Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tomato Intervention

Yesterday I tackled my massively over grown tomatoes. I started out the season with the best intentions of pruning & staking the tom's well they grew but that never materialized. It really was amazing how long the vines had grown and how thick they were. I am surprised I didn't end up with any disease from the poor circulation and sun penatration. Here goes the before and after, like before I have left them full sized if you would like to enlarge them:



This pruning session involved removing all the suckers that did not have fruit on them. The remaining branches, about 2-3 per plant were then tied to a long bamboo cane. I then nipped the growing tip off the remaining branches. Now the plants have good air flow and the sun actually will reach the fruit so they should ripen faster. The pruning also gave the wee parsnips to the left full sun again as well as the eggplant growing along the front.

This photo shows how long the Velvet Red Cherry Tomato has grown, best viewed by clicking the image for the large version. It is so long that I ended up tying it to the topsy hanger. The hanger is 9 feet off the ground! This long branch is full of fuzzy cherry tomatoes and I can't wait for them to ripen. The seed for this tomato was shared by The Conservative Gardener.

Last but not least here is the pile of tomato branches that went on the compost, almost a wheel barrow full.

Starting tomorrow we are finally getting some hot weather, I don't think it has been above 30c(86f) since June! From Sunday on, day time highs of 24-31c (75-87f) are forcasted with the humidex factored in the temperature will feel more like 31-42c(87-107f). The squash, cukes, toms, melons & peppers will be pleased. Looks like the ugly a/c unit in the veggie patch will finally be getting a work out this year!


  1. Dan - higher temps should make a difference, I just wish you could have some of mine.

  2. EG - I think I can live without the heat and humidity in the south. I'd be happy with 78f all summer with no humidity.

  3. Tomatoes.......always need a little discipline! lol. So how do you like those upside down tomato things? I've thought about trying them, but I figured I've got enough room and don't really need them. Your garden looks great. I love the dinner pictures.

  4. Dan,
    Reading your blog makes me want to add to my to-do list: plant tomatoes, plant fall peas and lettuce, etc. I'm glad that we'll both be getting some warmer weather. Hopefully my toms will turn red (and not crack)!

  5. The tomato pruning looks like it was very successful. Hopefully the combination of the pruning and the arrival of some warmer weather will get you a bountiful harvest of ripe tomatoes soon.

  6. Bye bye jungle ! (It was pretty, though, wasn’t it ?) I’m sure the toms are breathing easier now. Nice work !

  7. Your tomatoes look much nicer. Mine should look so good! My son has the upside-down thing - the big, expensive one - and from what I've seen of his, I'm not impressed. I'm finding that even the SWC's aren't a great solution. I think Grandma and Grandpa new best when they just stuck them in the ground. That's where all mine will be next year.

  8. Dennis - The upside down tomatoes are not doing the best. They do have a fair amount of fruit but half the leaves have died. They are looking pretty ugly that's for sure. I think next year I will try determinate tomatoes in them.

    Sally - I am very happy about the forcast!

    KitsapFG - Can't wait to have a big plate of heirlooms to show off :-)

    Miss M - They did look very nice and lush. Maybe next year I will keep on top of them and not have to do drastic surgery.

    Sande - My upside down tomatoes are not looking very healthy. They to have a good amount of fruit on them. I agree that the best place for tomatoes is in the ground.

  9. My mother-in-law has the upside down tomato planter and hers isn't doing too good. I was driving the other day and saw a house with four of the planters hanging off the front porch. They had two bell peppers and two tomatoes. The tomatoes were georgous. Beautiful foliage all along the stem. (I stopped and took a picture). So, I guess they can work.

  10. Hi Dan,
    Greetings from Cape Town.
    I love tomatoes. I've recently started making my own tomato juice in the blender. And it's time for me to go and tackle those bushes in the garden. You've inspired me.

  11. pruning schmuning, let them roam wild and free. Long live the free range tomatoes! Hehe ok now I am just being silly, I blame the late night just baked carb fix. Your tomatoes plants look lovely and healthy, just adding to the pangs of jealousy from the green eyed monster. Hope you get a good crop from them all.