Saturday, June 28, 2008

Three More New Tomatoes Harvested!

Today's harvest: 139 Red Currants, 15 Husky Cherry Reds, 2 Jaune Flammes, 2 Salisaw Cafes, a good sized Green Grape, Prairie Fire, Red Robin and three new tomatoes: Carbon, Italian Market Wonder and Golden Jubilee!

The 139 Red Currants is a lot. I haven't picked over 100 of any type of tomato before. And because of the numerical strength of this harvest, my prediction of converging numbers of tomatoes compared to last years totals was simply flat out wrong. We've now surpassed last June's totals of 1259 tomatoes, having picked 1282 (of which 1103 are Red Currants) this month so far.

My mother-in-law called to say that she had her first harvest yesterday! She picked an Early Girl yesterday and today picked an Early Girl and a Lemon Boy. All were good tasting. A thumbs up from me!!

While we're on good news, a colleague that moved to the east coast a couple years ago is moving back to SoCal by the end of July. A thumbs up from me and my wife!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Three New Tomatoes Harvested!

Today's harvest: 97 Red Currants, 17 Husky Cherry Reds, 3 small Green Grapes, a Garden Peach, a Prairie Fire, Salisaw Cafe, a 10.5 ounce Paul Robeson (unfortunately, slightly damaged by birds pecking on it), White Bush and three new ones harvested: Black Cherry, Thessaloniki and Piccolo!

There are a few more new tomatoes a day or two away from being harvested.

Something is wrong with our Garden Peach plant. Brittle branches supporting only a few, small tomatoes.

We're probably at our crest of Red Currant production. Tomorrow will be a big harvest day for this plant as well. It's not the end of June and we've picked over 1000 tomatoes for this plant. Amazing.

Executive decision: We're growing White Bush next year.

Plants Without Tomatoes (2)

I believe there are only two tomato plants without tomatoes.

Yellow Brandywine, Platfoot Strain – This is a beefsteak with a long maturation period sitting under a tree.

Jeff Davis – Beefsteak planted late in the season.

Having both plants still with no tomatoes is still understandable. Now that I look at it, Yellow Brandywine was only planted a week before Jeff Davis. The leaves for Yellow Brandywine started to yellow in the intense heat (and relative lack of sun). Jeff Davis looks very healthy, though with a fair amount of burnt blooms.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cherokee Chocolate, Paul Robeson Harvested!

Tonight: 34 Red Currants, 19 Husky Cherry Reds, 3 Salisaw Cafe tomatoes, 3 Cherokee Chocolates (which I'm beginning to think may be something else) a Garden Peach, White Bush, Prairie Fire and a six ounce Paul Robeson!

Blue Fruit has a tomato on it that looks about a week old! Kellogg's Breakfast now has a small tomato and Painted Ukrainian has a tomato on it that has to be at least two weeks old – it's about an inch in diameter!

There are several tomato plants that have tomatoes maturing on the vines.

I kind of “held my fire” with the Red Currants. There are plenty of maturing tomatoes on the vine and felt that I could pick more. There should be a good load of these over the next couple of days.

I left a maturing Cherokee Chocolate on the plant, hoping that our Manchester Terrier would leave it. I looked around, saw the new backyard tomatoes and then picked some Salisaw Cafe tomatoes. By that time, he had already picked it off the plant. Ugh. Because I didn't see him do it there wasn't anything I could really do.

We tried the Paul Robeson. Another winner!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Salisaw Cafe Harvested; Polish Pastel Has A Tomato!

Tonight I picked 53 Red Currants, 10 Husky Cherry Reds, 3 Salisaw Cafes, a Jaune Flamme, Prairie Fire and White Bush tomatoes. This is our first harvest for Salisaw Cafe. After dinner we tried one, and we both liked it.

I'm very happy to report that Polish Pastel has a tomato on it!

There's a relatively small Big Rainbow tomato that's changing color.

With 17 tomatoes picked over the last two days, Husky Cherry Red appears to be ramping up a bit.

Picking tonight's Red Currant tomatoes was a bit of a chore. All the other tomatoes are larger and easier to pick. Somehow this is related to the fact that I'm now picking tomatoes in both the front and back yards.

Evan's Italian Plum Has A Tomato!

I added some more paper mulch to the front and back yard tomatoes. While adding, I noticed a few things.

Piccolo has a tomato that's ripening.

Evan's Italian Plum has a tomato on it.

I thought I remember growing this tomato two years ago. I remember the tomato having a fair amount of ridges in it. This tomato has ridges, too.

Italian Market Wonder has tomatoes that appear to be changing color, indicating maturation.

The weather is back to normal, but it is supposed to heat up again this weekend.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Harvested First Back Yard Tomato!

Yesterday I picked 55 Red Currants, a Husky Cherry Red, a Garden Peach and a Prairie Fire tomato.

At night, our Manchester Terrier had picked off a tomato. I went out and put up one of our green metal fences.

Today we harvested 3 Prairie Fires, 43 Red Currants, 7 Husky Cherry Reds and for the first time, White Bush!

But...the Manchester Terrier picked off several Cherokee Chocolate tomatoes, including ones that were ripening. I picked off the other ripening Cherokee Chocolate tomatoes and put them on our windowsill. Also, I took the tomato wire and wrapped it around the plant a couple of times. While I was talking to my wife, he went right back to the plant to pull out another one. I had to hang up and let him know not to do that.

I put paper mulch underneath several of the tomato plants in the front yard and a couple in the back yard.

Salisaw Cafe has four tomatoes that are turning color and will be harvested soon.

Cherokee Chocolate – perhaps more accurately, the plant we know to be Cherokee Chocolate – looks like a plum tomato, shaped like a mini-pineapple. The pictures I've seen for Cherokee Chocolate would indicate it should be a typical beefsteak tomato. Who knows what I have here.

My wife and I tried the White Bush tomato. It's a winner.

Two people have told us our Red Currants are delicious. That's great to hear!

So White Bush is the first tomato to be harvested in the back yard. I pulled some Cherokee Chocolate tomatoes and put them on the windowsill but I won't count them until they're truly mature.

My wife doesn't care for Prairie Fire – the skin is too thick. I see (and taste) her point but I'll hold out judgment until I eat a few more.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

June Tomato Analysis

This evening I picked 60 Red Currants, 3 Husky Cherry Reds, a Prairie Fire, Green Grape and Red Robin tomatoes.

The “cooling” trend continues, only getting up to 105. Yikes.

The Lime Green Salad in the “koi pond” had about 200 blooms on it. There are a few tomatoes poking out but about 85 percent are burned out, due to this intense heat.

We are ahead of last years tomato totals compared to this time last year. This year's crop is clearly dominated by Red Currant. By tomorrow, we'll have picked twice as many Red Currants as last year. Last year we planted Red Currant in a container, while this year we planted it in the ground.

Tomato totals for June 1 – June 22, 2007 – 491 tomatoes. Tomato totals for June 1 – June 22, 2008 – 750 tomatoes.

Last year, we started picking over 100 tomatoes as of June 26. On June 26, 2007, I picked 115 tomatoes from 14 different tomato plants.

So far, we don't have the breadth of harvested tomatoes like we did last year. As of today, I've only picked from five different varieties on a given day. For the tomatoes other than Red Currant, the most I've picked for a given day has been five.

In other words, we're ahead of last year's tomato totals due to the strength of the Red Currant harvest. But I believe the tomato harvest totals will start to converge again due to the low harvest of the other tomatoes.