Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tomatoes in June, July & August

I am growing 11 tomato varieties. In March heirloom tomato plants were growing under lights in my basement waiting to go out in the garden around June 1. Bloody Butcher was  so vigorous that we were able to harvest tomatoes while it was still growing indoors. Early April I wrote about and showed a picture of how I was able to keep this fast growing tomato indoors. Here is my tomato patch
The 33ft south side arbor is one of my vegetable garden areas. Raspberries grow on the left. You can see a rhubarb on the right and some of the tomatoes.  I yearly rotate where I plant vegetables.
I have 2 tomatoes in pots.  The Bloody Butcher is at the right.  This tomato was so tall, I had to put it out earlier than I wanted. The plant was taller than a protective Wall-O-Waters, so I delayed covering it. I think I was trying to figure out how to protect the plant. The poor tomato got so beat by the wind that it damaged all it’s leaves. I clipped the top leader, so that the plant would fit under it’s protection and wondered if it would recover.  It did!  It’s a tasty small-medium size tomato.  Most definitely, I will try to grow Bloody Butcher again.  But there is no need to start it in March.  Maybe late April.  It grows fast and sets tomatoes every few inches up it’s stem.  To the left is a Black Krim. The following picture was taken  from inside my little garden house.
I take the glass and screen off this particular window. Otherwise, bees and insects get trapped.
During a trip to Denver in May, I bought a Cherokee Purple tomato.  The plant grows tall. This tomato is almost ripe.
Burpees Big Boy is almost 7 ft tall and growing taller.  The fruit is red, beautiful and delicious.
Burpees Big Boy. I want lots of tomatoes.  I “put-up” my own healthy tomatoes. 
Mortgage Lifter produces a large tasty purplish colored tomato on a tall big plant.
Sugary is a very sweet small tomato.  These don’t make it to the kitchen table.  The worker  deserves her reward.
Jetsetter, Early Girl, Silver Fir Tree, Black Krim and Bloody Butcher all provided very early tomatoes.  Silver Fir Tree should have been planted in a pot. It branches bend down. It would look great in a pot.
I believe this one is Park Improved Whopper. It was a last minute purchase.   This tomato grows neatly and tall from 2 main stems. The fruits look like something from the grocery store. Beautiful!  Soon we will be testing it for flavor.  I also have a Tree Tomato, shared by a friend.  It was tiny when planted and is still catching up to the rest of the garden.  I am happy with all the tomato plants.   Our spring was cold and wet. Our summer has been hot and dry with several days over 100 degrees. Now, our weather is returning to our normal 80s, cooling nicely during the night. Although yesterday, we did hit 100 degrees.  Starting tomatoes indoor under lights makes all the difference. The link to “Bloody Butcher” explains the basics.  I hope you too are enjoying summers bounty.


  1. Gloria, your tomatoes look wonderful! Mine were doing great until we hit that stretch of high 90's and 100. I used to start tomatoes under lights but did not start mine this year. Maybe I will do this next year as my tomatoes basically stopped producing when the heat hit.


  2. Gloria, your tomatoes look much better than ours this year. We've had some very strange weather this summer, and many of our heirlooms are struggling. Usually tomatoes grow like weeds here. Your Cherokee Purples look wonderful!

  3. Gloria, your entire arbor area is a vegetable gardener's dream come true. I love what you did there, right down to the flagstones!

  4. Gloria, your tomato patch is wonderful! I am jealous! This year is a bit better for my tomatoes than two previous years, but still, we just don't have enough warmth for them. August, fortunately, is better than June and July. The size of your fruit is unbelievable! You should be very proud!

  5. Your tomatoes look so happy and healthy, and the garden really teaming with success. I am envious. How beautiful. I wonder how you escape the pests and diseases!

  6. Gloria, I always love to see photos of your arbor, and it looks so cool and inviting at this time of year. What a great place to grow tomatoes, and they look delicious. -Jean

  7. Wow! Your tomatoes look quite yummy! I feel I've sacrificed more of mine to the elements than ever before...

  8. Congratulations for your pending harvest. I had to give up my veggie garden and house during my divorce last year so I pine for your type of results. My favorite variety is the mid-season Celebrity.
    Our tomato growing growing guru here in Kansas City is one of our TV news anchors who told me about Celebrity which became a column in our local paper. You can find it in my favorites section on my blog. He swears by the side dressing of two hands full of soybean meal pellets around each plant on Labor Day to keep all varieties producing until the end of the season. Maybe worth a try if you can source the pellets. Good of luck with your crop,

  9. Hi Eileen - I picked those first tomatoes and got them canned or frozen. We have lots of green. I hope frost holds off a long time.