Friday, December 23, 2011

Morning, Tomato People!

Good morning! I was watering this morning and took a few pictures so I could post. This season has continued its near-magical trajectory. I'm still feeding weekly with Tomato-tone organic fertilizer, but I've stopped spraying with the Key-Plex and copper fungicide. I've had to remove a few leaves with spots, but nothing I'm worried about. I also had a small problem with white flies over the last two weeks, but I treated with neem oil and they seem to be mostly in hand. There are still a few, but the population is much reduced. Other than that, I'm still watering every day and spending my mornings pinching off suckers and tying up plants. Last week, I had to extend my tomato cages to 8 feet because of overgrowth. I've topped all the plants at this point, but they're still trying to get up there, and since the sun is better up high, I want to let them get as tall as I can handle it to set more fruit up there.

So, to the pictures! At top left is my six-year-old son for a little perspective. The tomato he's reaching for is the Kellogg's breakfast, a giant orange heirloom that is growing like it's running from the law. Next to that are the BrandyBoys, still on the vine. These are Burpee's answer to the famous Brandywine heirloom. They are supposed to preserve the taste of the pink Brandywine, but bear much better on more vigorous plants. I haven't tasted them yet, but the vigor and yield is just as advertised: there must be 40 tomatoes on these two plants. Finally, the bottom pic is the green zebra. I can't wait for these little guys to come in. They look awesome. Of the heirlooms, the only one that isn't loaded with fruit is the black Paul Robeson. Sure, it has maybe a dozen tomatoes, but it's nowhere near the others.

Whenever I start to get cocky about my tomatoes, however, I need only look at the peppers to stay humble. I don't know what it is about me and peppers, but I must not have the touch for them. My plants look healthy, but they're dropping most of their blossoms and now the leaves on top are twisted and look unhealthy. Grrr.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a good season and I'd love to see some harvest pictures when people start picking ...