Green tomatoes galore

Every week I tell my friends and neighbors that I'm "going to be swimming in tomatoes" the next week. And, the dumb tomatoes have been making a liar out of me for several weeks now. I get just enough big tomatoes to make a good salad for friends and baby tomatoes for post work snacks.

Heartbreaking. It's like even Pinterest knows the garden is a bit of a struggle right now. When I took a break during lunch this is what greeted me. I wanted to know if I could trim back the onions since they were growing so tall. The answer was pretty much no.
Optimistically, I read this article about why tomatoes aren't ripening - but with each passing reason I lost hope. Tomatoes need lycopene to ripen. Unlike prior years where I've dealt with blossom end rot, this year it seems like it might just be too hot. I spent the last few mornings trimming back the plants to help all the nutrients go to the right places.

So here's a small update.
  • BEANS & SNAP PEAS // Bye bye see you. Ripped these all out during my vacation. Between the wind issues that beat up the snap peas... and the beans just being a bit sad... and the local water crisis... it just felt right. Then, I read some article posting that hinted I might be able to get another batch of snap peas out of the garden. So we will see.
  • ONIONS // So tall and gangly. But, you can see that some of the bulbs are getting to look like actual onion bulbs. I really wish I could trim them but this just means that next year I plant them more strategically. 
  • KALE // suddenly, all the leaves have been eaten by bugs. This happened at about the exact same time as when the tomatoes began to lean on the kale. This can't be a coincidence. 
  • PEPPERS // Slow to get going but I'm finally seeing lots of flowers on them. The cayenne pepper is killing it, with the jalapeno close behind. I'm most concerned about the yellow sweet & yummy ones... because they seem far from yellow. 
  • CARROTS // Well, who knows. I've learned my lesson on thinning them out much earlier. This feels like I'll never recover and get the size carrots I should at this point.
Essentially, the takeaway for this year is that I'm starting my seedlings in early February and going to seriously care for them hard. I can't believe I barely have any tomatoes or peppers. To be clear, all these plants look so healthy and happy. They seem to really love living by the marsh and just aren't in a rush to leave.
I'm also beginning to say a fond farewell to the sunflowers. Man, they were amazing. I think they peaked about two weeks ago when it felt like I had a lovely wall of blooms. I read a post that suggested you cut the heads off so as to promote furthering the lifespan of the remaining plant. I guess this also helps all the birds get to the seeds. 

So that would be why I've got a graveyard of past-prime sunflowers lining the edge of the bed. It's pretty amazing how they get demolishing in a day. If you look closely you can see the bees buzzing around the super tall sunflowers that have popped open in the last week. They are a beautiful butter yellow... and the bees love 'em.
[1] oh man, look at all these cherry tomatoes. This plant is killing it.
[2] Check out these onions growing. The white onions look much better than the red onions.
[3] Lots of pepper flowers
[4] Cayenne pepper is loaded up
[5] This is actually the yellow sweet & yummy plant. 
[6] In the last few days, the tie dye tomato has started to come around. Yesterday I pulled off 1, and today it looks like there are several more right behind.
[7] On the right is the black truffle tomato... and on the left is the garden peach. You can almost see how the garden peach has a fuzzy skin.
[8] can you see the bees buzzing around the new sunflowers? These must be 6 feet tall or more.
[9] a few good blooms still at eye level.
[10 - 11] Sunflower blooms just waiting for the birds to come. The blonde cucumber really blends into the pile
[12] Probably about 3 - 5 days old 

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