canning · gardening · Homestead · Recipes

Tomato Time

I want to take a minute to share some advice I received from my grandpa years ago.  If you grow tomatoes, this is something you should look into.  Tomato suckers are something I hunt down as my plants start to grow.  The suckers grow at the center space where a branch on a tomato plant meets the stem.  My grandfather had a great garden and I clearly remember him teaching me how to pluck off the suckers on tomato plants.  I wish I had appreciated all of his garden knowledge years ago.  Heaven knows, there is a lot I could have learned from him!

Anyhow, to remove the sucker, you just pinch it off at it’s base.  I pinch mine off when they are small.  I follow my grandfather’s advice, but I’ve read that some don’t agree with removing the suckers.  Well, I’m going to stick with his advice.  He always had plenty of tasty tomatoes, so we must have been doing it right!

As a side note, I should also mention that I almost lost several of my tomato plants this year.  I planted too early!  I know better, but I was anxious to get my garden started.  We had a cold spell that hit and it looked like the frost took out a few of my plants.  However, I followed the advice I had learned in a gardening class I attended years ago.  The class was titled “When in doubt, Whack it down”.  So, I did.  I trimmed off any pieces that looked damaged and they actually are doing better than the larger tomato plants that I planted later in the season. Whew.

I’ve planted several varieties of tomatoes this year, so I plan to make some more tomato jams and to do some canning.  I also like to slice and bake them with some kosher salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.  I’d love to hear some of your favorite tomato recipes…



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