It's a Forest

I have been experimenting with growing my tomatoes untouched by pruning shears. I have read differing


articles and heard from experts on both sides of the fence. The only thing they seem to be able to agree on is that the determinate tomato types do not get pruned because they have a predetermined height. So my Nebraska Wedding Tomato plants are all set. With the Nebraska Wedding, I am comparing the difference in growth with red plastic mulch versus not and so far the use of the mulch is winning hands down. Today I discovered something or should I say three somethings that made me glad I hadn’t pruned the tomatoes…Tomato Hornworms and they were all a good 3 inches in length. Since my plants have a lot of foliage, the little buggers didn’t do much damage. The tomatoes have been slow to set, but I have a TON of blossoms and now I have over 30 green tomatoes. I started losing count at 30. I am not sure if the slow start is due to how long I had to wait to plant them, after all we had a second snow after mother’s day so it was well into May that they made it into the ground, then we had three weeks straight of rain and little sun, or if it is because I am not pruning. It will take a few more seasons to determine those variables.


The incredible thing, however, is the growth of the Sunberry plants.


They are HUGE and are almost taller than the tomato plants. They come up to my waste which is about 3 feet. They are loaded with small green berries that will turn a dark dull black/purple color when they are ripe. Today there were 3 ripe ones so I decided I would try one and see what they taste like. I was pleasantly surprised. They had a mild a sweet flavor and were a juicy bite. I could taste how sugar would make the berries shine in a jam or tart, but honestly I thought they were pretty good on their own. My son liked the flavor too.


Another plant that has just taken off is the ground cherry. A few weeks ago I shared a picture showing the first green husk that would soon encase the sweet, yellow ground cherry. Now the plants are



Some of the other veggies that are coming into their own are the sugar snap peas. This week each share will receive a small bag of peas. One of the cool things about the pea plant is that every part of it is edible and have the pea flavor. The blossoms are great to add some extra punch of color to a salad and the leaves can be added to any salad. The tendrils are tasty raw or sautéed with garlic. Then in a week or two we will have green beans to add to the share.


The great thing is that these veggies are hitting their stride just as the spinach and kale are winding down. The hot weather that causes them to bolt and turn bitter is wonderful for the beans. The Buttercrunch Bibb lettuce will be ready in another week also which will add some variety to the share along with some beets. By August we should have some Broccoli and some Romanescu too.


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