As an Italian friend once remarked, it’s better to have green tomatoes than no tomatoes. With temperatures dipping into the 30’s ahead, it was time to bring in the pomodorini, or winter tomatoes, ready or not.
It was a challenging year to grow tomatoes, and our yield reflects that — only one tray’s worth of Aprile (above, left) and another of Ponderosa (above, right). This is compared to ten trays worth from last year. Though the Ponderosa size up nicely, there isn’t enough time in our season for them to ripen enough before storage. This may be the last time we grow them, and, instead, we’ll concentrate on continuing with the Aprile and the new Piennoli.
Similarly with the potatoes, the yield was far less than last year’s. We again used containers, and chose to grow only one variety, Yukon Gold.
The potatoes came out on the large side, unblemished and disease-free, but only 13 pounds compared to last year’s 24. There were far too many variables to pin down what caused this decline.
We usually like to wait until first frost before picking the apples, but decided to take what we could before the deer got to them.
We’d thought it was a problem of the gate left open, but noticed that deer were continuing to get into the vegetables. We covered the raised beds with extra netting, and strung fishing line across the garden paths to dissuade them. It was beginning to look like something out of the movie, “Mission Impossible”.
So far, we’ve been able to deter them, and the Gardener is convinced it’s the chunks of Irish Spring, looking like soap-on-a rope for elves, hung along the perimeter that finally worked.
As for those green tomatoes: Spaghetti con Pomodori Verdi.
Pomodorini, apples, winter radishes (daikon and green meat), shishito peppers (red and green), carrots, green onions, winter squash (tromboncino), costata zucchini, cherry tomatoes, chicories (puntarelle, cime di rapa, hon tsai tai), kale, chard, salad greens, and seaweed for compost.
Canned chicken and stock; fermented sauerkraut (salt brine and whey); dehydrated ground cherries; dehydrated apple brittle; canned roasted red peppers; and frozen ginger.
I had a similar problem with deer, I thought the gate had been left open but it turned out that a fawn had figured out how to slip between the wires of the fence. I had to put mesh in the areas where it got through.
I’m surprised at how much you are still able to harvest at this time of year. Is your microclimate milder since you are near the coast?
As it turns out, exactly what happened here! We found the spot where a young deer found a weak spot in the fence.
Our microclimate is definitely milder — friends tells us that they’re experiencing temps in the 20’s already, while we’re still hovering in the 30’s. Our longer fall season balances off our late start to spring…
Few years back I tried Irish Spring soap, worked for a little while then they discovered they could go between the soaps.
I am thinking of growing potatoes in containers next year may go with fingerlings and blue.
We hung soap at fairly close intervals, enough that even we were slightly repelled. Looking forward to hearing how your own experiment with container-grown potatoes go!