Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Last chance tomatoes - fall garden clean up

I've been a mad pruner this week!  It's fall and time to clean up the garden before it gets too soggy out there.  I've got garden beds running around our house, throughout the backyard and of course my new organic vegetable garden too.  There's no shortage of work to be done. And no small amount of pruned vegetation to deal with.

I try to compost everything I can so that I can use the finished compost in the spring to fertilize my planting beds, but this year I had a lot of brush that needed to be pruned back.  This amounted to 2 full burn piles!  I'm looking forward to later this weekend having some small bon fires and getting this clean up behind me.  I might even make some smores!  mmmmmmmmm

One of my pruning burn piles
My favorite thing about vegetable gardening are my vine ripe tomatoes.  I'm monitoring the temperature each night to try to harvest them before they get bitten by frost.

My tomato plants, especially the romas,  are still full of green ones.  So far I've been extremely lucky and no frost has laid down on my yard.  Most of the gardeners that I know both here on the island and over on the mainland have already experienced their first killing frost.
Today I checked on my green tomatoes.  Those that were full size I harvested along with a section of tomato plant.  I'm going to try my grandmothers method and finish ripening them indoors. 

This green beefsteak will not have enough time to ripen on the vine
To ripen season end green tomatoes like grandma did, I cut a 4 to 6" branch connected to the green tomato, place in a single layer in a cardboard box, place one ripe apple in the same box, cover with newspaper and place in a room temperature area in the house.  I'm keeping my box atop of the refridgerator. 

Here's my yellow plum tomatoes, you can see there's still a lot of green ones!

Todays harvest
Each day, check on your tomatoes.  Use them as soon as they are ripe and toss any that turn brown or become too soft into your compost bin. 
I've pruned a lot of the foliage and the tops of my tomato plants to encourage the energy of the plant to go into developing and ripening the fruits. 
One thing I never compost is tomato plant and foliage.  The reason for this, composted tomato foliage can carry blight and the blight organism is not killed in the composting process.  Instead, to be sure not to spread disease to next years tomatoes, I am placing the foliage and stems in the burn pile.  No sense in taking a chance of spreading disease from season to season.
On the subject of  FatBottomBags:  Don't forget to sign up to win your own free FatBottomBag with our green for the holidays giveaway

No comments:

Post a Comment

Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear what you think!


Share |
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Blog Archive