Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Week's Worth of Cherry Tomatoes

How many Cherry Tomatoes can my Garden produce in a week?

A lot!!!

In the week since I first picked a full 64 oz container's worth of Cherry Tomatoes see this blog entry), I have been able to pick at least 1 full container a day.

Each container holds about 135 Cherry Tomatoes, so I have picked over a thousand Cherry Tomatoes in 8 days.

Sunday, June 21

Monday, June 22

Tuesday, June 23

Wednesday, June 24

Thursday, June 25

Friday, June 26

Saturday, June 27

Sunday, June 28

One thing you will notice as you go through the pictures above, is that the number of Red Cherry Tomatoes increases as the number of Gold Cherry Tomatoes decreases.

Most of the Gold Cherry Tomatoes comes from a single Sun Gold Cherry Tomato plant. I have just about picked this plant clean.

My other Sun Gold Cherry Tomato and my Sun Sugar Cherry Tomato plant have not yet produced much riped fruit.

Where as my Sweet Baby Girl, Sugar Snack and Sun Cherry Extra Sweet are starting to produce a lot of ripe red Cherry Tomatoes.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cloning a Cherry Tomato Plant

About a month ago, I pulled out a Sun Sugar Cherry Tomato plant because it was diseased and I did not want the disease to spread to the other plants in my garden (see this blog entry).

Since it was only May, I wanted to replace the Sun Sugar Cherry Tomato plant with another Cherry Tomato plant.

Instead of starting from seed, I decided to "clone" one of my other Cherry Tomato plants instead.

To clone a Cherry Tomato plant (or any other Tomato plant), all you have to do is to take a cutting from the plant. Make sure the cutting is at last 8 inches long and contains a growing tip.

Cut away the lower leaves and stick the cutting into a pot of moist soil mix. Make sure that only the upper 1/3 of the cutting is exposed.

The picture to the right shows the cutting immediately after I put it in the soil mix.

The cutting is from a Sun Gold Cherry Tomato plant. You can see the leaves start to droop. This is okay, the cutting will rebound in a few days.

The picture on the right shows the cutting eleven days later. You can see the cutting has grown noticeably.

This picture shows the Sun Gold Cherry Tomato plant eighteen days after cloning.

This picture shows the Sun Gold Cherry Tomato planted after I had transplanted in the ground today. This is twenty-four days after I first took the cutting.

Second Batch of Strawberries

I have started getting my second batch of Strawberries from the Albion Strawberry plants in my Strawberry Tower.

I got my first batch of Strawberries about 2 months ago, but then the Albion Strawbererry plants stopped producing any flowers.

I finally figured out that I was not fertilzing the Strawberry plants (see this blog entry).

As you can see from the picture to the right, the Albion Strawberry plants are now producing lots of flowers and there are a lot of Strawberries developing.

One thing I have noticed is that the Strawberries are much bigger than the Strawberries I picked in the first patch. I think this is because the Strawberry plants are more mature then there were a few months ago.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

First Winter Melon

This is a picture of my first Winter Melon of the season. I have a half a dozen other ones, but this is the largest one of the bunch.

In the background you can see the trellis that I constructed to support the Winter Melon vines.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Harvesting Cherry Tomatoes

For the past several weeks, I have been able to pick Cherry Tomatoes on a daily basis.

It started with barely filling half of a 8 oz container (see this blog entry) 4 weeks ago, and has steadly progressed. Last week, I was filling an entire 32 oz container every day.

Today, it reached a point where I had to move to a 64 oz container (see picture above).

Two-thirds of the Cherry Tomatoes came from the Sun Gold Cherry Tomato plant shown below.

I have one more Sun Gold, 2 Sun Sugars, 2 Sweet Baby Girls, 1 Sugar Snack and 1 SuperSweet 100 Cherry Tomato plants that have plenty of Cherry Tomatoes, but not many that are riped.

I expect to be able to continue to fill a 64 oz container every day for the next several days. Once the other Cherry Tomato plants come on-line, I'll move to a bigger container.

Okinawan Sweet Potato Cuttings

My mother-in-law heard that I was growing Okinawan Sweet Potatoes and now she wants to grow them as well.

In the seven weeks since I had first planted a bunch of Okinawan Sweet Potato cuttings (see this blog entry), my Sweet Potato vines have grown sufficiently that I can start to take cuttings from them.

In the picture to the right, you can see the Okinawan Sweet Potato vines starting to escape the little Raised Bed planter that I had planted them in.

Going around the edge of the planter, I was able to take 6 cuttings from the Sweet Potato vines.

When taking cuttings it is essential that you cut a growing tip. In addition, you need to make sure that there are at least 2 leaf nodes.

In the picture to the right, you can see one of the cuttings that I took. Prior to planting, I cut lower the leaves off, so that I can put the cutting into the soil mix.

I then planted the cuttings into 4" containers. The important thing is to keep the soil mixture moist. Otherwise, the cuttings will die.

In a week or so, the cuttings should start to take root.

I'll let the cuttings grow a little bit before I give them to my mother-in-law.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mystery Cherry Tomato Plants

I found some mystery Cherry Tomato plants growing in my garden today!

I had cleared out an area of my garden a few weeks ago where a diseased Sun Sugar Cherry Tomato plant was growing (see this blog entry).

I did not do a good job clearing the area afterwards and there were many Cherry Tomatoes littered on the ground afterwards.

Well, the seeds from one or more of the Cherry Tomatoes have germinated and now I have several Cherry Tomato plants of unknown parentage. I think the seeds came from the Sun Sugar Cherry Tomato that I had removed, but the seeds could have also come from a Sugar Snack Cherry Tomato that was adjacent to it.

Even if the seeds came from a Sun Sugar, the seedlings are probably not true Sun Sugar Cherry Tomato seedlings. This is because Sun Sugar is a F1 hybrid and is a cross breed. Sugar Snack is also an F1 hybrid.

Nevertheless, I decided to pot up the seedlings and see what develops (see picture below).

I needed to pot up the seedlings today, before the roots from the seedlings become tangled together. If I had waited longer, I would not be able to seperate the seedlings without damage.

The timing is right to start seedlings for a Fall/Winter crop of Cherry Tomatoes anyways. Here, in Southern California, I can grow Cherry Tomatoes almost to the end of the year.

These five seedlings will be ready to transplant into the ground around August. By then, I will probably need to take down some of my giant Cherry Tomato plants. No matter how hard I try, my Cherry Tomato plants eventually sucomb to disease.

Okinawan Sweet Potato Plants Are Flourishing

The Okinawan Sweet Potato plants that I started 6 weeks ago have really flourished.

In the 3 weeks since my last blog entry, the plants have more than doubled in size.

The picture below shows the growth in the past 3 weeks. The Okinawan Sweet Potato vines started to climb the trellis that I built.

I am still several months away from harvesting any Okinawan Sweet Potatoes.

Strawberry Flowers

My Albion Strawberries are starting to produce a lot of flowers.

The fertilizer that I have been adding every couple of weeks (see this blog entry), seems to have done the trick.

The only problem is that it is somewhat time consuming to put the liquid fertilizer on each individual plant. I have almost 40 Strawberry plants in the Strawberry Tower. I have to be careful when I pour the fertilizer into the pockerts of the Strawberry Tower, so that it does liquid does not overflow and get wasted.

Including the time it takes to mix the fertilizer, I spent almost an hour to fertilize each plant.

To the right is a picture of how the Strawberry Tower looks today.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kabocha Fruit Forming

My Kabocha plant has successfully formed it's first fruit!

You can see the fruit in the right center of the picture to the right. You can also see two fruit that aborted.

I have had a hard time getting any fruit to develop on this Kabocha plant. The Kabocha plant started producing flowers 6 weeks ago (see this blog entry), but it has taken this long to produce any real fruit.

The problem is that the plant produced many more female flowers than male flowers, so when a female flower is ready to be pollinated, there aren't any male flowers to supply the pollen.

I should start getting a lot more fruit to develop as the ratio of male flowers to female flowers is starting to increase.

Below is a picture of how many Kabocha plant looks. It has climbed onto the Trellis I built quite nicely.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sun Gold Cherry Tomato Ripening

My Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes are starting to ripen.

The picture to the right shows my "giant" Sun Gold Cherry Tomato plant.  It has reached almost 10 feet tall.  There are hundreds of Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes on this plant.  

The yellow arrow points to a Sun Gold Cherry Tomato Truss.  

The picture to the right is a close up of the Cherry Tomato Truss that was highlighted in the picture above with the yellow arrow.  You can see various Sun Gold Cherry Tomato in different stages of ripening.

I picked two of the Cherry Tomatoes that were the brightest orange just after I snapped the picture.  The Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes tasted delicious!  

I highly recommend planting a Sun Gold Cherry Tomato plant.  If I were to choose only one type of Cherry Tomato to plant in the garden, it would be  a Sun Gold.