Sunday, August 15, 2010

First Harvest

What a difference a few weeks makes ... tomato plant issues seem to have stabilized - just prior to my vacation trip to our Interior I was desperate and gave each container a good sprinkle of tomato food, epsom salts and even more lime - or maybe it was just hubby's watering method :-)

Anyhoo, a few more pics

Sunflowers are now in full bloom - very fast as these were started in late June from seed!!

And my first harvest pic - purple pole bean, Grub`s Mystery Green and Smarty F1 tomatoes

Weather has been extremely hot here on the coast last few days - our second heat spell of the summer - almost hit 30 C yesterday - that`s about 87 F

Monday, August 2, 2010

Good Fruit Set

Another two weeks of summer gone already!! I must say the weather has been most cooperative of late ..... and here's a few pictures of the results ....

This is Smarty F1, one of the few hybrids I've grown of late - checking out its disease resistance, and as can be seen in the same photo we have had some foliage problems. According to my newly purchased moisture meter it seems I was way overwatering, and now that I've cut back the leaves are starting to look healthier - whatever the problem it hasn't stopped fruit set ... here's another pic (click on pics for better look)

And a final pic for today - had to include progress on the Paquito sunflowers

Friday, July 16, 2010

The season is progressing ..... starting to notice leaf issues, etc. I purchased a moisture meter and tried it out yesterday in the garden. A great little tool, no batteries required and under $10.

Two of my containers registered on the wet side, so I did not water. Three others were given a tablespoon of epsom salts to help with greening the leaves and watered. With this hot weather we've been having of late (mid 20's C - hot for here) I'm still trying to get my watering routine down.

Anyhoo, pics of a few more fruit sets - Brandywine and Grub's Mystery Green, and I couldn't resist - started some dwarf sunflowers a few weeks back and they have now been transplanted - what better way to celebrate summer than by growing tomatoes and sunflowers.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fruit Set

After a cool wet spring, summer has arrived overnight!! Near record breaking temperatures the last few days - 27 C (81 F) yesterday - for the coast that is hot ......

The container tomatoes will require daily monitoring for moisture with this weather. I try to visit the garden early in the a.m. to ensure my containers have enough water to get through this heat spell . There is no water on site - so it takes a bit of time and effort to get everything adequately watered. Here they are - looking good yesterday. We even finally have some fruit set - the above pic is Sylvan Gaume, a large red heart - first of the container plants to set - and they look like they are going to be big ones!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

And, here is a pic of my ripe Yellow Plum, grown indoors. Juicy, mild and on the sweet side. Plants are still growing and setting fruit.

Well, that was a fast two weeks, and the weather is finally starting to feel like summer ......
have a look at the progress in our container tomato garden. Some really big buds, so hopefully we will see some baby tomatoes shortly.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Latest Pics of Container Garden and Indoor Plants

As a follow up to my post of earlier today, latest pictures - 16 Oaks today - amazing growth considering the cool wet conditions we have experienced for some time now ......

And here are a few pics of my indoor tomatoes

Container Tomatoes Outside the Box

I'm back .....

Lots of changes ... retired last June and moved to an apartment (with only a fire escape) in November. Needless to say I went through a period of tomato growing withdrawal. Then started thinking - we now live in a wonderful bright sunny apartment!! So, why not try growing tomatoes indoors.

Started Dwarf Gem, Yellow Plum and Mano on December 29th and have harvested two tomatoes from Dwarf Gem to date. Yellow Plum and Mano are now just starting to colour up.

Check out the pictures:

Also, I noticed a community garden a few blocks from our new home. The waiting list for a garden plot was closed, but due to my extensive experience in container tomato growing , I was invited onboard to assist with the garden's "Growing Outside the Box" project for this year. How exciting - and something totally new for me.

Anyhoo, there are seven of us in total, and after deciding on the best location and set up for our containers, the biggest challenge was filling those containers. I stressed the need for a freely draining mix, and also noted the benefits of both compost and leafmould - which I have used extensively in my previous growouts. Unfortunately, neither compost nor leafbould was available - so we went with 3 in 1 Master Gardener Mix, perilite, and a dedicated container mix. I also added additional peat to my containers to further assist with drainage. Some members opted to fill their own containers - this should provide some interesting comparisons as the summer progresses.

I must say the weather here in the PNW has been on the cool side, and wet, wet, wet. Considering the amount of rain we have had since our early May plant out, I would say the tomato plants are doing OK. Oh, and some members chose to start or purchase their own plants.

The plants I offered were started March 28th - a bit later than my usual start time - and all were grown inside my apartment with just the available light. We have hot water heat, so the temperature remains at about 72 F. The varieties were choosen to demonstrate the many different qualities of tomatoes, i.e. leaf shape, fruit colour, plant size. Grow outs include: Grub's Mystery Green, Mano, Sylvan Gaume and Indian Stripe. I am also trying out Smarty F1 from Randy Gardener to test its disease resistance.

Anyhoo, another pictorial essay on progress to date ...........