Saturday, July 5, 2014

Harvested Persimmon(1)!

Friday's harvest includes 37 Orange Paruche, 20 Sunchocola, 11 SunGold, 7 Sugar Snack, 4 Garden Peach(2), 3 Janet's Jacinthe Jewel (7 ounces), 3 Matt's Wild Cherry, 2 Earliana, 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), Stupice, Persimmon(1) (new), Earl of Edgecombe, Bread and Salt (10 ounces), Volunteer(4), Snow White, Evan's Purple Pear and Garden Peach(3) for a total of 98 tomatoes.

It's good to see that we still can grow Persimmon (from the tomato lady of Beverly Hills, not this Persimmon) but it is miniscule compared to several years ago. We can't keep seeds temperate, so the problem is on our end.

Don't be encouraged by Janet's Jacinthe Jewel's numbers and size. The plant has basically died but the remaining fruit is maturing. However, the maturing fruit looks old due to the lack of water delivery.

I added long stakes to Sunchocola, Adriana's Grande and German Orange Strawberry. I used tomato tape where I could to somewhat bind the tree to the stake. Two of the three plants got a second, smaller metal stake.

Berkeley Tie Dye and Black Krim have maturing tomatoes. Purple Bumble Bee has growing tomatoes.

We've now harvested over 1000 tomatoes for the year (1036)! Let's hope there's many more to come. Also, we've harvested over 400 Orange Paruche tomatoes (412) this year.

Today's harvest includes 26 Orange Paruche, 24 Sunchocola, 9 Matt's Wild Cherry, 8 SunGold, 2 Bloody Butcher, 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), 2 Sugar Snack, Yellow Perfection, Adriana's Grande (13 ounces), Earliana, Bread and Salt (11.5 ounces), Hungarian Heart (6 ounces), Volunteer(4), Jaune Flamme, Snow White, Stupice and Garden Peach(1) for a total of 83 tomatoes.

This is the second day in a row that the harvest numbers have dropped. It appears that Orange Paruche and Sunchocola are slowing down and other cherry tomatoes haven't made up the difference. Is this a trend? We'll see.

I did try Volunteer(4). It looks and tastes like Matt's Wild Cherry...but I'm not entirely convinced yet. I think that just about anything that small would have a tart taste. I'll compare the leaves in the near future.

Adriana's Grande has a bit of sunscald on it.

The "koi pond" tomatoes are showing a lot of dead leaves and yellowing branches on the bottom foot or so of the plant. It's normal, but it's also a sign that these plants are getting old fast...

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Harvested Indigo Apple and Earl of Edgecombe!

Today's harvest includes 47 Orange Paruche, 37 Sunchocola, 7 Earliana, 4 SunGold, 2 Stupice, 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), Indigo Apple (new), Earl of Edgecombe (new), Bloody Butcher, Yellow Perfection, Adriana's Grande (13 ounces), Janet's Jacinthe Jewel, Bread and Salt (10 ounces), Snow White, Garden Peach(2), Husky Cherry Red(1) and Garden Peach(3) for a total of 110 tomatoes.

The ripe Indigo Apple was a pleasant surprise. I hadn't noticed the orange blush on the tomato before. The ripe Earl of Edgecombe wasn't a surprise -- I forgot to mention it in yesterday's blog post -- but the first one harvested was a bit of a surprise. The one I spotted is still a day or two away. The one I harvested today isn't very big but it is a beautiful bright orange tomato.

Speaking of yesterday's blog post, I didn't post the weights correctly. Bread and Salt was originally posted as 9 ounces but it was really 12 ounces. Adriana's Grande had no weight posted but it came in at 13.5 ounces. Yesterday's blog post has been updated with these values. I'm sure this is riveting information for the reader!

I got up early again to finish the watering. First I harvested the front yard tomatoes. This took some extra time simply due to the amount harvested. Side note: Yesterday was our high harvest day for the year at 91 tomatoes. Today we harvested 98 tomatoes in the front yard alone. Anyway, then I realized the sprinklers are due to go off in the back yard at 6:22 AM and it's now 6:17. Harvest the back yard as fast as you can! Which I did, of course, but I'm sure to have missed a few.

After the back yard harvest I double watered the "koi pond". Vorlon is ready to be pulled and the "moat" for Berkeley Tie Dye leaks badly on the west side. I noticed a hidden Adriana's Grande during this watering. It should have been picked yesterday. To my defense it was pretty well hidden in the canopy created by the leaves, other fruit and branches.

We've now harvested over 200 Sunchocola tomatoes (208) this year.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Harvested Michael Pollan!

Today's harvest includes 39 Orange Paruche, 17 Sunchocola, 10 SunGold, 4 Matt's Wild Cherry, 4 Snow White, 3 Sugar Snack, 2 Adriana's Grande (13.5 ounces), 2 Stupice, 2 Husky Cherry Red(2), Michael Pollan (new), Yellow Perfection, Bread and Salt (12 ounces), Hungarian Heart, Jaune Flamme, Garden Peach(2), Green Grape and Husky Cherry Red(1) for a total of 91 tomatoes.

I harvested about an hour earlier than I normally do so that I could water the rest of the back yard tomatoes. As such, I expected to miss a few harvestable tomatoes due to the low light. This could have affected the Sunchocola numbers today (a dark, prolific tomato). We'll see if they shoot up tomorrow. Then again, I may wake up early one more time...

As I was watering the tomato plants in the raised bed area, I was surprised to notice a ripe Michael Pollan. After looking it over it was clear we couldn't keep it, but a tomato just next to this one was not only ripe but just fine. I also noticed a ripe Green Grape and a hidden Garden Peach(2).

Pierce's Pride looks awful and may be pulled shortly.

I did catch up on the back yard tomato watering, leaving the front yard "koi pond" remaining to be done.

We've now harvested over 300 Orange Paruche tomatoes (328) this year.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Harvested Snow White!

Today's harvest includes 32 Orange Paruche, 24 Sunchocola, 7 SunGold, 3 Sugar Snack, 3 Earliana, 2 Snow White (new), 2 Bloody Butcher, 2 Husky Cherry Red(1), Yellow Perfection, Janet's Jacinthe Jewel, Bread and Salt (9 ounces), Hungarian Heart, Husky Cherry Red(2), Garden Peach(2) and Green Grape for a total of 82 tomatoes.

I spent a fair amount of time last night taping the larger tomato plants. Adriana's Grande, Sunchocola, Hungarian Heart, German Orange Strawberry, Orange Paruche, Garden Peach(2) and a few others got the tomato taping treatment. I added another stake to Garden Peach(2).

I have some concern that Sunchocola may fall over. The plant is in a large, strong cage. But as I harvest the lower hanging fruit, the plant has become somewhat more imbalanced. The plant will "shift" depending on how I readjust the plant. It's not so much getting tall as the top of the plant is getting wide and flowing everywhere. Think a top heavy ice cream cone. If I stake it it'll need about three stakes outside the cage to trap the cage in place.

Both my wife and I agree that we don't get the Cola taste from our Sunchocola, but we love the tomato. When we tried it at the tomato tasting party last year Loteria Grill, we could taste the Cola undertones. But it's a prolific, pretty and tasty tomato for us.

The German Orange Strawberry plant is amazing. It's now about 7 and a half feet tall and growing like a cyprus tree. Sooner or later I'll have problems with the plant but for now it's perfectly behaved. No maturing fruit yet.

Speaking of which, the two Persimmon plantings (not Persimmon) have maturing tomatoes. And it looks like an Ananas Noire is just starting to mature, but is probably a week away.

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 2014 Tomato Analysis

We harvested 644 tomatoes for June, 2014. Let's see how this compares to other years...

2014 -- 644 tomatoes
2013 -- 322 tomatoes
2012 -- 842 tomatoes
2011 -- 273 tomatoes
2010 -- 536 tomatoes
2009 -- 299 tomatoes
2008 -- 1538 tomatoes
2007 -- 1259 tomatoes

The harvest amount is middle of the pack. But I wouldn't derive too much from this. The best June year was 2008 and that was a bad year for us. We planted too soon -- thus the high early numbers -- and 110 degree temperature on June the 20th basically killed the rest of the season.

2007 was a wonderful year because the "koi pond" was almost all compost, dug about two feet deep or so.

The closest number to this month's harvest total was 2010 (536 tomatoes). That year we harvested 8092 tomatoes.

We won't get large harvest numbers from Matt's Wild Cherry, Snow White or SunGold this year. These plants are too rickety to generate that much production, especially Snow White. But Orange Paruche and Sunchocola are exceptionally strong. Harvesting over 1000 harvested from Orange Paruche looks quite doable, and 700-800 Sunchocola tomatoes look quite doable.

The weather has been hot and everyone is reporting early production. Our seven foot tall German Orange Strawberry plant is a testament to that. Fortunately it has been too hot at the right times -- we hit 100 degrees a couple times in May but not in June. The high in June was 97 but in May it hit 102. Also, not much "June gloom". This spurred rapid growth without sterilizing too many blooms.

So the tomato totals are set to explode for July but could burn out quickly. But then again, maybe not. The plants are well established. The back yard is usually two to three weeks behind the front yard and the harvest totals will start ramping up.

My July harvest estimate is, oh let's put our finger to the wind and say...5250 tomatoes.

My 2014 harvest total estimate -- admittedly quite cloudy at this point of the year -- is around 10,500 tomatoes.

But I'll already declare this year a success, barring a ridiculous heat wave. The tomatoes taste really good and that's what it's all about.

Harvested Four New Tomatoes!

There was no harvest Sunday. We were out of town in the morning but came back home in the early evening.

My wife double watered the "corner office" while I watered the container plants near the south gate and about eight more plants in the back yard. I had single watered the ones in the ground. I did a little bit of training during this watering. I noted that Snow White and Volunteer(4) has maturing tomatoes. Great White has growing tomatoes.

Volunteer(4) is not another Garden Peach. The tomatoes are small and red.

I had a Bread and Salt tomato as part of dinner. The tomato did taste quite good though it was a tad overripe. It's hard to single out the flavor, though, short of "good".

Today's harvest includes 27 Orange Paruche, 24 Sunchocola, 14 Matt's Wild Cherry, 11 SunGold, 4 Green Grape (new), 4 Bread and Salt (10.5 ounces, 7 ounces, 9 ounces), 4 Sugar Snack, 3 Bloody Butcher (new), 3 Stupice, 3 Garden Peach(3), 2 Volunteer(4) (new), 2 Husky Cherry Red(1), Earliana, Vorlon, Adriana's Grande (13 ounces), Jaune Flamme, Pierce's Pride (new), Garden Peach(2) and Husky Cherry Red(2) for a total of 108 tomatoes.

We harvested from 4 new plants today! Bloody Butcher and Volunteer(4) was expected. Green Grape was a complete surprise. I had knelt down to look at the two Husky Cherry Red tomatoes when I noticed a green tomato off the vine. After completing the Husky Cherry Red harvesting I went back to the fallen tomato. Turns out it was ripe! I looked at Green Grape and saw other ripe tomatoes. I harvested two more. During the harvesting another ripe one fell to the ground. While Pierce's Pride wasn't unexpected, it's a small "stress" tomato. The plant is turning white and not growing. Any ripe tomato will be stressed and for the most part inedible.

Today's harvest number is obviously bloated due to the lack of a Sunday harvest.

Volunteer(4) looks like Matt's Wild Cherry but I haven't tasted it to verify. For now it remains labeled as Volunteer(4).

The 13 ounce Adrian's Grande is a beauty.