Invasion of the Killer Tomato Plants and Canning Tomatoes

I’m not sure what I did, but we have tomato plants to rival any other tomato plant anywhere. Before their mass collapsed the sturdy cages I bought for them, two of them were approaching six feet tall and over 6 feet in circumference. When the cages first started to collapse, I attempted to brace them up by tying them off to the brick columns on the front of my house, but even that has failed. Now, we just have this mass o’ tomatoes hanging off the front of my house.

It’s really kind of weedy looking to tell the truth, but the smell is incredible.

But the best thing is that it is now officially the start of harvest, and we’ll be canning our first tomatoes this weekend. I prefer tomato juice, so we’ll go that route. My closest estimate is that we have around 300 to 400 tomatoes actually on the vine at this point, so I’m hoping for at least 40 quart jars of tomatoes. To tell the truth, I have no idea how to do it, which brings me to the second half of my post.

I did an extensive search on the Internet to try and find instructions on making tomato juice. The only stuff I ever found that was even close was a site that wanted me to purchase “a system” including “equipment, instructions, and so forth.” Uh… No thanks. If it comes down to having to go that route, I have something far, far better than the Internet.

I have mom.

My mother has canned tomato juice as long as I can remember, and this weekend we’ll make a pilgrimage down to grandma’s house to be fully trained, instructed, and indoctrinated. It sounds so delicious, and I can’t think of anything better to do this weekend than stand in a hot, steamy kitchen canning tomatoes with my mother and family. Really.

Besides, moms are always better than Google.

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2 Responses to Invasion of the Killer Tomato Plants and Canning Tomatoes

  1. Do you have a picture of those killer tomato plants to share? Any idea what kind of plants they are. I would love to have 300-400 tomatoes. I have quite a few plants but most are cherry tomatoes.

  2. daveloveless says:

    I don’t have a picture. I wish I would have taken one before they collapsed because they were slightly ridiculous in size. Now they just look like a big pile o’ tomatoes. We planted three Beef Steak and two Early Girl plants. The Early Girls have the most tomatoes by far (75 to 100 each I would guess), but the Beef Steaks are the plants that grew so incredibly large.

    I think the reason behind our success is that I built a pair of raised planters. As part of that, I buried a lot of the yard debris, including the rubble from a small sidewalk I ripped out. That base has created a wonderful drainage system. On top of that, I laid about 3 inches of mulch and then a good two foot of top soil mixed in with lots of nutrients and what not. The ultra-loose soil, the draining, and the richness of the environment have got to be what is driving it all.

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