With the crisp autumn chill in the air, nothing feels like fall to me more than Tomato picking time in Michigan. I usually get my tomato plants in the ground on Memorial Day weekend and by late June or early July, I can start picking tomatoes daily.
My wife's favorite tomato is the Roma variety, and this year I indulged her and planted about a dozen of these plants along the side of our house. It was the first time I had grown tomatoes in that location, having previously grown other plants, mostly peppers and herbs. I was not sure if they would do well there, because I read in books that pepper plants take a lot of the similar nutrients from the soil as tomatoes, but I thought I would give it a try anyways.
It turned out to be quite successful, as you can see from my photos. I have grown other species of tomatoes as well this year, mostly early girls, and better boys, and a few other heirloom varieties. I also grew my traditional jalapeno peppers, chili peppers, sweet peppers, banana peppers and habanero peppers, so you might see some of these in the photos as well.
Mostly, I enjoy Tomato picking time in Michigan, especially in the morning in September and October when you go outside and there is a crisp chill in the air. I know it won't last much longer, and one morning I will have to pick everything in sight, green or not, before the first frost.
However, right now I enjoy bringing my wife a ripe Roma tomato in the morning, and seeing it cooked in our meals at dinner time. It seems like every day she finds a new recipe for her favorite tomato.
We also make salsa, and give them away to friends. Fresh tomatoes are hard not to share during tomato picking time in Michigan. Keeping busy as a Realtor, I do not get to do as much gardening as I would like, but tomatoes are fun and easy as most everyone knows.
I also grew a few tomatoes in my greenhouse this year, along with culinary herbs. I have found my outdoor tomatoes do just as well, however, in the greenhouse I can usually extend the season another few weeks beyond the first frost.
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