Monday, December 22, 2008

Tomatoes in December and Tomatillo follow-up

Back in August Yvette was lamenting the passing of summer and I commented here that at the time I wasn't quite ready to cede the season. To that end I set about planting another crop of tomatoes with some seeds I had left over from the spring. Aside from these, Yvette had purchased some Brandywine plants and I had a few volunteers from last years yellow cherries pop up at about the same time.

Well, here it is the day after the winter solstice and we still have fresh tomatoes almost daily. Not a bumper crop mind you but fresh nonetheless. Of the three varieties I planted late in the season: Brandywine, Green Zebra, and Purple Cherokee, only the Brandywines failed. They grew to about 3 feet in height and just sort of stopped. I took them out to make room for more seasonal crops of garlic and (ack!) Brussels sprouts. The Green Zebra and Purple Cherokee plants meanwhile are huge with lots of flowers with the occasional fruit or two. At the very least they add some green to our view out the kitchen window. The real heroes have been the red cherry and the roma that have been producing non-stop since early summer. It's interesting to note that the roma was planted primarily for canning because, you know, there are no fresh tomatoes in the fall and winter. So it's odd to eat the ones we canned and still have fresh ones around. I plan on removing the roma in the next week since it has really tapered off, and the red cherry will probably follow shortly after. Still - tomatoes in December?

On the the tomatillo front, I stated that I thought they would grow year-round and attempted to prove it. I was able to get a second successful planting but when I started a third the seeds germinated, grew to be about two inches and then stopped growing altogether. If you tried the recipe from the first tomatillo post you can probably imagine my disappointment.