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.

First Tomato Harvest

IMG_9450First tomato harvest happened yesterday.  Here’s a shot of first bucket of non-BER tomatoes pulled from the main roof.  I estimate this haul to be around 20lbs and I pulled another 20lbs today; all good looking round tomatoes.  Overall the crop looks to be a success but there doesn’t seem to be a second growth as all the plants seemed to have stopped growing.

The tomato in caged position 2 which shares a 9 cuft container with two skinny eggplants has almost completely died.  Its stalks are still green and has lots of green tomatoes so I’m hoping they ripen.  This plant tipped over in high winds because I was lax at installing  wooden supports to secure  metal hoops to something.  Once these tomatoes get to a certain size the metal hoops can keep the plant together in one piece but they can’t keep the plant from tipping over.  Although this tomato didn’t die immediately it is pretty much dead now.  I suspect a main trunk got ruptured and it took awhile for the full effect of the damage to be seen.  Since the stalks are green I’m hoping nutrients are still feeding the surviving tomato.   Since this tomato shared one of the newer large containers it had gotten very large so it’s a shame to have lost this one.

An update on main roof tomato pics forthcoming.

Note: Preliminary plan for next season: NE corner will have 1 9cuft container and two 3cuft containers for a total of 4 caged positions.  The current row of 15 caged positions will be reduced to 10, 3 9cuft containers (2 new need to be built) and 4 3cuft containers as buffer plants.  The tomatoes will populate all four 9cuft containers, two in each.  I have come to the conclusion placing plants of different kinds in the same container is not always such a good idea.  The tomatoes that grow amongst their own kind have done the best so far this year.   I will do a material calculation later.

Also, 24 cuft of potting mix on veranda will be dumped into front parkway this fall to support fall wildflower seeding.  North wall planter will be eliminated as well as two 2x4x2 west wall sections.  The north pergola will be eliminated this fall to be replaced with a table — no plants.  I’ll try and get blueberries, grapes, or raspberry perennial bushes to grow in the remaining planters.  This should be easier to maintain.

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.

Harvest Porn

IMG_7978Harvest on 8/22.  Eggplants from fat eggplant in caged position 1 which is growing extremely well.  The tomatoes are producing without BER and will probably reach an average of 25/plant or 200 tomatoes total for the year.  This haul was 17 and today (8/25) there were 13 and they keep coming day after day.  Second wave harvest might be doubtful as some kind of blight is setting in.  More on this later.