Monday, September 13, 2010

Green Thumb - Ep.4

Looking back to the beginning of this series, I should've named each plant to avoid saying the 'taller plant' and the 'smaller one'. For the sake of making up for lost time, the tall plant typically seen on the 'left' will be called Lisa and the shorter one will be called...Bart. Anyways, Lisa's generous tomato growth became a curse. I looked out the window one morning to see her almost split in two, slumped over by the weight of the pair of tomatoes (see week 9) whose load bearing branch no longer stayed on the deck rail by position and gravity alone. These tomatoes kept gaining weight and all the fruit attached to that large branch swung back and was caught by the rosemary plant; we'll call that plant Maggie. For background, I methodically peep out the window from the bedroom when I get up, daily, to see where things stand with the simpson kids; I've taken over watering duty exclusively since I get up right before the sun appears on the deck where all the plants are lined up (~11:30am). Seeing the problem, I went down to figure out a fix to keep damage to the main trunk minimal. I ended up getting the last few leftover pieces of IKEA strapping twine from the garage and started wrapping things up.

It isn't pretty, but it after a few days everything appeared to be fine. All the branches that were snapped were still connected, most importantly the base branch in the last picture. I was limited on twine but it was enough to get the job done. So the new arrangement is the plants leaning on each other, but rest assured since this took place in Week 12, everything has been fine with both plants. They've kept getting bigger and now Lisa drinks about a gallon of water a day. Bart needs about 2/3 of a gallon, some of which is due to the shade.

The oddest result of this readjustment is that the tomatoes connected to frayed branches seem to have abnormalities in trust that I'm not expert so it could've been an insect or something that ate chunks out of these tomatoes, but what's odd is only green tomatoes on branches damaged by the 'split' had grape sized chunks missing. Upon hand inspection of all the tomatoes growing a week or two ago, all the affected tomatoes where removed to allow more energy to go towards the healthy remaining (and newly growing) fruit. Another odd thing is tomatoes growing with splits in the tops; this appears to have occurred on those fruit growing near the support rods. We'll have to take this into account for next year. In the meantime, let's do a quick recap:

Week 10:

Week 11:

Week 12 (see above)

Week 13:

Lisa's first fruit (a week later)
Bart's sixth tomato

Week 14:

This is pretty much the end of the line on updates as all the tomatoes that are berry sized today have a slim chance of reaching maturity due to the Fall season weather rolling in. The biggest take away was that if you let tomato plants 'droop' on their own as they grow, a split won't happen down the line; Bart is flowing horizontally now and is going as strong as ever. Frost and what not should stay away til closer to November, but we'll see how many more tomatoes can be harvested over the next 5 weeks or so. I finally had one of Lisa's tomatoes and it was pretty good. Bart has the edge on flavor, but they are two breeds of tomato after all; apples and oranges and all that jazz.

This XL post is for my sister Marisha who's recovering from surgery currently. Hopefully this can help ya pass the time sis. Get well soon.

1 comment:

  1. Those 'maters look delectable! Your posts are pretty entertaining, baby bro... thanks for adding on some extra for me... :)



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