August 21, 2009

Friday Follow-Up

In the garden:


-- I've harvested a grand total of six peppers from 5 plants. Disappointing, for sure. Two of the plants did not grow well and never produced a flower or a pepper. Four of the peppers were bells, and the other two were sweet banana peppers.

-- The tomatoes have done *ok*. Our summer weather was unusual this year, with the normal heat waves punctuated with cooler, wet weather. The grape tomatoes produced well; the others had enough red tomatoes for us to slice on sandwiches and eat as wedges with dinner. I did make one measly pint of salsa that turned out more like pico de gallo. The first couple of tomatoes had blossom end rot, but the rest have been ok. Right now the vines are holding a lot of green tomatoes so there is a promise of more to come. I never did get the tomato plants staked up/tied; the harvest might have been better had I done so. I also need to add more soil to the containers, the soil level really went down due to settling or perhaps running out through the drain holes.

* I hope/plan to bring a tomato plant indoors for the winter. I have no idea where I will put it, but that is my plan. Tomatoes are perennial, not annual, and will live for many years if frost doesn't kill them. While it may not set fruit over the winter, it will be ready to go back outside after the last spring frost, and should produce early next summer. If I have enough space, I'd like to bring in both a salad tomato and a grape tomato plant.*

-- I thought I had tomato horn worms on my plants. The leaves of some have been heavily chewed. I searched but did not find any of the green monsters. I didn't ever find any of the black "pellets" that they leave behind. Yesterday while watering I watched a grasshopper jump from one plant to another. The hoppers have been prolific this year, and I wonder if it's grasshopper damage rather than from horn worms? (Don't suggest that I use Sevin dust on my plants; I like to eat tomatoes right off the vine and don't want to poison myself.)

-- All the kiwi plants have died. I don't know if I will try those again. They may be "hardy" as far as winter weather is concerned, but they are finicky about how much/how little water they have. They were planted in the ground instead of in containers like the rest of my garden, so perhaps my poor soil also affected them. I'm weighing the cost of the plants (expensive) with the poor results, and I think I will give up on them.

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