Tomatoes…Seriously

Mention tomatoes to any veggie gardener and stand back! From heirloom seeds to cages, those of us who grow tomatoes take it very seriously. And, why shouldn’t we, tomatoes are valuable… Anything that starts out as a love apple and ends up on my beloved BLT and Tacos The Mom Way …. well that’s serious.

Every year I go into Tomato Frenzy … trying decide which ones to grow that taste the best and produce the most in my limited space. (We will not talk about the fact that I seem to have an unlimited amount of space for roses!) but, back to the tomato…

Last year I asked my garden friends on Twitter and Facebook to tell me their favorite tomatoes. My goal this year is to plant 5 regular sized tomatoes and 3 patio tomatoes. But, my resolve is crumbling and my mouth is watering.

A Favorite tomato QUOTE

“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” – Lewis Grizzard

Recommendations from some SERIOUS TOMATO GROWERS

TOMATO TRIVIA … Did you know that?

  • When the tomato was introduced to Europe in the 1500s, The French called it “the apple of love.” The Germans called it “the apple of paradise.”
  • Thomas Jefferson first ate a tomato in Paris and sent seeds back to America.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans eat between 22-24 pounds of tomatoes per person, per year.
  • Heinz released it’s first bottled ketchup in 1876.
  • Tomato juice is the official state beverage of Ohio.
  • Tomatoes are a natural antioxidant and high in Vitamin C.
  • In 1897 Joseph Campbell came out with condensed tomato soup.
  • The “Hornworm” can eat an entire tomato plant in ONE DAY.

Do you have tomato stories? Ever get in to a tomato frenzy? Come on, you can tell me!

Can you say BLT?

I love BLTs. Don’t you? I think I may have to try this Monster BLT from The Pioneer Woman…. click here. If you take a look at that sandwich she prepared, your mouth will water for sure!

Nothing is better on a BLT than your very own homegrown tomato! And, yes, we are starting our 9th week of drought. Last week we had our first rain (1/2″) and as grateful as we are, we sure would love some more. (I recorded the rain… click here to hear that wonderful sound and see how fresh it makes everything look!)

Regardless of the lack of rain, Mr. G and I are committed to watering our tomatoes and to feeding them Annie’s Moo Poo Tea. When all the water your plants get comes from your efforts, well that is a lot of work and with so many days in the 90s and 100s, we have had to be vigilant.

A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

Last February I surveyed my garden friends who also love tomatoes and got a ton of suggestions on what tomatoes to plant this year. (You can read about it here.)

Based on the their suggestions, I am growing Rutgers, Mortgage Lifter, Brandywine, Lemon Boy, Beefsteak, San Marzanos, Cherokee Purple and a few others that “grabbed” my attention at the local garden centers and Lowes.

OUR EFFORTS ARE PAYING OFF…

What is your favorite variety of tomato? Do you have a unique BLT recipe you’d like to share? I’d love your recommendations!

Bloom Thyme Friday: The Good. The Bad. The Ugly. Part 2.

The gorgeous Flamenco rose has required very little water / from the Biltmore Collection

Today we start 9 weeks of drought… as you know my garden is very large and I have had to limit watering to my roses and tomatoes and alternating trees and shrubs that are closest to our living area.

As I write this I am in the garden looking up at a simply gorgeous summer sky… not a cloud in site! Even in times of drought, God does amazing things… with people and with plants.

There is always an up side, I read that it looks like the US will set a record in the month of July for the fewest tornadoes on record. After the horrible storms of last summer (remember Joplin, MO), that is sure welcome.

And, as far as the roses are concerned, they are usually covered in Japanese Beetles at this time of year and so far we have seen very few. In their place are beautiful blooms without bug bites! That is sure welcome!

Zinnias can take the heat…
Roses get watered once a week and still keep going!
Tomatoes get water a couple times each week….
Hydrangeas in the side yard…
Sunny Knockouts and wave petunias can definitely take the heat!
Black-eyed Susans can take the heat.
More Zinnias with Phlox that is also beating the heat very well.
First bloom of Tropicana … rescued from sale table.
Gold Medal Grandiflora….
Picture worth a thousand words…