Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Economics of Tomatoes. Finale

So, now I've told you how to turn 3 plants into a dozen, cheap ways to mulch, and provided you've got enough sunshine, you now have tomatoes growing. 

Currently, my plants are providing plentiful harvests.  I've eaten all I can, given some away to neighbors, and canned the rest.  The plants are still growing and producing, but their bottom leaves have begun yellowing at the bottom leaves, and some are even turning brown. 

You see, as far as the plants are concerned, they've produced fruit and seed for the next generation, their biological imperative has been fulfilled, and it's time for them to make a graceful exit.  Over the next few weeks, they will continue to ripen their last fruits as the plant goes into a general decline, eventually, as the old timers say, 'going to thistle,' an accurate description.  The small hairs that line the stems become dry and brittle, and quite aggravating to your skin.

But, as mentioned before, we have a very long growing season, and mid-July to August are the times to plant for fall crops.  Plants propagated now bear in September, October, and at least into November.  Actually, there's about a 50% chance that frosts will hold off and we'll have few fresh tomatoes for Christmas.

Propogate by taking cutting from the still green plants now, about 12 to 18 inches off the growing tips, and root them in water as described in part 3.  You can also plant seeds, and occasionally, not too often though, you might be able to find plants for sale.  Check the smaller nurseries rather than the big chains though. 

As you can see, it is quite possible to stretch a little bit of money into larger crops.

A few words about insects.  The safest pesticides to use are Sevin and any of the Pyrethrum sprays. Sevin, which comes in a dust that can be sprinkled on leaves, (and even cats and dogs if there's a flea issue) or in a liquid spray.  Sevin is essentially a plant hormone that is safe around mammals.  Pyrethrum is derived from English daisies, and is the primary ingredient in many of the insect sprays on the market.  Just look at the label for the active ingredients.  Of course, exercise caution and/or good common sense when using these or any pesticides, and I, as a general rule, would only use them with a serious infestation.  If it's a few little creapy crawlies, I just pick them off and give them a good stomp underfoot.

 Now, I'm sure that several of my usual readers will be glad to know that I'm finally through with the tomatoes for now, and I'll get back to my usual rants. 

this post was split into several parts due to limited computer time and to make it easier for the readers. 

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


  1. Ah, yes, the usual rants!!! It has been a while...hehehe!!!

  2. Hey man, I liked your rants about tomatoes. They were very informative. :)