There are a few gardening tasks that I do not particularly enjoy. That’s life I suppose. I will say even my most awful gardening task is still miles ahead of other things one must do (teeth cleaning, say, or arguing with insurance companies) so I remain sanguine. Yesterday, I attacked the tomatoes.
Anyone else out there maniacal tomato-plant trimmers? I think I qualify. I reduce them to one, maybe two, main trunks and then cut off all other suckers. At the end this leaves me with a pile of greenery as large, or larger, than the stuff still planted in the garden. During the rest of the season I simply (or not so simply considering how much I dislike the task) tie up the rest of the branches as they grow. Cutting the things allows more light and air in around the plants, and encourages them to produce larger fruit. Whether this does this in reality is not something I have studied: I simply do this every year and have decent results.
Anyway, I have my eye on new recipes to try for the long tomato-less season ahead: I made plenty of delicious ketchup last year, and I recently turned one jar into the most amazing barbecue sauce by adding more garlic and some local sorghum molasses. Considering meat is back on the family table, and there are a lot of chickens in that freezer downstairs, I will in all likelihood be bottling a lot of barbecue sauce. I also did not make enough salsa last year, especially of the bean or corn variety, so more of that also needs to be made. And then the usual canned tomato things (paste, sauce, chopped, whole; glut sauce, juice) also need some time.
In other words, even though I hate tending to them, tomatoes are quite the staple around here and thus require my respect. Harrumph. Grudging respect.