Friday, June 5, 2009

Five More Tomatoes Harvested; Two Plants With New Tomatoes

In the evening my wife harvested 3 Sweet Olive and 2 Sweet 100 tomatoes.

I did some training in the afternoon and discovered that Berkeley Tie Dye has a tomato! The plant was as least four feet tall and thick and I was mildly surprised I hadn't found a tomato yet. Yesterday it was found and now I know why – like Polish Pastel of last year, the first tomato spotted was near the top of the cage and not the bottom.

Then I went to the front yard and noted the Husky Cherry Red has a tomato. After the training I went into the back yard to check on the Husky Cherry Red in the back yard. No tomato there, though that plant is taller.

It looks like some of the tomatoes on Husky Gold may be darkening (maturing).

This morning there was a light drizzle. This may become a broken record but this will really help the tomato plants. The plants will get pounded in the summer sun but for now they're being nurtured by nature. It's not so much the water (which is minimal) it's being allowed to grow buds (and hopefully, tomatoes) without getting pounded by the sun. You want the sun to do come out when there are plenty of tomatoes on the vines.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Six More Tomatoes Harvested

My wife picked 3 Sweet Olive and 3 Sweet 100 tomatoes yesterday afternoon. Outside of that there isn't much to report, as I worked on our patio cover all evening and didn't get a chance to look at the tomatoes this morning.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's Raining!

Currently there's a light rain falling in the west San Fernando Valley.

Harvested Six Tomatoes; Two More Plants with Tomatoes

Yesterday afternoon my wife harvested four Sweet Olive and two Sweet 100 tomatoes.

I should also mention that on Monday, she watered the back yard tomatoes. During the afternoon she watered the front yard tomato plants in the “koi pond” while I watered the tomato plants in the “corner office”.

While watering, I noticed that Vintage Wine had a tomato! Vintage Wine is the first tomato plant planted in May with a tomato. This is another indicator that the front yard tomato plants mature faster than the back yard tomato plants due to the fact the front yard tomato plants get more direct sun than the back yard tomato plants.

Also, I've agreed with my wife to have her look into getting a freezer. I think we're going to have a very good year, tomato wise.

Later in the evening, I completed the (re)paper-mulching of the back yard tomato plants. Mulching is really never “done” as the paper mulch settles or blows away. But it can be relegated to a background task. The next tomato plant chore is to remake some of the “moats” around the tomato plants.

Our Manchester Terrier picked off another tomato, about an inch around from one of the plants. That brings to mind another chore – tying some twine below the lowest rung of the back yard tomato cages to keep him out of the plant! My wife may do some of this but regardless, I'll do it when I get to another chore – cutting off tomato branches that are growing into the ground. If the weather holds out I can get all of this done within a week.

In the morning I “trained” all the plants again. I noted that some branches to Sweet Olive were removed, probably pruned by my wife. SunSugar appears to be the next tomato plant with maturing tomatoes. And Gardener's Delight has a tomato on it. Unlike a couple of weeks ago when I announced it had a tomato and it turned out to really be Turkish Striped Monastery that had a tomato, it's true this time.

Yellow Perfection is actually at least 5 ½ feet tall.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Quedlinburger Fruehe Liebe Has A Tomato!

I'm happy to say that Quedlinburger Fruehe Liebe has a small tomato on it! This is another sign that the damaged plant has recovered.

One of the branches on Sweet Olive broke due to the weight of the tomatoes on it. As a side note, this container plant shares the space with Sweet 100. These two plants do not have cages around them, but there are U-shaped bamboo sticks used to support the plant. They don't work nearly as well as tomato cages.

Anyway, my wife used some tomato tape to support the branch, and we took off about a half dozen unripe tomatoes that were already showing the effects of the broken branch.

I hadn't trained any of the tomato branches on Sunday or Monday morning. I did train in the evening, but it took over 45 minutes to go through all the tomato plants and readjust the growing branches. That's how quickly they're growing! I need to stay on top of this.

I picked a Sweet 100 in the evening as well. My wife and I took our cherry tomatoes (about a dozen in all) and brought them to our computer user board meeting. These tomatoes were distributed among the other two board members that showed, and they liked the taste of them.

For now I'm harvesting in the evening though that will change to the morning at some future date.

Yellow Perfection is already five feet tall.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tomato Analysis for May

For May 2009 we harvested 11 tomatoes overall, 0 in the front yard and 11 in the back yard, encompassing two plants.

In May 2008 we harvested 60 tomatoes, all in the front yard, encompassing four plants.

In May 2007 we harvested 98 tomatoes, all in the front yard, encompassing three plants.

I wouldn't make too much of the numbers.

This is the first month we've harvested back yard tomatoes in May. But this is mostly due to the fact that all the container plants are in the back yard this year.

In general...

The back yard tomato plants look fabulous. Not a bad one in the bunch. There are a few plants without tomatoes on them, but by and large they shouldn't have tomatoes on them as they were planted late in the season. By my unofficial count, 10 of the 36 plants are missing tomatoes. Of those 10, all six planted in May do not have tomatoes – entirely normal and understandable. Barring anything surprising we could have quite a large crop of tomatoes coming from the back yard.

The front yard, however, has been set behind due to prior bouts of vandalism. Mexico is the only plant to survive all the vandalism. Overall, the tomato plants are doing well even though they have been planted late in the season or have been damaged. By my count, 9 of the 21 are missing tomatoes.

The weather has been cooperating lately. It has been quite temperate, not getting above about 85 degrees and not getting too cool, either. This gives a chance for the late plants to catch up, produce blooms and later on, tomatoes. But if we have an extended period over 95 degrees in temperature in June, a lot of these plants in the front yard will produce very little fruit.

Something to note: In general, the front yard tomato plants grow and mature faster than the back yard tomato plants. There's simply less shade (more sun) in the front yard. That's another indicator that the front yard plants have a lot of catching up to do, and also an indicator as to how much damage was done.

Five More Tomatoes Harvested; Marz Round Green Is Growing Again!

Most of the weekend was dedicated to priming our patio cover frame.

I did finish paper mulching the front yard tomatoes on Saturday and I'm not too far away from completing the task in the back yard.

On Sunday my wife harvested three Sweet Olives and two Sweet 100s.

I added fertilizer to the back yard tomato container plants and later on my wife watered them.

Marz Round Green is growing again! In late April, we dug it up from the ground, moved it to a pot and essentially forgot about it. We dug it up because it simply wasn't growing in the ground where it was at.

When the patio frame was put up an couple weekends ago, all the pots were moved, including Marz Round Green. It was placed in an area that happened to have more sun and – surprise! – it has started to grow again! We'll have to search for a place to plant soon.