Monday, June 15, 2009

Back Yard Tomato Work Caught Up!

On Saturday my wife and I went to a graduation celebration out in Murrieta. That took all day, so no harvesting or tomato work of any kind.

On Sunday there was a lot done. First, we picked 7 Sweet Olive and a Sweet 100 tomato.

I began working on the three chores on the back yard tomatoes but I quickly ran out of tomato twine used to obstruct the Manchester Terrier from nosing in the plant. I continued on, getting through all of the back yard tomato plants in the ground.

I added paper mulch to White Currant and the new Patio Princess.

I began to do the same work in the front yard “corner office”, but began having a sneezing fit and soon had to stop. After my sinuses settled down about an hour later, I finished up the “corner office”. Also, I did a lot of tomato taping in that area in order to make paths just to reach the other plants.

While this was going on my wife watered the back yard (noting that Orange Blossom was looking particularly weak), including the tomato plants in the back. Jeff Davis was only watered lightly.

While working in the “corner office” I noticed that Jaune Flamme has a maturing tomato! On the one hand this is good news but on another front, bad news. I've noticed that damaged plants tend to mature faster than normal and I think that's what is going on here. This should be ready to pick in a day or so.

I fertilized the container plants as well as most (but not all) of the plants in the ground, both front and back yards, that didn't get their second round of fertilizer.

In the afternoon Liz and Ricardo came over to finish off the patio cover frame. Soon my wife and Liz went out for supplies and I helped with Ricardo when needed. In between those times I tomato taped many of the back yard tomato plants as needed, as well as adding stakes to several others. For instance, Black Cherry had grown so much that it was leaning in one direction and actually pulling the cage out of the ground. I ran out of tomato tape for a while but after a half hour or so found another roll.

By that time the women had come back and my wife had bought additional tomato twine. During the construction I used the twine on the rest of the cages in the ground in the back yard.

German Orange Strawberry is now the tallest tomato plant. Not only is the plant over six feet high, it has tomato blooms over six feet high. What will be funny is that in a month the plant will have grown even more, but not be as tall. Why? The branches at the top will get heavier and fall in one direction or another. I'll be able to tape them together for a period of time but soon they'll get too heavy and naturally droop, also due to growing fruit on the vines.

So the back yard is completely caught up with the tomato chores – moats remade, loose branches taped up, twine used to obstruct the Manchester Terrier from below, low branches growing into the dirt removed.

All that is left is to clean up the “koi pond” before the hot weather hits.

Speaking of which, we experienced something on Sunday that we hadn't experienced in quite a while. The sun! The sun came out for most of the day yesterday though it did cloud up a bit in the afternoon.

By evening, Jeff Davis looked a bit better. We're guessing that Jeff Davis is being watered too much (because the plant is also in the range of the sprinklers that go off twice a week, including today) and not enough sun. We'll monitor Jeff Davis to see if it improves.

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