Saturday, November 6, 2010


We had a stealth garden of tomatoes growing in the back-yard this summer.    I planted the bushes from seed--in May.

I know--it was a double "Haha you'll never see those thing produce before frost hits."

But a lot of what we do as amateur gardeners is simply an experiment.  Just to watch plants an their growing habits and their preferences.  Just to watch and add bit by bit to our "gardener's sense" (if not to our kitchen table).

Well, our front yard garden grew really well this year.  The plot was well-suited for a garden.  Our tomato starts grew big and bushy ans started putting on fruit.  Then the second week of September.  Kansas weather hit.  A huge windstorm toppled the tomato cages and sent a covering of green tomatoes all over the front walkway.  W brought those tomatoes inside, allowed them to ripen an enjoyed them, but the plants never bounced back enough to produce much more fruit.  

But since I had planted the backyard tomatoes so late--they were just barely starting to fill out and escaped the storm mostly-unscathed.  And then they shot up.

 We were excited by early October to see the plants filling up with small green roma tomatoes.

 By late October the plants were heavy with large fruits and just waiting to turn red.  Jonas started picking them off and eating them one-by one at the slightest hint of orangy-pink.  "Yes baby--I know they are delicious, but they might be even more delicious if we let them ripen completely!"

We had a few with dinner the other night which also included pesto pasta made with fresh basil from out front.

The last week or so the plants have started going downhill--we've been covering them with a sheet of plastic overnight to protect them, but there's only so much cold they can take. 

So last night I did as the Progressive Pioneer suggested and cut the stems and brought them indoors.  I hung them in the basement (a garage is also a good idea) and left them to ripen.

And just in time.  As of this morning the yard is dead.  All the ornamentals and remaining plants have black shriveled leaves.  Including the two last basil plants that I had not yet converted to freezer-pesto.  *sigh*

Oh well in another week or so I should have a fresh crop of ripe red romas to enjoy, and see--this time the experiment paid off!

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