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Posted on 16 February 2013 by tomatocasual.com

5 Chores for the Late Summer Tomato Garden

Photo Credit: Tomato Plants by Suzy Glass used under

Photo Credit: Tomato Plants by Suzy Glass used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Late summer is the backside of a great tomato season.

While the plants are still blooming and producing, the amount of tomatoes that you can harvest begins to decline.

Many gardeners, during this time, begin to slack back on their tomato garden chores.

Below is a list of important tomato garden tasks that should be done to keep the tomato season going strong.

1. Continue to water. Tomato plants need at least one inch of water a week. To maximize your watering time, only water in the morning and only water the soil. Doing this will reduce possible plant disease and will get the water where it can be used.

2. Watch out for pests. Tomato hornworms are still active during the late summer. If you find them on your plants or fruit remove them but there is one exception to this rule. If the tomato hornworm has little white capsules on its back, allow the caterpillar to remain on the plant. The white Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 02 November 2010 by tomatocasual.com

Ripening the Green Tomato

green-tomatoes1By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

This time of every year I am faced with a dilemma that completely goes against my frugal nature.

The dilemma I refer to is what to do with my green tomatoes before a killing frost destroys the last of my tomato crop.

There does exist several schools of thought on this matter.

Some individuals just leave the fruit and use it for compost while others just leave the plants’ skeletons up until they till them under next year. But for myself that is a waste so the following hints will help you squeeze the last bit of summer out of your tomatoes by turning green ones red.

Straw Stacks

Covering the tomato plants completely with straw creates the stacks. These stacks then create a warm environment by which the fruit can ripen. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 10 October 2010 by tomatocasual.com

Good Night Tomato Garden 2010

tomato-bedBy Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

October brings about a chore I look forward to and also regret having to do.

The task that I refer to is putting the tomato garden to bed for the winter.

The past 6 months I have slept, breathed, lived, and eaten with my garden in some form of fashion.

I have dreamed of what this year’s garden would be like when it matured much like a mother dreams of what her child will be like. I have breathed life into my tomato garden from planting the seeds to protecting my seedlings from the harm of slugs, damping off, and my husband’ size 12 feet. I have lived with my garden through my toll of maintaining my garden and by the many Fresco dinners I have enjoyed next to my tomato garden.

Before I begin Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 18 September 2008 by tomatocasual.com

Fall in the Tomato Garden

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By Kira Hamman

Around now, things in the garden are starting to look at little scraggly.

Despite my best efforts, and the best efforts of the four hens I have not yet confined to the pasture, the Japanese beetles have had their way with the chard and spinach.

The hot days/cool nights cycle has taken its toll on the cucumbers, peppers, and eggplants.

The potatoes have been dug and those hens, instead of focusing their energy on the beetles, are busy using the potato bed as a dust hole. The winter squash are signaling their readiness for harvest by making their vines go brown and wrinkly practically overnight.

And yes, even the tomatoes are fading. Read the rest of this entry »

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