Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.

Tomato fever

Posted by: Kim Palmer under Farmers markets, Vegetables, Weather Updated: July 6, 2011 - 12:22 PM

 

A watched tomato never ripens. I know that can't be true. But it feels true this week as I stare intently at the tiny green tomatoes on my plants. There aren't that many of them, and they don't seem to be growing. At this rate, it will be weeks before I can bite into a homegrown tomato. 

 

I was spoiled last summer, when I actually harvested my first tomato in late June. Freaky! But that sunny, sultry spring we had last year put all my plants on the fast track, including my tomatoes. This year, no such luck. All my tomatoes are about the size of marbles -- with one exception. That tomato is as big and plump as a toddler's fist, but it's still hard and green.

When DOES the tomato season typically start in Minnesota? The "normal picking dates" are mid-July through September, according to the harvest calendar at www.pickyourown.org.

But I'm pretty sure my tomatoes are going to be lagging behind. At this rate, even late July seems optimistic. I'm craving them RIGHT NOW, but I guess I'm going to have to go to the farmer's market. What's going on with your tomatoes this year? 

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