Yesterday the postwoman put the latest issue of Cooks Illustrated in the mailbox by the road. When I looked at the cover I was reminded of the differences in growing seasons in this country of ours. In great beauty the cover displayed heirloom tomatoes… On the day that I brought in the last of our tomatoes off the vines in the garden. Now I know, up in Vermont where Cooks Illustrated is born, the tomatoes are just coming in, but down here in the deep south on the Texas gulf coast…They’re done for the summer. The only way we can harvest any more is to wait for the cooler weather of fall. I sometimes find it hard to believe that a fruit (yes it’s a fruit) most associated with summer in most of the country has a cutoff temperature above which it will not set fruit.
Now, my garden this year wasn’t too good. Freshly made, late in the planting season, bought soil. The late planting missed the early rains and the just warm weather. So I was forced to water and fight the hotter days of June and July. My cucumber vines looked good but we picked not a fruit. Most of my tomatoes would split from the summer thunderstorms dropping 2+ inches of rain as they were beginning to ripen. My bell peppers have yet to do more than bloom and the okra is just beginning to develop.
It’s time to rework the tomato vines. I think I’ll try cutting them back to the ground and seeing if they will sucker out for a fall crop.
Right now it’s almost too hot to think about much more than keeping the garden from drying up in the heat… There is a chance of rain this weekend. We both need it.