Friday, May 8, 2009

More Watering; Switched Cages

My wife watered the back yard tomato plants in the ground last night.

Now that I mention it, I should correct a couple things: On Wednesday my wife watered the back yard container plants while yesterday she watered the tomato plants in the ground. Also, when I wrote that we had 57 “in the ground”, that phrase was an adjective for “planted”. As my wife correctly pointed out, 9 of those 57 are in containers.

The newly planted White Zebra was wilted in the early evening but by nightfall was just fine.

I switched the Green Zebra and Silvery Fir Tree cages.

Jaune Couer de Pigeon is the first of my wife's seedlings to show buds.

Yellow Perfection and Beaverlodge Plum have multiple tomatoes on their branches. Yellow Perfection is doing particularly well. It may be 2 ½ feet tall already.

I did more “training” of the front yard tomato branches before leaving for work in the morning.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Two More Tomatoes Planted

Okay, yesterday I planted the last two tomatoes, Silvery Fir Tree and Vintage Wine in the “corner office”. As for now, there are no more tomatoes to plant.

My wife watered both the front and the back yard tomatoes on Tuesday. She watered the back yard tomato plants again yesterday. They had dried out in the heat and the dry winds.

Sweet Olive and Sweet 100 were doubled over due to the winds. My wife and I strung them up against the bamboo poles planted in the container.

The plants with new tomatoes are Patio, Beaverlodge Plum and Yellow Perfection. There was also a growing tomato on Silvery Fir Tree, but it was removed. To repeat, in the beginning, I worry more about the roots going down than I am the plant growing up. Having a tomato growing when planting distracts the tomato plant from making solid roots and stems.

As I was updating the on line tomato documents (and I believe they're fully up to date again) I realized that Silvery Fir Tree is a small sized, determinate plant good for containers. Having that foreknowledge, I may have left the tomato on the plant (it had the same serious root bound problems that Red Currant had). At the very least, I need to exchange the cage for the temporary one put on one of the Green Zebra tomatoes.

If my count is correct...we have 57 tomatoes in the ground. Tom – you win!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Four More Tomatoes Planted

My wife and I planted four more tomatoes in the back yard. They include Husky Cherry Red, Green Zebra, White Zebra and Green Zebra again.

We'll plant the last two in the front yard.

My wife completely planted Husky Cherry Red. I prepared the holes for the other three while my wife planted them. I caged and staked them (putting a temporary small one on one of the Green Zebras).

I'm starting to do some minor “training” of the tomato branches, tucking them inside the cages. In three or four weeks, though, I'll be doing this for 30 minutes or so a day. And some times, twice a day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Evening Work

When I left in the evening for our computer user board meeting, there was nothing to report at all.

When I got back, a new Husky Cherry Red replaced the dying Husky Cherry Red and Dr. Wyche's Yellow was planted in the spot once occupied by Eva Purple Ball.

Also, my wife made deeper and wider “moats” for the tomatoes in the “koi pond”. That's hard work, not easily done. Apparently my wife was inspired by the ending to the “Egg Trick” posting of a few days back.

She had also taken the cages and stakes off of the three other front yard tomato plants that need replacing.

I updated the on line documents when I came back from the board meeting.

In the morning, though, she had a change of heart – she will plant tomatoes in those spots and not transplant the roses just yet. Her concern is that it's possible that the roses may not survive the shock of the move and the heat and we should wait until the end of the season to move them. I couldn't argue with that.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Busy Weekend

Ever have one of those too busy weekends?

On Friday my wife watered the front and back yards which include the tomato plants. But unfortunately, we also discovered that the front yard Japanese Black Trifele was starting to wilt. The front yard Jaune Flamme was showing damage as well, but no wilt. Darn, we need to replace another one...

That makes it five more plants damaged by vandalism. Several spots have been hit twice. The only tomato to survive unscathed so far in the front yard is Mexico.

Japenese Black Trifele, Green Zebra and Black Zebra were the three plants in the “corner office” that were closest to the sidewalk. Husky Cherry Red and Eva Purple Ball were nearest to the driveway. I'm sure that's not a coincidence.

My wife hit upon the idea of moving some rose bushes to the area in the “corner office” next to the sidewalk. But first, our shovels are worn out, we'll need new shovels to move the rose bushes.

Also, the stray cat outside needed treatment. He had a lopsided face during the week, but that went away on Friday. Still, something was wrong. Apparently this cat has had this before – an abscess inside his mouth that apparently burst open – but we weren't sure. So my wife trapped the cat and brought it in. No time for shovels.

We had planned on putting together the wheelbarrow back together with a new inner tube for the tire on Saturday morning, but I didn't sleep a wink on Friday night. I had gone to Denny's to get something to eat and checked out a property at 3:30 AM.

My wife went to the veterinarian to pick up the cat, while I handled the gardener. The gardener thinned out the lemon tree in the back, giving us more room to plant. The wife came back with the cat around 12:45 PM. We hurriedly dealt with the cat, did a little yard work and drove off to the LA Garden show, but detouring to pick up the mail and to check out the property I had seen earlier in the morning. An agent was showing the house so we politely invited ourselves in, checked it out and decided it was a no-go.

At the Garden Show we met our friends, Liz and Ricardo and picked up three more tomato plants. Afterwards, we spent about two hours at a nearby Home Depot, picking up a new shovel or two among a lot of other things. Then we stuffed ourselves at a local BBQ restaurant.

We both came home exhausted. I fell asleep but was awakened by the Cinco de Mayo celebrations and again couldn't fall back asleep.

Sunday morning it was apparent that the Japanese Black Trifele wasn't going to make it. But there was no time to deal with that. We got up, loaded up the wheelbarrow pieces and some tools and went to the new house owned by our “seed lady”. There we assembled the wheelbarrow (which was hers to begin with), got the inner tube in, pumped it up and reattached the wheel axle to the body of the wheelbarrow.

We got back home and I planted Big Yellow Zebra near the north wall of the back yard, in an area that now gets sun due to the thinned lemon tree. I used the new shovel and it's a good one. There's still a pile of lemon branches that need to be discarded but we're waiting for the trash pickup on Tuesday morning to empty the green recyclable trash can.

I adjusted the back yard tomato document and the on line spreadsheet to reflect this additional tomato.

Around this time our Saturday friends came by to visit to help us put up a new patio cover.

We have these metal braces in the cement, four in the back yard and one in the front yard, that can hold a 4x4 piece of wood. The idea was to take advantage of three of these braces in the back yard to put up a framework of a patio cover to help protect the house in the scorching summers. We went to the local Lowe's and spent another couple of hours, picking up lumber and bolts and washers and get the idea.

The rest of the afternoon was spent assembling the pieces, drilling holes and whatnot. It took a while but it all came together and looks quite impressive.

Then we went to Brent's Deli for dinner.

We came home, said our goodbyes, fed the dogs and dealt with the cat. Again, off to bed exhausted and again I couldn't fall asleep. I got up, read part of the Sunday Los Angeles Times and fell asleep on the couch.

So the rose bushes didn't get moved because of our jam packed weekend.

We know we're planting very late now, but we're not going to give in to any vandalism.