It’s just two days since we last picked blackberries and tomatoes, and three since we picked everything else, but we got quite a lot of vegetables tonight.
We’ve been getting adequate amounts of rain lately, the heat has moderated a little, and the result is a better harvest of pole beans than we’ve had earlier this month. On the other hand, there was only one eggplant and a couple of ‘sweet banana’ peppers ready to pick.
The blackberry brambles seem to be producing about the same amount of ripe berries every couple of days. There aren’t as many as in past years, but I expected that because they didn’t produce as many new canes last year. Blackberry canes produce fruit their second year, then die. To try to increase the yield, I spread some fertilizer around the blackberry area, but not directly where the plants grow. I also will take more care in pruning the canes.
The big news though is that the tomatoes are really starting to produce. We’ve been picking ‘nectar’ cherry tomatoes (with the beans in the medium-sized bowl) and ‘garden gem’ tomatoes (under everything else in the large bowl) for a while, but tonight we got a lot more of them. We also picked four ‘garden jewel’ tomatoes (the large tomatoes at the upper right of the large bowl); seeds for those came from the same source as ‘garden gem’, see this post. The first ‘Corleone’ paste tomato is nestled in the crook of the eggplant.
We finally got some ripe ‘speckled Roman’ paste tomatoes, which look more striped than speckled to me. They are at the front of the photo. My ‘speckled Roman’ and ‘Polish linguisa’ tomatoes have been especially afflicted with blossom end rot this year and I had to discard several fruit that would have been ripe earlier. You can see a small spot of blossom end rot on one tomato; we will cut off the bad part and the rest of the fruit should be good. This disease is caused by a lack of moisture and calcium; I added lime to the garden bed this spring as usual, so the lack of rain is probably the cause. The ‘Corleone’ paste tomatoes haven’t been affected by blossom end rot this year, they just take a little longer to produce ripe tomatoes. You can read more about blossom end rot in this fact sheet from Cornell University.