Archive | Organic Produce

Beware the Tomatillo Plant…

Growing tomatillos is very easy and the fruit can be used to make green salsa and sauces.

About 3 years ago I planted a couple of Tomatillo plants (if you are not sure what a tomatillo is, check out this link for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomatillo). Tomatillos are a staple to the Mexican diet and they are excellent in green salsas and other Latin American dishes, especially green sauces. I was excited to grow some tomatillos to make green salsa.

The plants grew well and produced yields far beyond what I could use – it was great! Inevitably, a number of the tomatillos got overripe and dropped onto the soil below. I wasn’t too worried and figured I might get a few plants the next year from the seeds of the fruit that dropped onto the soil.

A ripe tomatillo from my garden.

The next year, I was pleasantly surprised by more tomatillo plants – lots of them! This has continued every year since then.  I often will dig up a number of the plants to put in pots and give to friends and family. This past season, I literally had to weed out about 100 tomatillo plants :). So, with very little effort on my part, I have a nice yield of Tomatillos every year. They are a great addition to my garden and you can’t beat fresh made green salsa with roasted tomatillos and avocado in it – delicious!

Here is a link to a few Tomatillo recipes: http://www.foodiecrush.com/2012/05/roasted-tomatillo-and-green-olive-salsa/

 

 

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Stop Watering Those Tomatoes!

Stop Watering Those Tomatoes!

Sungold tomatoes in my raised garden bed.

This article will explain why to stop watering your tomatoes and when to stop watering your tomatoes.

One tip that I’ve always found helpful, although a little counterintuitive, is to stop watering tomato plants mid to late summer. “Stop watering,” you say. “That’s seems silly.” Here is the reasoning.

Tomatoes work hard to grow new green foliage all through the growing season. The more water you give the plant (and nutrients), the larger it will continue to grow. As soon as you stop watering the plant, the plant begins to realize that it is coming to the end of the season and begins to focus on producing fruit rather than growing new foliage. When you stop watering the tomato plants, the fruit will ripen quicker too.

The reality is that this does not work with all tomato plants. If you grow your tomato plants in smaller containers, then you need to keep watering them well throughout. The plant cannot survive without a deep root system. If a tomato plant is marked by the nursery as a variety that is suitable for container gardening, then chances are you will need to water it evenly throughout the grow season. If you want more info on how to best plant your tomato plant, then check out this article: Planting Tomatoes – Best Kept Secrets.

Stop Watering Those Tomatoes!

I stopped watering this Sungold tomato plant about 4 weeks ago. It is doing excellent and producing more fruit than we can eat!

I’ve tested out this theory a couple of seasons and here is what I have learned. This techniques seems to work well with Sungold Tomatoes and Brandywine Heirlooms. Those are the two varieties I grow each year. One of the most helpful things I’ve learned is to make sure the plant is well supported if you decide to stop watering. If the plant isn’t supported, the branches start to droop and can sometimes even break off – not so helpful!

Let us know if you’ve tried this before or if you have other techniques that work well with tomatoes.

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