Friday, June 6, 2008

Old Ivory Egg Has A Tomato!

When I got home from work, I harvested 23 Red Currants. I noticed a bug on Red Currant so I'll probably hit it with neem oil again.

There are two Patio tomatoes that are very close to being picked. A Micro Tom and one or two Husky Cherry Red tomatoes are orange. A Red Robin and Taxi tomato are starting to turn.

Also, Old Ivory Egg has a tomato on it! I'm surprised because that was the last tomato planted in the garden.

I put on latex gloves and worked on all the tomato plants.

Because of the Red Currant harvest we are only two tomatoes behind last years totals at this date.

Plants Without Tomatoes

Let's take a look at the plants that don't have tomatoes on their vines as of today...

Blue Fruit – Grown from seed, planted April 3. This plant seemed about three weeks behind the Tomatomania plants planted a few days later. For a few days I thought there was a chance I could lose this plant. No more. Big dark green leaves, but not very tall. Doing well, though. Has a few blooms going.

Black Krim – Seedling grown from seed, planted April 26. It's too early for tomatoes on this plant. Has a lot of leaf curl and a tad more gray color than I'd like. But it seems to be doing all right.

Chocolate Stripes -- Seedling grown from seed, planted April 3. Similar story to Blue Fruit, though this plant is further along. It's a foot taller than Blue Fruit and has more blooms. Strangely, this plant doesn't have a main stem. It has two stems, split away in a Y configuration about an inch off of the ground, one north and one south. I've been trying to get these limbs to turn and grow vertically, with some success. It's doing fine and will probably have a tomato in a couple weeks.

Lime Green Salad (2) – Seedling grown from seed, planted April 26. This is the Lime Green Salad in the “koi pond”. This plant isn't very big or tall (it's the nature of the plant, no problem) but has nearly 100 blooms on it. It's just a matter of time before a tomato shows.

Snow White Cherry-- Tomatomania seedling, planted April 6. Plant is a bit shorter than the other Tomatomania plants but is in a growth spurt. It has a fair amount of blooms and a healthy looking green color. This plant was late in showing tomatoes last year, but was nearly our most productive tomato plant. No worries.

Old Ivory Egg – Seedling grown from seed, planted May 3. Way too early for tomatoes on this one, but is growing quite well and even has a few blooms on it. It's doing a very good job of catching up with the other tomato plants.

StupiceTomatomania seedling, planted April 6. This plant is a jungle and is already growing over the top of the small cage. This plant could very well have tomatoes on it and I simply don't see them. This could be a monster in the making. It'll have tomatoes on it soon and it may not stop for a long time.

Black KrimTomatomania seedling, planted April 6. Another jungle. Again, there may be tomatoes on it that I don't see. This plant is doing better than the front yard Black Krim, but it also has a 20 day head start. And the seedlings from our seed lady are about two to three weeks behind the Tomatomania seedlings when planted, putting this plant about a month ahead of the front yard Black Krim. I'm looking forward to these tomatoes!

Polish Pastel -- Tomatomania seedling, planted April 8. Another jungle, though not quite as thick or as tall as the back yard Black Krim. That's still makes it a very good and happy plant with blooms.

Zhezha – Seedling grown from seed, planted March 23. This plant took a turn for the worse in April, but hung on and started to turn around in early May. This plant is only about a foot tall, but about two and a half feet wide with a few blooms and a good color. If I get any tomatoes off of this plant I'll be happy.

Olga's Round Yellow Chicken -- Tomatomania seedling, planted April 6. Very similar to Polish Pastel though a little less jungle-like. Still, a happy and healthy plant with blooms.

Painted Ukrainian -- Tomatomania seedling, planted April 8. This plant wasn't the healthiest of seedlings. It was long, lithe and slightly yellow. You wouldn't know that now. It's a little behind the other plants in height but doing very well. The color is great, though not many blooms yet.

Kellogg's Breakfast -- Tomatomania seedling, planted April 9. Similar in height as the Painted Ukranian plant. Seems happy. This is a beefsteak tomato so it'll be a while before tomatoes show, I believe.

Yellow Brandywine, Platfoot Strain -- Tomatomania seedling, planted April 14. Prettiest plant in the garden, at least four feet tall with a few long branches. However, there's only a few blooms on this beefsteak plant. I'd prefer that this plant fill out more.

Lime Green Salad -- Seedling grown from seed, planted April 27. This is planted in the same area as Yellow Brandywine, Black Cherry and White Bush. This area appears to be a bit sun-deprived. Having noted that, this plant is doing just fine for being in the ground for about 40 days. Has blooms.

Pierce's Pride -- Tomatomania seedling, planted April 21. This was bought at the Beverly Hills Tomatomania. It's doing well, good color and filling out, but it's just too soon for tomatoes for this plant.

Jeff Davis -- Tomatomania seedling, planted April 21. Plant looks great. It's getting tall and is filling out better than Yellow Brandywine. It's a beefsteak tomato like Pierce's Pride and it's simply too early for it to have tomatoes on it. I believe it does have blooms on it.

Aker's Plum -- Seedling grown from seed, planted April 25. Plant is doing very well and is filling out. But like the last two it's simply too early for tomatoes on this plant.

Evan's Italian Plum -- Tomatomania seedling, planted April 15. Similar to Painted Ukranian, this plant was long, wispy and a bit yellow when planted. This plant is still a bit wispy with only a few blooms so far. I think it's having sun issues similar to the four plants underneath the ponderosa pine (the Yellow Brandywine group). Evan's Italian Plum doesn't have a real issue with the pine tree, but it's close enough to the south gate to lose light after about 4 PM.

On the positive side, the plant's color is a deep dark green.

So there you have it. 19 plants without tomatoes, which would mean 32 plants with tomatoes.

Things are looking good.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Great Weather

Previously, I've mentioned three heat waves we've had so far. Following the last heat wave a couple of weeks ago, we had below normal temperatures. For about three days it was unseasonably cold, especially at night. We were concerned how the combination of the heat wave/cold snap would affect the tomato plants.

Since that time we've had about 10 days of mild weather. It's been perfect for the tomato plants and they are all happily growing.

Watered Again

Did some training of the backyard tomato plants last night. I picked 10 Red Currants and a Husky Cherry Red in the front yard. A couple of the Red Currants and the Husky Cherry Red were fed to the dogs because of flaws with the tomatoes.

Since spraying neem oil on the Red Currant tomato plant, I haven't seen any bugs on them. However, some of the ripened tomatoes still show damage. The damaged ones will be slightly pockmarked and have uneven ripening. I am fairly certain this is simply the damage the bugs left behind before leaving. And the number of damaged Red Currants is slowly dwindling.

I watered the front yard tomatoes this morning.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Gregori's Altai Has Tomatoes! Really!

I watered the back yard tomato plants this morning.

As I was moving things to my car in preparation to go to work, I took a look at the plants in the “corner office”. Gregori's Altai has two tomatoes on it. And unlike the problem I had here, I brought my wife over to verify it. Next to it, Aunt Ruby's German Green, has at least two good sized tomatoes growing on it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Differences in Tomato Plants

For the observant ones, there are some differences in the tomato plants.

White Bush, Black Cherry and Yellow Brandywine, Platfoot Strain are all tall and thin. Here's a link to the images for White Bush and Yellow Brandywine, Platfoot Strain. Take note that you can see through the tomato plant.

Most all of the other tomato plants are mini-jungles. For instance, here's links to Polish Pastel and Red Currant. You're not going to see through those tomato plants.


The area where White Bush, Black Cherry and Yellow Brandywine, Platfoot Strain is dominated by our ponderosa pine tree. These plants don't get sun until about noon or later. In the afternoon, there's other foliage that blocks the sun and later on in the evening, the house itself blocks the sun. These plants get heat all right, but the lack of direct sun compared to the other tomato plants makes them more attractive plants to look at, but I suspect their crop yield will be small. Anthropomorphically, they're like runway models.

The other plants get plenty of sun. In fact, it's possible they get too much sun. Usually these plants have a bit of leaf curl, as if the plants are saying “Enough already!”. They'll produce well, I believe.

An Odd Moment

I had a little bit of sun left after working out at the gym. So I picked two Red Currants and continued work on straightening out the tomato branches. On her own, my wife picked a dozen more Red Currants. Later, we picked a Taxi tomato.

There was an odd moment. Someone was shooting of fireworks in the neighborhood. It was driving our dogs batty. I was picking up a glass bottle near the curb when -SMACK!- a used bottle rocket landed within five feet of me.

After dinner, I showed my wife a Black From Tula tomato. My wife was surprised at how large it is. This tomato is our largest tomato in our garden as of now.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Arkansas Traveler, Black Plum Paste Have Tomatoes!

I had some time between work and the board meeting for our computer user group to work on the tomatoes. I harvested five Red Currants and two Husky Cherry Reds. I had to take care of a few other issues around the house before I could get to the backyard tomatoes. By the time I did, I had about twenty minutes.

As quickly as I could, I trained the back yard tomatoes to grow as straight as possible. I tucked and straightened as fast as I could. While training, I noticed two tomatoes on Arkansas Traveler and a tomato on Black Plum Paste. It's possible I could have found more, but I was short on time.

When I got home from the board meeting, I spent a little time in the front yard using the flashlight. I didn't notice any new tomatoes.

For the record, I watered the back yard on Saturday and the front yard yesterday. I added some paper mulch to a fair amount of the front yard tomatoes and some in the back.

The tomato plants are in full growth mode. Branches are growing one to two inches a day. I need to go out both day and night and if there's room, tuck the wayward branches into the cage to encourage vertical growth.

Laptop Battery Dead (Again...)

The new laptop battery lasted all of two and a half days. I suspect a problem with the outlet I plug into at home. I'll see if I can get one at our local Fry's.

Meanwhile, here's a few pictures taken last night...

White Bush

Polish Pastel

The "koi pond", our signature area. You can see a tomato on Jaune Flamme in the lower left.