Last tomatoes of the season

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Cold nights are increasing in frequency now that we are into October. If you
have tomatoes, you may have some that are approaching maturity.
Leave them on the vine until mature or until a frost is forecast.
Tomatoes will ripen off the vine but must have reached a certain phase of
maturity called the ‘mature green stage.’ Look for full-sized tomatoes with
a white, star-shaped zone on the bottom end of the green fruit.
When harvesting fruit before a frost, separate tomatoes into three groups
for storage: those that are mostly red, those that are just starting to
turn, and those that are still green. Discard tomatoes with defects such as
rots or breaks in the skin. Place the tomatoes on cardboard trays or cartons
but use layers of newspaper to separate fruit if stacked. Occasionally a
tomato may start to rot and leak juice. The newspaper will keep the juice
from contacting nearby or underlying fruit. Store groups of tomatoes at as
close to 55 degrees as possible until needed. (Ward Upham)

Fall Planting of Asparagus & Rhubarb
We sometimes receive questions as to whether asparagus or rhubarb can be
moved in the fall. Though these crops are traditionally transplanted in the
spring (mid-March to mid-April), a fall move can be successful. Wait until
the top has been browned by frost and then cut back to the ground.
Prepare the soil and fertilize as you would in the spring. See
http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/mf319.pdf for more detail on
asparagus and http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/ep99.pdf for more
information on rhubarb.
Water well after planting to insure good root/soil contact. Mulching would
be helpful on the rhubarb to prevent the plant from heaving out of the soil
during the winter but asparagus requires no such treatment as it is planted
much deeper.

 

By: Ward Upham

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