Tomatoes, or 'pomodori', as we Italians call them, are the cornerstone of Italian cuisine. Tomato sauce, or 'sugo' as we call it (not 'gravy', not now, not ever) is the holy grail of the week's meals, often consumed on Sunday for dinner (which is generally a multi-course, multi-hour event that begins around 3pm).
We use our tomatoes mixed in green salads, in salads of their own, on sandwiches, with eggs, in frittatas, as sauce, sprinkled with salt, on top of pizzas and focaccia, as flavor additives to soups–the list goes on and on.
Above are the cherry tomatoes two weeks after the previous photos.
Extreme close-up of the cherry tomatoes.
A basket filled with yesterday's harvest.
Planting & Care
If there's one thing I've learned over the years about growing tomatoes it's: heat, heat, heat. Here in southern NY, our summers tend to be hot and humid (high 70s to 90s) which is ideal for their growth.
Tomatoes need heat and sun, and plenty of it. 6-8 hours a day minimum. Be sure to plant your tomatoes in the sunniest spots of your yard, or if you start them off in a shady spot, when have reached roughly a foot in growth, be sure to move them.
Don't oversaturate your soil with too many plants, as they can grow to well over 6-7 feet and will be very demanding on the soil's nutrients. We try to keep at least 2-3 feet between each plant.
Be sure to maintain wet soil for your plants. Never allow the top inch of soil to dry out completely.
I plan on following up with a blog about the full canning process when I 'can' (pun intended), and some sauce and pizza recipes. Stay tuned!