Saturday, April 4, 2009

Put Up Tomato Cages

While my wife was talking to our sister-in-law, I watered the seedlings in the back yard, put cages on all the seedlings in the back yard and the front yard.

My wife bought Husky Gold for our last container.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Long Day...

Best I can tell, here's what happened in our garden this morning...

My wife went off to run some errands. When she came back, our neighbor dropped by and both of them went in to the back yard for a few minutes. They came out front and realized something was wrong with the tomato plants. My wife thought that the plants had gone into shock from the fish emulsion and immediately began to water them in order to dilute the emulsion. But it was soon discovered that this wasn't the fish emulsion. Someone had bent over and simply broken the stems on most of the tomato seedlings. At the moment of that realization, my wife's parents dropped by to visit.

Black Zebra survived and so did Husky Cherry Red. One or two of the seedlings survived, but that was all. Everything else was broken. Sad to say the least.

In the afternoon, my wife bought Green Zebra and Cherokee Purple at Green Thumb. We had backups for the seedlings we raised as well as Jaune Flamme.

By dinner, my wife had replanted all the tomato seedlings in the “koi pond”. We replaced Italian Sweet with Mong, Berkeley Tie Dye with Paul Robeson, Turkish Striped Monestary with Japanese Black Trifele, Pierce's Pride with Red Currant.

Later on this evening there was an incident at the house catty corner to us. The people living there had no intention of paying the mortgage, rented out the rooms, and partied over the weekends. In general, they were trouble. Today, a notice of trustee sale was posted on the door, for April 23. During the evening, teenagers showed up with beer and were going to party at the house. But the cops came quickly before the party really got started and the kids ran in all directions. Three of them were caught and their parents came and got them.

So are the two incidents related? Perhaps and then again, perhaps not.

Our neighbor may have a Turkish Striped Monestary, so we may be able to make a trade of seedlings if she has it. But there appears to be little hope for turning up another Italian Sweet, Pierce's Pride or Berkeley Tie Dye.

Front Yard Plants Ruined

I just got word that most all of our front yard tomatoes were vandalized and broken.

One More Planted...

Yesterday my wife was only able to get one plant in a container, Red Grape.

It turns out that actually five plants were planted on Wednesday. I missed Beaverlodge Plum, planted in a container.

Yesterday's “missing” tomato was Orange Blossom.

My wife added fish emulsion to all the new seedlings in the front and to the containers in the back. She didn't add it to the backyard plants in the ground, as the dogs showed too much interest in the fish emulsion bottle.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Scientific American Writes About Heirloom Tomatoes

Here's an “against the grain” article in Scientific American about heirloom tomatoes found here. Interesting reading, but there several serious inaccuracies used as a foundation for their conclusion that heirlooms are weak. For instance “Any plant that sets only two fruits, as heirlooms typically do” – say what?? I've never read that, nor have I experienced it. Heirloom tomatoes couldn't have lasted this long in the wild if only two fruits were produced.

Nevertheless, it's worth a read. Check the comments for rebuttals.

Found Red Currant!

Breaking alert...My wife found Red Currant at Green Arrow! She also bought German Orange Strawberry and one other.

We'll have to plant Red Currant in the back yard, but that's better than not having it at all.

FYI, Red Currant was our only “winner” last year, good taste and great production.

Four More Seedlings Planted

Last evening my wife and I planted Jeff Davis and Yellow Perfection in the back yard, as well as planting SunSugar and Italian Ice in containers. We put cages around Jeff Davis and Yellow Perfection – hopefully the dogs will stay away.

Sweet Olive continues to impress with its growth, and Cherokee Purple is now “reaching for the sky”. All the seedlings in the front yard look good as well.

Earlier this week, ladybugs had been put on plants in the front yard that were been invaded by aphids. The ladybugs appear to be doing their job, but there's many more aphids than ladybugs.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Five More Seedlings In The Ground

Last evening, we hurriedly got five more tomato seedlings in the ground, all in the “Corner Office” – Berkeley Tie Dye, Jaune Flamme, Black Zebra, Turkish Striped Monastery (what a name!) and Green Zebra.

I wanted to try Green Zebra in the back yard as we've really had no luck with this plant in the front yard – we end up with blossom end rot. I mentioned this to Scott during TomatoMania, and he indicated that he too is hit or miss with this tomato. But my wife wanted it in the front yard next to Black Zebra and Turkish Striped Monastery, providing a line of striped tomatoes. I couldn't argue with that – if it works it will be striking – but these tomato plants will be on the “front lines” – there will be no tomato plants between them and the setting sun.

Our “seed lady” will be coming by for lunch with more seedlings.

Also, I tried starting our rototiller, but no luck. I need to bring it in for repairs or to get it started, as I have a friend borrowing it over the weekend.

My wife watered the tomatoes yesterday and was watering the front yard this morning.

Monday, March 30, 2009

TomatoMania Is A Blast!

It was a fun and exhausting weekend...

I worked the TomatoMania event both Saturday and Sunday. Most of the time I was walking around among the customers and seedlings, helping out the customers as they'd ask questions and whatnot.

It was hot on Saturday. I don't mind walking around at all, but it was outdoors and all day. I wore jeans, hat and long sleeve shirt to protect from UV rays. Michael Jackson showed up with his son. No, not that Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson, the erudite, British accented radio talk show host. I immediately recognized him. I helped him and his son pick out tomato seedlings.

A customer talked about how her wife corresponded with this tomato grower who blogs about his experiences...and it turned out it was me. Small world.

The Berkeley Tie Dye seedling showed up in the afternoon! Now I have one.

From what I saw on Friday, TomatoMania was a madhouse. Saturday was quite busy as well, easing up a bit in the afternoon due to the rise in the temperature.

I went home in the evening fully expecting to plant a few tomatoes but simply couldn't get to any planting before darkness arrived.

Sunday had cooler temperatures, making it easier to walk around. My friend from hiking, Becky, showed up with her daughter Sophie and friend. Scott Daigre kept a Jeff Davis seedling for me!

It's a fun event and the event seemed better managed this year (though last year's issues may have been more due to the weather before the event destroying seedlings more than anything) and it's clear the event is a big draw.

When I got home, my wife decided it was time to take apart the gazebo. After about an hour it was broken down and the scraps put in the front yard. Somebody will pick it up. And sure enough, this morning someone did pick up the gazebo pieces.

I managed to put up a couple of tomato cages over our planted seedlings.

I took a shower and went to bed by 8:30 PM. My wife said I was snoring by 9PM.

TomatoMania is a blast!