Monday, September 21, 2009

How to Ripen Green Tomatoes

A week ago my husband accidentally knocked some of my tomatoes off the vine as he was mowing the lawn. Needless to say I was not too happy with him, as two of them were huge...and all of them green. I wasn't sure if they were a loss or not, as this is my first time ever growing tomatoes.

So I did some research on line and many people talked about placing them in a south facing window. Well, these were pretty green and I felt the sun would do more harm than good. So I decided to try one suggestion and sit them next to ripened bananas.

There were four really green tomatoes when I started this experiment, so, I sat them next to my old bananas (to make banana bread with later), and waited. Well, a few days ago, I took this photo. One of the large tomatoes is amazingly turning to an orange color, with another one not too far behind it.

Four days later, the large orange one is now red, and the other large green one is now orange. The smaller two are still green but showing signs of fading. Wow, ripe bananas really'll just have to put up with the gnats though!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wild Cardinal Flower

I see this flower every summer along the Mississippi River, but have never been able to get close enough to photograph it and see what type of wildflower it is. So finally I stumbled on the other weekend and figured out it is a wild Cardinal Flower. The red stands out boldly in the backwaters of the Mississippi.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

How to Grow Tomato Plants from Seed, Part 4

As you can see, my first try at growing Brandywine Red Tomatoes has been a success. I have a ton of green tomatoes covering the six plants. What I wasn't expecting was how huge these plants were going to get. Two weeks ago they started to flop over from the weight. I had them all growing up spirals supports, but that wasn't enough. I had to run out to the garden store and get six tall heavy duty spikes to randomly place around them. Then, taking advice from my mother-in-law, I cut up an old t-shirt into strips, and tied up the flopping stems to the new supports. (The soft fabric is gentle on the stems).

Of course I lost some stems doing all of this, as they break easily. I have also had to thin out some of the extra stems to let more light and air circulation into the center of the plants. Next year when I grow these, I will plant them in a long row so they are easier to get to, and get more sun.

Here is the first tomato of the year, collected a few days ago. I sat it in my kitchen to ripen up some more.

Follow my tomotoes' journey:

How to Grow Tomato Plants from Seed, Part 3.

How to Grow Tomato Plants from Seed, Part 2.

How to Grow Tomato Plants from Seed, Part 1.