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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tomato Geek

As most of you probably know, I'm a little bit obsessive about my tomato plants. I plant about 6-8 plants per year, mostly heirloom with a few early hybrids thrown in for good measure. I'll plant a few token squash,eggplant, herb and pepper plants, but they all play second fiddle to the tomatoes.
My dad is pretty much the same way about his tomatoes, so we have a friendly competition. The two main differences between us are that he only plants hybrids, and that his garden has a lot more sun. So the typical outcome is that he gets a lot more tomatoes, but my plants are bigger and my tomatoes have more flavor
Because I was out of town for five weekends in a row, I was very late in planting them this year. As usual, I planted them in a rich mixture of dirt and aged manure, with an added dose of abalone guts for good measure. They grew like gangbusters right from the start, but it wasn't enough to make up for lost time. It's currently early July, and it'll be at least three weeks until I get rip tomatoes. That's about a month behind schedule. Its been relatively cool so far this year, so that hasn't helped things. My dad isdefinitely winning the tomato competition so far this year.
Nonetheless, I have high hopes for my tomatoes. I've got a lot of interesting hybrids I haven't tried before, including several purple varieties, such as Black Trifele and Black Krim, as well as "Kellogg's Breakfast Tomato" (a big orange variety) and something called "Red Fig", which makes small pear shape tomatoes which can be dried in sugar to makes sort of a fake fig. Not that I'm going to do that. The big tomatoes don't have much fruit - it's been too cool for them to set much fruit. I'll report back on the results once the fruit is ripe.
If you're a tomato geek like me, the tomatofest web site is a fun way to waste time.


  1. Good thing Rugrat doesn't like tomatoes.

  2. There's a massive catnip plant behind the tomatoes, so that's what Rugrat, Luna, and Max maul on a regular basis.