Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tomato Harvest and Crop Rotation

I harvested the last of my tomatoes today. It is too hot for my slicing tomatoes to set fruit, and my yellow pears have produced plenty for my taste. So I decided to cut down the yellow pears today and harvest the last of the crop.

I ended up cutting the plants at the soil level and dragging them to the grass then I shook them and banged them on the ground a bit to cause all the tomatoes to fall.

Then I just picked them up, easy peasy.

It came out to 5.4 lbs of tomatoes. This season I harvested 9.5lbs total from just these two plants. I'm quite happy with the yield!

All that's let now is the base of the plants and roots. I'm going to cut them a bit shorter then prepare the garden for the next crop.

I'm starting to work out a 3 season crop rotation that fits my hot climate. Most plans assume a short summer and long spring/fall and short winter. That just isn't what I have. I have a long summer and short fall/winter/spring with the winter usually being frost free. I'll talk in depth about my humid zone 9 climate and what grows when here at a later time. For now, I'm making lists and forming ideas and, of course, doing my research.

The only problem to befall my yellow pear tomatoes this season was these nasty beasts.

They are known as Leafhoppers. They fly from tomato to tomato and drink the juice. Most of the time the tomato just appeared a bit discolored or mottled because these guys grow and ripen so quickly. But sometimes they look like this.

So instead of battling the hoard and trying to eke another bug free harvest out of the plants, I decided to be content with the harvest and pull the plants.

I have read that neem oil is an effective control for the pests, but it would be best to catch the pests before they become a swarm. The full life cycle of the leafhopper can be lived out on the tomato plant so be sure to spray the tiny red nymph stage of the bug before they can mature.


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