Pulling Tomatoes

At this time of the season, the inclination of most gardeners is to start pulling things out, starting with whatever looks the worst. This year (and probably most years), the tomatoes definitely win the prize for looking the worst. Well, okay, so we already pulled out the nasty squash and cucumbers. But I know the tomatoes are next on the list.

The tomato plants  truly look quite sad, even though we didn’t actually have spider mites this summer. (I have no idea why not, since it was so hot, but I’m not complaining!) They are also largely done producing the summer crop of tomatoes. Ugly plants + little to no production = getting rid of said plants, right? Well…maybe not so fast.

Look at that! It’s like they knew what was coming, and as soon as the heat broke a couple weeks ago, they went to work setting new tomatoes, daring us to tear them out with the promise of more tomatoes yet before cold weather sets in.

Look at all those flowers! How could you possibly pull out all that promise of more fruit?!? Of course, the reality is that as the days get shorter and cooler, these tomatoes will take longer and longer to mature and ripen. We’re getting to the point where it will be tight as far as the fruit even being mature green, which will ripen to red on the counter. (Not that we can’t still eat them…green tomato pie, anyone?)

What would you do? Pull them out regardless? Leave them until the bitter end? What are you doing with your tomatoes? We haven’t done a poll at all this year, so this seems like  good opportunity!

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on September 9, 2010, in Around the Garden and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. My sungold got spider mites and spread them to the two other plants. At least that’s what it seemed like. I thought spider mites liked cold dry weather? Or are the kind that infest my house each winter different?

    • Spider mites love hot dry weather. We usually see them in the middle part of the summer, and then they start to slow down and die off as the weather gets cooler. (Then the aphids come back!) The mites in your house in the winter may or may not be the same type of spider mites.

  1. Pingback: Friday PhotoEssay « The Demo Garden Blog

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