I picked tomatoes again this morning. Between the mice, the fly larvae and the rain making everything start to rot I'm having a tough time finding ripe tomatoes that are still edible. So, I have been picking them just as they start to turn and have been letting them ripen in the house. Of course, that means that currently almost every flat surface in my house is covered with tomatoes of varying ripeness!
The top of a stereo speaker in the living room.
The kitchen table -yes, still with unpacked boxes :(
I've got lots of my heirloom varieties ripening now: Mortgage Lifter, Amana Orange, Amish Paste, Polish Linguisa and Bloody Butcher. The mice seem quite partial to the Amana Orange and my Polish Linguisa paste tomatoes. I have yet to get any ripe tomatoes off my 'super secret tomatoes' but they have lots on them.
I think that in order to control mouse, slug and larvae damage next year I'm going to have to keep a scrupulously clean garden. I have realized that I went waaaaay overboard this year with the garden, considering everything else I had going on. I wasn't able to keep up with the weeds and everything is overgrown. Then I didn't have time to adequately support my tomatoes and with the incredible fertility of the soil (lots and lots of horse manure!) the vines have run rampant. All this, combined with the cool, wet summer we have had has really wreaked havoc on the tomatoes (and everything else!). I've got lots of problems with the tomatoes sitting on the ground and just starting to rot at this point. Of course, we've had 3.75 inches of rain in the past week and we haven't had a week all summer when it hasn't rained at least an inch. It has definitely saved on the need to water but I'm paying the price.
But next year.....
Isn't that every gardener's mantra?
This is a learning year. I definitely bit off more than I could chew. I planted way too much garden for the time I had to devote to it. I had such grand plans and life got in the way. Oh well, it's still been fun...and we've gotten some fabulous food from it. I'm still getting peppers, tomatoes, sweet corn, beans and eggplant, and I have potatoes to dig soon- what more could I want, right?
Well, I see more tomato sauce making in my future. At least we will have something to show for all of this mess!
Sorry it I'm a bit melancholy this evening. It's been a long few days and I need to take I12 shopping for pants tomorrow. We discovered that all of his pants are about 2 inches too short. That boy had the audacity to grow over the summer! Oh, and I need to find some more pint jars. I don't know how it happened but I've only got a dozen left (I think there is too much jam and such) I always try to can some tomatoes in pints since I have recipes that use only that much. We'll see who has the best price tomorrow.