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Gardening: (2016– )


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What’s left of today’s pickings, the little gold cherries don’t always make it into the house let alone onto a plate, just little globes of sweetness.  The long red tomatoes are San Marzano, ripening well now, the bunches/trusses on the plants remind me of cow udder clusters somehow.  The other red tomato is a Fantasio; not sure about these, they are supposed to be happy outside as well as in an unheated greenhouse but fruits growing outside don’t seem to have the usual shiny skin.  

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Once again I must admit to being envious of those of you who have so many tomatoes that you have to have a plan as to how to manage them before they spoil. Spring in my Seattle maritime location this year was particularly NOT good for tomatoes--rain and cold for most days! Result: spindly starts that just didn't want to grow once in the ground. I didn't even Tomatoes_08_05_Message_1660620307789.thumb.jpg.07ae8d1c38890941f192096ad9e84879.jpgplant them until June 1! They've just in the last couple of (very hot summer weather) weeks started to come into their own. Three indeterminate, one cherry determinate. The indeterminates have had a fine time growing tall and leggy with very little fruit. The cherry tomato is at least happier and now has lots of blossoms, but so far I've gotten exactly 4 cherry tomatoes. I kinda hope our hot weather lasts, but on the other hand, no air conditioning at 85degrees and above gets old very fast. 

 

OK, done whining.  : )

 

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9 hours ago, SusieQ said:

Tomatoes_08_05_Message_1660620307789.thumb.jpg.07ae8d1c38890941f192096ad9e84879.jpgplant them until June 1! They've just in the last couple of (very hot summer weather) weeks started to come into their own. Three indeterminate, one cherry determinate. The indeterminates have had a fine time growing tall and leggy with very little fruit. The cherry tomato is at least happier and now has lots of blossoms, but so far I've gotten exactly 4 cherry tomatoes. I kinda hope our hot weather lasts, but on the other hand, no air conditioning at 85degrees and above gets old very fast. 

You should try a few of the DwarfProject tomatoes next year. Compact plants that start with very thick sturdy stems. They do not 'bolt'. Or get spindly. Top out at about 4 ft. and produce less fruit per plant, but require less room so you can grow 8-10 plants in the same space as three indeterminates. Switch to a half dozen fabric pots, even touching. I'm guessing you are buying plant starts from a garden center only growing three plants. If you want to try starting from seed, I'll send you a few varieties. I send out seeds every year so it is no big deal. 

Even better is they ripen at various times---early, and late, over a long period of time, so always a nice ripe one to be enjoyed. 

fabric pots are cheap and last for years if rinsed/bleached, dried, and stored over-winter. Tomatoes do not like clay or plastic pots at all. Fabric stays damp. Roots reach all they way to the fabric. 

 

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^^^2 and three gallon is a good size for DwarfProject tomatoes. 1$ buck per pot+shipping. I started Fall kale, collards, and salad greens in the two gallon a few weeks ago. Sun access is changing so in fabric pots I can moved them to Fall sun easily. I'll have greens through the holidays. 

I empty my used pot soil into a big trug to be re-used. Next season I add a handful of clean fresh wood chips, then spent soil, then fresh clean soil before planting.--spent soil may have some weed seed that does not sprout being deep in the pot. Add some good organic slow release vegetable food to the top few inches. 

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We have moved a little from the topic but I would like to add just a little more about growing tomatoes....🙂

Nematodes

Here in Queensland most of the soils are ideal for nematodes. In the case of tomato plants, the plant grows pretty well but the lower leaves may turn yellow then wilt. This "die back" proceeds up the plant until they are spindly and there are not enough leaves left to support the fruit.

(in Queensland a cold winters day is 17C (62F) so the "cold" isn't enough to cull the nematodes)

(by the way there are 2 basic types of tomato plants, a vine type and a bush type. Don't mistake spindly plants as sick, it may mean they are the vine type)

Planting a crop of mustard and digging it in is one method to control. Marigolds do the same thing. If you have nematodes, just planting marigolds with then and cutting the leaves and leaving to break down regularly  will help.

The improvement in tomato health after one round of marigolds being dug in can be  rather spectacular.

Once you have  nematodes, it is very hard to get rid of them. Many of my friends have abandoned Tomatoes altogether.

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14 minutes ago, Bernie said:

We have moved a little from the topic but I would like to add just a little more about growing tomatoes....🙂

Nematodes

Here in Queensland most of the soils are ideal for nematodes. In the case of tomato plants, the plant grows pretty well but the lower leaves may turn yellow then wilt. This "die back" proceeds up the plant until they are spindly and there are not enough leaves left to support the fruit.

(in Queensland a cold winters day is 17C (62F) so the "cold" isn't enough to cull the nematodes)

(by the way there are 2 basic types of tomato plants, a vine type and a bush type. Don't mistake spindly plants as sick, it may mean they are the vine type)

Planting a crop of mustard and digging it in is one method to control. Marigolds do the same thing. If you have nematodes, just planting marigolds with then and cutting the leaves and leaving to break down regularly  will help.

The improvement in tomato health after one round of marigolds being dug in can be  rather spectacular.

Once you have  nematodes, it is very hard to get rid of them. Many of my friends have abandoned Tomatoes altogether.

 

Here in New Jersey for years I co-planted marigolds with my tomatoes but the marigolds were inevitably attacked and wiped out by spider mites.  Spider mite infested marigolds are disgusting.  However what eventually did in my tomato crop was my landlord.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/23/2022 at 3:27 PM, gulfporter said:

2nd banana plant in bloom.  Just noticed it today, may be edible by late August??  The other plant has a much larger bunch and we **think** they may be edible in early July.  

 

bananas 2nd bunch.jpg

 

For whatever reason these bananas remained green thru today.  They are larger than most we get in our yard.  

 

After a week of heavy rain (and a very wet monsoon season since mid-June) the weight of the fruit caused the plant to fall.  There were signs of 'lightening' of the green, which precedes ripening. 

 

José our gardener cut the bunch and hung outside.  I am on Ant Patrol.   

 

 

 

 

bananas green (1).jpg

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PXL_20220925_212013226.PORTRAIT.thumb.jpg.19c3c4c56dfe5174a16bf94061c2c339.jpg

Attempting growing morning glory from the grocery store (actually a street vendor in Chinatown)

 

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Lemongrass rehab doing well - they were getting slightly root bound in the solo cups so now in the fabric bag.

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