An interview with Ernie Shiversveggiesharvest

What have been the challenges of this season?

“This has been the most unusual season in the 40 years I’ve been here. We’ve had more rain, all kind of problems with the tomatoes, blooms come on and fall off, low temperatures. Finally in the latter part of August the rain subsided and now I’m getting some tomatoes.”

“Ordinarily this time of year, I’m picking tomatoes by the bucket full and sharing them with neighbors, even selling a few, but not this year.”

What are some tips to extend the growing season?

“Continue watering and fertilizing a little along. When the temperatures drop put some plastic around the cages of the tomato plant. This keeps the cold wind off of the plant.”

“When frost is predicted for your area, go and pick all your green tomatoes, bring them inside and they’ll ripen.”

What should people do now to prepare for next season?

“This is cleanup time in the garden. Pull up the dead plants and either burn them or put them on the compost pile. If you have a diseased plant, burn them don’t put those in your compost pile.”

“Leafy vegetables are planted in the fall: lettuce, mustard, spinach, collards, beets, carrots, onions, etc.”

What about tomato seeds?

“Heirloom tomatoes can be good to collect the seeds from. Hybrid tomato seeds typically don’t produce fruit when the plant grows. When you buy plants or seeds it will tell you whether it’s a hybrid or not.”

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