August 11th, 2010 | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall

Farmer Don Says STOP Watering Your Tomatoes



It's not as though City Hall in 2010 has seen any less--bad joke alert!--"manure" than in 2009, but the dirt in City Hall's Better Together Garden sure seems to be suffering.

Last year at this time, the organic garden (pictured above) outside City Hall's east entrance had produced 50 pounds of tomatoes. This year, I haven't seen a single ripe tomato yet. And the plants (pictured below) appear downright puny.

Since I'm wearing a sweater and scarf on Aug. 11, I suspect other gardeners in Portland are experiencing the same cruel, tomato-sandwich-delaying fate. So I called Farmer Don Kruger (did you know the man has a blog?) over at Kruger's Farm on Sauvie Island for advice. Stop watering, he said. And then curse the month of June for being too cold. (Actually, that last part is from me. You should see my tomato plants at home.)

For perspective, Kruger stopped watering his tomatoes on July 10, he says. He expects they'll be ripe by Labor Day, which is far later than last year.

"It's not even close," Kruger says. "But years vary. Most of it has to do with a really bad June." That and chilly summer evenings.

Tomato sandwich recipe

Ingredients:
Ripe tomato, sliced
Two pieces of Wonder Bread
Miracle Whip
Salt
Pepper

Method of preparation:
Combine

 
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