Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tomato Plant Prunning Silliness

My tomato plant obsession continues ...

Before Prunning
The other day I came across a video showing how to prune tomato plants. I knew that the "sucker" branches at the bottom of tomato plants should be removed. This video, however, says that once your tomato flowers are set, all branches that don't have flowers should be removed. This apparently allows the plant's energy to go to the ripening tomatoes. I decided to give it a try.

After Prunning
Now for my silliness (idiocy?) - for some reason I thought he said remove the leaves on non-flowering branches! So I spent an unreasonable amount of time trimming off leaves instead of branches - should have had my computer with me to look at the video while I was doing the pruning. I was thinking that pruning the branches of leaves was ridiculous - and it was!

Not sure if I went far enough or too far. Still, it did give the plants more breathing room and already the green tomatoes of a couple of days ago are red or almost red.

Here is the video - and remember, prune the non-flowering branches, not the non-flowering branches' leaves!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What to do with your fresh tomatoes now that you’ve peeled them

Make a tomato sauce of course!

Here’s a quick tomato sauce recipe.

Into a food processor, put the following:

18-20 of your peeled, and if so desired your seeded, fresh tomatoes
1-2 onions quartered
2-4 peeled garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1-2 tbl. fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Process all ingredients to puree.
  2. Transfer to a pot.
  3. Bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer, on low, for 2 hours.
  4. Stir occasionally.

Serve over your favourite pasta.

Buon Appetito!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Why I've Not Been Blogging Much

A Spring Memory - Muscari
I’ve not been blogging much this summer. Though I didn’t completely loose my job, I was made into a part time employee.  You would think I'd have more time to garden and blog, but no. I’ve been spending my spare time trying to find freelance graphic design/writing/marketing communications work (this is what I do when I’m not gardening or blogging about gardening!) to make up for the decrease in income.

I’d appreciate your help. Please click on the sponsored links, to the right, if you’re interested in their products. Or, if you’re thinking of buying a book, I hope you’ll buy it through my Amazon affiliate link. Thanks for your help!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My First Crop of San Marzano Tomatoes are Ready!

Growing the San Marzano Tomato
This year I decided to plant the San Marzano variety of tomato. I chose this variety of tomato as they are favoured by Chefs world-wide and are apparently the best when used in tomato sauce.

My first harvest of lucious San Marzano Tomatoes
I’ve been pleased with the results. I planted four plants and each have yielded an impressive amount of tomatoes with more to come. The first harvest gave me about 30 tomatoes.

I’ve read they’re also one of the easiest to peel.

The thought of peeling a bunch of tomatoes usually daunts me so I don’t bother. This year, however, I decided to give it try. I read that the San Marzano variety are one of the easiest types of tomato to peel and it’s true!

See how to peel tomatoes
Watch my video to see how easy it is to remove their skins. I noticed when previewing that the complete video screen is not showing - have to make some design adjustments. Until then, if the complete video screen doesn't show you can view it on YouTube.

You can also see full instructions below, good for any type of tomato that needs to be peeled.

Instructions to peel tomatoes
  1. Cut an ‘X’ into the top of the tomatoes.
  2. Boil a pot of water.
  3. Place tomatoes into boiling water in batches as necessary.
  4. Boil for 1 minute.
  5. Remove from boiling water (I used a sieve).
  6. Then immediately plunge tomatoes into a bowl of ice water.
  7. After about a minute they’ll be cool enough to handle.
  8. Peel the skin from each tomato.
What's your favourite kind of tomato to grow?


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