Sunday, September 20, 2015

Good-bye Beans

I thought I would take advantage of some free time and nice weather to go out and take down the pole bean plants. I harvested all the beans and the plants looked like they had had enough. The leaves were turning yellow and brown, there were no more flowers, the trellis was starting to fall apart... it was time to go. And I was getting tired of watering them. So with a pair of scissors I was able to take them down fairly quickly. My building provides a large green bin (green dumpster actually) for compost-able waste and it gets collected by the city. The balcony looks naked without the beans and their trellis. But on the plus side, I was able to a get one last sizeable bean harvest.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Spider Mites

This is as good a picture as I could take of a spider mite. The little white balls on the leaf are spider mite eggs.  My beans have quite a few leaves showing spider mite damage. The leaves start to turn yellow along the veins of the leaf and on the back of the leaf you can see a fine webbing. Look close enough and there they are. They look like little grounds of black pepper and are easy to see when the start moving around. Despite the mites, the beans are still doing well.

Another tomato harvest. Not crazy about the Tiny Tom or Floragold. They are nothing compared to the black cherry tomatoes. But the little plants still have lots of fruit to ripen, as do the black cherry plants.

Monday, September 7, 2015

End of the summer heat

Lots of heat and humidity here at the end of the long weekend and I think the air conditioning has stopped working. Just beans and tomatoes on the balcony now. The melon and basil plants are gone. The tomatoes are still reaching for the ceiling, still flowering and growing like wild. I try to keep them pruned now so they don't get too top heavy and topple over.

I broke down and bought more fertilizer: inorganic water soluble. Still fruit to harvest and plants are crying out for mercy. Older growth on the tomatoes is getting yellow and curled. Leaves on the bean plants are going yellow again telling me their container needs an injection of nutrients.

I've still got lots of clusters of cherry tomatoes. The determinate plants are starting to ripen tomatoes as well. The plants in that container have a number of aphids on them but the plants don't seem to care. 

The largest tomato to come off my one brandywine tomato plant this year was 18 ounces. Thats 1/2 kg. It's the one at the back of this image. Not bad for a plant grown in a storage tote on an 18th floor balcony without full sun. Size isn't everything though and I'm guessing the taste will be so-so. I find it's always the first couple of tomatoes off the vine that taste the best. Still lots of tomatoes to ripen, and the beans are growing again. Summer isn't over yet.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Big Bean

I normally pick the beans before they reach full maturity. I like them tender. So I must have missed this one the last time I picked the beans. The bean plants are putting out lots of flowers now so maybe I'll have another good harvest before the end of the summer.