I burned my last day of vacation today to have lunch with a friend, but since she did not want to eat at 7 a.m., i sneaked in a couple of hours in the garden.
[Is anyone surprised by that? No. I thought not.]
Last summer we grew three tomatoes - Cherokee Purple (an early bearing heirloom), Brandywine (a late heirloom) and Roma - one plant each. While both the Cherokee and the Brandywine produced fairly well from mid-May thru October, we would have used more "eating" tomatoes - especially since both had excellent flavor.
The Romas were all either made into Tomato Jam, or roasted for Rachel Ray's roasted tomato sauce.*
Mitchell loved the tomato sauce, but we were out of it by January and i committed to grow lots of Romas this year for sauce.
Today was the day to plant. But, not before I added a new raised bed, just for the Romas.
|The bench used to sit on this "pad". |
I took up the pavers a couple of weeks ago.
Mitchell built the new box for me yesterday and helped me move it into place.
|See how much the whole garden has greened up in two weeks.|
Early this morning I was a Big Blue Box to get compost and peat moss. For raised beds i use a combo of peat moss, vermiculite and two or three different types of composts. Today I used "webb dirt" from my compost pile, plus Leafgro and a mushroom compost for a rich blend that will help feed the tomatoes all season.
|Rolling the "ingredients" together.|
It only took a couple of hours once I had everything. Did I mention that we ended up with 12 plants this year? Probably a bit of overkill.
|All of the Romas and two Brandywine.|
We have three Cherokee Purple, one red cherry, four Brandywine and four Roma - enough for a great summer of tomato eating and a winter of good sauce!
*Rachel Ray's Roasted Tomato Sauce
Cut tomatoes in half, add desired seasonings (garlic, fresh herbs, salt and pepper), drizzle olive oil over all and roast cut side down 1.5 to 2 hours until tomatoes are soft and well roasted.
To serve immediately, put in blender (or use immersion blender) to puree, heat and serve with your favorite pasta.
Freeze in quart or gallon bags to use later.