Saturday, July 25, 2009

Last summer tomatoes

I've had pretty good luck with tomatoes, particularly my Cherokee Purple heirlooms, during this beastly summer because they're naturally shaded by a 65-year-old American Elm tree. But even these shaded and watered tomatoes have now finally succumbed to spider mites, blight, and wooly aphids.

I harvested some of the larger green tomatoes that were surrounded by spider mites' webs, then cut out all the most diseased branches and left a few small green tomatoes on the now almost-naked vines.

I also cut back (by about a third) the two green zebras and one sugar sweetie I grew from seed that never set fruit in hopes they'll produce this Fall. Two (green) Black Krims are still hanging onto fairly healthy vines, and I can't wait to compare their taste to the Cherokee Purples!

black krim

Not that I'm counting--ahem--but it looks like today will be Austin's 38th day of triple-digit heat this year.


TexasDeb said...

38 days. Yikes plus. I was reading an article about folks who voluntarily summer without using A/C. None of them living in Texas, naturally. I can't imagine not using A/C at all - we do try to keep the temps set reasonably high during the day and mostly cool things to sleepable levels at night.

Your tomatoes still look so good - I have total tomato envy at this point.

Iris said...


105 again today. No way I could live here without A/C, and my Siberian Husky definitely couldn't. I recently put out an electric fan on the floor and miss husky parks herself about 4" from it most of the day...

Annie in Austin said...

The black tomatoes are so pretty, Iris - hope your plants get a second wind for fall. My Black Krims were a flop this year - maybe I'll try again next year (if there is a next year!)
Am not feeling too confident of that right now but might feel different if El Nino comes ;-]

renee (reneesroots) said...

Iris, your cherokee purples are beautiful!

I'm mostly down to juliets and sun golds now. Couple of brandywine plants still have green tomatoes, but spidermites are moving in.