Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tomato Haircuts

After comparing my tomatoes lacking maturity to those of bloggers in the region, and the peeks I get into neighborhood gardens as I drive, I decided I needed to act. I did some research about the proper pruning of tomatoes and found a article on
I had to wait for the tomato plant to dry, which has been a difficult task this week, but finally Saturday we had some partly sunny weather and the plants dried off. I took a knife to them, chopping off all the tops of the growth and pruning back any suckers that did not already have fruit on them. The picture above is after the haircut. I hope this will cause the plants to ripen the fruit a little faster. They are still quite large plants. In observing others' tomato plants on a walk afterward, I noticed many have a lot less foliage than mine. Currently there are 3 paste tomatoes that are beginning to ripen, and this one is the farthest along. Maybe by the end of the week we'll have our first tomato.
While pruning, I found this guy hanging out. I know it's a tomato hornworm caterpillar but I didn't have the heart to crush him. I really couldn't see any evidince of his damage. Cabage moth caterpillars are another story. I don't have any trouble getting rid of them.
Also, as a result of the very wet weather I found that my last bunch of garlic was molding on the outer layer rather than drying. The leaves were molding too so I decided it was best not to braid them. I stripped the outer layers and chopped the stems, and the most convenient place I could find for them to continue curing was this blue vase. I think they look quite nice.

1 comment:

Dan said...

The tomato hornworms are rather amazing looking creatures and to be completely honest they kind of freak me out. I am guessing if you have one it shouldn't do much damage but if there are many more hidden then they can stripe the plants pretty fast. I have heard some people use a small black light at night to find them in the plants, I have never tried this but I have also never had one on my plants. That I know of at least.

I have just started to pick tomatoes over the last week, they seemed to take forever this year to ripen. I think I might fallow along with you and do some trimming off the top of the plants. I already trimmed the suckers in the spring but that certainly did not stop the tops from growing over 6' long!