Posted on 13 August 2008 by

Too Many Tomatoes!

By Kira Hamman

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – the plants you painstakingly nurtured through needy infancy and difficult adolescence are coming to maturity and producing red, ripe tomatoes.

Pounds of them.

Pounds, and pounds, and pounds of them.

You’re eating tomatoes at every meal, canning and freezing as much as humanly possible, and still they keep coming.

What’s a tomato gardener to do?

1. Keep eating! Remember the dark days of winter, when a garden fresh tomato is but a distant memory, and have just a few more. You’ll be glad you did.

2. Feed your friends. Speaking as someone who went through a gardenless period a while back, I can tell you that they’ll be grateful.

3. Leave the best ones on the vine to get huge so that you can save their seeds. We’ll discuss seed-saving in a future article, but now is the time to plan for it. This is your chance to help Mother Nature along by keeping the seeds from the most perfect tomatoes so that they may pass their perfection on to next year’s crop.

4. Throw the less than perfect ones into a vacant lot somewhere
. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up with volunteer tomato plants next year. If not, at least you can say you tried your hand at guerilla gardening!

5. Get cooking! Whole frozen tomatoes are fantastic to have on hand in the winter, and you should freeze plenty that way, but they take up a lot of space. In mathematics this is known as the sphere-packing problem, and to paraphrase centuries of research, it’s hard to solve. Luckily, a tomato does not have to be a sphere! It can be salsa. Or soup. Or ketchup. Or anything in a block shape, which packs very easily.

6. Keep eating.
Oh, wait, did I say that already?

6 Responses to “Too Many Tomatoes!”

  1. Ryan Says:

    “and to paraphrase centuries of research, it\’s hard to solve.”
    Hah! Unfortunately I don’t have the same problem this year.

  2. Shibaguyz Says:

    Can’t wait to have this problem this year… kinda slow coming in our cool summer here… patience…

  3. reggiecasual Says:

    Same here too in Connecticut with our cool weather and heavy rainy days this August.

  4. Robin Says:

    We don’t have a lot of ripe ones yet and I’ve discovered that as soon as they begin to ripen the critters pounce. We even constructed a frame and secured netting all around, but they find a way to get in.

    So now I take them off the vine as soon as I see color and allow them to ripen on my window sill. Slow….going. And I no longer get enjoyment out of seeing chipmunks, squirrels and rabbits in my back yard. They are now the enemy.

  5. Deborah Smith Says:

    Check out my 8 + feet tall plants this year. I resurrected my father’s “Japanese Tomato Ring” method that I remembered from the 60’s. The results are unbelievable.
    Scroll down to the bottom for the picture we took last week next to my 6’1″ boyfriend.
    Deb S.

  6. Kira Says:

    Deb – WOW!

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