It's time to batten down the tomatoes! Hurricane Irene is coming to NYC, with lashing rain and strong winds. This could mean a tomato disaster if we don't take some important steps. Our tomatoes are grown in pots and even medium strength winds can knock them over. This year, we've made great strides in preventing that by tying them to the railing with twine. To further stabilize the plants, we've tied strategically placed tomato poles to the railing too. We've also placed heavy, soil-filled pots alongside some of the tomato plants to prop them up. But with Irene bearing down, we will go further. We plan to cut back tall branches that have already been picked clean, to provide less lift, even if that means losing some flowering stems. I always hold out hope that those flowers will turn into ripe tomatoes, but with summer sun and heat diminishing, even I can admit that for the biggest varieties, like Brandywine and Cherokee, this is unlikely.