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We're Digging It

  • June plant swap is Saturday
    “June Plant Swap” is 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St. Reservations are required by Thursday; 427-6000 or go to www.
  • Workshops focus on preserving produce
    FORT WAYNE – The Purdue Extension Service in Allen County is offering Preserving Nature’s Bounty workshops on safe home food preservation procedures and to answer frequently asked questions on canning, freezing
  • Master Gardener helpline available
    A free Master Gardener Volunteers Helpline is available through The Ohio State University Extension Office in Paulding, Ohio.
Cathie Rowand/ The Journal Gazette
Earl Girl is one of the first tomatoes to ripen in the summer.

This year's winners

Kathi Weiss
Juliet grape tomato plant is starting to out grow its space.
CathieRowand/ The Journal Gazette
Yellow pear tomato plant ripen early this year too.

It is time to celebrate. I ate the first ripe tomatoes this week from my garden. The two tomato plants that made it to the finish line before all the others are Early Girl and Yellow Pear.

I expected the Early Girl plant to give me tomatoes first. I was pleasantly surprised by the earliness of the Yellow Pear. With ripe cucumbers that are also maturing, I was able to make a Greek salad.

More tomatoes are on the vine and getting ready to ripen. All the plants have tomatoes in various stages of growth. Surprisingly the Brandywine plants have a lot of tomatoes. I expected three tomatoes per plant at most during the whole summer. My Rutgers tomato plant is slowly growing with no blossoms yet. I thought this type of tomato plant was going to be a hardy producer.

My huge Juliet grape tomato plant is getting bigger. It really seems to enjoy having its own pot. It also has lots of green tomatoes. I had a friend take my picture next to the plant to give perspective to the size. I am 5'6". It has out grown the trellis. I had to tie a pole on top of the trellis to give the plant support.

Journey through gardening season with Rosa Salter Rodriguez (feature writer), Anne Gregory (Web editor and writer), Frank Noonan (copy editor) and Cathie Rowand (photographer)