Friday, November 25, 2011

How to Turn Green Tomatoes into Red Tomatoes!

Looking back to the end of August, we wondered then if the tomatoes would ever ripen. We'd had one ripe cherry tomato... ONE. So we did a little internet research and found a garden blog that advocated removing ALL the foliage plus any remaining flowers from the tomato plant, so that it would think "Uh-oh, doomsday, I gotta get ripe and make seeds right NOW!" We decided to try it.

Here are the cherry and roma tomatoes stripped of their greenery. Robin took the clippers to them on Sept. 5th.

Already by Sept. 15th we were seeing a trend toward rouge on the cherry toms.

By Oct. 15th, 5 weeks after the surgery, both types were producing yummy, sweet, RED fruit, especially the cherry toms, which were yielding a tub like this every couple of days. We gave away lots, ate lots and Robin roasted then froze lots more. We never dreamed one small plant would produce so many tomatoes, maybe 6-700 hundred in all! The romas did OK too, but the main harvest was later in Oct. I can't find the blog where we learned of this drastic pruning method, but it totally works and we appreciate the guy writing about it!

Two tomato plants was definitely enough for us. Next year, maybe we'll skip the romas and plant one cherry tomato plant in one of the round buckets. Maybe we'll plant carrots around the tomato plant, as suggested in one of the books I've read (Carrots Love Tomatoes).

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