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End of the season??


Gardening 11

End of the season??

queenscook | Sep 12, 2010 11:21 AM

For anyone who remembers my very naive/beginner questions early this planting season, showing my total lack of knowledge of tomato growing (planting too many seedlings in two very small pots, primarily), I can report that, in the long run, everything wound up growing very well, even given the tremendously hot summer we had in NYC, as well as my two week vacation, when I had to find a friend to come over to water, etc. In the end, I transplanted a couple of the plants more than once, finishing with five 3-gallon pots and one 5-gallon one, for the original eight small plants.

As far as production goes, so far I have gotten close to 150 grape tomatoes from the original six seedlings, with dozens still green on the plants. One "Early Girl" has two remaining orange-red fruits, waiting to ripen further, while the other one has 15 mostly green fruits, including two the size of marbles.

So, my question now is: what should I be doing at this time of the season? I don't expect to see anything new on the Early Girls, but what about the grape tomatoes? I still have dozens of blossoms in addition to the green fruit still on them. I know I've seen mention of cutting back branches, etc., but is mid-September the time to do this? Within a week is when the back porch is needed for the sukkah (Jewish holiday-related thing, for those who don't know), so should I move them to the front yard, where there is far less sun (northern exposure, instead of the sunny southern exposure in the back), or squeeze them to the tiny bit of room on the porch that won't be occupied by the sukkah? I won't be able to access them (for harvesting, or anything else) once the sukkah is in place, though I will be able to direct the hose towards them, if needed).

In all, the experience has been fun--and frustrating! People said that all the effort would be worth it once I tasted the home-grown tomatoes. Well, either I usually luck into pretty decent store-bought tomatoes, or I had less-tasty home-grown ones, but I have to admit that I tasted little difference between bought and grown ones. If I try again next year, I'll have to get suggestions from the experts for really spectacular tasting stuff, bearing in mind that I also want to see the production success I had this year. I did make some tomato jam, using the tomatoes and some hot chile peppers I also grew, and plan to do some oven-roasting with most of the rest of what I get. It is nice to be able to say "I grew these," but I'm a bit scared to total the costs of the plants, pots, soil, stakes, etc. for the few pints of tomatoes I got!!

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