Sunday, June 9, 2013

El Tomate = Salsa

This week's post is going to be very lazy, and about something super delicious.  One of the greatest crops to plant in your summer garden is tomatoes because 1) they are delicious, 2) they're so useful in the kitchen, and 3) they're low-maintenance.

The hard part about planting tomatoes is deciding which type of tomato you want.  There are several varieties that serve different purposes.  You may want cherry tomatoes for simple snacking and salad-making, slicing tomatoes for your hamburgers, or perhaps you are in need of cooking tomatoes because you are obsessed with Italian food and need ridiculous amounts of red pasta sauce.  Don't be afraid to try out different tomato varieties!

When deciding upon a tomato to plant, remember that tomatoes are vines and need some type of support to help them grow upwards.  Some tomato varieties are indeterminate type tomatoes (meaning they have a longer period of time in which they produce fruit, and they grow taller)- they will need to be planted next to stakes and trained to wind around the stalk.  Other tomato varieties are determinate type tomatoes (shorter fruit producing time period, can be grown with a stake or a tomato cage).
staking method
caging method
This link and this link will give you easy steps about how to grow the best tomatoes in town.  Just in case you get too antsy, just remember to plant your tomatoes in a sunny space and don't over water (once every 5 days at the most).  When picking transplants, don't buy overgrown plants because they will have poorer root systems and will take longer to give you produce.  (P.S. if you want summer fruit, it's probably too late to start from seed. Typically, one would start seedlings in a greenhouse around March)

NOW. If you have a crap ton of tomatoes, or you just love salsa, try out this recipe!

4 C. chopped tomatoes (drained in streamer)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 lime, juiced (if you roll it on the counter before you cut it, it helps get the juice out)
some fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (for peppers, set aside seeds, then add as many as needed for desired hotness)
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped

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