I pulled a third of my tomato plants this week. I had to do it, the blight got them:
Late blight this time of year isn’t unusual, it is called late blight for a reason after all. And as I noted, our average first frost date is the 25th. That’s average of course, some years we get a first frost before the 10th of September. Although, since it’s 93 in Burlington right now I doubt this will be one of those years (I hope)
As I pulled the plants I picked all the green tomatoes. We’ve had some turn red already, and most of the rest are full sized, and some even tinged with yellow as if they’re about to turn. So I’m hoping to ripen them in a kitchen cabinet and still be able to use them. I brought 2 stretchy grocery bags out to the garden, thinking filling both was probably optimistic.
As it turns out both were overflowing as I carried them back to the house! I’d guess it’s about 40 POUNDS of green tomatoes. You can see a few tomatoes that were resting on the ground and have blight spots in the bottom of that photo. Those were for the chickens.
So yeah, now I really hope the green ones ripen! I do think it’s worth re-stating this is only one third of my tomato patch. The other 2/3rds are still in the ground. One row is looking light it might be in trouble, but I’m not pulling it yet (out of sheer hope that willpower is stronger then the creeping blight) The third row looks like this:
Still clean. It’s not lost on me that this is the only row I tied up in mid summer. Tying the vines up to posts felt like I was wreaking havoc on the plants, so I didn’t attack the other two rows. As a result the other two rows spralled all over the ground. I’m wondering if that’s what made them more susceptible to the blight. I’m filing that lesson learned away for next year…