By Sandy Swegel
So more of them will feed you. Last week we talked about being on the home stretch for the vegetable garden (at least here in Zone 5.) Lots of plants are super stressed this year by early rains and now intense heat. In Colorado, some farmers are only now getting their first tomatoes. But unless your tomato plants already have too many tomatoes on them, this is a great time to boost their final production with a good liquid organic fertilizer…either a balanced nitrogen-phosphorus mix, a bloom, or kelp. There’s still time to get more tomatoes and bigger tomatoes, so give the plants a reward for making it so far. I even fertilized the zucchini…our delayed season means even the zucchini are slow.
We’ve had blistering heat that has sun-scalded our basil and some greens. I’m doing a light feed to these plants too as compensation for all the suffering they’ve had to go through this year. Some people throw some row cover over greens when the sun is intense to give a little protection.
But tomatoes don’t need any protection from the sun as long as they have consistent water.
One other tomato season task: Do a taste test while the tomatoes are at their peak. It’s amazing how differently the same variety will taste from year to year….and sometimes you’re the one who has changed and you find you like some flavors more than others. Organize a testing with friends who bring their varieties, and you’ll have a fine summer party. So far Black Krim is still my favorite (in big tomatoes; Red Cherries are still my favorite eat off the vine taste.