It's over for 2012. All the tomato plants were pulled out by the gardeners today. SunGold, Husky Cherry Red(2), Snow White(2) and our two winter tomatoes were all gone by about noon today.
I hadn't harvested in several days. It was either raining, cold, windy or any combination of these.
This morning I started in the back yard. I knew it had been cold (the numbers will come later) but hadn't had the time to assess the damage. Husky Cherry Red(2) had sustained some pretty good damage -- probably the worst of all the plants as it turned out -- and due to the already weakened state it was an easy decision to pull it. Next I checked Snow White(2). Less damage, but any damage is good enough for old tomato plants. Get rid of it.
Next I looked at the front yard and the mighty SunGold. The first thing I noticed was the plant had a gray pallor but also had hundreds of tomatoes on the ground. Many of them were ripe and completely salvageable.
Then I started to harvest within the plant. The slightest jiggle would send a half a dozen or more tomatoes to the ground. This happened repeatedly. It appeared that the tomato plant had simply given up, leaving extremely little support for the tomatoes themselves. I harvested as many of the ripe tomatoes as I could.
I'm not posting final numbers yet because there will probably be some ripe, harvestable tomatoes on the ground.
The winter tomato plants had a vivid, healthy green color for about a foot off the ground and the damaged black color from then on. They had to go.
The pole beans were damaged beyond repair and will be pulled. Other freeze damage was noted among the plants.
However, there is some real good news to report: My wife, after years and years and years of toiling in the garden, will have our grounds as a featured stop for the Iris Society garden tour in April of next year. Congratulations!!!!
Here's some temperature details, care of the Pierce College weather station.
December 20: 32.1 degrees at 6:30 AM.
December 21: 29.4 degrees at 6:30 AM.
December 22: 33.6 degrees at 7:30 AM.
And that's why our plants were pulled.