Thursday, July 23, 2009

First of tomato harvest. It ain't pretty

The recent rainy weather has been a blessing and aggravation.

No having to get up early in the sweltering heat to water, but then again, potential fungal and bacterial issues cropping up (no pun intended, ok, maybe).

The jalapeno plant is in its second year but I'm not sure if it'll make it to a third because it's sort of getting blotchy and yellow, as are the other pepper plants surrounding it. Fudge nuggets. Thinking maybe in the future it would just be prudent to leave all the peppers in pots in the future so I won't have to dig them up for the winter anyway.

I knew the rain would be trouble too for my developing and soon ripening tomatoes and yesterday when I went outside to check on them, whaddayaknow! Crrrrrack'd! Lots of ugly scarred up tomatos, please, if the image of NOT immaculate tomatoes is too graphic for you, avert your eyes:

And that's with me turning the larger nasty gashes away from the camera. Above is a Nebraska Wedding tomato and 5 Green Zebra Striped tomatoes, all heirlooms. This batch comes from the Gurney's Rainbow Heirloom Tomato pack, or what I call the, "Oops, someone probably dropped 5 jars of tomato seed and now we don't know which is which," because when I bought this seed pack I assumed that the different varieties would be separately labeled but uh, no, they were all mixed together and up with the package saying, "you may get 3-5 different varieties in this pack" with no explanation as to which ones they might be.

This was a little problematic as some of the listed varieties were determinate and others indeterminate.

For the uninitiated, determinate tomatoes are bushier, grow to a specific height and have all their crop at once. The indeterminate varieties, like their names imply, grow, and grow and grow until something kills them off (frost, disease, pests, pets, inept gardeners). They're viney and keep producing fruit all season.

So, this becomes a problem if I say, I decide to plant close a bunch of unknown type varieties together, and a line of them is indeterminate, determinate, indeterminate or etc. Because not only is the question of size an issue, but if a determinate varietygets wedged between a variety that's indeterminate I will have to dig around and figure out how to safely remove the dead and done for determinate from between the still lively indeterminates.

It seems that the Green Zebra Striped seed jar at Gurney's must have been huge or the seed is really vigorous because some how I ended up accidently planting quite a few right next to each other without being able to determine their type as seedlings.

There were actually 6 GZS 'maters, but I ate one before I took the picture above. I can tell you that it's got a pretty spiffy acidic taste, acid green like it looks. But I like that. More news on the Nebraska yellow possibly tonight. I have designs to turn it into a cheddar grilled cheese sammie!

This is my first year growing heirloom tomatoes and its been a good experience thus far. I don't feel as though I've had disease issues thus far, but I keep watching. One plant was getting a little bumpy and twisty, but some new growth appeared at near the base where some stems had died off, so I'm thinking it's doing, alright, giggity.

I've never been a huge Disney World/Land fan, but here is reason for me to want to go now:

Tomatoes are actually perennial... in the right zone (like Orlando obviously...) and apparently this ONE VINE has produced more than 32,000 tomatoes. *blink blink* I um, may need to go to Disneyland for some "research" and take some "samples" home. Oh, to have a green house....

Anyways, I leave you with a parting farewell from my one vigorous squash vine: