Tag Archives: basil

The Last Tomato

 Tomato reviews

A big green Omar’s Lebanese tomato will ripen to a juicy pink, almost red color. The last tomato of the season is also the biggest one of the year. As the green tomatoes slowly ripen, we’ll have home-grown tomatoes for at least a week.

The best of Dr. Carolyn Male’s extensive 1995 heirloom tomato trials, Omar’s Lebanese Tomato.

This is the day a gardener runs out to the garden gathering up the last vegetable remnants of the season. The kitchen counter is heaped with any tomato with a touch of color. They will ripen gradually, depending how ripe they are when picked.

Garden season is nearly done for me. There’s still sweet potatoes to dig and garlic to plant. The stars of the garden, tomatoes, herbs and peppers are finished in the garden.

Best Big Tomato

Omar’s Lebanese

Omar’s Lebanese is an heirloom variety from Omar Saab of Lebanon. This pink indeterminate grows big tomatoes on heavy vines that must be strongly supported or staked.

An heirloom grown by farmers in a Lebanese hill town, it is a juicy and meaty beefsteak type tomato. The regular leaf plant produces  irregularly shaped 1-pound+ tomatoes mid to late season.

Some of the tomatoes in my garden suffered from blight. But Omar’s Lebanese was producing hefty fruit on healthy vines right up until the freeze.

Pick all tomatoes with a hint of color. Extend the tomato season by a week or two.

It’s been a great run, home-grown tomatoes June to October.

 

 

 

 

Best Dwarf Tomato

 Bush 506 Container Tomato

Bush 506 is drought tolerant and blemish free.

Bush 506 dwarf plant, full-sized tomatoes.

The earliest tomato and one of the latest tomatoes on the deck is the Bush 506 Container Tomato. This dwarf bush tomato plant will only reach 18-24″ tall and has a medium-large sized red juicy fruits.

They are great for container growing as the plants stay compact and have thick, upright stems producing 9 oz. fruits. Bush 506 is a good choice for dwarf size plants that produces full-sized tomatoes.

Bush 506 produced the earliest and latest tomatoes of the season.

Best new cocktail tomato

Red Racer F1, cocktail tomato

Red Racer, perfect red, round, tomatoes

On June 7, I planted 3 tomato plants sent by Harris seed. I planted the Red Racer 2018 AAS Edible – Vegetable Winner. Red Racer, a cocktail size tomato, producing small, round red fruits.

Although larger than cherry or grape tomatoes, cocktail tomatoes are a smaller variety tomato. These round, red, blemish free cocktail tomatoes have a good sweet/acid balance.

The compact determinate plants produce fruit a week earlier than comparison plants. They thrived in the planter boxes on a deck in the full sun. Red Racer is a great choice for small spaces and container gardens.

My Garden Post Page

My Garden Post – I’m growing a whole vegetable garden on the deck in just 4 square feet. That’s 2′ x 2′.

Get Your Own My Garden Post!

 

Here’s how:

  • You can buy My Garden Post from this Oh! Grow Up Blog. We both benefit. You save money and I get credit for your order. Use this code: 50offMGP at checkout to get $50 worth of savings for My Garden Post with Drip Irrigation.

My Garden Post sent the original post to me free of charge so I could demonstrate how easy it is to assemble, install the irrigation, and grow lots of food in a tiny space.

My Garden Post  Use the coupon code: 50offMGP 


The newest report on My Garden Post:

 

Vertical Gardening

Read about Vertical Gardening

Never get on your knees to garden. No bending. Self watering.

mixed lettuce, radish and green onions.

mixed lettuce, radish and green onions.

Easy Gardening

Beautiful! All planted and growing green and lush. – April 30, 2015

Spring harvest. Cool season crops lettuce, spring onions, radish.

Spring harvest. Cool season crops lettuce, spring onions, radish.

Thinning and trimming  lettuce kept them going and producing non bitter lettuce until mid June.

Thinning and trimming lettuce kept them going and producing non bitter lettuce until mid June.

How I got started: April 1, 2015

Small Space Gardens

Starter plants in My Garden Post.

I’m growing a whole vegetable garden on the deck in just 4 square feet. That’s 2′ x 2′.

Put MGP together in 10 minutes, no tools needed. Bring a tape measure and a pair of simple scissors will  set up the best and easiest to operate

 

  My Garden Post

  • You can buy My Garden Post from this Oh! Grow Up Blog. We both benefit. You save money and I get credit for your order. Use this code: 50offMGP at checkout to get $50 worth of savings for My Garden Post with Drip Irrigation.

My Garden Post sent the original post to me free of charge so I could demonstrate how easy it is to assemble, install the irrigation, and grow lots of food in a tiny space.

My Garden Post  Use the coupon code: 50offMGP 

No Container Clutter and No Dirty Knees Video

Raised beds and high hopes

Tomatoes

I have raised beds and high hopes for Southeast Missouri garden, zone 6A. We are still a couple of weeks away from the juicy giant tomato of my dreams.

“Do you want a tomato sandwich?” I yelled out the back door last summer.

“Tomato sandwich? You mean without the Bacon?” Jules replied.

This was an un paralleled act of generosity on my part. I was offering to share the first big red, ripe tomato of the summer.

Jules won’t come in for a lunch-time tomato sandwich.  He will come in for a Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.

Let’s share our tomato favorites throughout the season. Leave a comment, please.

Indigo Rose Saladette tomato. photo PBH

I have a new raised bed that is 4 ft square and I plan to see just how much I can produce in this small space. My point is that we can have fresh home-grown produce in the space of an apartment balcony, or a suburban front porch.

I’m growing great tomatoes in a 5 gallon bucket. Plus, there is room to tuck in a basil plant, some thyme or, some chives.

I am also growing a brand new tomato, Indigo Blue. It is a saladette tomato, meaning bigger than a cherry tomato but smaller than a Celebrity. Saladette is a GIANT Cherry or a really small beefsteak.

All my garden seed is from:

Renee’s Garden

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed

Nichols Seeds

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

How to stop bugs from eating my garden

I started a giant pot of herbs from seed. No sooner had the herb seedlings ememerged, than a bug began feasting on them.

Usually, herbs don’t have insect problems. The grown basil plants, just 10 feet away, were not bothered. I used Insectisidal Soap and two days later, there was new growth. I lightly sprayed insecticidal soap again, just in case new eggs should hatch. Safer Soap, is a contact killer, so I lightly sprayed insecticidal soap again, just in case new eggs should hatch. I’ll keep an eye on this pot for two reasons.

Basil

Italian basil seedlings. photo by PBH

It’s hot hot hot and plants in containers are very vulnerable drought. And I want to keep an eye on the container to stay ahead of any reinfestation.

A curious note: the lemon basil growing in the sale pot, was never subjected to insect damage. Safer has a FaceBook page.

Heirlooms in the Herb Garden

The word ‘heirloom’ harkens back to a nostalgic time—when life was sweeter, tomatoes were redder and folks actually used the word harken.

One of the best lemony herbs

Open-pollinated, or parent plants that are naturally pollinated, heirloom plants produce heirloom seed. The new generation of seeds will produce plants that are identical to its parent plants.

Many folks say that to be classified as an heirloom the cultivar has to be at least 50 or 100 years old. Others say before World War II ended. (The end of World War II marked the industrialization of agriculture and widespread hybrid cultivation.)

Heirloom plants have proven to be more heat tolerant, drought tolerant, insect resistant and have more vitamins and minerals. If they didn’t have any of these desirable characteristics, we wouldn’t grow them and soon they wouldn’t exist.

Mrs. Burns’ lemon basil (Ocimum basilicum citriodora ) is an heirloom (pre 1940) basil grown by Mrs. Burns in southwestern New Mexico. This lemon basil is taller and has larger leaves than other lemon basils. It also has an intense lemon flavor and fragrance.

Read more: http://www.herbcompanion.com/blogs/blog.aspx?blogid=2890&tag=Patsy Bell Hobson#ixzz1Ij5k9jME

Book Review: Tomatoes Garlic Basil

PBHobson2 Patsy Bell Hobson is a garden writer and a travel writer. For her, it’s a great day when she can combine the two things she enjoys most: gardening and traveling. Visit her personal blog at and read her travel writings.

In my Zone 6 garden there are always three kinds of tomatoes: a paste tomato for sauces, a cherry tomato, because these small tomatoes are always the first to ripen (and later, when the big tomatoes are producing, these small ones will be dried), and a big, meaty tomato for eating fresh (and for bragging rights). I love tomatoes and when I saw Tomatoes Garlic Basil (St. Lynn’s Press, 2010), I judged the book by its cover. It is beautiful. Eventually, I was tempted to open the paperback tribute to the garden and kitchen’s favorite produce and I’m glad that I did. The book only gets better!

5-21-2010-5
Tomatoes, garlic and basil are the holy trinity of the vegetable garden.

Doug Oster’s Tomatoes Garlic Basil is a love letter about our favorite home garden produce. If you are one of the millions of backyard gardeners who grow tomatoes, this book is for you. Tomatoes are the star of the show. And, just like most gardens, basil and garlic have strong supporting roles in the book that magnify the magic of home grown tomatoes.

The book will not overwhelm you with soil science and plant genetics. It will give you some good advice about soil preparation and plant selection. The pleasure of reading this book grows as Oster offers us many choices with these three simple garden staples.

Like most gardeners, Oster is generous in sharing his experience and recipes. If you are new to gardening, try the simple combination of these three plants. He also encourages people who do not have garden space and shares some planting options. Each chapter begins with a garden or food quote that ties into the chapter. In Chapter 2, I was inspired by “Summer Celebrations” and looked forward to incorporating some of his ideas as I create new traditions for my own family. And by the time you get to the great advice in Chapter 9, which is about soil preparation and weed control, Oster will feel like an old neighbor

Oster is still on the big adventure of trying some different tomato plants every year as well as growing his favorites. It’s a good idea and you will never run out of tomato varieties to try. After reading this book you will be able to speak about basil and garlic as well as tomatoes with any home gardener.

This book would make a great gift for either a new or experienced gardener, as well as for the recipients of your produce bounty. (I recommend you buy the print version to enjoy the artful photographs.) The only difficult part is deciding whether to put this book with my cookbooks or on the shelf with the gardening books. I decided to take the book into the kitchen and try the recipes with my own fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil.

I enjoyed the humorous and serious gardening stories and there are plenty of artsy photographs throughout the book. I will definitely put Doug’s recipes and gardening tips to use this summer.

5-21-2010-3
Cherry tomatoes are heavy producers.

Book Details

Tomatoes Garlic Basil: The Simple Pleasures of Growing and Cooking Your Garden’s Most Versatile Veggies by Doug Oster
• Paperback: 272 pages.
• Publisher: St. Lynn’s Press; 1st edition, ISBN-10: 0981961517 and ISBN-13: 978-0981961514
• See Doug Oster’s Blog at http://www.dougoster.com/books/ to read “My favorite story from Tomatoes Garlic Basil.”

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