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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

First 2011 Tomatoes by Variety

Experience has taught us to bring our tomatoes inside to ripen on the counter, picking them just as soon as they show any color. Anything left on the vine too long will be destroyed by birds and squirrels and bugs.

Philo & I shared two 'Black Cherry' tomatoes last week - guess they were the first little tomatoes of 2011. Here's what's on the counter right now, minus what we'll count as the first regular tomato- the larger 'Early Girl' at bottom in the photo was sliced for breakfast. (Click to enlarge the photo)
AnnieinAustin,2011,05, tomatoes with IDs
We've already lost a couple of green tomatoes to bird pecks - once punctured they tend to rot. That very green 'German Johnson' at upper right in the photo fell off the vine. We had a couple of 'Gypsy' peppers this weekend. A few weeks ago we had great hopes for the 'Mariachi' pepper, but it suddenly collapsed, much like the heirloom tomatoes 'Paul Robeson' and 'Green Zebra' did last year. This is a worry - and one reason the heirloom 'German Johnson' is in a large container instead of in the garden soil.
A couple of mystery squashes are developing small fruit - who will get them first? The squash vine borers, the critters, or us?

Edit Monday AM: Good thing some tomatoes were inside - something (probably a squirrel) attacked one of the few 'Black Krim' tomatoes this AM while it was still solid green -it's in the compost now. And another pepper plant collapsed.


  1. What delicious fun to have all these different tomato varities. I hope you get the mystery squashes first.

  2. Congrats on your first tomato harvest, I know how exciting and "looked forward to" this is! I did'nt get to plant many this season but we've gotten a good amount from self sown cherries and plums. Also harvested some costuluto and bolseno.

  3. I cannot find celebrity anywhere this year! Called the grower and he said there was a seed failure...good for you to have them-such good tomatoes! I am also a fan of the gypsy. So many peppers from one plant!

  4. How wonderful to have so many varieties. We have only enough room for 4 tomato plants, so I envy someone who has such a harvest.We eat them for breakfast too.. Balisha

  5. I added a new photo - ?%$#@!* squirrel got two tomatoes this morning :(

    The Early Girl we had was small but good, Lisa at Greenbow... too bad growing vegetables doesn't feel pastoral in my yard - it's more like a battle!

    Lucky you! We love Costoluto Genovese, Nicole, but haven't seen it in a few years. Enjoy yours ;-)

    Most of our plants came from the Natural Gardener in Austin, Sissy - not sure what company the Celebrity came from but others had tags from growers closer to Houston. Celebrity usually does OK but NOTHING does well every year.

    In Texas we have 2 short seasons, Balisha, rather than the one long one in the Upper Midwest. We cram a variety of tomatoes into a small space because for them it's now-or-never! The bigger tomato plants will probably die in summer's heat just as yours are really getting going. The grape-size Juliets might make it through fall. Many people replant for a fall crop, but my pecan trees will cast too much shade then.

    Thanks for the comments!

  6. Beautiful reds and oranges! All the tomatoes on my kitchen table are almost as green as your German Johnson, because I found two squirrel-chomped tomatoes in the past two days. I'll pick them green rather than let the squirrels have them. Time to redo the bird netting. Sigh.

  7. Wow, that looks like very good eating. I love your text to identify each. Not only are you a gardener and a musician, you're a techie girl!

  8. Awww... how sad. 'Black Krim' is one of my very favorites!

    Thanks for the tomato post, Annie. You're inspiring me to plant mine soon. :)

  9. Our netting at least slows them down, Iris - hope your Lycopersicon lycopersicum protection system will do better! Hope all our green tomatoes gradually turn red.

    Fingers crossed I can write Black Krim on a photo this season, Linda at CTV!

    'Black Krim' is high on the list, Blackswamp Girl ... also wanted 'JD's Special C-Tex' tomato and 'Spanish Spice' peppers but no luck finding either one this year. Sure hope you find your favorites and happy planting!


  10. Good haul already. I've eaten only one cherry tomato,, a gold one. Yours look better than it was.~~Dee

  11. Those danged furry-tailed rodents! I guess that's one good thing about not growing tomatoes this spring: I don't have any for the squirrels to eat!


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