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Tomato Patch: Coping with stink bugs

They’re back on the windows “Where are the stink bugs this year?” friends asked in May and June. “Outside breeding so we’ll have a generous supply trying to figure out how to get into our homes in September and October,”…

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Tomato Patch: Thumbs up, thumbs down

Yellow Plum tomatoes plus … This is a progress report on two of my trial tomato varieties for 2011, Yellow Plum and Super Marzano, seeds of which I bought from Tomato Growers Supply Co. For a generation I’ve been growing…

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Tomato Patch: A dozen recipes

And the winner is: Tomato Kimchi-Chi! Today’s Food Section of the Washington Post is its annual “tomato special” and contains a dozen recipes selected as “winningly diverse” entries in its recipe contest, “Top Tomato 2011.” I may smile and skip…

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Tomato Patch: An ugly problem

Early signs of blossom-end rot on Super Marzano fruit “What’s this?” asked my friend Karnik, holding out a small red tomato and pointing to its black tip. “Is it some kind of disease?” “No, it’s blossom-end rot,” I said. “But…

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Tomato Patch: Learning by picking at “breaker stage”

“Breaker stage” tomatoes when picked My “breaker stage” tomato-picking experiment is progressing nicely and I’m learning as I go. I picked four less-than-ripe tomatoes last Monday (July 25) just before arrival of showers that I thought might cause the fruit…

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Tomato Patch: How to save more tomatoes

Should I pick this partially ripe Brandywine Red? Do your heirloom tomatoes crack and get moldy before you think they’re ripe enough to pick? Do your cherry tomatoes all but split before your eyes the day after it rains? Do…

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Tomato Patch: How tomatoes react to extreme heat

When the forecast predicts the temperature will approach 100° F, I water the Tomato Patch just after dawn and, usually, soaked to the skin with sweat, retreat to the shower and then breakfast with Ellen. Throughout the day I check…

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