Red, Ripe Tomatoes!

It’s been kind of touch and go with the tomatoes lately. They were gorgeous – bushy, bright green plants with an abundance of green tomatoes on them. But we’ve been having some strange weather over the last few weeks. It’s been excessively hot with extremely high humidity (often around 80%!) and a lot of thunderstorms. We’ve gotten a lot of rain at weird times, so the soil just wasn’t drying out in between storms. The fact that the tomatoes are in pots only compounded the problem – the poor things easily became water logged. We didn’t even want to photograph them, they looked that sad. All wilty and half dead looking, and then the heat started to scorch the leaves…

But, we moved them under cover for a few days to keep the excess rain off them, and husband checked them twice a day to pour off excess water. And we even drilled extra drainage holes around the perimeter of each pot to further along the drying out process. They’re looking pretty rough for wear still, but I think they’ll survive. We only lost a few of the green tomatoes to blossom end rot. We think we’ll actually need to water them purposefully tomorrow actually, since the soil is about normal again.

I told husband that in the worst case scenario, we could harvest the green tomatoes and make up a batch of fried green tomatoes for lunch one day. No great loss without some small gain. But lo and behold, despite all the stress, these tough little plants managed to do a little something for us –

Two perfectly red, ripe tomatoes! Now, we did have to cheat a bit to get them- at the first blush of pink, husband picked them and brought them in to ripen on the counter. Amazing how tomatoes can do that, huh? Sure, they won’t be quite as luscious as the vine ripened variety, but we had to be on the offensive. After that marauding squirrel stole our only two ripe strawberries this year, we weren’t about to take chances on the tomatoes. On a related note, the little bugger pilfered one of our sweet peppers, took a bite out of it, and promptly abandoned the rest of it on top of the gate on his way to back to his tree. I really hate that squirrel, but I’ll save my squirrel rage for another day. After all, we beat him to the tomatoes! I’m thinking we’ll have them as they deserve to be eaten in the summer – sliced and lightly salted. A perfect afternoon snack.