Saturday, July 25, 2015

Dying Tomato Plants

Every year I plant two tomato plants. My garden is very small, and I get fresh tomatoes in my farm share. So two plants work well for us. This year, I started Amish Paste tomato plants from seed. The seedlings were healthy, and once in the garden, I trained them and pruned them so they wouldn't get out of control. I have to say, all in all, I was feeling pretty proud of myself. Then some leaves died and bumps formed on the vines, and now green tomatoes are starting to drop. I think it is a bacterial infection. Which means I have to pull the plants, and I can't plant tomatoes in that bed for three years.

I love watching tomatoes ripen through the summer. I love eating them fresh off the vine, and I absolutely adore that end of summer ritual - when we pull the plants out of the ground, we strip all the remaining green tomatoes off. Last fall I made a fermented green tomato salsa. It was by far my favorite ferment.

There are a few green tomatoes on the vines right now. I'm pretty sure they are safe to eat depsite the vine's disease. Fermenting works best when the temperature is in the mid-60's, but is still possible in the 70's. We're having a mild summer, and my basement is a little cooler than my kitchen, so I am going to try fermenting them.

I'm also going to plant a little fall crop in the space where the tomatoes are right now. I have some kale seeds and some carrot seeds. I'll try one of those.

The first image is what the plants look like now. They were twice as full a couple of weeks ago. The second shows dying leaves. The third show the bumps on the vine.



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