Saturday, June 6, 2009

Slow Growing

Things are heating up outside; the night temperatures are in the upper 60s to 70s and the daytime temperatures are in the high 80s and 90s. I hoped I was hallucinating when last night KVUE-TV meteorologist, Mark Murray, suggested the possibility of triple-digit temperatures in the next couple of weeks. Is he trying to hurt me?

Anyway, you know what high daytime and nighttime temperatures mean for tomato plants, don't you? Your plants may bloom, but they won't get fruit set.

As easy as tomatoes are to grow, they do get persnickety about temperatures, but then, so do I. Heck, when the temperature gets above 80, screw it--I am not going to exert myself, either. End of story.

There are large-fruited varieties that are supposed set fruit when the heat is on, such as "Heatwave" and "Sunmaster," but even they aren't always reliable. I have found that if you want tomatoes all summer long, and if size really doesn't matter (whatever gets you through the night), then be sure to plant at least one cherry tomato in the garden, as they are reliable producers in hot weather. I had a yellow pear last year that was crazy with tomatoes well into fall.

Start new plants for fall by taking cuttings from your current crop of healthy plants and rooting them in a potting medium that drains well. Come late July put them into the garden with a little extra shade from the sun, and get ready for a fall crop.


Simple Tomato Salad

Tomato salad is a classic, and quite an easy and simple dish to prepare. I offer no measurements because I never measure. I will next time. But for today...

Ingredients


  • Tomatoes

  • Oregano

  • Basil

  • Olive Oil

  • Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • Salt and pepper to taste

If you are using the large-fruited tomatoes, give them a large dice. If you are using cherry tomatoes just cut them in half. Place tomatoes into a bowl.

Tear leaves of basil and oregano, add to bowl.

In a separate bowl make the vinaigrette by whisking together enough olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, salt and pepper to coat but not drown the amount of tomatoes you're using.

Pour half of the vinaigrette over the tomatoes, basil and mint, and coat thoroughly. Add more if necessary. If you have any remaining, save it for next time.

Serves: Depends on how many tomatoes you decide to use.

1 comment:

carla said...

Triple digits? Makes me want to leave town and take my tomatoes with me. Good blogging and welcome to Twitter! Blogging and tweating, oh my!