Tuesday, August 4, 2009

tomato season has arrived in the garden

its tomato season! the farmer's markets in DC have been overflowing with tomatoes for the past few weeks, and now my garden finally is too.

i started my seeds in March this year, then transplanted them to larger containers in April, and then finally put them in the ground in June. my first tomato was on July 22, so from seed to fruit the total growing time was about 4.5 months/140 days.

my tomato plant growing in a tomato can :)

in April. still living indoors most days, and outside only for the very warm sunny days, then back in at night.

late May, and much bigger. living outdoors now, soon to go in the ground. no flowers yet.

late June/early July. happily in the ground with lots of little green tomatoes.

mid July. ready to harvest!

the dangerous part of growing tomatoes is that the bugs/birds/pests also love them, and are constantly racing me to get the ripe fruit first. in the most recent bunch of tomatoes i harvested, 3/12 had been pecked at by a bird or bug before i got to them. to prevent this from happening to the rest of them, i am taking advice from an article i read about saving/reusing old pantyhose:

"Place pantyhose over growing vegetables such as squash to reduce damage from bugs. You can also hang some vine vegetables in this way to keep them off the ground."

so this weekend i found some old stockings that had a run in them, cut them into 15-20 pieces, and covered all of my green tomatoes on the vine with the stockings. they look kind of funny now, but so far it seems to be working! i picked two more tomatoes today that were perfectly intact.

tomatoes with stockings protecting them from critters.

we'll see how the experiment will work in the end. hopefully it will be a good long tomato season, without too many pests getting to them before i do.

tomatoes from the garden, ready to eat!