Saturday, June 23, 2012

Harvested Green Grape, Ella's Pink Plum and Yellow Currant!

Today's harvest includes 10 Husky Cherry Red(1), 8 SunGold, 5 Husky Cherry Red(2), 4 Green Grape (new), 4 Sweet Baby Girl, 3 Yellow Perfection, 2 Yellow Currant (new), 2 Ella's Pink Plum (new) Sweet Million and SunSugar for a total of 40 tomatoes.

We were anticipating harvesting the Yellow Currant and Ella's Pink Plum tomatoes but the Green Grape tomatoes came as a surprise! I noticed them yesterday evening. The Green Grape tomatoes look fantastic! I'll have a couple more to harvest tomorrow.

I harvested a couple of Yellow Perfection tomatoes a little sooner than normal. These were literally touching the ground. We have a small pile of uneaten tomatoes, and they'll just join the pile.

Other plants with maturing tomatoes include Noire Charbonneuse(1), Thessaloniki and Carmello.

I did a little more trimming, training, staking and looking for maturing tomates yesterday evening. At this point I'm more fighting for maneuvering room with the training than anything else. These plants are already quite tall.

Update: Our toy poodle was barking in the back yard most of the morning, to the point where I was getting somewhat annoyed. I brought him inside when I intended to start this blog post. As I was typing, he clearly wanted to go back out. Eventually he started to scratch the door. My wife decided to let him out, but she followed.

Turns out we had trapped an opossum in a HavaHart trap. That in and of itself isn't unusual, we have to do that once or twice a year. What made it unusual is that we didn't bait the trap! The opossum went in there all by himself (or herself). Now we know what our poodle was excited about.

On the way back in the house, I asked my wife to check out Ella's Pink Plum. She tested them and found them ready to harvest. I hadn't finished posting today's blog so I added them to today's numbers.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pineapple(2) Has a Growing Tomato!

Today's harvest includes 10 SunGold, 6 Sweet Baby Girl, 5 Husky Cherry Red(1), 4 Sweet 100, 3 Husky Cherry Red(2), Yellow Perfection and Nyagous(1) for a total of 30 tomatoes.

Pineapple(2) has a growing tomato on it! Unofficially, the only plant without a tomato on it is Copper River.

Having wrote that, Paul Robeson has one growing tomato and the plant is struggling.

Yellow Currant has maturing tomatoes! This is good to see.

My wife says that the highs in the San Fernando Valley will be in the mid to high 80's. This is normal if not a tad cool for the area. But it's great for more fruit setting. The "high season" -- sometime in the second half of July is my guess -- will get delayed by a day or two. But it's all good. The plants aren't getting too stressed. Everything points to a really good year.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ella's Pink Plum Has Maturing Tomatoes!

Today's harvest includes 8 Husky Cherry Red(2), 7 SunGold, 6 Husky Cherry Red(1), Matt's Wild Cherry, Sweet Baby Girl, Sweet Million, Red Currant and Nyagous(1) for a total of 26 tomatoes.

My wife watered in the fertilizer for the other two front yard tomato plants yesterday. I did a bit of training when I got home from work, but things were mostly in order.

When harvesting this morning I noted that Ella's Pink Plum has a couple of maturing tomatoes! We look forward to both seeing and eating this tomato -- it looks interesting.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Harvested Crimson Cushion!

Today's harvest includes 9 SunGold, 6 Husky Cherry Red(1), 3 Husky Cherry Red(2), 3 SunSugar 2 Sweet Baby Girl, 2 Sweet 100 and Crimson Cushion (new) for a total of 26 tomatoes.

I spent a fair amount of time training and pruning the yellowing and browing branches last evening. This behavior is natural as the plant will concentrate on fruit production. Don't start watering to try to turn yellow branches green again -- it will never happen. Our SunGold plant is about six and a half feet tall already, but most of the branches in the bottom foot have been cut away. This is a good thing -- it means there's lots of fruit that need nourishment!

While I wasn't exhaustive in my searching, I did look underneath a lot of tomato plants looking for new maturing fruit. Short of Crimson Cushion, I didn't see any. I saw a fair amount of tomatoes that look pretty close to turning color, but none turning color. Is this an issue? Nope, it's more a function of the weather. A few days ago it got up to almost 98 degrees, and the harvest numbers go higher. Well, they'd go up anyway at this time of the year but it spiked higher than expected. The last few days have cooled off. We probably won't hit yesterday's 45 total for a few days. When the temperature spikes, the harvest spikes a couple days afterward above and beyond the normal upslope.

My wife watered in the fertilizer in the containers and most of the front yard plants. She had watered on Monday, so she watered just enough for the fertilizer to soak into the ground, meaning she barely watered.

We had some of our Nyagous(1) tomatoes in a pasta dish last night. The pasta and the tomatoes were delicious!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

All Previous 2012 Harvested Tomatoes Were Harvested Today

Today's harvest includes 7 SunGold, 7 Sweet Baby Girl, 6 Nyagous(1), 6 Husky Cherry Red(1), 4 Yellow Perfection, 3 Matt's Wild Cherry, 3 Sweet 100, 3 Husky Cherry Red(2), 3 SunSugar, 2 Sweet Million and Red Currant for a total of 45 tomatoes.

SunGold has passed Husky Cherry Red(1) in production. Currently I've harvested 68 SunGold and 62 Husky Cherry Red(1) tomatoes. There's plenty more for both plants though SunGold should keep the lead.

Independently of yesterday's blog post, my wife harvested 5 Nyagous(1) yesterday morning. She noted that they were looking too soft -- essentially I waited too late to harvest this batch. She'll be able to save these by using them in cooking. I harvested a sixth one this morning.

I believe that every tomato harvested previously this year was also harvested today.

My wife finished watering the front yard tomatoes and completely watered the back yard tomatoes. That took over half the day. By the time I got home in the evening one of the plants in the back yard had fallen down. Don't panic, it didn't fall completely down, it fell into a rose bush. I believe the plant that fell was Nyagous(2). I called my wife over and she knew the drill -- she held the plant upright while I got a hammer, glove and a couple of stakes. I used two wooden stakes on the outside of the cage to "cradle" it and it seems no worse for the wear.

This morning another plant had fallen, but it had fallen into another plant. For this one I used a six foot, three quarter inch non-wooden stake and placed on the inside of the cage to support it.

So why do they fall? Three factors go into it. 1) A recent watering loosens the ground underneath 2) A relatively small cage compared to the others and 3) A plant that's outgrown the smaller cage. Essentially the plant becomes top heavy with vines and fruit. If the plant falls flat on the ground there's always some damage but that doesn't occur often. Usually they fall into another plant and that other plant prevents any real damage.

I didn't do much training at all yesterday. I can tell there's a lot to do.

I did add fertilizer to about eight plants in the front yard and the two Husky Cherry plants in the back yard. My wife may water it in today.

I don't see any maturing tomatoes that are changing to their mature color, but I do see a lot of tomatoes that are darkening. This is the step before they change to their mature color. Expect a lot of maturing tomatoes over the next couple weeks.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Harvested Nyagous(1)!

Today's harvest includes 6 SunGold, 5 Sweet Baby Girl, 4 Matt's Wild Cherry, 4 Husky Cherry Red(1), 3 Yellow Perfection, 2 Nyagous(1) (new), 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), Sweet Million and Sweet 100 for a total of 28 tomatoes

Husky Cherry Red(2) had some falling branches this morning. The weight of the fruit on the branches, plus the fact the branches got wet this morning (The sprinklers hit this tomato plant) pulled down several of them. I tied and staked them the best I could without getting too soaked, but lost a couple of tomatoes in the process.

We harvested Nyagous(1) today! However, I may have waited a day too late. They look a bit dessicated.

It got up to over 97 degrees yesterday. That was unexpected. Had I known that I would have harvested Nyagous(1) on Saturday. The ripening bunch is near a cage wire (within a half inch) and when it gets hot, the actual cage heats up, affecting the fruit abutting or touching the cage wire.

My wife watered part of the "koi pond" yesterday. She'll water some more today.

I added fertilizer to the container plants but it needs to be watered in.

Crimson Cushion has a maturing tomato! I'm surprised it's maturing this soon -- this plant has a long duration to maturity.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Looks Like It Will Be A Really Good Year...

Yesterday's harvest: 6 SunGold, 5 Husky Cherry Red(2), 3 Husky Cherry Red(1) and SunSugar for a total of 15 tomatoes.

Today's harvest includes 12 SunGold, 5 Husky Cherry Red(1), 3 Red Currant, 2 Yellow Perfection, 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), 2 Sweet Baby Girl, Sweet 100 and SunSugar for a total of 28 tomatoes.

I did a lot of tomato taping and training yesterday. For a fair amount of the tomato plants, the cage is stuffed and can take little more. So I'm taping the branches against the cage. Why? I'm fighting for room in the garden! Otherwise I'll literally be crawling among the tomato plants.

My wife watered the patio tomatoes yesterday afternoon.

It's looking more and more like it will be a really good year.