extending tomato season

finally…ripe tomatoes

We waited so very long, and just as they began to pour out of the garden (yes, those really are ripe…they’re ‘Great Whites’, new this year, and that’s what a ripe one looks like), the night time temps started dropping. Well, we couldn’t let go of the harvest without putting up a fight, so R put on his thinking cap.

black painted water jugs and sheet plastic

He painted several water jugs black, so they would absorb more heat during the daylight hours. A large sheet of plastic was stapled to the front of the raised bed.

night configuration

Come evening, the jugs are moved in close to the plants and the plastic is pulled over. A couple of furniture clamps on the free side of the plastic keep it from blowing off.

all tucked in

And here they are , all snug in their bed, while visions of spaghetti sauce dance in our heads.

coddling pays off

Yes, the coddling is paying off. On the other hand, some plants that came up from the compost in the darnedest places and received absolutely no attention are performing marvelously. I always heard that volunteers should be yanked out for fear of harboring disease, but R couldn’t reconcile himself to losing potential tomato factories…so there you are…another pearl of wisdom debunked.

10 Responses to “extending tomato season”

  1. Bria Says:

    You’re a genius! I have so many plants that are loaded with green fruit–I should make a little tent like yours.

  2. Peter/Outlaw Says:

    Great idea! While I’ve come to enjoy fried green tomatoes, one can only have so many before it gets old.

  3. Shirley Says:

    That’s a great idea. I plan to use water jugs to keep my plants warm during our annual freeze. I will try painting them black as well.

    Glad you are able to get more tomatoes. Just might use that this spring because we have to plant tomatoes in mid-February to beat the heat.

  4. ricki Says:

    Bria~Not me…my better half.

    Peter~Green tomato chutney is good, and I like them minced up in an omelet.

    Shirley~I was thinking this should happen on the front end to get them off to a faster start.

  5. Janet, The Queen of Seaford Says:

    Interesting method! Good for you. I have not done this before, like the black bottles absorbing the sun’s heat.

  6. ricki Says:

    Janet~Guess this could be used in a number of different ways.

  7. Jane / MulchMaid Says:

    It looks cozy in there! I would love to have your “problem”. Our lone tomato plant will probably be picked clean before the promised deluge this weekend.

  8. ricki Says:

    Jane~R just brought in another bucket a few minutes into the rainy season. Tomorrow: music coming from the kitchen speakers (that guy knows how to keep the cook happy), a cozy, steamy workplace and more jars of spaghetti sauce crowding the pantry shelves.

  9. Gaz @ Alternative Eden Exotic Garden Says:

    Great idea to get the fruit to ripen, when do your temperatures get low enough to damage the fruits?

  10. ricki Says:

    Gaz~Could happen any time now, but our main concern was giving them enough heat to ripen until that killing frost hits.

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