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Growing Tomatoes [split from General Topics]

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FL, and we are spoiled. My topsy turvey planter I just picked 8 large plums and got 10 vine ripe from the market. Yes, tomatoes are great this year. Several heirlooms as well. I like the Nakamo Basil and oregano rice wine vinegar, amazing flavor no calories with s/p. THE best!! I take 3-4 croutons and hand crunch. Makes a great topping without too much. I love it.

Balsamic, can't go wrong with that I just smoked some chicken and grilled 4 tomatoes, just cut in half with the chickens. I took them off chilled them and topped with balsamic. What a treat!

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  1. Which heirlooms do you grow?

    9 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      Brandywine is a fave for me, I think they call it green zebra, yellow pears I do 3 of these I love them, this pale pink one but sorry don't have the name or info on it. and I think they call it a black crim or krim. Pretty good. I also had a mystery pack and got some really cool unidentified plants. One has dark purple and green striped and another it is almost a wierd orange and white colored. Black plums is great and snow whites are wonderful white tomatoes. Really different.

      1. re: kchurchill5

        Wow, post some pix! I love Brandywine. Not familar with the others.

        1. re: c oliver

          I am sad to say no pics. Season is over. And if you ask anyone ... I am the worst picture person in the world. I don't even have recent pics of my son. You know how bad that is. I wish. I took three pics of my cats with my cell a month ago. I'm horrible I know. My Mom right before she passed on wanted to see her grandson and I didn't even have a pic. I have to live with that for the rest of my life. That was not quite 4 weeks ago. I'm not a pic person. I guess I have to get better at it right?

          Brandywine is the best. The year pears look like little grapes but pear shapes. All mine are off and eaten, sorry. Early season here. 10:30 so pics in my topsy turvey won't be good. sorry.

          The pears are small like grapes, the black plums look like a regular plum but almost black in color and the others like a reg size. Next year pics I guess.

      2. re: c oliver

        I really enjoy growing them and trying them in different sauces

        1. re: kchurchill5

          Except for uncooked sauces, I don't use fresh tomatoes in sauces.

          1. re: c oliver

            I use them as often as possible. I love them. But being raised up north and with a huge ... no gigantic garden we used everything we grew. We had bushels of tomatoes weekly so cooking with them became something we just did. But understand some don't like the texture or flavor.

            1. re: c oliver

              That's how I make my penne with vodka sauce--fresh Romas! Never homegrown before, but this year, I will!

              1. re: kattyeyes

                Try a roasted version. Did that last year. Roasted just on the grill or oven along with a onion and garlic. Put it all in the food processor, added some red pepper, olives, capers, some vodka and heated until cooked, then added the cream and mixed with penne and topped with fresh parm. It was yummy!

                I'm so glad you love vodka sauce, it is a favorite of mine no matter how you make it and no matter what tomatoes. Always a great dish. Homegrown will be even better!

                1. re: kchurchill5

                  Veddy intedesting--roasted tomatoes in the vodka sauce. I'll keep this in mind!

        2. You know how many times I have picked up the topsy turvey plant thing in Walgreens and got mad because it seems so simple I could make it instead of buying it- and then of course I never make one... So they DO work? Or did you make your own?

          I wanna grow stuff! You should come over and teach me to plant a buncha stuff (or do it for me), I'll make you a nice Italian meal and send you home with leftovers...

          5 Replies
          1. re: Boccone Dolce

            Mine actually worked I was shocked. I'm at the end now. Just a couple left on it but I was totally surprised. Late in season for me but really impressed for a simple TV thingy. I got 2 for 15.99 so why not.

            My problem is I can't kill anything. Too much grows. I just need a garden 5 times the size. I just took down my mini greenhouse for the summer. With 90 degrees, I don't think I need a greenhouse right now, lol.

            Italian ... anything that has the word pasta in it can never be bad. I just put below this yellow pears with spinach and asparagus and of course pasta.

            1. re: kchurchill5

              Good deal- I usually see them for $9.99 each.
              I laughed today- on my way home from work I passed a house that had two of them hanging in their front yard!

              Eventually I'll try container gardening- I printed out a bunch of info on it but... lazy girl-itis sunk in. Blah.

              1. re: Boccone Dolce

                I have a small greenhouse collapsable but I love it. I grow my cucs, squash and start my peppers in there early. Then take that down around March and go to my earth boxes and my pots. I use the topsy turveys when it got warm. They worked really well. I also had peas and beans some strawberries, and 15 herbs. I love it and wish I could grow more. I did at my house. Had a whole back yard garden with kale, lots of squash, cucs, onions, radishes in pots, lots of stuff. I had a blast.

                1. re: kchurchill5

                  Would you mind a nosy question--do you do this all on a deck or balcony or do you have a plot in a community garden? I think you had mentioned you live in an apartment and I live in a townhouse, so I'm in a similar boat (limited space). Everything I've got growing is on the deck in containers--nothing in the ground. I am curious where your small greenhouse goes (or what it looks like if you have a link to it). I'm intrigued by this idea, but am guessing I have no room for such a thing, despite how cool it sounds.

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    Not nosy. I do mine hanging from my porch. apt so I have a tenant above But have 6 hanging plants and then I put 2 small hooks on the outside of the desk so no under cover where I have my tomatoes. I have 2 earth boxes and 7 pots, my herbs are in various pots around the front of my place. I am lucky in they let us plant or put pots out in front of our unit. I also had a small greenhouse, but it is a cute one and I have it around the corner so it is someone out of the way. They let me do it. I also gave them fresh tomatoes and squash too.

                    This is one link, there are many. This is what mine looks like (attached pic) The small ones to start seedlings are great. I use it for winter here.

                    I'm also on ground level and have a 2 bedroom so my whole front is facing the entrance so with my porch and 32 pots I have lots of plants. I also have 4 staghorns, all weighing in at over 250 each. They are about 4x4 or bigger.

                    So my tomatoes I just put a hanger on the wood deck above me, the pots hold most. Some are in the ground, earth box and the greenhouse I have to collapse during summer too hot. More like a sauna. I could cook food in it, lol.

                    My friend took 2 of the small seedling greenhouses and bought a simple plastic shelf unit from home depot. One of the bottom and one on the top. I think she just added a little plywood for stability but it works great and she uses it on her deck. Great for starting plants and getting them going.