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Jul 2, 2009 10:15 PM

The first tomato of the season

Hooray! My first tomato of the season is ripening on the vine. It's a San Marzano plum tomato. Here in the Monterey Bay Area of California there has been a lot of coastal fog, so the season is starting slowly.

What tomatoes are ripening in your garden?

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  1. We've had some cherry tomatoes ripen, but the full-size tomatoes need another week or so. We couldn't wait, and the guy who takes care of my garden is big on picking off the early "fruits" to promote more growth, so we had fried green tomatoes for dinner tonight. Yum! We also picked a pound of green beans, a couple of lemon cucumbers and the first full-size zucchini of the year. The zucchini glut is looming on the horizon.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      I'm in Michigan and I've picked two sets of romas from my patio roma bush, and now the third set is ripening. I'm shocked that they have ripened so quickly. Of course, the next set might be all I get since I don't see any more blossoms. I am not feeding them anything except coffee grounds, but they're happy.

    2. One day. One day the earthquake gods will get you people.
      I'm in Washington DC and have a larger garden on the MD Eastern Shore. Pathetic. The constant rains and cool temps, especially at night, have slowed everything.
      My tomatoes are usually about 4 feet high and sprawling everywhere by now and it's a race to keep them tied up and under control. I would have green tomatoes everywhere by now.
      This year? About 18 inches, and one sad little yellow blossom.
      It's not just me. The roadside stalls are usually full of local corn and tomatoes by the Fourth of July, but this year the corn is only about 4 feet tall in the fields and no where close to setting ears. The soybeans are tiny, with the fields looking like fuzzy green Chia pets, instead of lush with tall, bushy plants.
      Where, oh where are the melons, squash, and other local produce? Even the peaches are slow. The pears on my trees are growing so slowly that they may ripen before they get large enough to eat. Tiny.
      A good year for the lettuce that didn't get washed out but.... <sigh>
      The roses have black spot from the rain. The raspberries were delish but the leaves are now getting moldy.
      If we get some good old hot weather, I may get enough tomatoes to can for winter. Maybe in September.
      This hasn't been a good year so far.

      4 Replies
      1. re: MakingSense

        The earthquake gods have gotten us lots; don't worry about that. Sorry to hear about the DC/MD weather.

        1. re: Discerning1

          Our weather is "interesting." It would be very hard for Californians to understand.
          Spring is probably like you are blessed with most of the year. Summer is virtually sub-tropical - except for this year. And then Fall reverts to some odd combo of the Deep South and the New England. One day it's 85 degrees and the next, it's in the 40s.
          The "rainy season" can be any week or two or three at all - followed by a drought.
          Challenging to say the least. Some interesting old letters and diaries from Thomas Jefferson as he learned to cope with it in the gardens at Monticello.
          As for now? I just want my tomatoes and sweet corn.

          1. re: MakingSense

            I've got plenty of tomatoes green on the vine and plenty of blossoms, but only in the last day or two has one of my full-size tomatoes begun to turn color. I have had a couple of handfuls of gold cherry tomatoes (and another handful ready this evening) but that's it.

            1. re: MakingSense

              "Spring is probably like you are blessed with most of the year."

              It was 108 degrees here in the N. Cal Valley last week. 90 plus is not unusual from May to October.

              oh... nothing red for me yet, but I got a late start .

        2. i've been eating cherry tomatoes off the vine (sungolds), but they don't really count. the real tomatoes won't be ripe for a while (i'm in msp). the baby zukes are in and we're eating raspberries and mulberries and strawberries. and lettuce. new potatoes. squash blossoms.

          1. SE Pa: ate the first Prairie Fire 9 days ago, but the plant was started in a greenhouse and had one set fruit already when I planted it. Nothing else is even close. But it was glorious.

            1. Good for you! I have been wanting fresh tomatoes for a month. . .looks like it will be another week or so here on the West side of Cleveland. We have 5 cherry-types with green tomatoes and more blossoms. In the big garden we have Rose, Goliath hybrid, Oxart and Moskovich on the vine. The beefsteaks have blossoms, but those were free so anything we get from them is a bonus. Gypsy and Tollie peppers are just starting. I fear the acorn and delicata aren't going to get pollinated. It's been a cool start to the season here which hasn't helped anything. Good luck with your 'maters!