Friday, June 26, 2009

A Correction...

I should mention that we have 59 tomato plants in the ground, not 60. I was using the on line spreadsheet as a reference. But Kornesevsije was destroyed by vandalism, though it was left in the spreadsheet for reference purposes.

Therefore we have 57 plants with tomatoes on them, 2 without.

Harvested Two New Tomatoes Again!

Today's harvest includes 6 Sweet Olive, 4 Red Currant, 4 SunSugar, 2 Yellow Perfection, 2 Patio, 2 Beaverlodge Plum, Red Grape, Italian Ice, Sweet 100 and two new tomatoes – a front yard Paul Robeson and Jaune Coeur de Pigeon.

Again, I did some minor taping and staking last night. Berkeley Tie Dye was leaning in a westward direction so I staked it.

There are other plants with maturing tomatoes. These include White Currant, Plum Tigris, the back yard Garden Peach and the back yard Speckled Roman. The Plum Tigris was actually picked but it still needs a day or two to fully ripen and it will be added to the weekend total.

The weather is heating up. The highs will be in the mid 90's all week. This will speed up the tomato maturation.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Harvested 11 Ounce Cherokee Purple

The morning's harvest consists of 5 Red Grape, 4 SunSugar, 4 Sweet 100, 2 Italian Ice, 2 Sweet Olive and an 11 ounce Cherokee Purple tomato.

I was testing the Cherokee Purple to see if it was ready. After testing I noticed that the stem supporting this tomato was broken. So I picked it. I don't know if the stem was broken prior to my testing but since it was, the tomato would have laid on the ground. Not good, so I picked it.

I did some minor tomato taping in the front yard.

The second of the two ripening Paul Robeson tomatoes is a big one.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Back Yard Plants Looks Fabulous!

Today's harvest includes 11 Sweet Olive, 4 Red Grape, 3 Sweet 100, 3 Yellow Perfection (one picked by my wife yesterday but added to today's total), Red Currant, Patio and Beaverlodge Plum tomatoes.

Today was our highest harvest number so far, 24. That will be surpassed, trust me.

The front yard Paul Robeson plant has two tomatoes ripening. Cherokee Purple has another tomato ripening which when ripe, will force me to bring down our scale. This tomato looks to be in the 6 – 8 ounce range.

Last night I staked Black Cherry. This is another plant that has gone bananas. I also taped up a few more falling branches in the back yard.

But it was my wife doing most of the work yesterday. She watered the back yard tomato plants. Also, she redid a lot of the moats in the back yard, so much so that her elbows hurt last night and this morning. Also, she aerated the soil in most of the containers by turning the compacted dirt.

I know this will sound like a broken record...but the plants, especially the back yard plants look fabulous. Granted, size and thickness of the tomato plant isn't the payoff window. But a strong, thick tomato plant (if not fertilized with the wrong fertilizer) in SoCal can support lots and lots of growing tomatoes. That's what's occurring.

In checking the back yard tomato plants over the last couple years, the highest harvest number came last year with Salisaw Cafe at 315 tomatoes. I believe one of these back yard plants will obliterate that number.

My wife and I tried Italian Ice at dinner. Again, she liked it more than I did but I did like it.

As mentioned previously, I watered three plants in the back yard Monday night, one of them Jeff Davis. I noticed the water coming out of the moat. That was the inspiration for my wife to adjust most of the moats in the back yard. Both my wife and I agreed that Jeff Davis looked a bit better last night.

First we thought this plant was graying because it was getting too much water. So we cut back. Now we think that it perhaps wasn't getting enough water and we exacerbated the very problem we were trying to fix. With the “moat” fixed on this and other plants we hope this plant recovers and starts to grow again.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Harvested Italian Ice!

Today's harvest includes 3 Sweet Olive, 3 Red Currant, 3 SunSugar, 2 Italian Ice (new!), Red Grape, Yellow Perfection and Sweet 100 tomatoes.

Yesterday evening I did some minor tomato taping in the back yard. Also I watered three plants in the back that looked like they needed it. Two of the three sprung back to life in an hour so they were thirsty.

My wife watered the front yard (including the tomatoes) yesterday.

Patio Princess looks great and already has blooms on it.

Another good sign: I'm seeing a lot of new tomato growth 4 and 5 feet off the ground. Everywhere I look I see tomatoes.

And the weather is warming up which will help push out and ripen these tomatoes.

Monday, June 22, 2009

German Orange Strawberry Image

Here's a link to a picture of German Orange Strawberry. It is already 6 ½ feet high.

Harvested Red Currant Today!

Let's start with the numbers: On Saturday I harvested 2 SunSugar, Sweet 100, Yellow Perfection and a Red Grape tomato. On Sunday I harvested 3 Sweet 100, 2 Sweet Olive, 2 Red Grape and a SunSugar tomato. Today I harvested 7 Sweet Olive, 5 SunSugar, 3 Red Currant (new!) and a Red Grape tomato.

On Friday I noticed at least two tomatoes on the front yard Green Grape. This means that only the two plants planted in June are missing tomatoes. 58 plants have growing tomatoes on them!

Saturday we harvested early and were out the door by 10:15 AM. First we went to my mechanic to change a tail light on my wife's car. On the way it began to rain! Lots of strange weather this year. This year, cloudy and actually some rain on June 20. Last year it was 110 degrees in the west San Fernando Valley.

So we get to the repair shop, swap out the bulb, exchange pleasantries and we're on our way to the 70th birthday celebration for my mother. Her 70th was actually on Friday but my brother Jim and his wife, my mother and her best friend Walter, and my wife's mother and father all made the visit to Macaroni Grill in Huntington Beach. The elephant in the room, my abusive brother, wasn't invited.

It seemed like most everyone enjoyed themselves. We brought down our uneaten tomatoes over the past couple of days and they were enjoyed and/or taken home. I even received a complement or two for making it happen.

Then, onto a cousin's graduation celebration. More food! More fun! I was being chased by girls all around the back yard, everyone having a blast.

After a few hours we started to drive to my mother-in-law's house. But we stopped and crashed another high school graduation celebration, former neighbors of my wife. They had all heard and/or read of my tomato article in the Los Angeles Times and were growing tomatoes, corn, potatoes, peanuts, you name it, they were growing it. This celebration was more subdued but again pleasant.

So off to the parent's house. We check out their tomato plants – for the most part they're doing well – hang around for a while, pick up their two dogs and head back for the long drive home. We get home around 10:15 PM, feed our hungry dogs and go to bed. Long day.

In the morning I start to harvest tomatoes and I notice right away that the Patio plant is torn apart. The Manchester Terrier got to it! Not only was there a ripening tomato that I left on the vine Saturday for one more day, it appears he also picked off five or six others, tearing out the north side of the plant in the process.

Beaverlodge Plum had a tomato that I left on the vine to be picked on Sunday. It was gone. Damn! The Manchester Terrier got hungry and went on a binge!!

It took about a half day to get over that one.

My wife was out most of the day helping our “seed lady” pack boxes for her move. I did some paid work and a lot of little things I needed to get to. I tomato taped some plants in the back and front yards and staked a couple as well. In poking around I noticed that some Red Currants were ripening.

In the evening my wife put some tomato twine around some of the container plants, trying to protect them from the ravages of our Manchester Terrier. Side note: It appears that Husky Gold has been hit in the past as well.

I harvested again this morning. The back yard sprinklers went off as expected. I checked and Jeff Davis wasn't being touched by the water. We'll make sure this plant gets the normal watering next time.