Wednesday, June 1, 2011

happy tomato report

Black Prince, Green Cherokee, Lemon Boy, Black Krim, Sungolds,  Habanero, Serranos
Despite the fact that Austin's drought has returned to the most extreme level, "exceptional"--we had two 100-degree days last week--we've managed to grow some darn pretty tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. I'm thrilled, especially because the Sungolds are the only variety I've grown before.

The Black Prince tomatoes have been the most prolific and are fairly tasty, although their skins are a little tough. The less prolific Black Krims are my idea of the almost-perfect heirloom: juicy, rich, a little smoky, a little sweet, somewhat tangy, with tender skin. Green Cherokee is tied for almost perfection with the Black Krim, just a little tangier.

The Lemon Boys are prolific and more acidic, less sweet. Today I picked my first precious Cherokee Purple from a plant given to me by the tomato queen, Renee Studebaker. It's ripening in the safety of my kitchen.
Juicy, thin-skinned Armenian cucumbers
Contender and Tavera bush beans
first-ever okra flower
I'm tempted to plant more okra next year just because the flowers are so beautiful! The squirrels have discovered the newer tomato beds and stolen a few green Lemon Boys, so we'll try the bird netting again this weekend. The drought seems to have chased off most of the leaf-footed stinkbugs at least.


Annie in Austin said...

Happy Tomato Time, Iris! What a great looking crop. A few stinkbugs here, but nothing like last year.

I'm totally jealous of your Black Krims - squirrels got some while they were still green. We renetted the plants and have hope we'll taste one eventually. Did your Sungolds reseed? We had a volunteer, nice surprise!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Iris said...

Annie--Glad you have had fewer stinkbugs this year, too! Our Sungolds didn't reseed; I bought a new starter, but maybe this one will reseed. Cool you got a volunteer! Fingers crossed you get to eat at least one Black Krim.

Michele said...

We've had some very HOT weather as well, but we're turning out cucumbers daily. I've been pleasantly surprised. However, the tomatoes are taking longer to get ripe than I would have thought. How long does it take them to ripen? We live in GA.

Iris said...

Michele--My tomatoes seem to be taking longer to ripen than I remember in the past few years. I think the ripening time depends on the variety, and weather/water conditions.

Lancashire rose said...

Super crop Iris. You really seem to have a knack of growing vegetables successfully. I never seem to be able to grow cucumbers.

Iris said...

Lancashire rose--Thanks! I'm thrilled w/this spring's crop. I lucked out on the cuke. It's an Armenian cuke that I got a seedling swap. First time I've ever tried it, but I'm pleased with it. It's a keeper.

Bill Smith said...

I am a big fan of okra flowers too.