I know, I’ve already grown enough tomatoes this year to last quite some time. Fortunately, I was able to give lots and lots to friends as well. I’ve never had great success with Fall tomatoes, but something is going right in 2011, so I thought I’d give a Fall tomato crop a go. I pulled up all of my Spring plants but 2 that still looked relatively healthy.
It feels too brutal to set tomatoes in the raised beds in this heat, and despite the Texas pot method in place, the garden is draining really fast. So, I purchased 10 tomato plants, 5 for me and 5 for a friend, and planted them in gallon pots, in Ladybug soil with lots of worm castings. I have placed them on top of a bed that gets sun all day, but the back foot of the bed sits under an overhang. The plants will get good morning and afternoon sun, and with minimal effort, I can move them under the overhang and out of direct sunlight in the later afternoon when it gets over 100. I figure this will be easier than dealing with shade cloth, and I’ll have more control of light and water. They will get a little compost tea and some foliar seaweed as well. We’ll see how it goes.
The varieties I got are Beefsteak, Celebrity, Jubilee, Patio, and Homestead. I shied away from my favorite Cherokee Purple, because I think they will have a harder time in the extreme heat. It’s all guesswork, trial and error and luck in the end anyway! I’ll watch these babies like a hawk for 2-3 weeks, then if all goes well, I’ll transplant them into the raised bed. Maybe we’ll have a break in the weather by then, and gardening will be fun again.
The pepper, watermelon and cucumber beds continue to rock along, although the peppers are small now and getting sunburned. The empty beds will be turned, composted and allowed to rest for most of August.