Monday, September 15, 2014

Pulled Out 8 More Tomato Plants

Sooooo let's catch up on things...

Friday's harvest includes 3 Sugar Snack, 2 Blue Beauty, 2 Michael Pollan and Dr. Wyche's Yellow for a total of 8 tomatoes.

Saturday's harvest includes 2 Sunchocola, 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), 2 Michael Pollan, SunGold, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Black Cherry, Husky Cherry Red(1) for a total of 10 tomatoes.

I took the cages off of the tomato plants I wanted to be removed. As I was completing this chore the gardeners arrived. They threw away German Orange Strawberry, Bread and Salt, Speckled Roman(1), Blue Beauty, Black Icicle, Persimmon(1) (not Persimmon) and Black Cherry.

I gave away a lot of our harvested tomatoes to the hard working gardeners.

Sunday's harvest includes SunGold, Sugar Snack and Michael Pollan for a total of 3 tomatoes.

I pulled out Evan's Purple Pear, missed by the gardeners.

Today's harvest includes Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), Pineapple and Michael Pollan for a total of 3 tomatoes.

We've now harvested exactly 75 Pineapple tomatoes and exactly 75 Michael Pollan tomatoes!

The real story is how the tomato harvest has essentially died. There's not much left to harvest, though the Sunchocola plant is making a comeback. Whether there will be fruit from this comeback remains to be seen.

The other story is the heat. Wednesday's high (mentioned in a prior post), 99.9. Thursday's high, 100.4. Friday's high, 103.1. Saturday's high, 106.4. Sunday's high, 107.3. Blistering heat.

If Sunchocola had blooms, they would all be sterilized by now. But Sunchocola doesn't have a lot of blooms at this point and may still produce a second wind.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Harvested 325 Sugar Snack Tomatoes This Year

Today's harvest includes 2 German Orange Strawberry, 2 Blue Beauty, 2 Husky Cherry Red(1), 2 Sugar Snack, Pineapple, Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, Porkchop(1), Bread and Salt (6 ounces), Speckled Roman(2) and SunGold for a total of 15 tomatoes.

Bread and Salt and the German Orange Strawberry were good tomatoes, the rest was ordinary.

It got up to 99.9 degrees yesterday. A heat wave has arrived and records may be broken this weekend. On another note, the .08 inches of rain on September 8 broke the previous record of .07 inches of rain on September 8, 1982. Tell your friends!

We've now harvested exactly 325 Sugar Snack tomatoes this year! Not too bad for a container plant.

It looks like I won't be hitting any imminent milestones so I'll start to combine multiple harvest days in a single post.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Harvested Over 300 Husky Cherry Red(2) Tomatoes This Year!

Today's harvest includes 6 German Orange Strawberry, 3 Blue Beauty, 3 Husky Cherry Red(2), 2 SunGold, Sunchocola, Bread and Salt, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), Matt's Wild Cherry, Evan's Purple Pear, Dr. Wyche's Yellow, Husky Cherry Red(1) and Sugar Snack for a total of 22 tomatoes.

The Bread and Salt tomato and the Sunchocola tomato were pretty good while the rest was unremarkable.

It looks like my inital estimate for this month's tomato harvest of 550 will be too high. A better guess now that we're 10 days into the month is a harvest of 400 tomatoes.

It looks like we'll have a heat wave kicking in this weekend.

We've now harvested over 300 Husky Cherry Red(2) tomatoes this year (302)! Both Husky Cherry Red plants keep chugging along.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Harvested Over 625 SunGold Tomatoes This Year!

Today's harvest includes 8 SunGold, 6 German Orange Strawberry, 4 Sugar Snack, 2 Evan's Purple Pear, 2 Husky Cherry Red(1), 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), Bread and Salt (8 ounces), Blue Beauty, Speckled Roman(2), Black Icicle, Persimmon(1) (not Persimmon) and Dr. Wyche's Yellow for a total of 30 tomatoes.

Today's Bread and Salt was the star of the show while the rest was rather ordinary.

I got started a little early today and may have missed some Sunchocola tomatoes to harvest. I was going to pull out Speckled Roman(1) but the trash pickup came too soon. So I left it in the ground.

This morning's air had a crisp fall feel to it. It was refreshing!

We've now harvested over 625 SunGold tomatoes this year (631)! SunGold is about to pass Matt's Wild Cherry in total harvest for the year. This should happen later this week.

Monday, September 8, 2014


No harvest Saturday.

Sunday's harvest includes 11 German Orange Strawberry, 6 Evan's Purple Pear, 3 SunGold, 3 Persimmon(2) (not Persimmon), 3 Husky Cherry Red(1), 3 Husky Cherry Red(2), 3 Sugar Snack, 2 Speckled Roman(1), 2 Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red, 2 Aunt Ruby's German Green, Pineapple, Speckled Roman(2), Black Icicle, Dr. Wyche's Yellow, Solar Flare, Black Cherry and Beauty King for a total of 45 tomatoes.

After the harvest I pulled out 4 back yard tomatoes -- Solar Flare, Beauty King, Neves Azorean Red and Persimmon(2) (not Persimmon). Later on in the day I determined that Speckled Roman(1) can go but it hasn't been pulled yet.

No harvest today. But there's an explanation...

My alarm went off at 6:15AM. I got up and heard a noise I was unfamiliar with. Can that be rain?!?! So I looked out the front door...and it was pouring rain! After 10 minutes the rain had basically stopped but it was too wet to harvest. In taking a look at the nearby Pierce College Weather web site, they got .06 inches of rain between 6:10 AM and 6:20 AM. Not much, of course but for a 10 minute span that's not bad. And in Southern California, we'll take anything. And our Monday sprinklers went off at 6:22 while the rain was still occurring.

Anyway, this "storm" only dropped .07 of an inch so far, but WE WILL TAKE IT, THANK YOU!

To give you an idea how surprised we were about this rain, we had a couple pieces of clothing on a clothesline outside drying overnight...

Friday, September 5, 2014

Harvested Over 225 Husky Cherry Red(1) Tomatoes This Year

No harvest Thursday.

Today's harvest includes 9 German Orange Strawberry, 5 SunGold, 4 Pineapple, 4 Black Cherry, 4 Husky Cherry Red(1), 3 Blue Beauty, 3 Solar Flare, 2 Bread and Salt (8.5 ounces, 6 ounces), 2 Evan's Purple Pear, 2 Persimmon(2) (not Persimmon), 2 Beauty King, 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), Indian Stripe, Sunchocola, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), Matt's Wild Cherry, Black Icicle, Persimmon(1) (not Persimmon), Sugar Snack and Michael Pollan for a total of 50 tomatoes.

I don't know if I've ever harvested as many as 9 German Orange Strawberry tomatoes before. That's quite a haul for an oxheart tomato. However, all of them were somewhat undersized. The Indian Stripe tomato was quite nice as well as both Bread and Salt tomatoes.

We hit several milestones today. We've now harvested over 225 Husky Cherry Red(1) tomatoes this year (228)! Also, we've harvested over 150 Black Cherry tomatoes this year (151), over 50 German Orange Strawberry tomatoes this year (55) and over 50 Blue Beauty tomatoes this year (52).

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

August 2014 Tomato Analysis

Let's compare the August numbers...

2014 -- 1942 tomatoes
2013 -- 1320 tomatoes
2012 -- 3240 tomatoes
2011 -- 3863 tomatoes
2010 -- 2165 tomatoes
2009 -- 3250 tomatoes
2008 -- 1004 tomatoes
2007 -- 2806 tomatoes

Five years were higher, two were lower. What's notable is that for the July analysis, the 2010 total was slightly higher than 2014. The same is true for August. We may have a precedent...

My original estimate of 1650 tomatoes was a little low but it wasn't too far off.

The tomatoes weren't bad but they weren't great either. They were more like September tomatoes -- a little thicker skin, inconsistent maturing on the skin, not bad but not great taste. Standouts were Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), Blue Beauty and Husky Cherry Red.

So why is this happening? Well, we still believe it was quite a good year. The compost really helped and the kelp meal added to the seedlings didn't hurt, either. But Southern California is under drought conditions. We had a second consecutive low rain year and therefore the worms didn't have the environment to do what they do during the winter. Also we had the hottest first six months of the year in recorded history.

To recap, we prepared very well for this year but nature didn't cooperate. This left us with great tasting tomatoes starting out but we had no "staying power" for lack of a better term. The hot conditions burned out the plants and the season sooner than usual.

For the upcoming months Sunchocola will be the wild card. Although doubling over in places, our Sunchocola plant is getting strong new growth. But will this new growth translate into new blooms and new tomatoes? Time will tell. The rest of the plants are burning out, though either of the Husky Cherry Red plants could make a bit of a comeback.

Since we may have established a pattern, let's look at the upcoming 2010 numbers.

September 2010 -- 717 tomatoes
October 2010 -- 261 tomatoes
November 2010 -- 214 tomatoes
December 2010 -- 90 tomatoes
Total 2010 harvest -- 8092 tomatoes

It looks like 2010 had the "staying power" that I believe this year will lack.

Last month's estimate of 7500 total harvested tomatoes looks consistent with the 2010 numbers. But I'll revise that estimate down to 7300 harvested tomatoes for the year. For September 2014 I'll estimate a harvest of 550 tomatoes.

Harvested Over 6500 Tomatoes This Year!

Today's harvest includes 3 Sunchocola, 3 German Orange Strawberry, 2 Porkchop(1), 2 Blue Beauty, 2 SunGold, 2 Evan's Purple Pear, 2 Beauty King, Indian Stripe, Earl of Edgecombe, Bread and Salt, Pineapple, Speckled Roman(2), Black Icicle, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Solar Flare, Husky Cherry Red(1), Sugar Snack and Michael Pollan for a total of 27 tomatoes.

After this morning's harvest I pulled out Earl of Edgecombe. My wife wanted it out so she could plant sweet peas. I was waiting for one more tomato. The tomato was maturing but I picked it a day or two early -- today was trash pickup day (delayed a day due to Labor Day). So I harvested and pulled out the plant.

We haven't had a double figure harvest in the front yard in several weeks. Today we harvested 11 in the front yard. I didn't harvest on August 25 so I'm not counting the August 26 front yard total of 13...we have to go back to August 20 to find the last double figure front yard harvest of 11.

The Indian Stripe tomato was nice and the Bread and Salt tomato was all right. The rest was unremarkable.

It looks like I missed a milestone that occurred a few days ago. We've now harvested over 6500 tomatoes this year (6566)! It looks like we crossed the 6500 threshold on Monday and I missed it. If Sunchocola gets a second wind we should get past 7000 harvested tomatoes. Then again I may just get tired of it and pull 'em out before the 7000 mark. But for the forseeable future, we continue on...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Harvested 175 Evan's Purple Pear Tomatoes This Year

Monday's harvest includes 9 SunGold, 5 Evan's Purple Pear, 3 Black Cherry, 3 Husky Cherry Red(1), 2 German Orange Strawberry, 2 Sunchocola, 2 Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), 2 Pineapple, 2 Black Icicle, 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), Porkchop(1), Blue Beauty, Neves Azorean Red, Solar Flare and Sugar Snack for a total of 37 tomatoes.

I pulled out five tomato plants. These were Momotaro, Blue Gold, Volunteer(4), Porkchop(2) and "Green Zebra" (not Green Zebra). All were back yard tomato plants. I was tempted to pull out more but decided at the last minute not to do so. Black Cherry, you're on borrowed time...

I did water the remaining back yard tomatoes in the ground one more time.

We did hit one milestone. We've now harvested exactly 175 Evan's Purple Pear tomatoes.

Today's harvest includes 4 SunGold, 2 Speckled Roman(1), 2 Porkchop(1), 2 Blue Beauty, 2 Matt's Wild Cherry, 2 Black Cherry, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), Pineapple, Black Icicle, Evan's Purple Pear, Beauty King, Husky Cherry Red(2) and Sugar Snack for a total of 21 tomatoes.

Again, the Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1) tomato was nice while the rest was unremarkable.

The only thing notable for today was that I've been miscounting Beauty King as Solar Flare. Oh well. I won't go back and fix it.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Harvested Over 1500 Back Yard Tomatoes In August!

Saturday's harvest includes 3 Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), 3 Evan's Purple Pear, 3 Persimmon(2) (not Persimmon), 3 Black Cherry, 3 Sugar Snack, 2 SunGold, 2 Husky Cherry Red(1), Speckled Roman(1), Indian Stripe, Porkchop(1), German Orange Strawberry, Volunteer(4), Persimmon(1) (not Persimmon), Aunt Ruby's German Green, Husky Cherry Red(2), Michael Pollan and "Green Zebra" (not Green Zebra) for a total of 29 tomatoes.

One of the Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1) tomatoes was nice while the rest was ordinary. Notable was the fact that there were no Sunchocolas harvested today. You'd probably have to go back to June before we didn't harvest Sunchocola.

No milestones hit today.

Sunday's harvest includes 10 Evan's Purple Pear, 5 SunGold, 3 Blue Beauty, 3 Black Cherry, 2 German Orange Strawberry, 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), 2 Sugar Snack, Sunchocola, Bread and Salt, Blue Gold, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), Pineapple, Matt's Wild Cherry, Persimmon(1) (not Persimmon), Solar Flare, Persimmon(2) (not Persimmon) and Husky Cherry Red(1) for a total of 37 tomatoes.

The German Orange Strawberry tomatoes were fine and my wife commented how nice today's Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1) tomato was. The rest were okay.

My wife made a nice pasta dish with shrimp and some of the harvest over the last couple of days. The dish was definitely a success.

My wife watered the front yard, including the tomato plants. I assumed she double watered the tomatoes. I got in one round of watering for the back yard tomatoes in the ground.

And we have some milestones today. We've now harvested over 1500 back yard tomatoes for August (1532)! Also, we've harvested exactly 600 SunGold tomatoes this year.