img 6230 scaled Second picking of tomatoes

Second picking of tomatoes

I’ve made my second picking of tomatoes of the year! It’s crazy to have tomatoes this early, but this is an unusually good year in my garden. The first picking was these beautiful Dancing with Smurfs tomatoes. They turn blue where the sun strikes their flesh, and the tomato is red on the shaded parts of the plant when ripe.

Dancing with Smurfs, July 19.

Second picking was two Stupice, two pink plum, and another Smurfs. These were a little underripe, and I waited a few days before I put them in a salad. Delicious!

Stupice, David Haas Pennsylvania Pink Plum, and Dancing with Smurfs – July 24

The garden

Below are some pictures of the garden from the last few weeks. The poppies have been my absolute favorite — I like them so well I haven’t even picked any, so I don’t know if they make a good cut flower or not — I just love their papery petals and bright colors. I will definitely grow those again. I picked a big harvest of beautiful round English peas, around three quarts total shelled that got made into split pea soup. The yellow snow peas were very good, too. Next year I’ll do better about eating them all. I pulled up all the plants last week and put them In the compost bin, saving seeds from each variety. The beans are growing up happily on the trellis now.

Right now the squash bugs are coming for my plants. I’ve got two weeks more to fight them back, I think. Picking the eggs off and spraying or killing the mating pairs is a tiresome, disgusting job that I’ve ignored the last two days while the mockingbird babies in the rose trellis fledge. I lost one set of patty pans, but the other is kind of alive. We will see what happens. Two melons are slowly growing up the trellis as well. I am not sure what will happen with those yet. Trellising the fruit may be tricky.

This is hands down my best year for tomatoes. Disease pressure has been at a minimum, and I think the blood meal I put in really helped the plants get off to a good start. The black plastic helped retain moisture when it was dry and kept roots warm when it was chilly at night. The tomatoes in the grow bags have not done well, mainly because I am not watering them regularly, and the corn j planted did not sprout at all. The beans in the grow bags did sprout, so maybe I just got bad seeds. Oh well.

I did cut a bunch of Swiss chard the other day — much of it was damaged by insects, but I’ve been spraying more lately and keeping the chard looking good.

Posted by Jenny Smith

I'm Jenny Smith. I blog about life on the 300+ acres of rolling farmland in Northern Virginia where I live. I like tomatoes, all things Star Trek, watercolor, and reading. I spend most days in the garden fighting deer and groundhogs while trying to find my life's meaning. I'm trying to be like Jesus -- emphasis on the trying.