Blog of an aspiring foodie

A couple of interesting tomato links

Posted by beer_chris on 16-April-2006

My first tomato has set today (one of the 'tomato jolly' cherry tomatoes), and I've been surfing various tomato growing sites lately. A couple interesting ones piqued my interest today. One (not really a tomato site) is SeedSavers, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a seed inventory for all kinds of 'heirloom' varieties of all different types of plants. I linked to the 'About Us' page above. Basically, they collect seeds that have been handed down within families, most having been brought over to America by immigrants. Perusing the tomato catalog provides interesting insight on the history of these various varietals. Most of the descriptions (and names of the seed strains, for that matter), include the surname of the family that provided the line.

Additionally, I found the resource I really had been searching for in all of my initial angst over exactly how to setup my garden, and that's a quality Texas A&M extension service page aimed at home cultivation of tomatoes. In much previous searching the best I had found was the TAMU Harris County extension office Although discovering that there is an extension garden a few miles away from Sun Harbor that has a plant sale every spring, there isn't a lot of good data here. The Urban Harvest organization has a good website, but the primary guidance is organic in nature. That's a good goal, and I'm going to try, but I also wanted to understand what conventional remedies might be available for me – along with some better descriptions of the types of maladies I might encounter. Urban Harvest tended to identify things only by name, and didn't provide a description of the symptoms.

So, today I found a good Q&A site on the TAMU PLANTanswers page. The two Q&A links on tomatoes (1, 2) are an excellent resource. My favorite is number 44:

Q: How do you keep squirrels from eating tomatoes?
A: Trap and release (into the skillet) or kill. Or cover base of plants up about 3-4 feet with Grow-Web or surrounding bearing tomatoes with a wire barrier such as hardware cloth or small mesh chicken wire. Lead poisoning or number 8 shot (propelled out the barrel of a shotgun) works too but might damage the plants or fruit.

Is that an Aggie resource or what?

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