My garden is wearing out early and fast......

catherinet(5 IN)August 5, 2014

Seems like it sort of happened over night........the tomatoes are getting blight, the one pole bean is almost done producing, and everything else is looking old and frazzled. I think alot of it has to do with some of the heavy rains we've gotten, followed by unusually cool nights.
I hope I get enough tomatoes to freeze for winter. I suppose one good thing is that we'll have plenty of time in the Fall to clean up the garden and work on improving the soil.

I can remember one year, having great tomatoes into November. Seems like every year has become so different.

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I was thinking the same thing today. I noticed some of my tomato plants are getting blight and my pole beans are about done. Im glad my bush beans are still going strong. My tomatoes are taking their good old time turning color. I have a ton of tomatoes on the plants but they are all green (I was hoping to fill my freezer in the garage too). Weve had alot of the same weather as you. Cool nights in the 50's and low 60's and lots of rain. Not a great year for my eggplant and watermelons but it was great for my onions.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:07PM
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My tomatoes are taking there time turning red also but there starting to turn red now, I did plant Brandywine this year which is slow to turn red, Freezing tomatoes? Never tried that, Thought there was too much water in them, Want to give any of your recipes?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:41PM
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loribee2(CA 9)

Jimmy56, I don't know what others do, but here's my process for freezing tomatoes:

I slice a cross on the bottom non-stem end of each tomato, then I drop them in a big pan of boiling water, about 4-6 at a time depending on how big the tomatoes are. I leave them in there until I just start to see the skin split, but really not more than 30 seconds. Use tongs to pull them from the water and drop them in a big bowl of ice water.

I let them sit there and cool then pull them out and set them on a towel.

The cross I slit on the bottom just helps to peel the skin off. I skin them all, then cut them in half and scoop or squeeze out the seed pulp as best I can, leaving only the meat. I chop that up and throw it in a big bowl.

When I've got all my tomatoes blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped, I scoop them into freezer bags of various sizes. Mark and date it with Sharpie. Throw them in the freezer.

They do end up watery when thawed. When I am using them as a base for sauce, I simply put them in a pan and reduce them. The water will boil off and they'll thicken as they cook. I also toss them in soup. When I do that, I don't care that they're watery onacounta it's soup, heh.

I prefer freezing over canning as I find it's less hassle. Plus I don't have to worry about doing it wrong and accidentally poisoning my family, LOL

I work with a woman who just puts the whole tomatoes in freezer bags. She says when thawed they'll peel easy so you don't have to go through the blanch process I do. I just prefer to do the work ahead of time so when I take them out of the freezer, I can start cooking.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:12AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

For many years I heard you just couldn't freeze tomatoes. Well, they don't hold up for getting "fresh tomatoes" for salads, but they freeze incredibly well for tomatoes for stewing, chili, spaghetti sauce, etc.
I wash mine, put them in boiling water for about 45 seconds, then in ice water, then I skin them and cut them up. I like using roma/san marzano type paste tomatoes for freezing, since they have less water. When I put a bunch of them cut into smaller pieces into a big tupperware, I squish them a bit with a masher, then put them in freezer containers or quart size baggies. It's so much easier than canning, and I believe they end up with more nutrients. Of course, if you have many long power failures, you'll wish you'd canned them! haha

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:20AM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

I thought I was just being silly this year thinking it was taking longer than normal to get tomatoes. Kind of glad to hear it's not just me LOL! Every time it starts to warm up we get another cold front. At this rate we will be up to our ears in greenies at frost! Zucchini even isn't happy. The first flush was about 1/2 & 1/2 males/females which was wonderful but now all we are getting are males. At least we are getting a few yellow squash. But our pole beans are just now starting to put out beans. Keeping fingers crossed for a decent harvest to can.
As far as freezing tomatoes, we don't do anything to ours except wash and dry them and cut out any bad spots then toss them into freezer bags. The freezing will loosen the skins when we go to cook soup or sauce and we get rid of them then. Much easier! You do have to cook down frozen tomatoes more, so it takes more to make a pot of sauce. Still tastes better than anything out of the grocery store!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:45AM
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It's Fall garden time Bean, Beets Swiss Chard plant now mid Aug til 1st week Sept. radishes, turnips , spinach , snap peas & lettuce things that like the cool in spring will thrive in the fall as well. I start my own plants so I've set out some tomatoes, cabbage and broccoli . My second crop of sweet corn is over knee high planted it on 7/20

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 5:55PM
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catherinet, there is much simpler way to have skinless tomatoes out of the fridge! Freeze them in their skins - it also will prevent them from drying out. Then when you ready to use them, take them out of the freezer, place in hot water for few seconds(I usually just wash them under hot running water) - and skin just slips out of tomato.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:59AM
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