Monday, August 13, 2012

Blossom end rot perhaps?

I've lost a few California wonder peppers this year to what I believe to be blossom end rot. I see it in tomatoes occasionally and although this doesn't quite look the same, I believe it is. Could be a calcium deficiency. Thinking back to what I put in the container this plant grows in, I wouldn't be surprised. But I think it's more likely a problem with water. I've been subjecting my peppers to an unbalanced watering schedule and that might be interfering with calcium uptake. Maybe next year I'll try growing these in a self-watering container.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A black cherry harvest

I have two black cherry tomato plants and I've been picking ripe tomatoes for the past couple weeks. I'll probably get a few more bowls like this over then next few weeks. A nice little snack for the kids. I give the tomatoes a good rinse and leave them out on the table and they just disappear.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A lucky melon

Never judge a book by its cover, or in this case, a watermelon by the plant it's growing on. My golden midget watermelon plant was a day or two away from being completely done. Almost every leaf was yellow and half were brown and rotting. The one melon on the plant was only a month old and still had streaks of green in its skin. But the real blow came when I accidentally knocked the melon out of its sling and it ripped the vine holding it on the plant. It was still hanging on but only by a small part of the vine. So I figured it was time to pick this melon to see what it looked like inside.

The description on the seed packet claimed early 3 lb melons and 70 day maturity. My melon weighed just over 3 lbs, was just under 6 inches in diameter, and counting back on the calendar... 70 days seems about right also (I can't recall exactly when I planted this one). Despite the size, I thought this melon was a write-off. But when I cut into into it I was pleasantly surprised. It was juicy and solid. The white on the rind was not overly thick and internally there was lots of symmetry. All the seeds had matured. I counted 38 in just one quarter. Visually it looked like a good melon.

The taste was ok, but not perfect. It certainly had a nice watermelon taste with some sweetness but with another week or two to ripen, and perhaps if the plant had not aborted so early, it would have been sweeter. Still, I have purchased melons from grocers that were no better and even worse. I wish there had been more of these on my plant. A 3 lb watermelon doesn't last long around here.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A good pepper

I picked this California Wonder pepper the other day. It was a good size and actually looked like a bell pepper I might have bought at the grocery story. This is a bit of an accomplishment for me as I've tried to grow California Wonders a few times now and every time the plants fail to set fruit if they even reach a size that can support flowering. But this time, with the right amount of sunlight, I seem to have struck gold.

There are two California Wonder pepper plants on the balcony: one produced this pepper and is starting to set more and the other has a few golf-ball size peppers developing.