Cleome Main Roof

IMG_0544Cleome blooms on the main roof.  Cleome seedlings were quite small this spring.  Placed two Cleome per 3 cuft container in caged position 8 and one in SE corner corner 3 cuft container.  These containers  probably could support companion wildflowers if seeded.  Maybe next year.

All hot pepper plants growing nicely.  I forgot to label them too which might become a challenge.

Update: Just thought of this observation.  The Cleome plants look kind of weak and haven’t grown as big as in previous years.  This applies to Cleome in front parkway as well.  I am worried my potting mix lacks nutrition and I have been lax fertilizing this season.  I need to make a fertilizing schedule and stick to it next season.  Maybe get one of these reminder apps to buzz me when it is time to fertilize.

Habenero Harvest

IMG_9547Habeneros are good this year.  Even though the label on seedlings sold by Gethsemane said yellow habeneros, they always ripen to red for some reason.  There was a time when they did sell habeneros that only turned yellow.  This has been going on for quite a few years now.

Usually I complain about Gethsemane but their hab seedlings have been very vigorous this season.    All habs still growing and a lot of green growth.

TL;DR The above pic is a 2 gallon bucket dump of habeneros harvested today.  More to come.

Update:  I’m not complaining about red habeneros.  The red habs are hotter and more desirable than  yellow habs in my opinion.  Gethsemane used to differentiate between the two with their tags and now they only tag them as yellow.  I’m happy they’re really red because that’s what I want.  Will be back next year.

I may have been overcrowding habeneros in the past.  Plants seem bigger with more habeneros because I allocated more cuft root space to each plant.  I used to allocate 1 cuft/plant and now I’m up to 1.5 cuft/plant and the production is the same but with less plants.  Therefore, the numbers of actual plants doesn’t matter as much as the total container size growing that type of plant.  Next season I’ll experiment giving a habenero 2 cuft root space and see what happens.

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.

Update 8/20

No pics.  Celebrity tomatoes not doing well and dying on top.  Brandywines look very healthy but also have some brown leaves.  No mites.  This may be due to lack of nutrition since I didn’t add any compost into the mix this Spring and I’m behind on fertilizing.  Fat eggplant in caged position 14 is stunted due to sunflower.  Fat eggplant in caged position 1 is very big and healthy as well as its two habenero companions.  None of the 8 habs in NE corner will produce anything.  The sunflowers there look very nice however but they don’t play well with others.  Tomato harvest is coming in.  Second wave looks unlikely or maybe small due to flowers dieing even though there are tons of bees due to the sunflowers blooming.  We’ll see.  Maybe later I’ll post some harvest porn.  Until then….

BTW: It hasn’t rained since I can’t remember.  This might be considered a drought right now and watering is a PITA.

Note: Veranda north wall box was not being watered properly because I couldn’t see it.  Drip irrigation for these boxes is a must.  Soaker hose on alley level boxes somewhat work but is not a solution.  Those boxes need proper irrigation.  That is all….

Alley Vines

Something is wrong with alley vines.  They aren’t growing and some of them look dead.  Not sure if it’s watering related or what.   From my finger tests it seems the soaker hose gets to the entire planter.  Nothing I can do but wait and see.  This year I let them grow on their own.  Maybe that’s a problem.  The soil might need to be regurgitated next spring — I don’t know.  Don’t really want to add another project to next Spring.  There could also be some dust in the air from the water project on Palmer that has drifted into their soil stunting their growth.  It’s a mystery now.  We’ll see how they are in a month when they should be at their peak.  The Veranda vines are doing very well and increasing the size of west wall boxes has helped.

The SE corner sunflowers had another drooping session on 7/28.  It wasn’t even that warm out and they ran out of water after I watered them the night before.  Watering is a big problem with these sunflowers in containers and I don’t think that 2’x4’x1.5′ = 12 cu.ft. is big enough to hold all those sunflowers (~12).  May need to look into going 2′ high on containers in the future.  The edge of the roof line can hold more weight since the weight the underlying beams can hold relates to its sheer strength which can be rather large.  Don’t want to overdo it however but I thing 2 cu. ft. / square foot roof area = 200 lbs can be supported by the current joists.  Harvested 4 Ichiban eggplants (the skinny ones).  Those plants look smaller than last year — most likely due to sharing space with a sunflower.  I didn’t expect these sunflowers to grow so big based upon what the seeds said on the package.

Tomatoes look OK.  Some Celebrities look a bit stunted.  First wave harvest still a couple weeks away.  The Brandywines and Big Boys look healthy.  Noticed a bunch of volunteer habeneros mixed into a couple of tomato plants.  Never had this happen before.  They are small because habenero seeds take a very long time to germinate.  All this potting mix moves around from year to year so eventually a hab seedling was bound to emerge.  Ironic since the purchased hab seedlngs have struggled this year, so much so that these little sprouts may actually produce more habs by the end of September.

Update 7/29: After checking the soaker hoses tonight I don’t think the far south planter is getting enough water.  The soaker hoses seem to be distributing water unevenly.