Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First and Last Green Tomato

The Green tomato was ripe so I picked it. That's the last time I grow German Green tomatoes. I gave that plant the best sunlight and it continues to grow well bit it didn't set many flowers and only one actually set fruit. This one. It measured a mere 3 inches.

But it was a good tomato. Few seeds, meaty. Somewhat sour but a little sweet as well. It was certainly ripe: had turned to a nice shade of yellowy lime green with a slight pink in some areas.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Opalka Tomato

I've read that people grow Opalka Tomatoes for canning because of their shape. But I decided to try them because I heard good things about their taste. I finally had one ripen enough to eat and it didn't let me down. It had a nice tomato taste. It certainly wasn't weak. A little sweet perhaps. Not very acidic. It had an almost smoky taste to it. Very few seeds. Meaty on the inside but some hollow spots. I was impressed actually. Not a bad tomato. Has to be the best plum shaped tomato I've tasted. Mind you I don't grow very many.

Some of the other tomatoes on the plant are shaped a little better than this first one I picked. The plant itself is growing really dense with lots of growth. It almost seems to be resisting my attempts to make it grow straight. It's a crooked plant covered with leaves. Takes a lot of digging through the growth to find the tomatoes.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Strong Winds

Big storm with lots of gusting wind while we were out this afternoon. My four front line tomato plants were knocked down but did not completely fall off the chairs they sit on and there appears to be no damage to the plants. I'm sure a few branches and leaves got bent or crushed but it doesn't look like I lost any tomatoes. And other than those plants falling over, everything else survived just fine.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Borlotti Beans

I planted a couple of Borlotti bean plants in a sunny spot this year and they're doing well. Borlotti are a shelling bean, also known as Roman or Cranberry Beans and are easily distinguishable by a splash of red on the bean pods .The sprawling colony of spider mites that suck on the plants juices are also doing well. I knock their population down with a light spray of dish soap and neem oil every now and then.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Small Harvest

I'm pulling a handful of cherry tomatoes every day. My son eats them faster than I can pluck them. Can't blame him though. They taste great. I've had a few split and some split shortly after being pulled from the vine even if I leave the tops on. I should start picking them earlier. A few have slightly green shoulders but it doesn't seem to bother anyone around here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Relief from the heat

Lots of wind. We had a few days of constant winds that didn't result in any severe gusting but it was enough to beat up a few of my 'front line' tomato plants. I had to pick up some taller bamboo poles and get a little more serious about staking. Even had to add some extra bracing to keep things from falling over. One of the German Green tomato plants was leaning heavily and eventually bent out near the base as the whole plant slide a foot down the pole. I only noticed because the top of the plant looked a little droopy. Guess the pinch in the vine was cutting off it's water supply.

The poor hops vine at the back of the balcony that has been largely neglected all season has started flowering which is nice to see.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Color on the Balcony

Some of the black cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen. These plants are in a sunny spot in a big self-watering container and they seem happy. My other tomato plants are not. Some are crowded and not getting enough sun and not producing at all. Others that are in prime sunshine locations try to produce tomatoes, only to loose them to end rot. They are not in self watering containers and are very large plants, in the sun, and wind, during a particularly hot summer. Despite success with black cherry tomatoes, I'm not having much luck with anything else.