July 15, 2018 at 9:58 pm #12968
Yes, blossom end rot is a calcium issue, but it can be exacerbated by inconsistent watering and by too much fertilizer, which apparently causes the plants to grow so fast the calcium can’t reach the fruits.
Some recent hybrids have been less susceptible to blossom end rot.3+July 15, 2018 at 10:05 pm #12969
Very nice tomato plants RiversideLen!1+July 16, 2018 at 12:06 am #12971
Thanks Mike, I think I’m going to double down on the calcium and ease up on the fertilizer. They are growing like weeds right now.
The watering is consistent because I keep the water compartment of the tubs filled. At this time of year I fill them at least once a day. The system is designed so the water wicks up into the soil, thus providing a constant source of water as long as the bottom part has water in it. The tubs have a coned plastic divider with holes in it that separates the soil from the water reservoir. You can see the clear plastic door in the tubs, that’s where the water is added.
Another thing I did this year was to put some dried banana peels in the soil.
2+July 16, 2018 at 9:45 am #12973
- This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by RiversideLen.
In addition to using dried banana peels, I dry and crush egg shells throughout the spring, and scratch them into the soil around certain plants. We compost year round, and before I retired, I took a mason jar to work everyday and collected food scraps from colleagues.3+August 3, 2018 at 6:12 pm #13103
We picked our first red bell pepper a couple of days ago and cooked with it tonight! We have two little ones now forming, but it will probably take a couple of months for them to ripen.0August 3, 2018 at 6:34 pm #13104
Gardening is not progressing so well. We ate 2 tomatoes – delicious! We are picking blueberries and blackberries. We now have an electric fence around all the veggies, and we have a video of a skunk getting zapped, “getting even” by spraying the wire, but thus getting zapped again, and finally running out the same way he came in. We have 2 very small zucchinis and 2 very small summer squashes now, quite a few small, green bell peppers, and 5 cabbages. I’ve bought zucchini for the first time in my life. We’ve had 1/4 inch of rain so far today and it is supposed to rain for the next 24 hours; that would help a lot.0August 3, 2018 at 8:45 pm #13111
Gee, are the vegetables still edible after having been sprayed by skunk?0August 4, 2018 at 8:27 am #13114
Mike, I would think not! But he was inside the electric fence, and sprayed outward– no veggies outside the fence, just grass. I would not eat anything that I suspected had been sprayed. The odor dissipated after an hour or so0August 5, 2018 at 7:58 am #13119
Finally, one of the tomatoes is beginning its path towards redness. I have bacon, and will have great bread, on hand for that moment. Next year, my husband plans to start the plants earlier on our sun porch. We delayed because we had been told the contractor would start no later than March….(still waiting).0August 15, 2018 at 4:35 pm #13204
We have had one tomato from our garden. Today my husband picked about five or six. I am looking forward to bacon and tomato sandwiches in a few days.
A couple of tomato worms were on the plants, but wasps “parasitized” them. Thank you, wasps, and I will be careful not to get stung.0August 18, 2018 at 1:32 am #13219
My tomato plants have been giving me for several weeks now. They may have peaked but have a ways to go yet. I’m having a hard time keeping up it, I can only throw so many tomatoes at my neighbors. I’m planning on making sauce on Sunday and then freezing it. I’ve had a couple of BLT’s. Here’s a sampling of it.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.0August 18, 2018 at 9:27 am #13222
Beautiful tomatoes RiversideLen!0August 20, 2018 at 12:39 pm #13231
Thank you Joan. For me, tomatoes are one of the highlights of summer.0August 23, 2018 at 6:35 pm #13240
I picked our first tomato the other day and had it for lunch. In two weeks we’re going to be swimming in them.0August 23, 2018 at 7:39 pm #13246
Swimming in tomatoes has already started here. I’m considering a Pizza Margherita–with basil on mine. (My husband does not like basil.)0September 20, 2018 at 4:21 pm #13544
I just picked about 45 pounds of tomatoes from the garden, so I’ll be making sauce tonight, though I’m not sure where I’m storing it until the upstairs freezer is repaired, probably around the middle of next week.
These are fairly acetic tomatoes, I might try canning some, possibly adding a little citric acid. I’ve got a digital pH meter that I use for the hot tub, the information that came with it says it is safe for food use as long as I rinse it thoroughly before and after. USDA says it is safe to use the boiling water method for canning tomatoes as long as the pH is below 4.6.
Cooler weather and storms are headed this way, but if it doesn’t get too cold or damp I should be able to pick another big harvest next week, and somewhat smaller batches for the next several weeks.0September 20, 2018 at 9:01 pm #13546
I’m glad you have the canning method on which to fall back, Mike. I hope that the repair person can get the freezer fixed for you next week.
Our second crop of green beans should be ready to pick early next week. Two of the bell peppers are turning red. The tomatoes continue coming, although my husband has found some tomato worms. He has also found some that have been parasitized by neighborhood wasps. I’m not sure from where the wasps originate, but I am glad their actions are defending the garden. My husband’s carrots seem to be doing well. Of course, sometimes you cannot tell until you pull them out.
0September 21, 2018 at 3:36 pm #13552
- This reply was modified 8 months ago by BakerAunt.
I just froze the last batch of tomato sauce. And I now have a pork roast in the tagine, with sliced onions, boiled cider, honey, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, and cumin. I’ll put apple slices, quartered potatoes, and carrots in soon. We’ll get a couple of meals out of this. It’s nice to be switching over to fall-winter type dishes, a complete change from veggies fresh from the garden cooked on the grill with a piece of meat/chicken/fish.0September 21, 2018 at 7:13 pm #13553
We got a break, the part came in and the service tech had a cancellation, so the freezer is repaired and getting nice and cold. We’re starting to load it, so the sauce can go in there tomorrow.
I wound up with nearly 16 quarts of tomato pulp, which will likely reduce down to 10-12 quarts of sauce. For some reason I wound up with a lot more seeds in this batch than were in the last one, though I used the same processing method. I may try running some of the sauce through a canning screen to see how that works, it may trap too much pulp along with the seeds. I don’t know if I have a Foley, but it might get rid of the pulp lumps, which we liked in the last batch.0September 21, 2018 at 7:26 pm #13554
Great that you didn’t have to wait longer!!0September 22, 2018 at 8:23 am #13558
Glad to hear that your freezer is fixed, Mike! And before the weekend! And in time for the tomato harvest!
I have been wondering about a food mill with the tomatoes for removing skin and seeds.
Is there a specific reason for removing tomato seeds? I’ve never done so.0September 22, 2018 at 10:10 am #13559
Many people think seeds make the sauce bitter and don’t like getting them in between their teeth. Looking at the reduced sauce (about 8 quarts) I don’t see as many seeds as I was seeing at first, I think the seeds may rise to the top during cooking. I’m declaring it finished and will let it start cooling. If I get enough tomatoes for another batch of sauce, I may try to concasse them before running them through the Roma mill to remove the skins.
The temperature last night dipped into the lower 40’s here, and the high is supposed
to be 72 today. It may hit the 80’s again tomorrow, but I think the 90+ heat is over.0September 22, 2018 at 12:07 pm #13560
Regarding the seeds, I have always heard the seeds taste bitter after freezing. I love my Foley food mill for so many things, Easy to use and clean. Applesauce, tomatoes, persimmons are just some examples.
We had eight days of 95 and one 96 before today. Our low this morning was 60 and at noon it is 61. I hope the heat is gone for this year.0October 11, 2018 at 7:17 pm #13700
We missed a freeze last night by a degree or two, but over the weekend it could get as low as 27, so I stripped as many of the green and ripening tomatoes as I could from the plants, 5 large bowls of them. I’ll let them ripen in the garage over the next 3-8 weeks. They’re not as sweet that way, but they make excellent chili and can be made into tomato sauce that’s a bit on the tart side but has good flavor.0October 11, 2018 at 9:33 pm #13707
We had our first cold day of the autumn today. It is supposed to get close to freezing the next few nights. My husband covered the garden, after picking whatever was ripe or getting close to ripe. I’m hoping we can avoid the freeze a little longer.0
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