Why Cleveland and Late Season Tomatoes Don’t Mix

Unripe Late Season Tomato
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Today, I am officially giving up on the season tomatoes that I have growing in my garden. These are the few Hanna’s Tomato Tasting Tomatoes that have not yet been reviewed.

*sigh* I am just a little depressed about this because I paid good money for those tomato plants and they will not give up a single ripe tomato this season. A rational person may have blamed themselves for lack of foresight. After all, I live in Cleveland, the land of snow in June and heat waves in February. The land of trick-o-treating and Easter egg hunting being dates where you aren’t sure that you will be wearing snow pants or short pants. I should have known better.

But I really hate to blame myself for anything. I find that it creates a poor self image. So therefore, I am adopting the backwards but convenient logic of my 5 year old son and I am blaming the next logical persons in this case. Dick Goddard and Mark Johnson, Cleveland’s most visible weathermen. This is all their fault. If they had just predicted warmer weather for a little bit longer…

But what is done, is done, so I must face the facts and learn from this travesty.

Lesson for today kids, is “Don’t plant late season tomatoes in Cleveland (unless you are someone who find Las Vegas and racetracks to be fun places, then by all means, gamble on this too).

BTW, for those who are unfamiliar with the term late season tomato – Tomatoes fall into one of three categories, early, mid and late season. Because we gardeners are pretty literal people, these terms mean pretty much what they say. Early season tomatoes have the shortest maturation time and will be the first to produce ripe tomatoes in you garden. Mid season have a medium length of time to maturation and will produce ripe tomatoes mid season. And late season tomatoes have the longest maturation time and will produce tomatoes last. You are really suppose to plant at least one of each in your garden to ensure that you get tomatoes all season.

While technically, according to zone maps and definition) the weather here in Cleveland should support late season tomatoes easily, the reality is that with our erratic weather here, late season tomatoes are a gamble. The good news is that if Ohio’s “Earn (sic Gamble) and Learn” initiative passes, we will be one step closer to being able to lay odds and take bets on the likelihood of a late season tomato producing fruit. I might then be able to recoup my losses from betting on them by planting them.

Either way, at this point in time, I think that I will just keep from planting late season tomatoes in my garden. There is nothing more heartbreaking than waiting for a whole season to sample a new tomato only to discover that Mother Nature and the Cleveland Weathermen have conspired to steal them from you.

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