Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 2014 Tomato Analysis

First, let's compare our July tomato totals against other years...

2014 -- 3884 tomatoes
2013 -- 1970 tomatoes
2012 -- 6068 tomatoes
2011 -- 3876 tomatoes
2010 -- 4108 tomatoes
2009 -- 4576 tomatoes
2008 -- 1629 tomatoes
2007 -- 6154 tomatoes

Four years were higher, three were lower. However, 2011 was only lower by 8 tomatoes.

My estimate of harvesting 5250 tomatoes in July was sufficiently off the mark to consider it a bad guess.

The standouts were obvious -- Sunchocola and Orange Paruche were nothing short of spectacular. And not just production, but taste as well. We are extremely pleased with these two varieties. We will grow them again and again. Other standouts include Adriana's Grande and the old standby German Orange Strawberry. Blue Beauty was a pleasant surprise that matured later in the month.

Several people have told us that this year's tomatoes have tasted better than in prior years. I believe that is directly tied to the compost added in November of last year as well as clearing out our passive compost bin in the back yard.

The downsides include the "corner office" and a majority of the back yard growing area. I added a good amount of purchased compost and a liberal amount of our "compost paella" to the "corner office". All the tomatoes from this growing area are on the small side. Some of this is related to the hedge on the south side, blocking a fair amount of the sun. But it appears that the soil is still exhausted from years of planting.

That's the similar story for the back yard tomatoes. We added lots of compost but most of the tomatoes are on the small side. The exceptions are the four plants closest to our back door. This is a new tomato growing area, but also the sprinklers were still hitting this area. It is possible that we're not watering the back yard tomatoes enough. We've floated the idea of a drip system before but never followed through...

It's been reported that 2014 has been the hottest first six months of the year in recorded history. Some of our tomato plants are already burned out. For me, it's not the highs that are so bad, it's the fact that the atmosphere isn't cooling off sufficiently at night. Our tomato plants have no time to rest.

My estimate for the August harvest is 1650 tomatoes. My adjusted estimate for the year is around 7500 tomatoes.

No comments: