August 29, 2009

The Sad Story of Tomato Year 2009

Cosmonaut Volkov


The very chilly and wet weather that we had until early August did terrible damage to my tomato plants. The transplants looked wonderful, with nice thick stems because I'd made sure to put them into larger pots as they grew so their roots would happily spread out. But then the weather just didn't warm up; there were days in the 50s and 60s, which should have been 70s and 80s. This is great for greens and cabbages, but warm weather crops struggled. Tomatoes are especially susceptible to early blight (see the dead leaves on the Cosmonauts above), but usually the plants grow vigorously enough to outrun it. Sungold, that intensely flavorful cherry tomato, always seems to manage this. But all my paste tomato plants, which are determinates––Romas––are dead. Yes, there are some red tomatoes, and I'll be able to make a few pints of sauce for the freezer, but I won't have enough for canning. Last year's rainy summer, though warm, also stunted the tomato crop. Sometimes I worry that climate change is bringing this very wet weather to the northeast and that it's here to stay.

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