Salsa! Sauce! Soup!

IMG_2682It has been a hell of a summer for tomatoes! This year I grew a new variety that I am pretty sure I will grow forever more. Last year, a friend gave me a tomato from her garden and after eating it, I had to follow up and find out where it was from.  Her husband had ordered the seeds from  They were the Opalka tomato with origins in Poland.  I grew them myself this year and thought they were outstanding.  They are a bit oddly shaped (unbelievably, I do not have a picture).  Several people actually asked me if they were peppers.  These tomatoes had thick meaty walls and hardly any goopy juice or seeds. The flavor was great and each plant produced abundantly. I’ve made sauce, salsa and tomato soup which I canned and several batches of fresh brushetta. Each year I tend to grow several tomato varieties but I’ve found that the smaller paste style ones just don’t get used up.  I will narrow down my selection but certainly include these polish ones.

My tomato plants also suffered early season tomato blight, which is very common in this area.  I had a ton of tomatoes in spite of this but I had to spend some extra time with my plants.  First off, I needed to remove the diseased leaves.  They are easily identified by the yellowing with small brown spots.  The disease tends to infect the lower leaves first.  Once these leaves are removed, it allows greater air flow between the remaining leaves, slowing the spread of infection.  Second, I am even more careful to water at the root level.  Soggy leaves are bad. Water to the root is good.  Third, I added a bit of fertilizer that had a lower nitrogen level.  This is good practice anyway for tomatoes.  Nitrogen promotes leafy growth, which is good for lettuce and cabbage but not so much when you want actual fruit.

Categories: Garden, Other Stuff

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