Saturday, December 27, 2014

Tomatoes Grow on Vines

Most of the time we talk about gardening efforts, we refer to tomatoes as "plants".  Sometimes, we talk about individual branches as "vines", but in a kind of loose way.

After this month's rain, I kind of ignored my Bradley and Beefsteak plants because I didn't have to water them every few days for a couple of weeks and they didn't have any ripe tomatoes on them.  When I finally decided to work on them a bit, I found that they had been taking lessons from the pumpkins.

Bradley, who I had almost ripped out several times in the past nine months, is making a break for it.  He has far outgrown his cage.  I could have cut back the longest vines, but they have healthy tomatoes on them.  Instead, I'm training them up the waterfall so they don't languish in the dirt.  The rest of the pond is getting overrun by some weeds, so I really should plant something there to hinder them.
The Beefsteak is also very healthy and developing fruit.  The local tomato worms have infested such a yummy plant.  I trimmed off as much as I could and sprayed it all over with neem oil as a deterrent.

This is what winter gardening looks like in a Zone 10b neighborhood.  It may be too cold for the tomatoes to ripen on the vine, so I plan to bring them in as soon as they show any hint of red and let them finish in the greenhouse window.  Other than that, it's business as usual.  I may get to use those quart jars yet.

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