Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tonight's Harvest

Tonight I harvested 61 Red Currants, 3 Husky Cherry Reds, 2 Green Grapes and a Jaune Flamme tomato.

A cooling trend! We only got up to 107 today. Sigh.

Olga's Round Yellow Chicken Egg Has A Tomato!

Yesterday's high at Pierce College was 111 (111.4 to be exact). Today is supposed to be just as hot.

Yesterday evening I picked 64 Red Currants, 3 Husky Cherry Reds, a Micro Tom and a Taxi tomato. The Taxi tomato was a bit sunscalded.

Stupice branches came out of their tomato tape. I took a wooden stake and wrapped a couple of the tomato tape “girdles” around the wooden stake and hammered it into the ground.

Early this morning I watered the back yard while my lovely wife watered the front yard.

I "girdled" some of the longer Black Plum Paste tomato plant branches with tomato tape.

I was going to write a paragraph on how tomatoes can't really form from buds because it's too hot right now. But while watering, I noticed a small tomato on Olga's Round Yellow Chicken. It's the first tomato I've seen on this plant. Go figure.

Later on, I gave yesterday's harvest to a visitor.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

First Jaune Flamme Harvested!

After work I came home and harvested. 39 Red Currants and 3 Green Grape tomatoes.

At some time I'll move the harvesting to the morning but for now I can handle it in the evening.

I fed the dogs (we have four of them this week). I took some tomato tape and went in the back yard. There were a lot of branches growing near the ground that needed to be picked up.

I used a lot of tomato tape on Stupice. The tomato cage for this plant is too small. Branches have grown over the top of the cage and are bent over due to a lack of support. I used tomato tape to “girdle” all the branches together, then taped individual branches to each other. It's a bit ugly but they're not bent over. Also I taped up the ones dragging on the ground.

Then I went to Polish Pastel. There were several branches dragging on the ground. I fixed them. It appears that Polish Pastel is the most affected by the current heat wave (108 degrees at Pierce College). The plant itself looks great – it rivals Black Krim in size, color and thickness, though a few of the ends of the branches have permanently wilted. The trouble is that most of the blooms have died. Simply put, it's too hot for fruit to set. This tomato plant is too healthy not to get more blooms and hopefully, tomatoes.

So I went to the front yard and did the same thing. I put tomato tape on one of the plants while looking over to Jaune Flamme. Hey, there's a mature tomato on it! I barely touched it and it came off. It was ready. A pleasant surprise!

Update: After dinner, I brought my wife over to a ripe Prairie Fire tomato. My wife decided to pick it.

Green Grape Tomatoes Harvested

Last night was the first night I harvested Green Grape tomatoes. I picked 3 of them along with 3 Husky Cherry Reds and 46 Red Currant tomatoes.

It got up to 107 degrees at Pierce College and was still 100 degrees when I watered the front yard.

When I got to the back yard, I noticed that most of the tomato plants had one or two branches that had wilted. So I slow watered these tomato plants, making sure they took in lots of water. I stopped for dinner after finishing the rototilled area.

After dinner, I showed my wife some of the wilting. She thought these branches wouldn't recover. Again, this damage is minor. But I was nonetheless surprised to see it. Apparently these plants are getting the most sun. I'll have to watch these more closely.

My wife saw the Manchester Terrier pick off a Kimberly tomato and eat it. We put a green metal fence around portions of the fence.

Later on, I finished the watering in the back yard.

In the morning I checked the tomato plants in the rototilled area. They look better, but the tops of those branches mentioned before are still wilted.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Harvested First Micro Tom

Last night I was the main speaker at our computer user group, LA Fox. That left only a little time between work and the speaking engagement.

In that time I picked 76 Red Currants, a Husky Cherry Red, Taxi, Garden Peach and Micro Tom tomatoes.

This is the first Micro Tom I've picked this year. This particular tomato turned orange a couple of weeks ago...and stayed that way. I was expecting it to turn red. When I handled it, it came off fairly easy.

I brought all of the Red Currants picked over the last two days and a few others to the user group. They were all taken by the attendees.

76 Red Currants sounds like a lot, but the average size of these Red Currants is a little over a pea. 76 peas isn't a lot of mass but it makes for an impressive count! Still, they're great in salads – simply drop them in! And this year's crop doesn't have the slightly bitter “bite” of last years tomatoes. They simply taste good.

The weather is heating up...

We live close enough to Pierce College to make their weather measurements accurate to where we live. The link to the current month's temperatures can be found here. Monday, the high was 99 and yesterday, 101. Today's temperatures will be similar.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Chocolate Stripes, Pierce's Pride Have Tomatoes!

It was a warm day today, getting into the upper 90's. In the evening I picked 50 Red Currants, a Husky Cherry Red and a Patio tomato. A Prairie Fire tomato is turning red, and another Garden Peach is close to being picked.

Chocolate Stripes has a tomato and Pierce's Pride has at least three tomatoes on it. I believe there is only one tomato plant in the front yard without a tomato – Blue Fruit.

Snow White Cherry, Black Krim Have Tomatoes!

Sunday morning I spent about an hour “training” all the tomato plants. While training the front yard tomato plants, I noticed Snow White Cherry and Black Krim have tomatoes.

We spent most of the day at my mother-in-law's house. She has 10 tomato plants. I was planning on doing a lot of work on them but honestly, there was very little to do. She's doing a great job with her tomato plants. We brought down two full garbage bags of paper mulch and laid the paper mulch around the tomato plants. Also, we watered it to tamp it down. But that was all.

We got home a little around 11 PM. With a flashlight I picked 49 Red Currants and 3 Husky Cherry Red tomatoes.