Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tomato Musings

I recently wrote about my tomato failures. Not only is revelation of these failures a bit of "truth in blogging", but I also like getting the helpful tips from readers.
"Sugary" grape tomatoes: most are split after recent rains.
I have been wondering if I should change my tomato expectations. My in-laws live further south in Saskatchewan and report picking their tomatoes green and ripening them indoors, as if this were the natural thing to do with tomatoes. "A-ha", I thought, "so Saskatchewaners don't actually grow RED tomatoes." Then I talked to a long-time La Ronge gardener, who starts his plants indoors, moves them to a greenhouse, then outdoors. His short-season small tomatoes have finished already and the regular big types are just starting. "So you CAN grow red tomatoes here!", I exclaim. Growing tomatoes in northern Saskatchewan is nothing like growing tomatoes in the semi-arid warm conditions in the Okanagan Valley, where I've experienced much simpler and successful tomato culture.

Well, I'll try again next year, but I still think growing tomatoes under a metal halide light in the basement would be more successful (though definitely more expensive). Resident-lawnmower-man hasn't agreed to this yet. Sigh.


Carol said...

I grew 'Sugary' for a couple of years and did notice that a lot of them split whenever there was some rain. This year I have other varieties of cherry tomatoes, and haven't seen the same amount of splitting. But we also haven't had the rain, either, so who knows?

Cicero Sings said...

Leah put me in contact with your blog. Wow, zone 1b! I thought we were hard done by with a zone 3b. As for tomatoes, I've decided that without a greenhouse, one can only be happy with green tomato mincemeat and green tomato pickles! I got all of 3 red tomatoes this year. Last year my tomatoes were wiped out by a whoppin' hail storm mid August. We haven't started flower gardens yet as I'm still trying to work up a place for the veggies to grow. The soil here was very poor and very rocky ... we've lived here 1 1/2 years now ... started out with an unlandscaped yard and raw land. Potatoes and garlic seem to do okay, however. Oh, and the beets turned out not half bad! Looks like you are quite the gardener though so I'll have to come back and check out your tips and tricks!

the Red Scot said...

To quote Dory, "Just keep swimming!"