Late tomatoes picked early.
One of the reasons I still have tomatoes in October is that the transplants went into the ground in July, ensuring an extended season.
These tomatoes were picked early and green, but with a little color. The only reason to pick them early is to keep the squirrels away from the last of the home-grown tomatoes. Pick tomatoes any time after they have a little color and they will continue to ripen.
I am not a fan of fried green tomatoes, or any fried food. So, picking tomatoes in hope of home-grown heirlooms is our preference. Later, when the frost warning is posted, I’ll gather green tomatoes for a green tomato salsa as the 2017 tomato finale.
By mid October, garden tomatoes can be long gone, especially in drought years. We are lucky to have tomatoes in the garden, in containers and even a dwarf tomato in planter boxes on the deck. Most are eaten fresh, but the cherry tomatoes go in the dehydrator.
Dehydrated cherry tomato halves are my version of the too-pricey gourmet specialty, sun-dried tomatoes. The sweet and intensely flavored tomato bits will go into soups, sauces and chili this winter.
It is time to start collecting seed from of my biggest and best tomatoes. The pantry is full of salsa, pasta sauces, tomato soup, and pickled tomatoes for winter use. I have grown, canned, dried and frozen every tomato our family will eat this year.
Plus, read Ten tips for the biggest tomatoes.