Tomato Talk: Your Favorite Varieties…And Mine

March 13, 2014
IMG_0987CAN YOU HELP ME OUT? I'm trying to decide on which tomatoes to grow this summer. I'll certainly include some of the heirlooms which have performed well for me in the past. But what else am I missing? Talk to me about your own favorite heirlooms and hybrids. Read more »

My “Florida-Weave” Fiasco

August 11, 2013
IMG_1338LIVE AND LEARN, RIGHT? This summer, I gave up my sturdy, dependable, Joan Crawford-approved tomato trellis in order to try the much-touted "Florida weave." Apparently Ms. Crawford was not amused. What the system looked like at the beginning, and how it ultimately collapsed during a rain-storm: Read more »

Your July Tomato Report…& Mine

July 17, 2013
IMG_1379HOW ARE YOUR TOMATO PLANTS PROGRESSING? Are they producing the fruit of your dreams -- or are they fighting the effects of foul weather? My tomato report, followed (I hope) by yours: Read more »

Recipe: Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

August 28, 2012
IMG_1125BASED ON SEVERAL SUGGESTIONS FROM READERS, I finally slow-roasted a colorful collection of cherry tomatoes. The verdict? Well, let's just say that after one bite, my taste-buds tingled. Two bites, and I imagined all was well with the world. Three bites, and I entered a state of pure, unadulterated ecstasy, the kind that Meg Ryan mimicked in her famous scene from "When Harry Met Sally." Read more »

How I Ripen Tomatoes Indoors

August 16, 2012
IMG_0837AS AN INSURANCE POLICY against damaging insects, curious chipmunks, blights, and severe weather, I pick most of my tomatoes at their mature, but still-green or mostly-green stage. These unripe tomatoes are blemish-free. Furthermore, they are only too happy to develop their delicious flavor and vibrant color indoors. The following ripening-procedure has never failed me: Read more »

De-Suckering My Tomatoes

May 23, 2012
IMG_3756WHY do I remove the side-shoots, or "suckers," from my indeterminate tomato vines? Because they burden the plants with excess foliage. Too much lushness promotes the shady, wet conditions that lead to fungal diseases. Furthermore, plants with too many stems produce small-size fruit. For healthy plants and large, high-quality tomatoes, those suckers ought to go: Read more »

Keep Monsanto OUT of Your Veggie Patch

February 6, 2012
IMG_0190I HOPE THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN TO YOU. When I bought 'Early Girl' tomato seeds back in 2010, I unwittingly voted for a corporation I vehemently oppose. Which corporation? Why, the evil empire known as Monsanto. Here are a few facts about this loathsome company, along with a few ways to keep it out of your veggie patch: Read more »