Saturday, May 17, 2008

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

It was hot, hot, hot today, over 100 degrees.

When I watered this morning, I noticed that Carbon had a tomato, while Golden Jubilee had two.

Jaune Flamme has at least four tomatoes on it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

2006 Tomato Harvest Image

This image was from our 2006 harvest in July.

There's some nice tomatoes, of course, but I want to make particular note of the three Speckled Romans – two underneath the yellow tray and the third one to the right next to the tomato that looked like a dumbbell.

The Speckled Romans tasted great. And you can kind of see why I called them “hand grenades”.

More Tomatoes...

I spent about an hour looking and training the tomato plants after work (a branch can grow an inch or more in a day – multiply multiple branches by 51 and you can see how it can get time consuming) and found the following:

Red Currant has more tomatoes turning orange.
Prairie Fire has five tomatoes on it.
Italian Market Wonder has two tomatoes on it.
Cherokee Chocolate has five tomatoes on it.
And the two Taxi tomatoes continue to ripen.

We're only in the trickle stage, but it's a trickle...

Here's an image of the "koi pond" that my lovely wife took yesterday:

Jaune Flamme Has Tomatoes

While preparing to go to work, I noticed that Jaune Flamme had at least two tomatoes on it, one of them bigger than the Red Currant picked yesterday. Speaking of which, the two picked Red Currants are ready to eat.

And the two Taxi tomatoes on the bottom are more yellow than they were last night.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Taxi Tomatoes Yellowing

Oh, I forgot to mention that Taxi has a couple of tomatoes turning yellow.

My wife and I took a look at our neighbor's tomato plants in containers. They look fabulous! Mine look very good...but I'm jealous nonetheless. ;)

First Tomato Harvest!

I picked the two Red Currants this evening. However, I would have liked to have kept them on the vine a little bit longer. The more ripe one was attracting gnat like bugs, so I pulled them both and put them on our windowsill in the kitchen.

Earlier this morning I noticed a tomato on our front yard Zhezha. It looked large enough to have been there a few days. This is our first tomato grown from seed.

It was very warm today. When I got home I watered down the clay pots in the front yard.

I took close looks at most all of the tomato plants. Green Grape has at least three tomatoes on it. Thessaloniki and Black From Tula have at least one tomato on it.

Purple Russian, RIP. Whether it was the heavy watering that put it under or the water attracted cutworms which finished it off, or both, it doesn't matter. It's withered now.

Italian Market Wonder, White Bush and Cherokee Chocolate have at least one tomato on it. The White Bush plant continues to impress – it's nearly as tall as Yellow Brandywine. The Cherokee Chocolate tomato looks like it's been around for about a week, it's nearly the size of the harvested Red Currant.

Our Grandfather's Obituary

...can be found here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Watered Heavily; Heat Wave Coming

I heavily watered the tomato plants this morning in preparation for the coming heat wave. It was time to water, since the last watering was Saturday. In fact, some of the container plants were beginning to wilt.

Other than that, there isn't a whole lot to say. In the backyard, Olga's Round Yellow Chicken, Black Krim and Carbon look good. Jeff Davis looks strong for only being in the ground for a few weeks. Kimberly seems a bit behind the others but still looks healthy. I planted Kimberly about three feet from the lemon tree trunk and I might have planted it near a major root or something.

In the front yard, all the new plantings look healthy and strong. I did a lot of tucking for Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter, so perhaps it's having a growth spurt. The most mature tomato on Red Currant is not reddish orange. Overall, I estimate about 250 – 300 tomatoes on Red Currant at the moment. Remember, these are smaller than cherry tomatoes and grow in clusters, so this amount isn't surprising at all. Aunt Ruby's German Green and Big Rainbow are getting tall but have no tomatoes. When they do, though, the plant will support them well.

This heat wave will be the first test of the paper mulch.

I expect growth spurts from all our tomatoes!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Phew! No Backyard Digging

When I got home I checked the tomato plants in the back yard, looking for any signs of digging dogs, but happily found none. I didn't have time to do much else, tomato-wise.

Before work, I had a couple minutes to do some minor training on the koi pond tomatoes that don't have tomatoes.

The weather has been unusually overcast for at least a week. However, we're due for record high temperatures on Thursday and Friday, getting over 100 degrees both days. I have to water tomorrow morning in preparation of this heat wave.

I don't remember this much temperature variability last year.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Another Red Currant Maturing

My wife's parents are going to our grandfather's funeral on Monday. Earlier today, we acquired their two dogs to watch for about a week.

One dog dug out one of her tomato plants last year to get to the egg about a foot down. To prevent this with our tomato plants in the backyard, we went to Green Thumb and bought Sturdy Twists. We then cut pieces of wire to string from the bottom rung to the next highest rung where there wasn't a stake on each side. This should deter any digging.

I caught our Manchester Terrier peeing on Aker's Plum. I washed it off pretty quickly. Previously, I've noticed wetness on the Evan's Italian Plum stake the day after I put it in the ground. The Manchester Terrier marks everything. Everything. We installed a birdbath for the backyard yesterday. Within 10 seconds of him noticing it, he marked it.

Lower leaves on a lot of the backyard plants have signs of burning (for instance, small holes), burning that doesn't show up on the front yard plants. It's a near certainty that this caused serious issues with our Purple Russian and Zhezha. There's nothing much to do about it except wash it off when seen.

We doubt that we'll get anything off of our Purple Russian. It's slowly getting better, but it's still worse than when we acquired it a month ago. It's so thin it can barely support itself. The backyard Zhezha is growing again and growing well, but it lost about three or four weeks recovering. Will it be too late?

I noticed a second Red Currant turning orange just to the right of the first orange tomato.