Gardentalk – How to top tomatoes and get the most out of hardy, cold-tolerant greens

Cherry tomato flowers
Close up view of tiny heirloom cherry tomato flowers that are preparing to bloom in an indoor aeroponic garden in September 2020. For tomato plants growing outside or in a greenhouse, such flowers should trimmed off now so the plant can devote its remaining energy for ripening of existing tomato fruit. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

If you have tomato plants flowering in your greenhouse right now, now is the time to top them off.

Master Gardener Ed Buyarski says tomato plants need to devote any remaining energy to ripening fruit that has already emerged instead of wasting it on flowers that are unlikely to mature or produce any fruit later this fall.

Just use nail clippers or your fingers to trim or pinch off any new flowers.

Buyarski also says it’s the last call for harvesting cucumbers and zucchini. This summer’s prolonged rains have set up perfect conditions for a severe spreading of fungus.

“To the point that removal (of those plants and vegetables) is the best option,” Buyarski says.

Also, the gardening season is not over.

You can plant lettuce, mustard greens, spinach, kale, and radishes in your greenhouse right now. They will either be ready for a fall harvest or will tolerate the winter’s cooler conditions and have a head start next spring.

Buyarski says he has nine-month-old lettuce in his greenhouse that is just now beginning to bolt.

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