June, 2009

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Tomato Bandit

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Something is ruining the last few tomatos left on my Celebrity plant. I suspect it is squirrels, based on other blogs around town complaining about squirrels eating their tomatoes. I guess it could be rats too though…the tomatoes are left on the plant but have a couple of giant holes/gashes in them. I only have three tomatoes left on the plant. It is flowering, but no fruit is setting in this heat.

Squirrel damage?

Squirrel damage?

Pop Bottle Planter

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

In reading about the SIPs online, I found a simple version you can make from plastic soda bottles. Tried with some Autumn Sage (salvia greggii) cuttings. Planted two cuttings 5/21. Used RootTone on them. Stuck into Hi-Yield potting mix. Did not sterilize anything and used regular tap water (not distilled water).

Cut Bottle in Half

Cut Bottle in Half

Stick Halves Together

Stick Halves Together

Add Cutting and Water

Add Mix, Cutting and Water

Noticed mold/fungus growing on the mix in one of the containers after a few days, so removed the upper bottle cover for a while. That resulted in some noticeable wilting. I replaced the bottle cover but without the screw on bottle top, and that seems to have struck a good balance–plants are not wilty, no mold forming.

Cover and Wait

Cover and Wait

Update 6/11: one of the cuttings appears to not be taking–leaves falling off, and a slight tug on it did not offer any resistance, indicating no roots forming. The other cutting seems to be taking–leaves fairly healthy looking, it does not wilt when I remove the cover, and a slight tug offered resistance. So there is hope! I guess I need to wean it off the humid closed planter bottle and maybe feed a bit to get it growing on its own.

Overall, I did practically nothing to care for the cuttings. I left the cover on (without the screw on bottle top) pretty much the whole time. I did not mist or add water–the reservoir stayed plenty full and the potting mix stayed moist. Going to try a few more cuttings of different plants soon.

Self-Contained

Self-Contained

First Ripe Tomato

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Harvested the first ripe Celebrity last night. Kind of smallish, not sure what normal Celebrity dimensions are. Tasted like a tomato! So we got our first ripe tomato 71 days after planting the seedling. Days to harvest is supposed to be 70 days (but I’m not sure if that is from seed planting or seedling transplant).

First Celebrity

First Celebrity

Now that we are into 100 degree days, not sure how many more tomatoes we’ll be getting. Obviously I planted a little late in the spring.

MicroHarvest

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Plucked one jalapeno 6/8, and the first poblano. The poblano was nowhere near the proper size, but it was showing vague shades of red…and we were having tacos for dinner, so decided I had better pluck it off.! Roasted both of them. The peppers tasted good, but the poblano had a bit of a green flavor (no surprise there). But definitely a touch of poblano-ey flavor in there.

Dwarf Varieties?

Dwarf Varieties?

Wondering if I purchased some kind of dwarf-fruit varieties of the peppers. They seem to be stuck in too-small mode.

Stats: 1 poblano, 19g; 1 jalapeno, 17g.

Update: plucked another jalapeno 6/11, 12g, just shy of 2″ long. I think that is the mature size for this particular jalapeno plant. This pepper was definitely “corking” and getting a bit of a red shade, meaning it was ready. I’m also now thinking that my “poblano” is likely some smaller variety. None of the peppers on the plant is getting any larger than 2-3″.

Plucked two more jalapenos 6/12, 37g total.

Seems to be mature size of my variety

Seems to be mature size of my variety

Shades of Red!

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Noticed the first sign of red on one of the tomatos this evening! Might be ready to eat in a day or two. Today is 67 days since planting the seedling. Of course, there is a hail storm blowing through right now, and we are under a tornado watch, so the tomato is probably on its way to Kansas at this very moment.

Finally!

Finally!

Tomato

67 Days Since Seedling Transplant