Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Write it down in your garden journals. Today, I harvested my first tomato.
It is a Brandywine, from a plant I bought on impulse, even though I had plenty of tomato seedlings at home. I bought it because it had really cool packaging, sort of like a carton with one side cut out so the plant was fairly protected, but you could see how healthy it was. The package had bright, interesting, old-fashioned looking print describing this great heirloom tomato. I saw right through all the marketing, and bought the over-priced plant anyway!
I've posted this picture of the garden from this evening just as the sun was setting behind me. On the right hand side of the picture, a little more than half way down, you can see a speck of red which is another Brandywine tomato I hope to pick in a day or so.
Other highlights from the picture: Top left - the corn, which is starting to have more ears. Top middle - second planting of corn. Down in front - peppers. Kind of in the middle - green beans. Over on the left - sunflowers and zinnias. On the stake - a fake owl which is supposed to scare the rabbits away. (It hasn't scared anything away as far as I can tell!) Not in the picture or hidden are the cucumbers and squash, pole beans, eggplants, cherry tomatoes and marigolds.
So, you don't have a garden journal to record this event or your own gardening events? Why not!? My garden journal has some useful (to me) information from past years. For example, I've determined from my current garden journal, which goes back to 2001, that July 19th is the earliest I've harvested a tomato in these past 6 years. I encourage everyone to keep a garden journal.
The latest I've harvested a tomato was in 2004. I can't find reference to picking a tomato until August 1st that year! What could have happened? Well, that year on July 25th and 26th the high temperatures were 67 and 68 degrees, so maybe we just had a cooler summer?
All my "First Tomato Dates":
2001 - July 20th
2002 - July 23rd
2003 - July 24th
2004 - August 1st (ugh!)
2005 - July 24th
2006 - July 19th (yeah!)
I am happy to have reached this milestone in the garden, and am looking forward to many more tomatoes in the days ahead. With that and the peppers, it soon will be Salsa Time!