Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Heat Is On

My plant/garden sitter when I vacation is a brilliant 83 year old gentleman that knows nothing about gardening and isn't particularly interested in learning. He likes to water, his way, period. That means there will be no discussion about keeping leaves dry or being consistent with tomato moisture or avoiding flooding the melon patch. You take it as it is delivered or you don't. I took it, and it worked out just fine.

I'm back from vacation and things are in pretty decent shape. I picked every single remotely blushed tomato before I left and took it with me up north. Fresh salsa every day, now that's a vacation!
When I got back it was time to harvest again and the harvest was a decent size. The only tomato that hasn't ripened so far is Chocolate stripes, but that is a later tomato and it's getting close. The flavor of all of the harvest was good, not too watery and the only cracking I had was in a few sungolds, which is expected. My plant sitter did good!
One small blip with the self-watering apparatus thing I set up for the balcony tomatoes. It was working fine for a week before I left but failed while I was gone. Two of the Dr. Carolyns are pretty fried but they were so healthy to begin with, they're going to make it and are still blooming.

There were a couple of nice surprises when I returned. For one thing, the rain finally slowed down so we didn't immediately have to start the task of mowing a foot of lawn. It can wait until the weekend! Another surprise was in the cuke/melon bed. Lemon cuke exploded in both growth of vines and number of cukes. I harvested one for a picture and can go out any time and pick about four more, there are easily two dozen cukes on this plant right now. I'll definitely grow this again.

The next surprise had the kids excited. The Dragon's Egg cucumber gave us our first cuke. It's cute! This plant is much less healthy than Lemon cuke but it has the kiddo's chomping veggies with enthusiasm so it will be back next year.

In the same area I have my first ever baby watermelon! It is about the size of a half dollar and doesn't have much chance of reaching maturity but I'm going to try. I put black plastic under it today to help with heat.

The remaining surprises were completely unexpected. I was not happy when I saw the state of the purple potatoes in their sack because they were half dead and had not yet bloomed. I did a quick search in the first couple of inches of soil under the dead section and pulled out a very satisfactory purple spud! That means there should be more where that came from! The final surprise was with persimmon the prima donna. She had nine pretty orange tomatoes ready for me to pick and a boat load more to come.

Other than the damage to the balcony tomatoes, the only other loss was most of the leaves from the stupid beans that had finally at long last started to climb the teepee. It looks to be the work of bambis. The plants are still alive and climbing but the vision of a lush hideout for munchkins has gone bye bye. Oh well, you win some you lose some and if that's the only irritation I have to trade for ten days of awesome quiet sunsets, I'll take it!

1 comment:

Daphne said...

What a nice group of tomatoes. I've been eating salsa ever since I came back from vacation. I have to use up those cherry tomatoes somehow. I think I may try making sauce from them. It will probably take a while to boil down enough though.