Tray O' Tomatoes and The Secret Revealed

I did some research on the water content of vegetables. Did you know that this vegetable is 96% water?

Do you know what it is?

No, unfortunately, it is not a zucchini squash. It's a cucumber and I let it get far too big to be edible so it went straight to the compost bin.

Next question...

How many different varieties of tomoatoes are there on this Tray O' Tomatoes?

There are at least eight varieties here. I've got everything from yellow and red cherry tomatoes to Beefsteak tomatoes, plus some delicious yellow tomatoes and some early tomatoes and my beloved German Johnson. One particular yellow tomato, Orange Oxheart, is so meaty that it almost looks like cantalope instead of tomatoes when I cut it into chunks to eat.

You know it is okay to cut tomatoes into chunks instead of slices, don't you, especially if you are eating them as a side dish and not on a sandwich.

As you can see, I like to pick my tomatoes a day or so before they are fully ripe, and let them finish ripening indoors. This seems to keep them from cracking in the heat. Like everyone else, we have no shortage of heat these days.

I'm now eating tomatoes for breakfast, taking cherry tomatoes to work in my lunch, and eating more tomatoes at night. I think it is time to either make some salsa or give away some of these tomatoes.

I think I'll make salsa, which will solve my problem of what to do with all the peppers that are begging to be picked.

Tomatoes, by the way, are 94% water.

Which brings me to the secret of harvesting vegetables from the garden when it is so dry outside.


In any year, the secret to growing and harvesting vegetables, which are mostly water, is to water consistently and regularly throughout the season. For my garden, I set up an oscilatting sprinkler in the middle of the garden and let it run for about 90 minutes or so, once a week. This year, I believe this consistent water supply has provided me with as good a harvest as I've had in years, in spite of the lack of rain.

Did it break the bank when the water bill came? So far, no, it hasn't cost that much extra to water the vegetable garden once a week. I'm estimating it will cost me the equivalent of one extra water bill this year. "Prices may vary" depending on where you are, but that's what it will cost me.

I think it is worth it.

And, now I'm going to go look through the tomatoes to see if there is one worthy of a harvest ritual.


  1. 8 varieties - YAY! I love it! thanks for the info, carol.

  2. Ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, a little sea salt works for any meal and sometimes dessert:)
    We always have to water all summer since we get pretty much zero's judging how much according to how many 100 degree days that's difficult. And I guess I don't want to know what I'm paying in terms of water...cause whatever it is is worth it...your tomatoes prove it!

  3. Your tomatoes look lovely - and this time of year, what else would you eat??! I water the tomatoes at least once a week, and I agree it really helps them out.

  4. Water makes the world go around. That's a truth we shouldn't forget. Your tomatoes looks lovely! I would go for the salsa too.

  5. Carol: Water is essential for life! Do you think the price of water is too low? I hope that the 'powers that be' are paying more attention to keeping our water sources safe than they are to bridges and infrastructure! Love that you have all those varieties. Have you rated them in a post yet? I actually like the ones with a lot of seeds and high 'tang'. Any suggestions for next year?

  6. We have some tomatoes that are smaller than cherry tomatoes - more like the size of jelly beans. Are they just stunted cherrie tomatoes or are they a different breed?`

  7. Anyway you slice them I love tomatoes ! The high water content of most vegetables is why vegetarians only need to consume 3 glasses of water a day.

    You've certainly had a bountiful vegetable garden this year. I wish I had the room and time for one. NOTHING beats fresh vegetables from the garden.

  8. I'm gorging on tomatoes now! We won't have them in a few weeks so I'm making the most of it.

    They are not growing in my garden but there are so many people with too many, I gladly take their surplus. Yum!

    Thanks for the info, Carol!

  9. Carol, so really? You only water once a week? I'm out there almost every day unless it rains -- maybe I'm watering too much!

  10. My tomatoes are cracking from the torrential downpours we've had in Illinois. Has anyone ever covered tomatoes from too much rain?

  11. I love your "tray of tomatoes." We have had a great harvest this year from our little nursery vegetable garden. We grow all our vegetables in raised beds or large containers so watering every day is a must. Besides we have temps in the 90's but humidity in the 5% range.

    Do you like your salsa hot? Monica makes a mean salsa, a little on the hot side. That o.k. as I like it on the hot side.

  12. Gina... thanks but sometimes I feel that compared to others, I have very few tomato varieties.

    Leslie... I agree, the fresh tomatoes are well worth the extra in the water bill.

    Kris... August is definitely tomato-eating-month.

    Layanee... I have not rated my tomatoes in a post. In case I don't, I recommend you try the heirloom variety "German Johnson".

    Eleanor... those really small cherry tomatoes are probably a different variety.

    Carolyn Gail... You ought to find room for at least ONE tomato plant, just one!

    Mary... As long as they are home grown in someone's garden, I'm sure your tomatoes taste wonderful.

    Genie... Yes, I water about once a week, deeply. But you might have to water more if your tomatoes are in containers, even daily.

    Paula... I can't imagine right now having to cover tomatoes to keep them dry! I've never heard of that.

    Trey... I would guess your low humidity and high temps would mean you have to water more, especially container grown vegetables.

    I like my salsa "sneaky". I want it to start out mild and flavorful and then explode with heat when you swallow!

    Thanks all for the wonderful comments.

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  13. Yum! I love that trayful of tomatoes. I've been harvesting a nice-size bowlful every day the past week or so, and I's well worth the water! Every time I bite into one, it's just heaven :-)

  14. I didn't know you had yellow tomatoes this year?! I love those. I've only had 2 red ones so far, not even German Johnson! You need to share more with me! :-)))

  15. I can't believe you threw out the big cucumber! It would have been okay all diced up perhaps in a cucumber salad.

  16. Colleen... I love the tomato days of summer.

    Anonymous... I almost have enough tomatoes to share, "almost".

    JT... that ol' cucumber would have been too bitter to eat, trust me!

    Thanks for the comments,
    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  17. I too loved your tray of tomatoes. I have baskets of them, but only five varieties, because that is how many we planted this year.

    We have discovered a wonderful thing to do with tomatoes when you have a bunch and want to put them up. Get a jelly roll pan, and drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil on it. Shake a tespoon or so of Italian herb mix on it. Cut your tomatoes in half from pole to pole, NOT equatorially, and place them cut side down on the pan. Bake at 250 degrees F for 12 hours, or overnight. Next day, take them out, and when cool pull off the skins and stems. The rest, schloop off into a bowl and either put them up in jars just like diced tomatoes, or package them a pint at a time and freeze. You would not believe how excellent these roasted tomatoes are in salsa, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, chili, soup, etc.

  18. If you cucumber was that large, I hate to see your zucchini! I remember some zucchini we planted in Iowa a long time ago when we lived there, that were at least a foot and a half long and about 6" in diameter. Funny, thing is that I cut into it to see what the insides looked like and it was solid and completely edible. I miss that good loam or is is loess.


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