Help Me Settle This [NOT 6/10/21]

Hi, friends!

My father and I are disagreeing about my tomato and pepper plants.

I think he’s wrong. Help me out here, smart people.

We have about a month until a frost is expected, thanks to climate change. I mean yeah a lot of days will have lows in the 40s before then probably, but pretty consistently the first weekend of November is looking to be the expected frost time.

I feel like the slicer tomatoes and large peppers have no chance of setting fruit and it ripening between now and then, so I think I should trim off the branches like that to force the plants to shove all their efforts into the fruit already growing.

The cherry tomatoes and sweet banana peppers? Those things grow like lightning speed so I don’t see a reason to trim those.

My dad thinks this is horrible and I shouldn’t trim anything.

What should I do?



      • The ONLY disagreement I’d have with doing this to the tomatoes, is that it means you wouldn’t have one last batch of green tomatoes at the end of the season, for making into Fried Green Tomatoes (or, ideally, Fried Pinkish-Green Tomatoes!😉)💖


        That’s what I love doing with any “still ripening” tomatoes i have the night before a predicted frost–i go pick everything, letting the almost-ripe ones sit out on a sunny table/ windowsill til they’re ready to eat, and using all the greener ones to make one last batch of fried greens sometime later that week.


        Of course, that’s also the night to raid any & all neighborhood yards’ rhubarb patches, since otherwise the stems will wilt away!  I pull whatever i can get, then over the next couple days wash & chop it. Some gets measured out into 2c. bags for rhubarb cakes, and some 4c. bags for Rhubarb Crunch:**

        The rest gets packed into jars & layered with 1c of sugar per quart of fruit, then covered with cheap vodka (Phillips, because it’s made here) & lidded to make rhubarb cordial.

        The cordial will steep for a few months (until I finally remember to strain it *sometime* mid-winter!🤣), and then get strained & bottled for later drinking and/or pouring over ice cream.


        **Also–the Rhubarb Crunch can be turned into Apple Crisp or Apple/Cranberry crisp! Just substitute 4c of sliced tart apples dusted with some ground cinnamon/ nutmeg/ cloves/ allspice/ mace (whatever your preferred fall spices may be!🤗), or 3.5-4-ish cups of spiced apples and a half cup or so, of fresh cranberries.

        You DO want tart/astringent apples, or apples AND fresh cranberries!!!! Because the sugar syrup needs a good bit of tartness/astringency, in order to not just become a bland sugar-flavored ‘beetus-bomb😉

        • The only reason I am not worried about missing out on those fried green tomatoes is that I am not really a fan of fried green tomatoes!

  1. I know nothing about gardening so I’ll have to defer to the greener thumbed Deadsplinters. But you seem to know what you’re doing so I’d trust your opinion.

  2. The plants are already dropping in their ability to absorb and use energy so the more you can force towards what’s salvageable the better.

    • I agree. They’re not just reacting to the temps, they’re reacting to the shrinking amount of daylight, which is triggering them to shut down.

    • Appreciate the info from you and blue dogcollar! I’m gonna do a hatchet job on them tomorrow or Friday after work.

  3. I took a stab at putting more seeds in for baby salad greens. They’re just starting to come up, but based on past experience I’m not expecting much. But the seed packages are starting to leak and the seeds are getting old, so it’s no big loss if I only get one tiny salad out of the mess.

    • Fingers crossed!

      I got my lettuce and bok choy planted a few weekends ago but this weekend we’re spiking back up close to 90 so fingers crossed it isn’t super crankypants with the heat.

  4. Last night’s post inspired me… I made a big ol’ pot of chili for dinner tonight!

      • It does! (Well, did. Lol) Onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, jalapeños, chopped up bacon and burgers… loads of spices… mmmmm… good… *Homer drooling gif*

  5. À propos to my stork story comment… Niche is derived from Latin/French and means nest… I was being punny.


    Lol yes “not being understood or being misunderstood” is one of the things that keep me up at night.

  6. There will probably be an early frost this year according to Farmer’s Almanac.  Plus, one of my students is an official State of Virginia master gardener and she answers questions like this all day.  She says follow your instincts.  Trim.

    Me personally?  I got no idea, but I know people.  As we say back in Chicago, “I got a guy.”

    Do as thou wilt.

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