Monday, August 02, 2010

Staking the wild tomatoes

Our tomatoes have been a wee bit neglected - we love tomatoes and have planted many varieties as usual (probably over-doing it, but there are just so many tantalizing descriptions in the seed catalogues that we can't resist!).  So, we have been putting off the staking and tying up of leggy tomato vines, and this weekend it was really overdue to get this job done.  Tomatoes have been sprawling out into all our garden paths and impeding anyone trying to pass through, but fortunately, with the assistance of my little helper (who loved the idea of ripping up an old bedsheet into strips for gently tying the plants up), things have been tidied up a little and we can actually see the bounty of ripening beauties that were hidden away under all those leaves.  We've even moved some container plantings into the sunny side yard, to completely isolate them from other varieties and gain more growing space.  The first to ripen for us this season were again the Yukon Reds (early mid-sized), and next the golden nugget, green zebra, Isis candy (varigated cherry), and orange sungold cherry.  I'd say these are all keepers for next year, so hopefully we'll manage to save true seeds of each of these.  We've tried to plant the varieties far enough away from each other to avoid natural cross-pollination, but in a backyard garden (even a big one) you can't be sure.  Books say that you can plant varieties as close to 10 feet apart (minimum), but you still have various factors like bee pollination and wind movement that will be out of your control.

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