Saturday, May 24, 2008

Big Rainbow Has A Tomato

On Friday, I didn't do too much except minor “training” of the plants.

Today, we did a bit more.

I picked a couple of Red Currants early in the morning. After breakfast, we purchased some neem oil to address the leaf footed bug issue. Our plan at that time was to wait a few days to let the plants dry out (We had a freak rainstorm overnight), then apply the neem oil to the Red Currant plant. As reported earlier, I saw small bugs on one of the first tomatoes I picked. About half of the ones I picked show some damage due to bugs. That's not as disastrous as it sounds, as our Manchester Terrier loves them just the same.

I showed the Red Currant plant to my wife, who promptly picked some more ripe ones. Several showed minor damage, which went to the dog (Oh by the way, we're down to one dog since Monday. We'll get the poodle back tomorrow from my mother in law.). Most were fine, but several appeared so damaged that we didn't even bother feeding the dog with them. Altogether, we picked 17 Red Currants today.

Because it dried out later today and we were not pleased with the bad tomatoes, we used the neem oil in the afternoon. We'll see if it affects things for the better.

I pruned most of the low tomato branches on all the plants. While pruning Big Rainbow I noticed, hey, it has a tomato on it!

I told my wife that I had some minor concerns about Garden Peach. She was elsewhere in the garden when I told her this and she was interested in seeing it for herself.

I noted the color, which is slightly more gray than the other plants. But my major concern was that there appeared to be hundreds of dried blooms on it. The plant feels a bit brittle compared to the others as well. My wife agreed and was a bit alarmed by it.

Now that I'm writing this I'll give it some fertilizer. That should help. It does have four growing tomatoes and has good height. It's just that I would have expected dozens more by now. Let's hope the fertilizer helps.

Sigh...when I got home and added worm castings to some of the plants in the back I noted that the Manchester Terrier had knocked off one of the Golden Jubilee tomatoes. It was at least quarter sized.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

KCRW -- Evan Kleiman Interview

Here's an interview I did with Evan Kleiman on KCRW last year.

Evan Kleiman Interview

This interview occurred nine days after our marriage ceremony. The tomato pictures on the page are from our 2007 harvest.

Sioux Has A Tomato; Taxis Harvested

I took a closer look at the tomato plants this evening.

Sioux has a new tomato on it. Lots of others have one or two more tomatoes than previously reported.

The mature Patio tomato is getting more red. A couple of Husky Cherry Red tomatoes are now turning red.

I picked a Red Currant and it looks like more will be picked in the near future.

When my wife got home, she picked the two Taxis. They taste pretty good. Not great, but certainly pretty good.

Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter looks very strong...but still no tomatoes. There was something funny on one of the leaves – initially I thought it was caterpillar excrement but changed my mind – and I got rid of it.

I caught a moth on the underside of a Kellogg's Breakfast leaf. I knocked it off and stepped on it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Harvested Two More Red Currants

After work today, I checked out the tomato plants in the front and back.

The color on the two mustard colored Taxi tomatoes are more consistent. Also, their color may be lightening just slightly.

One of the Patio tomatoes has begun to turn red.

I picked two more Red Currant tomatoes.

No new tomatoes were noted though I didn't look too closely. I just adjusted the branches on a few of the tomato plants.

Checking the plants most every day it isn't the most exciting thing to do. But the repetition pays off when something different catches your eye. Tonight I noticed that the underside of an Aunt Ruby' German Green leaf had hundreds of tiny hexagonal eggs planted on it. It didn't matter what species they were, they simply didn't belong. So I pulled the leaf, threw it in the street and stepped on it. I didn't notice this on any other leaf. I'll keep an eye out for it.

A few weeks back I noticed something on the underside of about a dozen of the Big Rainbow leaves. I was able to brush them off with my hands and hadn't noticed them since.

Tomatoes -- General Information

Some time later on I'll post other interesting tomato links. But I just ran across this link and wanted to post it. Lots of good information here.

General Information Growing Tomatoes

Leaf Footed Bugs

Last year we were inundated with leaf footed bugs toward the end of the growing season. We knew they were pests, but couldn't identify them or explain what they were.

Until now.

What will we do about it? It's too early to tell but we've at least identified them.

What did you do to control the leaf-footed bug? Let me know!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I watered the plants this evening. I didn't notice any new tomatoes, however.

In the back yard, Cherokee Chocolate and Black Krim look very good. Cherokee Chocolate looks like it has about 10 tomatoes on it. Black Krim doesn't have any that I saw but it looks very good.

In the front yard, Big Rainbow is about four feet tall, but no tomatoes yet.

Tomato chores to do this weekend:

  1. Cut the lowest branches that are growing into the ground.

  2. Adjust the paper mulch so it isn't hitting the stems

  3. Add paper mulch where necessary (Blue Fruit, for one, needs some more)

Nope, Won't Pick Taxi Yet

My wife came home, checked the Taxi tomatoes and said they weren't ready. She also stated that one of them has a worm in it (bleah). Since they're supposed to be a bright yellow, not mustard yellow, I'll leave them on for a bit longer.

Red Currant has about a dozen tomatoes orange or turning orange. The amount of blooms on this plant is amazing. If all goes well I can see us getting 1500 tomatoes off of this plant.

Monday, May 19, 2008

And Still More Tomatoes...

Checked the tomato plants again…Black Cherry and Salisaw CafĂ© have tomatoes.

The two Taxi tomatoes have a deep mustard color. I’d like to leave them on until tomorrow morning, but I think my wife may pick them when she gets home. Let’s wait and see.

Paul Robeson Has A Tomato

While showing the tomato plants to a visitor on Sunday, we noticed that Paul Robeson has a tomato on it.

Today, Jaune Flamme showed a fifth tomato.

The two Taxi tomatoes are very close to being picked. My wife wanted to pick them this morning but I wanted to wait a bit more.

It got up to 99 in our city on Saturday (as opposed to over 100) and 98 yesterday. We bought another air conditioner on Saturday and installed it yesterday. It's helping, though we'd still prefer it to be cooler.