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October tomatoes

By Penny Stine

Look at all the pretty, multi-colored tomatoes I’m picking right now. Yes, right now, with just a week or less before the garden will most likely freeze.
Why, tomato plants? Why couldn’t you do this two months ago? Not that I don’t appreciate your bounty now, but I really wanted tomatoes in August. Maybe even July.
I guess it’s my own fault, since I killed all the tomato plants that were planted in the prime spots. This plant isn’t in a bad spot, but it doesn’t get any sun at all until about 11 a.m., and then it’s full sun until 5 or so. It was shaded in the early summer by pea plants, and I think that stunted it’s early growth. It’s got lots of big, green tomatoes on it now.
I took these pics last night, right before Howie and I took a walk. Howie appears uncomfortable sitting next to these plants, since normally, I discourage him from hanging out in the garden.
The plants he’s next to were given to me by a co-worker, who had started them from seed and never found space in her garden to plant them. I think it was June before she gave them to me and I got them in the ground. They get a fair amount of shade, so it’s no surprise they weren’t bearing ripe tomatoes in July, or even August. I think I picked a couple in September, but when tomato plants don’t get enough direct sunlight, they take a lot longer.
Next year, I will treat my soil kindly and will have healthy tomato plants in the sunniest spot in the garden.  

And Saturday night, we're eating pasta with fresh tomato sauce.