Weekend Gardening Photos: Tomatoes

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San Marzano tomatoes - Andrea Meyers

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It’s August and the tomatoes are starting to come in. The San Marzanos are mostly still green, but we do have some that are close to being ripe. (Note: I did not have San Marzano seeds in the spring, so I purchased plants from a good local nursery that specializes in herbs and vegetables.)

Grape tomatoes

The grape tomato plants are producing in full force, and we bring in about a pound each day.

Grape tomatoes in a cluster

Back in March I started our grape tomato plants from the seeds I scraped out of some tomatoes we purchased at Wegman’s. I planted them in little peat pods and kept a grow light on them. Around the first week of May I separated and transplanted them to small cups then left them outside for a couple weeks in a sheltered area to acclimate. Once they were hardy enough, I chose six of the eighteen surviving plants and put them in the ground. The first few days are touch and go, and you never know if they will all take. One died within two weeks, and I just pulled one of the reserves and put it in place.

The plants are now over eight feet tall and have become prolific producers. Michael popped one in his mouth today as a little snack and commented on how good they taste. The ones that you find in the grocery store just don’t have the flavor of a warm, organic, fresh-picked tomato.

Update: It seems like San Marzanos are quite popular, so I added a Resources list below. The plants can get very full with fruit, so make sure you trellis or cage them for support.

Resources for San Marzano Seeds

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  1. says

    oh, I am so jealous! Our tomatoes are so slow this year – in fact, two of my plants just outright died. Not a good year in my garden for these lovely fruits. Thank goodness for the bounty of our CSA and farmer’s markets, which are keeping me in tomatoes these days!

    Gudruns last blog post..Worthless Wednesday: The Food Loop

  2. says

    Wow, I’m really impressed! I always wondered if it would work to use the seeds directly from a tomato. I mean, I know that’s how the whole thing works and all (!!), but it’s a whole other matter to actually get it to work. I have no gardening skills whatsoever, so I marvel at folks who do!! :-)

    PaniniKathys last blog post..Grilled Brownie Sundae Panini

  3. says

    Your tomatoes look great. We are just starting to harvest ours too. I grow mine in pots along the fenceline.
    I will finally have some produce to participate in GYO this month!
    I think next year I would like to try starting from seed too. Right now we just buy baby seedlings for tomatoes.

    Natashyas last blog post..Hot and Sour Vegetable Soup

  4. says

    Your tomatoes look gorgeous, Andrea! My 2 year old keeps picking off the tomatoes when they are green. I have yet to get a perfect, ripe, red tomatoe!

  5. says

    Thanks for all the support! The San Marzanos taste good, though probably not the same as they taste in the volcanic earth in Italy, but that’s ok. We still like them. :-)

    Panini Kathy, the trick to starting from seeds is to start more than you will use. I had six little peat pods for grape tomatoes, six for basil, six for Hungarian wax peppers, six for cilantro, six for eggplant, and six for bell peppers. I put three seeds in each pod; some from seed packets, others from fresh vegetables. All the tomatoes, basil, wax peppers, and cilantro sprouted, three of the eggplants sprouted, and none of the bell peppers sprouted. Not bad. Eighteen grape tomatoes, all the basil, half the cilantro, three eggplants, and all the wax peppers survived the first transplant. Not bad. After acclimating, we planted six each of grape tomatoes, wax peppers, and basil, and two eggplants. Then we purchased the rest of the plants from a reputable local nursery that I frequent.

    Now you’ve got me thinking I should write a series of posts on this next spring…

  6. says

    your tomatoes look so healthy!!! you’re an amazing gardener! Our flip flopping So Cal weather is confusing our tomatoes, they don’t know if it’s summer or winter!
    You are so right, home grown tomatoes are so wonderful!

  7. says

    White on Rice Couple, our garden is small but doing well this year. However, I’m the one with garden envy! Michael and I watched your garden video several times and really enjoyed your outdoor space.

    Coco, you can grow many herbs and vegetables in pots. If you have a sunny location indoors or out, you can had a little container garden. That’s what we did last year and back in the day when I was living in a small Chicago apartment.

  8. says

    Goodness your tomatoes are gorgeous! We bought some at a market while in Italy last month, and I saw the seeds everywhere. Thanks for the resource links — I’ll figure out a way to grow my own Marzanos somehow…gotta find some space!

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