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Tantalizing Tomato Tips

Tantalizing Tomato Tips
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There’s something very satisfying about picking a perfectly ripe home-grown tomato from the vine to slice and eat while it’s still warm from the sun.

When properly cared for, fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes may be enjoyed far into the fall—extending one of summertime’s simple delights for a few more precious weeks.

Striped Tomatoes

Striped German Tomatoes don’t turn completely red when ripe.

Tomato Tips

What kind and how many tomato plants to grow: Grow an amount adequate for your food needs and manageable within your time schedule. This way you are able to focus on tending to and getting the most out of your tomatoes. A few two to three foot tomato plants that have been proven to grow well in your climate will easily provide for a family of four. If you use tomatoes sparingly, a simply hanging cherry tomato plant will most likely meet your needs. If your tomatoes grow exceptionally well, try canning the extras. Making spaghetti sauce to freeze or can for use throughout the winter is a great way to stretch the season’s bounty.

Conditions: Tomatoes need bright sun and consistent watering. Water the plants daily, just enough to keep the soil damp. Never let the soil dry out completely. Fertilizing monthly will boost the tomato-producing process. When growing tomato plants in containers, the larger the container the better. The more soil you have surrounding the root system of the plant the better the moisture retention will be, so watering will not be as frequent. Be sure that the container has proper drainage holes to avoid root rot.

Maintenance: Stake tomato plants before they start to droop or become top heavy, gently tying very large appendages if needed. Remove brown, dry and yellowing leaves as they appear so the plant can focus all of its energy on nurturing the fruit.

 

 

Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzaralla

Photo/Art by Rich Beaudoin
Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzeralla

Longevity: Typically tomato fruit growth will begin to slow down as the summer nears its end and temperatures begin to drop. Tomatoes need temperatures above 60 degrees F to finish vine ripening. Most autumn days will reach the 60 degree mark. At night as it becomes cooler and there is a potential for frost, simply cover the plants completely with a burlap bag or old sheet at dusk. Be sure to remove the covering in the morning as soon as the sun is out and temperatures begin to rise. You may also pick green tomatoes before the frost and let them ripen inside on a windowsill. If you have many green tomatoes you can wrap them individually in newspaper and place them together in a brown paper bag, checking every two to three days to remove the ripe ones.

Want more tomato tips? Watch Farmer Tracie’s video on growing tomato plants.

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Shelley Wigglesworth

Author:

Shelley Wigglesworth

Biography:

Shelley Fleming-Wigglesworth is a certified Maine Master Gardener and award winning newspaper columnist from Kennebunk, Maine. She has been writing for the York County Coast Star for more than a decade as a freelance columnist and features writer. In 2010 she began writing her own gardening column “The Master Gardener’s Notebook” for Tourist News. She also teaches gardening classes at local schools and colleges
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2 Responses to Tantalizing Tomato Tips

  1. Norm Seavey July 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Yankee Mag is the greatest Magazine that has ever been published
    on the New England Coast to anywhere in the world. I’ve visited the Yankee a few years on Route 1, Rock port, Me and it’s beautiful up there along the coast line. Then a little further up on Route 1 you can go to where the Tall Sailing Ships come in from all over the world. Some of the Yachts are truly amazing. If one gets the chance I highly recommend a visit along the Route 1 coast as pictures cannot begin to tell you how beautiful this area of New England really is until your there and the Clam Shacks along the coast are noted for the finest in fresh seafood caught daily. To me there’s nothing finer than a Captains Patter with a large side order of home made onion rings fried up right at the beach.

    Norm Seavey
    Americlense Technologies
    Gardner, Ma

    • Shelley Wigglesworth July 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

      BRAVO and Thank you Norm!

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