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.
This time last year, a lot of gardeners -- me included -- were grumbling about tomatoes. There weren't very many, they were hard and green, and they seemed to be growing at a glacial pace.
The 2011 crop was so disappointing that my fellow Greengirl Mary Jane Smetanka even wrote a Page 1 story about it: "Too hot, too cold, too bad for tomatoes." (http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/126895018.html)
Not this year! I have nothing to gripe about -- at least on the tomato front. My cherry tomatoes started turning red and golden yellow more than a month ago, and I've been happily plucking and eating a couple every day ever since.
My Roma tomatoes are now flushing red, too. And I seem to have healthir tomatoes this year, with lush leaves, few pests and virtually no end rot.
Last week, I harvested my biggest yield for a single day -- ever -- 18 tomatoes of various sizes, shapes and hues. Not bad, considering I have about 10 plants and they're all in pots on my deck.
Everything in the garden happened early this year, thanks to a weirdly warm spring. But while my tomatoes seem early, at least compared to last year, they're right on schedule: mid-July through September, according to the Minnesota Harvest calendar. (http://www.pickyourown.org/MNharvestcalendar.htm)
What's happening with your tomatoes? Are you harvesting more than usual? And what's your favorite way to eat them?
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