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Tomatoes are still alive

Although the extreme drought has been really bad for our garden, making it almost impossible to grow any decent vegetables this year, my tomatoes are still alive. There have been few occasions when late blight almost killed all of my plants, but prolonged dry periods have actually helped to stop the blight and despite the odds, I still have some tomatoes.

Usually, by this time, I'm already done with my tomato harvests, but this year my big tomato harvest has actually just started a few weeks ago. In normal years by this time, we'd have showers and prolonged rain periods followed by fogs which usually kill my tomatoes. So I usually grow only tomatoes with a short growth period. They are usually done with the second-floor harvest by the end of August. This year I bought my seedlings, and I already wrote about the prolonged ripe period of the varieties I've got, so some of my varieties are actually just starting to ripe.

The ox-heart tomato is such a late variety that it has just started to ripe for the first time and there's no chance for a second harvest on the plants, there's just not enough time. 
It's so late that even my homegrown seedlings which I've actually transplanted to the garden in the middle of July have grown faster and are already giving me a bunch of red tomatoes, even more than the oh-heart which has been in the garden since May, 15th.

The homesown variety in question is the Rio Grande, which wasn't supposed to need any poles, but yet it benefits from the cosmos plant holding it upright. The Rio Grande is variety that takes 75-80 days to ripe, and it's giving me already fruits, which means that the bought ox-heart is at least 120 days variety.

The real problem with such long ripe varieties in my garden is that there will be a lot of tomatoes that will not have time to ripe. I have around 100 seedlings in my garden right now that have survived the summer, most of them have at least 4-6 tomatoes, and at least half of them are 200-250gr (7-8.8 oz), this means that I have at least 50kilos (110 pounds) of tomatoes that potentially won't have time to ripe.

This is why I've started taking home all the tomatoes that show even the slight color change. My balcony is showered with sun from noon till dusk, and the tomatoes here ripe in just a day or two. I've taken a couple of tomatoes home on Thursday afternoon, and today they are already fully red and ready to be stored in the fridge.

All of this is another reason why I'll be growing my own tomato seedlings again next year. Only the ones with a short growth period, of course. We've already started building the seedling nursery in the living room closet so that they would get enough warmth, the only thing we still need to do is solve the hanging lights and we'll be ready for a new season. It's only 3 months away, better be prepared.


  1. Unfortunately despite a lack of rain we had just enough drizzly weather to gibe blight a foothold.


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