Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stupice and Volunteer(2) Have Growing Tomatoes!

On Thursday we planted Sugar Snack, Captain Lucky and Michael Pollan in containers.

Before we planted, we dumped the dirt in two of the containers onto the concrete patio. I carefully went through the dirt and picked out what I had previously thought were cutworms. We had found out earlier in the day that they were fig beetle larvae.

Today I pulled the grass out of the remaining cutout area that I said we weren't planting. That took a couple of hours. It went faster than I expected. I used a claw-like tool to separate the grass from the dirt. Then I turned over the top layer of dirt with a shovel and picked out more grass.

We replaced the dead Dark Galaxy seedling with Blue Beauty. In the newly grass cleared area we planted Ananas Noire and Pineapple.

On Thursday I noticed that Stupice has a growing tomato! I checked again today and Stupice has at least four growing tomatoes. Volunteer(2) in the third raised bed has two growing tomatoes as well. Volunteer(2) is the best looking tomato plant of them all right now.

The "koi pond" tomatoes look terrific. Sunchocola looks the best but there is no clunker in the area. They all look good.
 

Monday, April 14, 2014

More Plantings...

On Thursday we planted Speckled Roman(2) and Dark Galaxy in the cleared out area that I had said earlier we wouldn't plant in this year (ha ha). We planted Green Grape and Husky Cherry Red(1) in the fourth raised bed.

On Saturday (after working TomatoMania in Fillmore) we planted Bloody Butcher, Indigo Apple and Indian Stripe in the "corner office". However, something whacked Dark Galaxy overnight and it doesn't look very healthy. We'll monitor this closely and replace with a different seedling if it doesn't recover.

Today my wife planted Speckled Roman(1), Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red and Porkchop in the "corner office". Dark Galaxy looks the same...

Pulling out the grass and digging the holes for the new area was a chore. We're only about halfway through pulling out the grass but it did create enough room to plant the two tomatoes mentioned above. I pulled out about three gallons of rocks and asphalt before planting Speckled Roman(2) and over two gallons planting Dark Galaxy. These "virgin" areas have a lot of asphalt.

Almost all of the other tomato plants have taken off and look great.
 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Planted Three More Seedlings, But Replaced Two

Today we replaced Green Grape with Black Cherry and we replaced Miss Elliott Persimmon (not Persimmon) with two Miss Elliott Persimmon seedlings. Also, we planted Husky Cherry Red in one of the raised beds.

The planted and remaining seedlings have all been watered over the past two days.

You know what, I need to identify the raised beds. We have five raised beds. One uses redwood while the others use cinder block. I'll identify them by going east to west, north to south. The first east/west row has three beds, the second east/west row has two beds.

The first raised bed contains a volunteer. The second raised uses redwood and contains no tomato plants. The third raised bed has the volunteer that's growing like a weed. The fourth raised bed has the recently planted Husky Cherry Red. The fifth raised bed contains another tomato volunteer.

My wife put shade cloths against some of the back yard tomato cages. Some of the plants were beginning to wilt.

I dug into the container that held Rosella Purple last year (if memory serves, this tomato was mislabeled...), hoping to prove that we didn't need to worry about cutworms. After digging around, I found nearly a dozen cutworms, though none were adult sized. However, the point was made, we need to sift through the dirt.
 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Catching Up On Some Back Yard Plantings(2)

Here's the second half of this week's plantings...

Yesterday I dug the holes and my wife planted Neves Azorean Red, Snow White, Matt's Wild Cherry, Pierce's Pride, Black Krim and SunGold. I pulled out about a gallon and 3/4 of rocks and asphalt.

Today's plantings include Black Sea Man, Indigo Rose, Jaune Flamme, Black From Tula and Brad's Black Heart. A lot of dark tomatoes were planted today! I pulled out over 2 gallons of rock and asphalt.

My wife also started pulling out the grass in the area that I said we didn't have enough time to pull it all out. If we want to plant all our tomatoes, we'll need this area. We'll see how it goes...after all, this area didn't get the compost like the rest of the backyard planting area did. Still, it's better than nothing.
 

Catching Up On Some Back Yard Plantings(1)...

So let's catch up on some of the back yard plantings...

On Tuesday my wife replaced the back yard Berkeley Tie Dye (from seed) with Odoriko, replaced Evan's Purple Pear (grown from seed) with Cherokee Purple and replaced the now non-existent Pineapple Pig(2) with Red Pear Piriform.

On Wednesday I dug the holes and my wife planted Dr. Wyche's Yellow, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Black Icicle, Paul Robeson, Nyagous and Evan's Purple Pear. I pulled out about a gallon and half of rocks and asphalt.

The dirt for the back yard and "koi pond" tomatoes looks great. After I dig out the dirt I've been adding some kelp meal, a handful of worm castings and a handful of tomato fertilizer, then mix it all together. This is on top of all the compost we added a few months back.
 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Friday's "Koi Pond" planting

Here's an image from Friday's "koi pond" planting. It might not show...but I'm really tired in this shot. This was after the Descanso Gardens TomatoMania preparation day, a full day in and of itself.
 

The "Koi Pond" is Planted!

Let's try to catch up on some of this...

We've fully planted the "koi pond". We still need to put up cages and make dirt moats around the tomatoes, but they have been planted. We're making a concerted effort to get them in the ground as quickly as is reasonably possible.

A week ago last Tuesday (March 25) my wife planted Yellow Perfection, Sunchocola, Adriana's Grande, Janet's Jacinthe Jewel and Orange Paruche in the "koi pond". It's my understanding that last year's delicious Grande tomato is this year's Adriana's Grande. On Friday (after the Descanso Gardens prep work) I dug holes and my wife planted Earl of Edgecombe and German Orange Strawberry. Last Tuesday we planted Earliana, Vorlon and Berkeley Tie Dye. Yesterday we planted Bread and Salt and Hungarian Heart.

So we have 12 tomato plants in the "koi pond". We planted six tomatoes in the back yard today and I think we planted eight yesterday (but several of these plantings replaced existing seedlings).

We're trucking along...
 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Catching up -- Summary Version

I'll give a summary of the past couple of weeks and leave the details for later...

I worked the TomatoMania events in Encino and Descanso Gardens. Both were hard work but lots of fun. Gayle Anderson did several drop-ins for the KTLA morning news at Descanso Gardens on Friday. Met several friends at both Encino and Descanso Gardens.

We've been planting! Five tomatoes in the "koi pond" last Tuesday, two more on Friday, three yesterday. The three done today replaced bad or missing seedlings planted in the back yard.

Also, two of the volunteer tomatoes were moved to raised beds.

Everywhere we dig we find cutworms. They're everywhere. Not good.

Time permitting I'll fill in the details later...
 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Two Volunteers Found, One Seedling Replaced

The next day after the original planting two tomatoes got hit by cutworms -- Green Grape and Evan's Purple Pear. Green Grape was completely sheared off. Evan's Purple Pear was hit but I decided to keep it.

Yesterday Green Grape was replaced yesterday with another Green Grape.

Here's an image of our tomato seed trays...


My wife informed me of two volunteers -- one tomato plant in the southwest corner of our northwest raised bed (which looks fabulous) and another one in the "South Garden" (which looks okay).

By the way, if the tomato seedlings from seeds look like they are struggling, I have no trouble pulling them out and replacing them. They were old seeds, planted a bit late, and raised without a grow light. I'll give them about a month to show what they got. The two Pineapple Pig seedlings do not look promising so far.
 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The 2014 Growing Season Has Started!

Today I planted one purchased seedling and 11 of our seedlings grown from seed.

In the ground are Stupice (purchased), Beauty King, Porkchop, Berkeley Tie Dye, Evan's Purple Pear, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye, Solar Flare, Persimmon (seeds from The Tomato Lady of Beverly Hills, not the more famously named Persimmon), Green Grape and Pineapple Pig.

I also planted two duplicates by mistake: Persimmon and Pineapple Pig. I meant to plant a second Persimmon but in the front yard. There's a good chance I'll still plant one there.

So 12 are in the ground and they look pretty good! All of them were planted in the "Far East" in the back yard.

The 2014 growing season has started!