 7:45 in the morning and come back in at 8:00 AM with my shirt soaked through and sweat pouring off of my face and into my eyes. No reason at all. It's no wonder our upstairs air conditioning froze over yesterday. It seems okay now, but according to the man (I wasn't home) the river it poured out from the attic when it defrosted was impressive.

Here's the haul I gathered this morning. Those Black Cherries are the most prolific tomato I've ever planted. I wish I got as many Yellow Pear.
I still have all of these Black Cherries left over from earlier this week. What in the world do I do with the cherry tomatoes besides just eating them as they are or putting them in salads. They're a bit small to blanche and freeze, but I don't know another way to keep them.
I don't like them very much because of the thick skin. Next year I think I'm going to try Sun Gold. My girlfriend is growing those and I like them a lot. Thinking of ripping out the Dragon beans soon and planting some more cucumbers as well.

My problem now is the Japanese beetles. When the blackberry bush was in full swing, they ignored my beans but now that the bush is dying back, they've found me. The Fortex may need to go as well. Good thing I still have time to replant for another fall crop! They tend to rust a bit more in the fall, but you've got to love this long growing season. Maybe I'll do Kentucky Wonder instead. and since I ripped out the squash and zucchini, the squash bugs are looking for purchase on anything they come across.

I also got out there and gave the sweet potatoes in pots a bit of a hair cut. The pots worked so well for me last year and I learned that if I trimmed the vines I got larger potatoes instea of scraggly ones. They obviously need water, though.

It should get a bit cooler this week - heat index only in the mid to upper 90's (Woohoo?), so maybe I'll get some of the replanting done then. Erin, you're right. This heat stinks even if the tomatoes love it.

The morning comes early. Sweet cherry tomato dreams.


  1. I put my over abundance of cherry tomatoes in salsa. I use the food processor to chop them up, yummy. I also hear they are good dried.

  2. Great harvest, Ribbit! Cucumber beetles are a big problem in my garden as well. I spray with pyrethrin every few days with limited success. Last year they just decimated my cucumbers. They are the worst!

  3. Oh thank you! I was starting to think there was something wrong with me, why can't I take the heat when everyone else does? Then Dani posted the other day that she hangs up her garden hat in May until fall and I felt a little better :) here I was thinking everyone else was just out working all day and I was inside crying LOL.

    I was accosted by squash bugs this morning, ick! Same time for me, 7:45 am for tomatoes and sweaty within 10 minutes! I almost decided to dust those stupid squash bugs and run back in but of course I couldn't since all the pretty bees were out in the blossoms :)

    The only thing I do with those little tomatoes besides salad is squish them first then dry them - I keep them in a container in the fridge when dry, then use them to blend in with my hummus or softened with hot water for winter pizza toppings.

  4. p.s. I learned the hard way to squish the tomatoes first or they will take WEEKS to dry LOL

  5. Hi Ribbit! Sorry the heat is getting you!

    Been hot here too... but today it's in the high 70s and so beautiful out!

    Try dehydrating your little tomatoes! That's what I did last year.

  6. I know you pulled your squash plants but if you still have any the zucchini stoup calls for cherry tomatoes you could make it and freeze it for the winter.

  7. Does trimming the vines only work for sweet potatoes?

  8. All great ideas, thanks! My neighbor has a dehydrator. I wonder if I can borrow it. Erin, how long will they last then in the fridge, or can I put them on the shelf.

    Vanessa, I don't know what else you could trim vines on, but I know if I trim the SP vines the energy goes underground to make the potatoes larger.

  9. Your getting a pretty fine harvest despite the temps. I would think the tomatoes would just "shut down" in that crazy heat. I sure would!
    Wish I could bottle up some of this coolness and send it your way. I won't tell you just how cool. I think you'd really hate me.

  10. Do you know if all black cherry tomatoes are supposed to have thick skin, or did you just get (un)lucky this year? I think I have a plant in one of my tomato beds (have to check the marker), and I would not like thick skinned cherry tomatoes, either!

  11. I'd keep them in the fridge for about 6 months, or stuff them into a rubbermaid container into the freezer for longer. It's so humid here I don't dare keep any dried fruit and stuff in the pantry.

  12. I'm growing sungolds and love them! The skin on sungolds are also very thick! I am also growing Chocolate Cherry. I can't wait until they start producing fruit!

  13. I would throw them in my victorio strainer and make sauce out of them. I know I'm weird. I made sungold tomato sauce one year. You couldn't use it for spaghetti since it was way too sweet for that. But it made some really nice creole dishes. And I liked it in some chilies too. I think the sweet and the heat went well together.

    I'm happy we are getting a break from out high 80s low 90s weather. That is just too hot for me. I like to be outside in the summer. And that isn't even close to your heat.