Friday, July 23, 2010

Home Again

I got home from vacation late Wednesday. Did I take my luggage inside? No. I went right to look at my tomatoes. Caroline came out to say hi while I was looking. She hadn't harvested any. She said they weren't ripe yet. Well actually there were some that were ripe. They just weren't red tomatoes. I had some chocolate cherry and some GabrielleAnn, which is orange. So it looked like they weren't quite ripe to an untrained eye, but they were.

A couple of others were starting to get close but weren't quite there yet.

Principe Borghese



Romeo surprised me. I had the impression that they got a lot bigger than they are now and that they would be later, but nope. It looks like the first one will come in before the Heinz which is an early determinant.

The tomato plants grew huge too. I cut a lot of branches off to keep them under control. I tried to keep the gates open for my neighbors to walk through. The cherry tomatoes in the above photo have topped the fence. I'm not sure how tall the fence is, but I'm guessing 6' which is way above the tops of their cages.

Then came the bad news. I've been checking the UMass Extension Service regularly for news to see if late blight is showing up again (in a normal year it hits in September). They found it in Hadley, Mass on a farm. I'm guessing it is only a matter of time now.


  1. Oh, no. Not two years in a row! I certainly hope that late blight misses your gorgeous tomato plants.

    Welcome home!

  2. I think that all of us gardeners do the same thing when we get home....go check the garden!

    Your tomatoes look great!! I hope that we all get to enjoy a lot of tomatoes this year. Hopefully, the late blight will not be as bad as last year!

  3. Welcome home. Enjoy the tomatoes. I lost one plant to late blight but I am swimming in tomatoes right now so not upset. Doesn't seem to have gotten to any of the others.

  4. Your tomatos look great! Hopefully there won't be any signs of blight.

  5. Welcome home. I saw that about late blight as well. Hopefully it won't make it out to us. So far everything looks healthy. I have the usual touch of early blight, but that isn't a big deal.

  6. Tomatoes look good. I hope that late blight stays away. Boy it is nerve-wracking to know it is near though.

  7. You're just like me! When we came home from our last vacation, I was out in the garden with a flashlight. (I wasn't alone: The girls were out in the chicken coop with a flashlight too.)

    I hate to pass along the bad news...But I cut a tomato plant out of my garden today: Late blight had gone rampant on it since yesterday. So discouraging after last year's siege. It was one of only two I bought -- and didn't start myself. When will I learn?

  8. That's definitely the sign of a true gardener! Oh gosh, I hope the blight doesn't get your tomatoes again!!

  9. That's so funny -- I do/did the same thing. It's hard to explain how you want your garden cared for to someone not as intimate in it. Maybe we need to set up a passionate gardener network/housesitting co op.

    I'm so sorry about the blight. There's going to have to be some careful breeding done, I bet. Crossed fingers for your beautiful plants.

    Oh, also, we should market a tomato machete just for cherry ones.

  10. I have been worrying/fretting that late blight would show itself again this year. The spores are out there from last year's scourge and we have had a particularly cool and damp summer - making us very vulnerable to fungus and blight problems. So far, everything is holding it's own really well. I have some early blight and some other fungus things going on - but so far no late blight.

    Your tomatoes are looking gorgeous and what a nice bounty of harvestable ones you have already! I want to tell you that the Market Miracle tomatoes are doing beautifully in my garden. Next to my Siletz tomatoes, they are the heaviest fruiting tomatoes so far in the garden. Thank you so much for sharing that seed with me. :D

  11. Annie's Granny, Well I was told that it rained about everyday when I was gone and so far has rained everyday since I got home so sadly I think the blight will travel, but I'm hoping.

    Robin, I hope so too. Last year I kept up with it. I checked the plants everyday and cut of chunks of them when I saw it. I'll have to keep a close eye on them again.

    johanna, I hope mine start really producing too. Usually I get my bumper crop in mid August so I can only hope.

    meemsnyc, thanks

    The Mom, I've got some disease other than late blight too. I have issues telling all of them apart since there are so many that look so similar, but I treat them all the same anyway. I always take off the bad leaves and toss.

    GrafixMuse, It is. But all I can think is that if it was found in one spot it is probably much more wide spread already. I've got my fingers crossed.

    June, Oh how sad. I grew all mine from seed this year. My neighbor buys them all though. I'm starting to think I need to plant some of the late bight resistant tomatoes next year.

    EG, thanks. I hope so too.

    Stefaneener, I do hope the breeders are working on the issue. There aren't very many resistant tomatoes right now. lol yes I do need a machete sometimes. I use scissors. My family laughs at me because there is always at least one pair in the dishwasher (it is how I sterilize them).

    kitsapFG, I've had other fungal issues too, but nothing as destructive as late blight. I'm glad the Market Miracle is doing so well. This year it isn't doing as well for me. It has been so abnormally hot. I think it really likes the cooler weather. It is hard trialing tomatoes this year since our weather hasn't been anywhere close to normal.

  12. Welcome home, Daphne! Hope you had a great vacation. And oh, my, look at your tomato plants! Here I thought mine were big. Wow!!! Blight, blight, keep away...

  13. Late Blight....ack! Here's hoping it stays away.