Archive for the ‘Vegetable Gardening’ Category

Staking Tomato Plants

Tomatoes are one of the easiest vegetable plants to grow. To ensure that your tomato plants grow those big and juicy tomatoes that you love, your tomato plants need to be staked.

Staking Tomato Plants

It important that tomato plants, or any other heavy vegetable plant like eggplants, be staked. Staking Tomato Place prevents the heavy weight of the vegetables breaking the branches and any vegetables on those branches will be ruined. You also need to stake the plants to be sure that they are able to grow upright and branch out. This will yield you tomatoes that are bigger and juicier. If your plants are not staked and the tomatoes are on the ground, they will rot and be subject to bugs and insects. They also will not be able to get enough sunshine to fully ripen.

There are a couple of ways to stake tomato plants. One way is to use stakes or long poles to support and stabilize your plants and tie the plants to the stake. Another way is to use tomato cages that you place around your plants that will stabilize your tomato plant as it grows.

 Gardener’s Stake-It-Easy Plant-Staking System

The patent pending design of Stake It Easy grows taller (up to 6 feet) and wider as your plant grows, supporting each growing branch. To assemble, just snap together. Then adjust the height and width as the plant grows. Plus the EZ Step Stake Anchors penetrate even hard ground so it’s easy to install, even late in the season. This versatile system can be used with tomatoes or most vines that need support and is a great way for staking tomato plants.



 Bamboo Tomato Stakes EcoStake Tomato Stakes EcoStake Tomato Stakes Bosmere 4-Spiral Tomato Stakes


 Panacea Tomato and Plant Cage Panacea Heavy Duty Tomato and Cage Hydrofarm Tomato Cage Panacea Tomato Cage Tower


 Plant & Flower Support Clips VELCRO Brand Stem Ties Tierra Garden Soft Tie Tomato Screen Plant Protector

 50 Big Boy Hybrid Tomato Seeds 50 Big Beef Tomato Seeds Sugar Sweetie Oganice Cherry Tomato Tomato Beefsteak 100 Seeds


How To Ripen Green Tomatoes

During the summer, one of my favorite things is pick off a big juicy tomato out of my garden. Nothing tastes better.

When autumn comes I always have quite a few green tomatoes left on the vines. There are many ways to ripen green tomatoes after the first frost.

Green tomatoes have to be “ripe” before they turn red and finish the process. To see if your tomatoes are ripe, cut one of your green tomatoes in half, if the inside is yellowish and has a jelly like consistency, it is mature enough to ripen.

To prepare your green tomatoes to ripen. Remove all vines, stems, leaves, and wash your tomatoes to make sure they are clean.

Watch for any decay or mold during the ripening process.

Some methods suggest using a “ripening” banana or apple. Use bananas when they are yellow with green on the ends. “Ripening” fruit releases ethylene, a gas that helps ripen fruit. Bananas produce more ethylene during ripening than other fruits, giving your green tomatoes an extra dose of ethylene to force ripening.

Too much humidity will attract fruit flies, watch the ripening tomato to make sure those pesty fruit flies don’t appear.

The Jar Method

Ripening your green tomatoes in jars is a method best for only a few green tomatoes and should take 1 to 2 weeks.
Put in two to four medium-sized green tomatoes per jar. Do not overfill the jar, or the tomatoes might bruise. Screw on lid tightly. Leave in a warm, semi-humid place, out of direct sunlight. Check regularly.

The Cardboard Box Method

Ripen green tomatoes in a cardboard box is a method best for lots green tomatoes and should take 1 to 2 weeks.

Line a cardboard box with some foam or simply line with newspaper. Place a layer of tomatoes in the box, each one next to the other. If you have a lot of tomatoes, a second layer on top is okay but be gentle. Do not make any more than two layers in case you bruise the fruit at the base. Do not overcrowd!

Add some ripening bananas if you’d like. The tomatoes are likely to ripen anyway, as they release their own ethylene and influence each other. However, using bananas will help to speed up the process. Place in a cool, slightly humid room away from light.

The Plastic Bag Method

Ripening your green tomatoes in a plastic bag is a method best from only a few green tomatoes to lots of green tomatoes and should take 1 to 2 weeks.

Punch a few “air circulation” holes in each bag you are going to use.
Place 3 – 4 tomatoes with 1 banana in each bag. Use a large bags for lots of green tomatoes and a small bag for a few. Don’t overcrowd!!!
Store in a warm, semi-humid area away from direct sunlight.

The Paper Bag Method

Ripen green tomatoes in a paper is a method best for only a few green tomatoes and should take 1 to 2 weeks.

Insert ripening banana and as many tomatoes as will fit without overcrowding.
Store in a warm, semi-humid area away from sunlight.

The Ole Window Sill

The good ole standby. Ripen green tomatoes on your window sill is a hit or miss method best for only a few green tomatoes and should take 1 to 2 weeks.

Place green tomatoes on a sunny window sill.

Easy enough….

If All Else Fails

When you have lemons, you make lemonade….When you have green tomatoes you make….

Green Tomato Soup With Country Ham
Green Tomato Marmalade Recipe
Green Tomato, Apple and Grape Relish
Green Tomato Cake
Fried Green Tomatoes

 Original Whistle Stop Cookbook Greene on Greens Green Tomato Greats