Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tomato Update and More Plums

It's been a while since I blogged about the tomatoes in the SFG. Out of all my vegetables, they are doing the best. Although a majority of them are still green, they're getting larger and staying very healthy.

Surprisingly, the larger varieties are getting huge. After the mini-drought of the last few weeks haven't stopped them! The fruit is getting larger and new fruit continues to form. I sprayed organic insecticidal soap on all my plants recently, so hopefully that will keep the aphids and nasty bugs away. Cam also bought a large plastic owl from Wal-Mart. He says it'll keep the birds away from the garden.

Below: The large tomato varieties. Big Boy, Bonnie Original, Whopper

I wonder how much longer I will need to wait until these green tomatoes turn red? I'm not doing anything to these plants except watering. I wonder if I need to do anything extra to the soil to help the fruits ripen quicker.

The cherry and grape tomatoes continue to ripen. Sadly, the first red cherry tomato was not edible. The bugs had eaten part of the flesh, so my much anticipated taste test has been delayed. I hope the bugs don't get any more of my plants.

Below: The cherry tomatoes begin to yellow and turn orange. Red coming up!

The windy days of early June blew many of my grape tomatoes off the plant. I only have a few left, but new ones have started to grow. The ones that survived the wind are also beginning to have color.

Below: The grape tomatoes.

I know you must be so sick of hearing about the plum tree... but man, I'm harvesting more and more plums every day. Sadly, my family cannot harvest them all in time. First, we're all short people and our ladder isn't tall enough to reach the top of the tree. The plums are ripening and constantly fall to the ground.

Below: The ground near the plum tree is scattered with deep red, extremely ripe plums.
It's a sad sight. To think I could have picked all of those plums before they fell to the ground. But alas, they all ripen at different times. As I was harvesting today, several plums fell from the tree and I couldn't catch them in time. They ended up being food for the animals. Maybe a rabbit or two will eat these instead of the other vegetables in the garden.

Not to worry, there is still plenty of plums left on the tree. There are branches that are still full of semi-green and pink fruit. Tomorrow is another day and more plums will need harvesting.

Below: More plums to look forward to...

Below: Here is my harvest for today. Two large colanders worth of plums.

If I had to guess, I think both weighed more than 10 pounds each. I don't know what I am going to do with all the plums. They are definitely way too much to eat. They will spoil. Anyone know any good recipes?

I may learn how to make plum jam. Has anyone ever made homemade jam? I'd love tips.


tina said...

Nope, I'm not tired of hearing about the plum tree. It looks outstanding!

Skeeter said...

We picked our first tomato yesterday! Yum... Dont water the tomatoes too often or they will taste watery... A tip from my father in law which picked fruit in CA back in the 50's....

I finally took a bite of the small plums on our trees and whoa, that was a yummy plum! Tart skin and center by the pit but the main meat was juicy and sweet! I now know why the deer, bunny, squirrels and birds have been going crazy over the plums! With our bad drought, they have been getting juicy water through the plums! I did not think these were to be eaten by humans so we did not eat them at all until a neighbor told me to eat them! Ha, We had tons of the things this year and I let the animals eat most of them! I picked the remaining large bowl and sent them to work with the Saint to give to a woman that makes jam... So she will enjoy them. Next year, look out critters, those plums will be ours....

Skeeter said...

I dont know what kind of plum tree they are but they keep popping up all around the original tree forming a small grove! The fruit is larger then a cherry or grape but much smaller then a normal plum... A little too tart for us though...

Dawn said...

Hi dp,
Before long you will have TOO many cherry tomatoes, they seem to over fruit, least thats my experience. To many on the ground to avoid stepping in.
There is a quick and simple recipe for strawberries that involves jello, the kind you cook because it has pectin in it, I would think you could use it with plums. I'm not sure how to liquid plums, maybe boil down a sieve thru a hanging pillowcase like my mother did?

DP Nguyen said...

Tina--Thanks! You'll be hearing more about plums in the near future.

Skeeter-thanks for the tomato tip. i'm glad to hear you ate your plums.. sounds delicious. my plums are smaller than the plums you buy in the grocery store, but i think that's because we don't use any artificial hormones to make them grow larger.

dawn-i will have to find that recipe! i hope i get cherry tomatoes soon. i love them. so easy to eat and i never get tired of them

Frances, said...

Hi DP, I don't think you need to do anything to the tomatoes, you have done your part, now let nature do the rest. I like to pick my tomatoes when they just start to turn from green to red or yellow and let them finish ripening on the sunny windowsill over my kitchen sink. The birds are attracted to the red and will poke holes in them if you leave them to ripen on the vine. Just don't refrigerate the tomatoes, it will make them mushy inside. I also grow Park's improved whopper, it is our best producer of the big tomatoes. Good eating!

Frances at Faire Garden

DP Nguyen said...

Frances, thank you for the tip. For some reason, I completely forgot that tomatoes ripen off the vine! haha! silly me. I will do that then. Thanks!

John said...

Your tomatoes look great and all those! Great blog.