I’m definitely a flower person first when it comes to gardening. Edibles come a distant second with me. However, Judy feels that a home is not a home without some kind of vegetable garden, so I try to oblige.
Since the backyard is just too shady, I tucked a little vegetable garden into the front yard, obscured from the street by our crabapple tree. It’s roughly the shape of a long oval cut in half, about 10′ long and 5′ at its widest point.
The tomatoes have gotten off to a roaring start this summer. They love the heat, of course, and I’ve been dutiful with watering. We have four plants, each of a different heirloom variety: ‘Black Cherry’, ‘Black Prince’, ‘Black Krim’, and ‘Green Zebra’. I’m tying all of them to a six-foot wooden trellis, but all four plants are gone well past six feet. The trellises have not toppled over yet, but one is starting to get that Leaning Tower of Pisa look.
I started picking ‘Black Cherries’ about the fourth of July, the ‘Black Prince’ and ‘Black Krim’ have been producing modest numbers of ripe fruit since the middle of this month. This is about four weeks earlier than normal.
I am so happy I tried ‘Black Cherry’ – they are without doubt the most delicious cherry tomatoes I have ever eaten. Very sweet and juicy, with a nice snap when you bite into them. The ‘Black Prince’ and ‘Black Krim’ have been good, but not outstanding.
The cherry tomatoes I just eat as a snack or in a salad. The larger tomatoes I use to make toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches: just put tomato slices on bread, top with shredded cheese and some dried oregano, then cook in the toaster oven. I have been known to eat these for three meals a day. Plus snacks. (It’s odd, but for some reason dried oregano works much better than fresh.)
While this is shaping up to be a good tomato year, it hasn’t been perfect. Some of the ripe tomatoes have had growth cracks after the return of heavy rains following a long drought. And ‘Black Prince’ has leaf curl, though I’m not sure if it’s the virus – the plant seems vigorous enough otherwise.
I’ll do another post on the rest of my edibles soon.