In time for tomatoes

Posted on August 4th, 2009 – 8:09 AM
By Robyn Dochterman

While Jaime was away on her honeymoon, I spent some time of my own away. No exotic flora and fauna for me though. I went to Chicago to take classes in chocolate.

It was lots of work and great fun, and I sat on the plane on the way home wondering if my tomatoes would be ripe when I got to the garden. I guess you can take the (Green)girl out of the garden, but not the garden out of the girl. Come to think of it, every time I travel, I find myself making a mental list of what I’ll likely miss in the veggie plot before I book.

I was delighted to see the tomatoes were indeed ripe and ready to go. Three different varieties, in fact. Now I’m preparing to make salsa, and after that, pasta sauce.

So, what’s the report from your garden? What’s ripening? What’s not?

And, what’s your fav salsa recipe?

18 Responses to "In time for tomatoes"

mememom says:

August 4th, 2009 at 8:36 am

Ripe tomatoes, I’m jealous.

In my very shady yard, we do perimeter farming trying to catch the rays on the edges. My tomatoes are prolific but mostly still green. I am seeing some movement in the Black Cherry variety but none of the other 9 varieties are even close. I’m hopeful that the next week of promised warm weather will help.

I’d love salsa recipes. My jalapeno peppers are gorgeous and am trying to keep them producing until the tomatoes are ready. The bell peppers are still pretty small (they need more sun and warmth too, right?). The herbs are still lush, my carrots are still producing and the squash is pretty darn happy.

If only the tomatoes were red…

Danika says:

August 4th, 2009 at 9:11 am

I came home from a weekend away to nearly-ripe tomatoes and lots of cukes. So exciting to see how things change after just a few days!

Robyn Dochterman says:

August 4th, 2009 at 9:14 am

Shade is hard, mememon. You’ll get there, though!

Lisa says:

August 4th, 2009 at 9:47 am

Rick Bayless Basic Salsa:
Broil about 10 whole medium tomatoes and 2-3 peppers (jalapeno, etc) 4″ from flame for about 6 min per side.

(He prefers Roma, but used my Early Girls this past wkend with good results)

Cool tomatoes and peppers. Reduce oven to 425. Roast peeled + sliced onions until caramelized, about 15 min. (Stir often)

Peel, stem peppers. (Wear gloves!) Leave in seeds if you want extra heat. Combine peppers and onions in food processor, pulse until rough chopped. Remove.

Do not wash processor bowl. Peel tomatoes and put into processor. Pulse. Add onion + pepper mixture.

Add salt and vinegar to taste. Use within 5 days.

Had this on my scrambled eggs this morning — delightful!

Amanda says:

August 4th, 2009 at 10:08 am

Had my first tomato out of the garden yesterday. Procured a BLT from a local sandwich shop, removed their pink inferior tomatoes and replaced them with slices of my deep red, ripe one. Mmmmm! I was the envy of all of my lunch time companions.

Rainbird says:

August 4th, 2009 at 10:16 am

I have had large green tomatoes on the vine for close to a month but they won’t ripen! :(

Rebecca says:

August 4th, 2009 at 10:29 am

Ok, I’m new to this tomato planting thing and my plants are slowly getting big and plentiful, but not enough. I just transferred it into a bigger pot but it’s just not getting any bigger or popping out any tomatoes… I’ve used miracle grow, full sun, lots of water… How can i get this thing to grow?

MNmom says:

August 4th, 2009 at 10:29 am

Lots of very green tomatoes here…despite plenty of sun. A strange year. McCormick has a salsa spice packet I’ve used for years: just add your own lovely tomatoes and parsley or cliantro or mint…refrigerate 30 minutes. Great when you have folks salivating for salsa and you’re busy.

Judybusy says:

August 4th, 2009 at 10:32 am

One of my Black Cherokee tomatoes just began to color up a few days ago. I have one Jimmy Nardello pepper red and ready to eat! I hope summer goes well into September; I’ll need it this year. In the meantime, I’m “cheating” with tomatoes from the farmer’s market.

chris says:

August 4th, 2009 at 11:14 am

I need some advice…i have a bunch of brandywine tomatoes that are now on the verge of changing color from green. I’m leaving town this friday and returning next Thursday. Do you think they’ll be fine until I return, or should I have a neighbor come over and check on them to see if they need picking? This will mean that they will get my first ripe tomatoes! Not fair…what do you think I should do?

mememom says:

August 4th, 2009 at 11:46 am

That roasted salsa recipe sounds amazing. Thanks Lisa. I may take a grow light to my tomatoes to get them to ripen!

ChefEd says:

August 4th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Rebecca, To get lots of tomatoes use a tomato fertilizer 8-32-16 or 6-24-24, with Mirical 24-8-16 grow all you will get is a big bushy plant with few tomatoes (to much nitrogen the first number).
The best thing is to use compost with cow manure.Besure to mulch to keep mold blight off you plants.I also use Sea Magic Growth Activator from Burpee’s
I mix one pack into 1 gallon of water then mix one cup of that concentrate to 1 gallon of water the spray on my tomatoes once a week. It has made a huge differance this year. I have so many blossems I can’t count them all.
Good Luck.

Chris H says:

August 4th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

My tomatoes are plentiful, but still plenty green. My fav salsa recipe is lots of tomoatoes and peppers (a mix of whatever is ready in your garden, including bananna and bell and of course jalepeno), red onion, lime juice, cilantro, kosher salt, and a splash of red wine vinegar. Enjoy!

Judybusy says:

August 4th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Chris (going out of town) I would have the neighbors check on them. That way, they can harvest any really ripe ones to save them from the squirrels! You will also score innumerable cool neighbor points by offering to split the harvest while you’re out of town.

Make sure you water well before leaving, as it’s going to get hot this weekend.

BR says:

August 4th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

My cherry tomato’s are just starting to turn. I think i have about 7-8 doz. minimum and who knows how many blossoms. My cherry tomato plant is about 5’9 and about 4-5 feet in diameter. My regular tomato plants (3 of them) are sightly smaller in size and I have one tomato just about ready to turn with about 6-7 green tomatos and countless blossoms. The only fertilizer that i used was fish guts so they are all organic. looking to do a lot of canning!!! Good luck to all!!

chris says:

August 4th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Thanks Judy…good advice! In exchange for some tomatoes I’ll just ask them to water…that should be a good trade off.

gardenmum says:

August 4th, 2009 at 4:29 pm

We’ve been eating grape-cherry tomatoes for several weeks now. I’ve been using organic Espoma Tomato Tone this summer and have tons of tomatoes large and small. Have one ripe full sized tomato so far. After several years of tomatoes in pots on the deck we planted a small veggie garden this year. Tomatoes doing much better in the ground with organic compost and the fertilizer added. Have had several cukes and one green pepper so far. I need to pick green beans tomorrow.

laura says:

August 5th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

i have tons of tomatoes, huge tomatoes, but they’re all still green darn it! my corn is getting close to ready to eat tho.