New hatch assembly

IMG_8779A new prototype hatch assembly being put together on south wall main roof.  In the distance is SE corner main roof which is all habeneros this season (14).  Last season sunflowers grew here.  No sunflowers on main roof this season.  When completed the hatch assembly is supposed to provide roof ventilation while keeping water out.  Some design issues still being worked.

Chives in the foreground keep coming back year after year.  Chives are a great invasive plant that can survive in containers even over harsh winters.  A lot of mint died due to the extreme winter we had but not chives.  Pineapple mint was another big survivor this winter.

Tomato Status

IMG_8784 IMG_8785Here’s a brief update of tomatoes as of 6/27/2014.  All 8 tomatoes in caged positions healthy and we’ve had a lot of rain.  Fertilized once last week.  That might be kind of late.  Need to fertilize today.

The two wooden boxes are new planters that can hold two big plants.  They are 2x3x1.5=9 cubic feet.  The plastic tub planters are only 3 cu ft.  The two pictures show caged positions 1-7 of which there are 15 this season.  The wooden cage slots have not been installed and they may not be necessary.

Tomatoes buffered by Cleome in caged position 4 and skinny eggplant in caged position 1.  Caged position 7 has two habeneros and caged position 5 and 6 (bottom pic) has tomatoes.  The caged positions closest to the west which get the first shade are growing the best independent of container size.

Chives grow in a debris clump

IMG_8606Chives start out strong in a debris clump.  Raspberries are sprouting in front parkway.  Started to dismantle alley planters today.  Dumped almost 8 cu. ft. in front parkway.  I decided not to build anything raised in that area — only by the stop sign.  More on that later ….

Harvest on 9/1

No need for another harvest porn pic.  Should have gone up yesterday.  Picked about 20lbs and the squirrels got at least 5lbs (maybe more) — some ~2lb big Brandywines.  I left them on the vine too long.  The tomatoes are coming in too fast and I don’t feel like canning.  All plants are shot but I think they produced OK to somewhat heavy.  Not really sure.  Next year I want to build 4 new tomato planters at 2.5’x2’x1.5′ = 7.5 cu.ft.  This is 2.5x the current 3 cu.ft. planters.  If I do 4 planters that’s 4.5×4=18 cu.ft. of new mix which is 5 bags of pine bark plus a TBD amount of mushroom compost.  I think this will help the tomatoes last farther into September.  The neighbor’s in ground tomato plants look healthy and going strong even though mine appear to have more tomatoes.  There’s always next year.  Thankfully I can pull these soon and retire the main roof and quit watering early this year.

More Harvest Porn

IMG_8130Harvested 27 tomatoes on 8/27 evening.  The Brandywines are huge with some tomatoes almost 2 pounds.  The harvest bucket felt like 20+ pounds.  The plants are producing heavily which may be why they’re dieing — they put everything they had into this harvest.  Each plant does have a lot of tomatoes so I shouldn’t be complaining about not getting a second harvest.  Have to give most of this away.  I don’t feel like canning and I still have the canned harvest from last year.