Tomatoes everywhere!

I have been harvesting the tomatoes. The early girls are bountiful and freaking delicious. The heirloom are rather funky to look at but they taste wonderful, and the little orange tomato-lemons are sweet and tender. My favorite though, are the teardrop shaped yellow tomatoes. I intended to put them into salads, but instead I just eat them straight.

The harvest isn’t as big this year as last. I’m blaming the weather.  I branched out more this year and tried new varieties, so it could be that I chose lower-producing plants this year also.

The tomatoes from last year’s fall harvest went into the freezer, so at some point we will be making homemade chili. Or spaghetti sauce. Something like that.

These early girls went straight to the salad bowl. Regular salad with the fresh Parmesan, green leaf lettuce and Caesar dressing. Croutons when I remember to buy them. And tomatoes!

Cutting up the Early Girl tomatoSalad in an orange bowl.Haha. My nails almost match the tomato in this lighting.

We didn’t JUST have salad for dinner. To go with it, I made a basil cream sauce and chicken.

Found the recipe using the AllRecipes.com app on my phone. Here, if you want to try. It’s really easy, and delicious. Especially if you have fresh basil around.

Is it just me or is tomatoes spelled funny? Every time I type that, I think “toma-TOES!”

Basil cream sauce, with chicken and red pepper instead of the pimentos the recipe calls for.

 

 

Garden is winding down for the season

My garden is on it’s way out, I’m afraid.

I got these gross-looking bugs that kind of look like dinosaurs. Black with a hump, spikes and red dots. They can jump, but on the stem of my tomato plants they seem to congregate and attach, sucking the sap out of my plants.

http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2005/06/21/treehopper-nymphs/ I think this is what they are. What’s That Bug? website identifies them as tree hopper nymphs.  My boyfriend tried to remove some from the stem using his hands and a paper towel, and said they are spiky. He could feel the poke through the paper towel. They also jump down, which can be shocking.

Bug spray seems to take care of them, but my tomato stem was left blackened and bruised. Does anyone have tricks to keeping them away in the first place? I had the same problem last year.

The strange part is, they don’t seem to be spreading to the other tomato plants in the yard.

Photo courtesy of What's That Bug?

 

Here’s a picture of some very green but soon-to-be-delicious tomatoe

These will turn yellow soon, and then I will eat them.

s.

 

How does your garden grow?

My (mostly) tomato garden is coming along pretty slowly. Or I’m impatient. Could be both.

The tomatoes are starting to come in, but they are still green and I want to eat them already!!

Tell those plants to hurry up, k?

I stopped at Home Depot to pick up some soil and walked out with the potting soil, spearmint (oh my lord it smells so good), basil, cilantro and a bell pepper plant. So it’s really no longer an all-tomato garden but I’m so OK with that. Plus, we now have nearly all the makings of caprece! (I just need to find a way to grow cheese…)

I’ve been pruning the tomato plants from the bottom, and cutting some of the inside leaves so they are not too bushy and I can actually see if there are bugs or anything else weird going on in there.

There are some little holes in the biggest tomato leaves and I think I could have a tomato hornworm. I know, ewww. But no matter how hard I’ve looked, the little bugger is elusive.

I did a little research on how to kindly get rid of them and found this gem:

“However, if you see a hornworm covered with white egg sacs, leave it be. The egg sacs are those of a parasitic wasp called the Braconid wasp. Let the eggs hatch, and you’ll have an army of wasps ready to defend your garden against all types of pests.”

Sweet baby Jesus I hope this does not happen in my yard. The LAST thing I want is an army of wasps anywhere near me.

Thanks a lot Internet, now I’m going to have nightmares.

I also found thorny-looking green bugs that I think are what the Internet identifies as tree-hoppers. I pulled one off the other day and tried to step on it, but it flew away. I’m sure it will be back. Jerk.

Anyone out there know how to get rid of them in a safe & sane manner?

Early Girl.

The little yellow ones that are shaped like pears.

THIS SMELLS SO SO SO GOOD

YOU will be in my salad one day.

Bell peppers. Still a baby. Hope they come in before the summer ends!