A little tour of the different vegetables that are setting fruit in the garden. It's strange to think how July is only a couple weeks away. By the end of August I'm usually digging up beds and planting the fall garden.
Riesenstraube cherry tomato is a mass of blooms. It's just starting to set fruit, so is later than all the other cherries and it's a shorter plants as well.
Sweet Aperitif has set lots and lots of fruit and is a fairly tall plant having reached the top of its cage already. My packet of seed only contained 10 seeds so I'll definitely be saving seed from this variety.
Black Vernissage with its pretty striations. It has some bad reviews on Baker Creek, but texture and flavor has so much to do with climate and soil I decided to grow it out. The plants are massive and incredibly vigorous. They're a larger sized cherry, bigger than Big Cherry and Black Cherry which I've grown previous years.
Indigo Blueberry cherry, so cute with their dark shoulders. Another healthy vigorous plant that is well behaved structurally, meaning I don't have to constantly push side shoots back into the cage.
Ground cherry fruit with their adorable outer covering. Aunt Molly's and the unnamed variety have both set fruit. Ambrosia has yet to even bloom.
Pink Berkley Tie Dye is another striped tomato variety. They're pretty early for a beefsteak sized tomato. Most years they're a shorter variety that stop producing before the end of the season.
This is labeled Big Zebra but looks more like a paste variety. It's totally possible I mislabeled it. But I'm only growing Anna Russian and Orange Icicle long tomato types, neither of which I've grown before. And I think they're foliage are supposed to be much more wispy or droopy.
It makes me wonder if there are any other mislabeled plants in the garden.
Black Brandywine is a smaller plant for me this year. Maybe it's the extra hot summer we've been having.
In contrast Dark Brandywine is doing better this year. But I remember Black Brandy as having a more memorable flavor.
|Jaune Flamme is setting nice long trusses of fruit. I'm very excited to try this variety.|
Pink Brandywine sometimes gets yellowing leaves as a sign of magnesium deficiency in my garden. This plant is more affected than the other two of the same variety and is blooming later than the others.
|Pink Brandywine is my favorite tomato, so juicy and delicious.|
|The fruit of the Brandywine. I just find them so adorable with their crumpled edges.|
Granny Cantrell's German Red is actually a pink tomato with clear skin. Their young fruit are so pale they almost appear white.
There's something wrong with the Green Zebra plants. The side that get's full sun is dying which I've been trimming off. I've finally decided wilt is making its way through the garden. Cosmonaut Volkov is showing signs of wilt as well. The disease can be caused by either fungus or bacteria, but I'm guessing one of the fungal wilts.
I went ahead and ordered Serenade, which is an organic method of control utilizing the soil borne microorganism Bacillus subtilis.
Marianna's Peace tomato with its potato leaves is a big plant. This is another new to me variety that should have pink fruit.
Green Cherokee is a surprise. Another very large plant it's setting a lot more fruit than Purple Cherokee ever did for me. It's supposed to be one of the best tasting green tomatoes out there. I'm also growing Aunt Ruby's German Green, which is a delicious albeit late tomato so we can have a comparison.
All the cucumbers are setting fruit except for Boothby's Blonde, which also happens to be the smallest plants. I've spotted what looks like spotted cucumber beetles but they're pink/red, hopefully they're just little ladybugs.
It looks like Charentais has set a single fruit. I'm hand pollinating the melons residing in the pepper beds. I haven't seen any bees in the garden yet, not even the tiny sweat bees which usually pollinate tomato plants.
|Tuscany has set 2 or 3 fruit. Look how fuzzy they are! So cute.|
The peppers are finally blooming. I might try hand pollinating in the morning to see if that helps.
And I'd like to share my experiences with different tomato supports:
There's lots of different methods for growing and supporting tomato plants. I have a friend who prunes her tomatoes to one stem so as to get earlier tomatoes. Whereas, I allow side shoots or suckers to develop and fruit since we have such a long growing season. When we lived in the mountains we only grew stout determinant plants because the seasons were so short.
I've tried different methods to support tomatoes. Letting them lay on the ground is the worst in terms of production. Staking is ok for bush or determinant varieties, kind of fiddly with the tying of the stems. Florida Weave takes work especially with indeterminant or long vining types, but string is cheap. Sandwiching plants between fencing is easy to put up and easy to take down, but harvesting can be difficult if you're short.
This is the second year we've used tomato cages. It's by far my favorite support system. I have both the thin gauge and powder coated cages. Since I plant tomatoes in double rows within a bed, the thin gauge cages get tied together at the top to give them more structural stability.
Cages are also my favorite method for supporting tomatoes. I also use big metal stakes, but are more labor intensive, and strings from the greenhouse "ceiling". I have strings all over the greenhouse for tomatoes and cucumbers.
You must have a large greenhouse. The vision of tomatoes and cucumbers hanging from strings sounds wonderous.
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