The Summer of Green Tomatoes

Well, here we are: the last week of August and still not a single ripe tomato.  Not even a sorta, kinda pink one.

Last week I started to wonder if I had inadvertently planted a whole garden of late varieties, but after a quick check of the days to maturity for each variety and a little math, I was reassured that I  should have at least a few ripe tomatoes by now.

The Summer of Green Tomatoes

I suspect the weather has a lot to do with with my abundance of green tomatoes.  The tomato plants  have been setting fruit well and blight issues have been nearly non-existent, but we just haven’t had much in the way of heat this summer to push the tomatoes (and peppers) to ripen.  We’ve had a few days here and there, but overall this summer has been pretty dang comfortable as far as temperature and dew point go.  Great for keeping the windows open and the AC off, not so much for turning green tomatoes red, orange, yellow, and purple.

And now with September just around the corner, it’s hard not to entertain thoughts about the possibility of a light frost before I even have a chance to harvest enough tomatoes for a batch of salsa. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a warmer and later than average fall–or at least enough tomatoes and peppers to have a proper Salsa Week this year!

The Summer of the Green Tomatoes

And so the wait continues!  This year, more than ever, that first ripe tomato of the season will be sooo worth it.

In the meantime, I’m grateful that I selected quite a few bi-color tomatoes this year to keep things interesting until the green tomatoes start to turn!  From top to bottom in the post: Green ZebraStriped Roman, and Old German.

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10 Responses to The Summer of Green Tomatoes

  1. It’s been quite a damper of a summer, indeed. I, too, have had very little success with my tomatoes. I have had close to no problems with blight on my plants, this year, I have done everything organically (as always), I have amended garden and pot soil regularly with compost and other natural fertilizers… Strangely, the only thing that seemed to give some decent yield, this year, was my collection of hot peppers (hot banana, cayenne, jalapeno and portuguese, among others), my herbs and most of my flowers. And, when the only two nearly-perfect, large tomatoes of the season were asking to be picked the following day, a chipmunk beat me to them, arrrgh!

    Congratulations on the beautiful blog! I discovered it just a few weeks ago and loved it immediately. Keep these wonderful posts coming!

    • Maria says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling this way! I’m completely jealous of your pepper success, by the way. Anything in my garden that requires a little bit of heat is taking its sweet time this year. I have gobs of green cayenne peppers, but not a single red one yet!

      Thank you for your kind words!

  2. Jenny says:

    I have a Striped Roman, too, amongst my others. They’re super meaty! Here in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, we’ve had more hot weather than usual, so I’ve been able to get a decent amount of tomatoes so far. I, too, am anxiously awaiting when I have enough to do salsa and other goodies. We have 28 tomato plants- not much else was doing well in our garden, so we decided to just go “all in” with tomatoes. Now I just need them to ripen!

    Hope you get the warm weather you’re waiting for! :)

    • Maria says:

      I’m glad to hear another endorsement for Stripped Roman! I’m almost tempted to go pick one of the big green ones to see if it might start ripening on the counter faster than on the vine! I really can’t complain, though – we’ve had a good run of great years for tomatoes, we were bound to have an off year sooner or later. That said, I’m still holding out hope for a late season heat wave! :)

      • Jenny says:

        Last year, I had a ton of green tomatoes at the end of the season, so I found a recipe for Green Tomato Salsa Verde. It was delicious, and I was so glad to get something out of the ones the never ripened!

  3. Angie says:

    I thought it was maybe just me – first time gardener here, and thought I had gotten them in too late. TONS of green tomatoes. My cherry’s are starting to slowly ripen now, and I have one or two Roma’s *finally* ripening, but they had been sitting the same for the past month on the vine. People said it was because they are all too close, and too much foliage – so I cut that all back this week. What’s your thoughts on pruning tomato jungles?

    • Maria says:

      I typically do not prune my tomatoes and have never had an issue with them not ripening until this year, which I suspect has far more to do with the weather than not pruning them. That said, at this point in the growing season, it can be helpful to start pruning out the new suckers so the plant will spend less energy on new growth (that likely will not make it maturity anyway) and more energy on finishing what it’s already started. I’ve done this with good success in the past and it is what I’m actually about to tackle in my own garden this weekend.

      If you’re looking for more information on pruning tomatoes, you might want to check out this post on the subject from last month:

      Good luck!

  4. Kelsey says:

    Yeah same here! Although my tomatoes have been moved around and neglected quite a bit this summer since we moved from the coast to the Interior (BC, Canada) so I barely have any fruit set on my plants!

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