Tomato-mania!

September 7, 2011
Tomato-mania!

HAVE TOMATOES SWALLOWED EVERY WORK-SURFACE IN YOUR KITCHEN, TOO? I planted 16 heirloom varieties back in June, and now, after months of careful watering and some decent weather, I can hardly keep up with the produce. (Pictured above is at least 10 lbs. of fruit I collected just this morning, in the rain.) Can you… Read more »

When NOT To Kill a Tomato Hornworm

August 4, 2011
When NOT To Kill a Tomato Hornworm

RECENTLY, while pruning a row of paste tomatoes, I noticed a strange-looking worm (above; click to enlarge) on one of the plants. What this worm is, why it has white projections on its body, and why — if you ever see such a thing in your own garden — you should leave it alone: A… Read more »

My Joan Crawford-Approved Tomato Trellis

May 2, 2011
My Joan Crawford-Approved Tomato Trellis

WHEN IT COMES TO STAKING TOMATOES, I rely on the wisdom of the late, great Joan Crawford, who famously shrieked “No wire cages — EVER!” Okay, she was talking about wire hangers. Still, I loathe tomato cages. Most are poorly soldered — my partner nearly poked an eye out on a loose wire while bending… Read more »

Starting Tomato Seeds Indoors

April 17, 2011
Starting Tomato Seeds Indoors

HOW DO I GET A JUMP ON THE TOMATO-GROWING SEASON? By starting the seeds indoors. Have a look at these seed-starting tips which usually produce strong, healthy seedlings — the kind that are worth planting outdoors when warm weather (finally) arrives: Tip #1: Timing is everything, so don’t start the seeds too early. The best… Read more »

Last of the "Love Apples"

October 10, 2010
Last of the "Love Apples"

I PICKED THE REMAINING good-sized tomatoes from my collapsed trellis last evening. This was not a moment too soon. The fruit would have perished overnight as the temperature here plunged to 32 degrees. What are my plans for the last of these last “Love Apples?”Tonight I’ll turn the few ripe ones into a Classic Tomato… Read more »

My Trellis Tragedy

September 30, 2010
My Trellis Tragedy

REMEMBER MY SUPER-DUPER TOMATO-TRELLIS? The one I built from long, skinny sumac saplings and jute twine? I’m sorry to say it collapsed in a miserable heap this morning, still covered with vines and fruit, during a visit from tropical rain storm “Nicole”: How proud I was of this no-cost architectural statement (above, to the right)… Read more »

My "Lazy Sunday" Tomato Sauce

September 14, 2010
My "Lazy Sunday" Tomato Sauce

RICHLY SCENTED WITH GARLIC AND BASIL, and perfectly suited for freezing, is my “Lazy Sunday” tomato sauce. You don’t need a culinary degree to make this brew. What you do need is time; for the sauce must be stirred every half-hour or so until the tomatoes boil down to a fairly thick consistency: Lazy Sunday… Read more »