Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Slice of Summer in the Middle of Winter

There's a Guy Clark song that says: 
"There's only two things that money can't buy...
That's true love and home grown tomatoes."
 
Remember all of those green tomatoes I picked before the freeze in December?  


I just put them in a large box and set the box in my laundry room.  Well, fast forward to January, and the tomatoes are now starting to ripen! 

So far this is what I've gotten...


I had forgotten that I planted the 'Lemon Boy' tomatoes, so I was surprised to see the yellow ones.  They are pretty tasty, too, I might add.  

The larger red ones are 'Celebrity,' and the cherry tomatoes are 'Sweet 100.' 

Eatin' home grown 'maters in January.  Can't beat that!

Even though it is officially winter, for those of us in North Texas, now is the time to start thinking about our spring veggie gardens.  Take this time to get the soil prepared by adding a few inches of compost to your garden beds and working it into the soil.
 
If you want to start your tomatoes by seed, now is the time to get them going indoors.  If you choose to plant tomatoes by transplants, plan to get them in the ground mid to late March so that they can get established and set fruit before that blastin' Texas sun beats down on us again.  (Actually, right now that doesn't sound all that bad to me!)

For a complete Spring Vegetable Planting Guide for Texas, 
click here

Medium size and small fruited varieties tend to do best in our area.

Some recommended varieties are:

Celebrity
Superfantastic
Porter
BHN444
 Heatwave
Surfire 
Roma
Sweet 100
Juliette
Yellow Pear 

For some great heavy-duty tomato cages, 
check out the Texas Tomato Cage website.

Here's hoping for a sweet yield of tasty 
home grown tomatoes! 

Until next time...

Toni :-)

15 comments:

  1. Yum...nothing like a homegrown tomato! Enjoy!

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  2. Looking good. I love to overwinter them, but so many ripen all at the same time. I just used the last ones to ripen and snow is on the ground. Love them then.

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  3. Sweet 100 is my absolute favorite cherry tomato. We can't plant tomatoes around here until May 15, but climate change has allowed an earlier date for quite a while. I too found that that whole wrap green tomatoes in newspaper to ripen was a lot of unnecessary work.

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  4. Green Tomato pie... Yum! You asked about winter scenes in my gardens. If you scroll down to the archives click on 'white garden' for comparison shots with the same area in summer, 'snow scenes' also has winter pics, as does 'Blizzard' . I saw your mentioning of Vesper on Blotanical message last evening... we have been through that area a few times over the years... take care, Larry

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  5. Oh how I wish you lived in Zone 7a Alabama Toni!!! I'm going to try to start a from scatch veggie garden this year, wish me luck, I'm going to need it!

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  6. I LOVE that line from the Guy Clark song! And now I'm hungering for some home grown tomatoes!

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  7. Hi again... got your message and yes we get hundreds of visitors during gardening season... you would be most welcome! Larry

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  8. Toni girl you were so bad leaving those SPRING themed comments over at my place now that we are in true winter !! OUCH !!!
    I love your tomatoes and I am fascinated by the yellow ones .. they are gorgeous .. and I love those grape sized tomatoes .. they are just about my favorite .. I eat them like candy ! LOL
    Planning ... that is what I need to start in all seriousness .. I have projects to accomplish with hired help .. now that is going to be fun .. finding a competent reasonably priced hired hand to do exactly what I need doing .. I have to get serious and practice my whip cracking !!
    Joy
    PS ... how about you mail me some of those sweet 100's ???

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  9. How fabulous to see the colors come forward . . . must be colorful in your laundry room. ;>)) Nature is grand. Yummy too!

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  10. Those look yummy! Congratulations. I had lots of green tomatoes after our first frost as well, but I chose to make green tomato relish with them. That's not a bad option either.

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  11. Looks yummy! I have been in Austin in 2006. Nice place to stay and get dirty by gardening. BTW, your garden looks great. I also plant tomato in my garden, but just the big one (variety? not sure, but I love cherry tomato so much, eat raw.

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  12. Wish I was cutting a homegrown tomato for dinner tonight. I also planted 'Celebrity' last season and was pleased with the results. Enjoy!

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  13. Thanks to Kristin at "My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia" my first ever link party for Cottage Flora Thursday's is up & running! Inviting you to come over & link a cottage garden post you may have & please advertise "Cottage Flora Thursday's" on your post that you link!! & don't forget to become a follower of my blog !!!

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  14. What a great idea!! I only grow flowers after my tomatoe plants were nearly devoured by a marauding trumpet creeper. When I grew them in a pot, they developed a weird disease. Grrr... I have vegetable garden envy!!

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  15. Lucky you! Our tomatoes were long gone, even before the end of summer, heat and disease taking them down. This is a great post with much helpful information. I think some of your recommended tomatoes would do well in Alabama also.

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