Wednesday, September 3, 2014

August 2014 Tomato Analysis

Let's compare the August numbers...

2014 -- 1942 tomatoes
2013 -- 1320 tomatoes
2012 -- 3240 tomatoes
2011 -- 3863 tomatoes
2010 -- 2165 tomatoes
2009 -- 3250 tomatoes
2008 -- 1004 tomatoes
2007 -- 2806 tomatoes

Five years were higher, two were lower. What's notable is that for the July analysis, the 2010 total was slightly higher than 2014. The same is true for August. We may have a precedent...

My original estimate of 1650 tomatoes was a little low but it wasn't too far off.

The tomatoes weren't bad but they weren't great either. They were more like September tomatoes -- a little thicker skin, inconsistent maturing on the skin, not bad but not great taste. Standouts were Pink Berkeley Tie Dye(1), Blue Beauty and Husky Cherry Red.

So why is this happening? Well, we still believe it was quite a good year. The compost really helped and the kelp meal added to the seedlings didn't hurt, either. But Southern California is under drought conditions. We had a second consecutive low rain year and therefore the worms didn't have the environment to do what they do during the winter. Also we had the hottest first six months of the year in recorded history.

To recap, we prepared very well for this year but nature didn't cooperate. This left us with great tasting tomatoes starting out but we had no "staying power" for lack of a better term. The hot conditions burned out the plants and the season sooner than usual.

For the upcoming months Sunchocola will be the wild card. Although doubling over in places, our Sunchocola plant is getting strong new growth. But will this new growth translate into new blooms and new tomatoes? Time will tell. The rest of the plants are burning out, though either of the Husky Cherry Red plants could make a bit of a comeback.

Since we may have established a pattern, let's look at the upcoming 2010 numbers.

September 2010 -- 717 tomatoes
October 2010 -- 261 tomatoes
November 2010 -- 214 tomatoes
December 2010 -- 90 tomatoes
Total 2010 harvest -- 8092 tomatoes

It looks like 2010 had the "staying power" that I believe this year will lack.

Last month's estimate of 7500 total harvested tomatoes looks consistent with the 2010 numbers. But I'll revise that estimate down to 7300 harvested tomatoes for the year. For September 2014 I'll estimate a harvest of 550 tomatoes.

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