The View from the Mountain tomatoes continue to make very good progress. I saw the first blooms on May 20th. As of this morning, May 31, every plant but the two smaller ones has a few blooms. The cool nights and warm days are perfect for setting fruit. Once a week I have been feeding the plants a small amount (16 fluid ounces) of the Tomato version of Miracle Gro.
Yesterday, I staked the tomatoes. I like bamboo because it lasts for more than one year. The typical tomato stakes usually warp so badly that they can only be used for one year.
I have used everything from baler twine, twist ties, to string to tie up tomato plants. Last year I found this Velcro like tape specifically designed for tying up plants. It's great because because you can easily adjust it and give the plants more room to grow. This is a pretty good photo of it. As you can see it is wide enough to not cut the plants.
We're on the count down now. There are thirty four days before July 4th which is my goal for the first ripe tomato. Hopefully we will get some heat soon. The plants are off to a great start. You can check how much they have grown by visiting the first post. "The Tomato Ritual" or "The Tomato Update" which was done a on May 23rd.
Growing tomatoes is an old southern tradition and a great way to cut down on the grocery bills in July and August. You can rotate between plain tomato sandwiches and BLTs. I can remember having BLTs for breakfast when I was a teenager. I have another tomato crop growing at my daughter Katie's house just north of Charlotte, NC. So far she hasn't need socks to keep the deer away, but she doesn't live on the side of a mountain like we do. If Katie gets a ripe tomato before I do, it will be clear proof that her Grandma Blanche's genes might be showing up. If that is the case, I will cede the role of chief tomato grower. My mother was one of the great little old southern lady tomato growers of all times.