Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's Alive!!!

I've always been jealous of Nick's garden - hundreds of tomatoes, peppers, onions, lettuce, tomatillos and more. So this year I decided to plant my own little Washington garden. I chose two spots (as an experiment) and planted the same set of tomatos and peppers in each. In one spot, the plants grew and grew and grew, but there were few flowers and no tomatos. In the other spot, the plants stayed low and bushy - they didn't even seem to need the supports I put around them.

But finally, as summer is drawing it's last breath, my garden is alive. The big plants have a couple of green tomatos, but the low and bushy plants have a ton of tomatos all over them. I picked half a dozen ripe red and yellow tomatos today and another half dozen cherry tomatos. I left the orange tomatos to let them ripen on the vine a little longer. I also picked our first hot banana pepper last week and put it into our taco night toppings.

The only problem is, I grow midgets. All of those tomatos I picked fit in one hand. The tomatos look mostly like cherry tomatos, and some of the cherry tomatos are only as big as my thumbnail. The green bell peppers are about an inch and a half across, and the jalapeno and hot banana peppers are only a couple of inches long.

At least they still taste good. I'm going to leave the peppers as long as I can in the hopes that they are still growing larger. And I'm going to eat my tomatos by the handful.


Nick said...

Here's something that I'm going to try next year that might help the blossom but no fruit problem. There is some foliar spray you can buy that forces a blossom to set fruit. Every year, the first 20 or so blossoms fall off my plants, resulting in me getting my first tomato in late july rather than late June. The spray should solve that problem. Here is an example.

Julie C said...

Interesting - tomatos grow in july? But really the foliar spray sounds like a neat idea. My plants have been in the ground since at least May, but they only put forth tomatos in September. I'm not entirely sure how many blossoms just fell off, but I think the rainy/thunderstorm season lasting into August may have hurt their chances just a bit. I've also considered using a more specific tomato fertilizer or putting up the little protector walls around the plants when they first go in the ground.

Nick said...

I bet with seattle weather you could put them in sometime in mid to late april (bought from a nursery), and you could by some heavy duty clear painter's plastic, and with some rebar or long stakes you could make a mini-greenhouse around each one. The blossoms should start coming in around may, and if you spray them, you should get tomatoes by the end of june/early july. I'm going to try something like this here, only I'm going to use electric heaters and try to put them in sometime in march with the goal of getting a tomato by my birthday (june 11th).

apyknowzitall said...

Something that's worked for me when I've seriously grown tomatoes is after you have 5 or 6 blooms, pick the rest of the blooms off that develop.