September 24, 2014
According to the frost/freeze chart on the Home and Garden Information Center website, I'm thinking that if I cover my tomatoes with row cover or something during light freezes, I can have sun-ripened tomatoes into November. Will this work? Fortunately, tomatoes do not need to ripen on the vine to have good flavor. At the end of the growing season, tomato plants fade as days shorten, sunlight weakens and temperatures drop. But long before a hard frost hits, the tomato fruits start exhibiting poor flavor and texture, plus uneven ripening or blotches.
September 3, 2014
A family-owned produce distributor has moved from Washington to a new base in Jessup, where its 80 employees work to package and transport more than 1 million pounds of tomatoes each week. Pete Pappas & Sons Inc., founded in 1942 in Washington as a tomato distributor, started operations in August at its 120,000-square-foot warehouse in Jessup, said Paul S. Pappas, general manager for the firm, which is in its fourth generation of family ownership. The larger property will allow the firm to expand into new types of produce from its tomato and berries, he said.
July 10, 2014
All of the leaves on some of my tomato plants have curled down, except a few twisted in all directions. They were growing great for a while. It looks contagious because they're all together. What is this? Tomato plants are like canaries in the coal mine when it comes to herbicide injury. They are super sensitive to the chemical 2,4-D and its family of growth-regulating herbicides, including clopyralid. Twisted growth is a classic symptom. Most likely an herbicide sprayed in your area was carried by wind and drifted onto the tomato plants.
May 14, 2014
Last year, all my tomatoes (all the same kind) ripened all at once and then I didn't get any more. How can I get tomatoes all season? You may have planted a variety of determinate tomato that was not a long producer. Determinate tomatoes grow to a set size and stop, however they usually produce over a long period. (Indeterminate tomatoes, on the other hand, continue to put out new growth all summer.) Your tomatoes also may have stopped fruiting because their location became too hot. When day and night temperatures are very hot, plants overheat and stop flowering and fruiting.
January 13, 2014
When the rent or the price of tomatoes goes up, business owners either absorb the increase or pass it on to their customers. If that item causes the business to close, you can be sure that other problems exist. However, if there is a suggestion of an increase in the minimum wage, we are deluged by promises that it will cause vast unemployment and rampant business closures ("O'Malley backs indexing of minimum wage," Jan. 8). But here's the rub. It's hard to find good tomatoes but easy to find desperate people who will work for low wages.
October 7, 2013
As I contemplate the state of my government with sadness and anger, what a treat it was to read Susan Reimer 's article on heirloom tomatoes ( "They aren't heirloom unless your grandmother gave them to you," Oct. 2). My husband and I have been relishing these gems for the past two months. Eating an heirloom tomato on fresh bread slathered with mayonnaise will bring joy to the hardest of hearts. One realizes that there is something greater out there that transcends the mundane.