Sunday, May 17, 2009

First Okra 2009

I'll be firing up the grill in a day or so, as our okra has started coming in. Most of the Clemson Spineless plants have pods, with the first few now obtaining a harvestable length. In comparison, the Emerald and Cajun Delight varieties are growing very slowly. They appear to be several weeks away from producing any pods.

Clemson Spineless Okra 2009

Here are a few more pictures of the garden's progress:


Early Sunglow Corn and Peanut Plants

Gold Nugget Cherry Tomatoes

Monday, May 4, 2009

First Tomato of 2009!

Yesterday, our "Patio" plant produced our first ripe tomato of the year. It wasn't huge, but it was very red and tasted great.

Garden Update

Despite what's seemed like never ending 30+ mph (48+ km) winds this Spring, the container garden is doing ok. The tomato plants are all up in the three-foot range and are putting on quite a few little tomatoes. Our okra and cucumber plants are growing super quickly now that the daily high temperatures are consistently breaking 80 (26.6 c). The corn--a new experiment this year--is racing up as well. All of our various beans and the peanut plants are hanging in, but struggling a bit. Here are a few pictures:

A few of the tomato plants

Silvery Fir Tree tomato plant

A couple of the Clemson Spineless okra plants

Corn plants with peanut plants in the foreground

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Double Surprise!

I haven't blogged in quite a while, but this year's container garden is coming along just fine. So far we have an extensive variety of tomato plants, okra, beans, cucumbers, and herbs progressing nicely. We already have a couple of small tomatoes on the vine, and I'll be posting about these very soon. This year, however, we're growing something other than just vegetables in our household:

Not just one...

...but two new garden helpers!

Yep, that would be TWINS!!

(We are thrilled and completely in shock.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2009 Container Garden: Tomatoes

It's been a while since I've posted, but now Spring is nearing and I'm getting the itch to plant 2009's container garden. Honestly, I've already succumbed to temptation and put out two tomato plants--one each of the Patio and a Silvery Fir Tree varieties. It may be a little early, but I couldn't wait and the weather is nice.

Silvery Fir Tree (Started from seed January 10)


In addition to the Patio and Silvery Fir Tree I'll soon be setting out seedlings of the following varieties: Black Krim, Black Prince, Red Siberian, Hawaiian Tropic, German Queen, San Marzano, Brown Berry, Green Grape, and Bicolor Cherry. For the Fall I plan on replacing the poorest performers with Stupice, Black Cherry, and Jubilee.

Tomato Seedlings Under the Grow Lamp

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And all you can hear is John typing away...

Here is another update from The Wife. 17 of the 24 tomato plants John planted last week have come up, including 1 of the pink ones (wohooo!!!), and he says they look very healthy! John is finishing up several chapters of his dissertation, he literally writes from sunrise to waaay past sunset, and there are deadlines involved, so, therefore, his blogging has been limited... But, he is taking pictures of the seedlings, and I am sure he will post more about the 2009 tomato adventure soon. In the mean time, here is a picture of Tessa helping John read... :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Please pretend it is December 23, 2008 :)

Happy New Year from The Wife - I just thought we should share a few Christmas photos with you! As you can tell it has been really hectic around here and therefore this post is it is just a TAD late! By the way, John is planting his tomato seeds as I am typing this, we went and got new seedstarter tray contraption and a few new varieties (Cherry tomatoes! Pink ones! White ones! Wohoo!!) so stay tuned for an update from him within the next couple of days.

Tessa all dressed up with her Santa leash & tiny (not!) sparkly bow, on our way to dinner with the dogladies!

...And here are the official 2008 Christmas photos! :)

We wish you everything good in 2009!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A New Year

I haven't posted in a while, as we've been really busy with holiday travel, work, and just life in general. In regard to the container gardening there really hasn't been that much going on--other than a freak Las Vegas snowstorm that wiped out everything! Yes, we returned from Norway to find all of the plants dead--killed by snow! Unfortunately that included the Black Krim that had been the topic of my weekly updates. At least I had cut a few green tomatoes before we left and placed them in paper bags to ripen while we were away. So, the fall tomato planting wasn't a total wash. Anyhow, I am now preparing to start some seeds indoors for the Spring. Hopefully I'll have these out in the containers by the last week of February or first week of March. Will keep you all posted.

Okra Containers (foreground) and Tomato Plants (background) under Las Vegas Snow

Here are some pictures I took while hiking in Norway with Marianne's cousin Gaute and his very cool dog Mano. It's really a breathtakingly beautiful country.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Life of a Tomato: Week 5

Our Black Krim tomato is still growing, albeit slowly. You can't tell from the picture, but over the last week it has gotten a bit thicker from front to back. We're lucky that neither the tomato nor its plant are showing any sign of damage from the cold nights we've been having recently. I've been worried about this, as the low temperature plummeted to a chilly 33 degrees (0.6 c) a few nights ago. Anyhow, I wish the thing would hurry up and ripen!

Monday, December 8, 2008


We're finally seeing a few tomatoes beginning to ripen. Two of the Early Girl variety are pictured below. They are about twice the size of a golf ball.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Life of a Tomato: Week 4

Our Black Krim tomato is now one month old. It's filled out a little more over the last week, but it's growth rate has definitely slowed. I suppose our recent cool nights are responsible for its slow down. Nightly lows have been in the mid to low forties (4.4 to 7.2 c) and have even dipped into the high thirties (3.3 to 3.8 c) once or twice.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bell Pepper Harvest

We harvested our first bell pepper a few days ago, after it finally settled on red as its preferred color. Marianne enjoyed it in a dish of her delicious pasta salad.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Life of a Tomato: Week 3

It's now week three of our watch, and the Black Krim tomato is still progressing. Over the last few days, we've had quite a bit of rain which is very unusual here. But I can't see that it has influenced the tomato's growth in any way. Much like the first two weeks, it seems to have approximately doubled in size. If anything its growth has slowed some, but not to any great degree.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Life of a Tomato: Week 2

Our Black Krim tomato is now two weeks old and is as funky shaped as ever. Although the picture isn't the best--for some reason I can't get our camera to focus--you can get a pretty good idea of its size and shape. The tomato is about twice as big as it was last Friday. You can see that it is much larger than the one to the right in the picture. That tomato is similar in shape and size to all the others on the plant.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

First San Marzano Tomato

Our San Marzano plant has produced its first little tomato. This plant has had a rough time of it, having had its stem broken on two occasions and almost wilting away from some sort of blight at another time. The new tomato may not have time to grow large and ripen, but I now feel like the plant's a success nonetheless.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunmaster Tomatoes

Some of our Sunmaster tomatoes are decent sized now. I wish they would hurry up and ripen! This is the only plant of the three holdovers from the Spring that I've been impressed with. The other two, a Black Prince and Lemon Boy, have done very poorly in the Fall. We've harvested one small tomato from the Black Prince, while the Lemon Boy hasn't even hinted at producing anything.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Life of a Tomato: Week 1

It's time for the first weekly update on our Black Krim tomato. As you can see, it's grown quite a bit since last Friday. I would guess that it has tripled or maybe even quadrupled in size. It is about twice as large as the plant's other tomatoes. Yet even beyond its larger size, this tomato looks different than the others. Where they are very round at this point, this one is shaped like a boat or the letter "u." It's turning out to be a pretty interesting tomato so far.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Okra Update

Our okra just isn't doing so well. It doesn't seem to enjoy the cool and windy weather we've had recently. The plants have almost stopped producing over the last week and, as you can see by the picture below, some of them are looking pretty bad.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's Red

I think we can conclude that the ripened color of our ever-changing bell pepper is red! The thing is definitely getting ripe, as it's softer to the touch everywhere that it has reddened. That wasn't the case as it turned from green to purple to dark brown to almost black and back to green before this latest change. Finally!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Life of a Tomato

Over the coming weeks I will do a series of posts detailing the life of a single tomato. I think it will be interesting to observe its development from its earliest stage. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and allow us to follow it all the way through ripening and onto the plate. If not, it will still be fun to see how far along it gets. I've chosen a Black Krim as our star. It is the first of these to appear on the plant and is the product of a huge bloom (at least twice, maybe three times the size of the others). I don't know if that has any bearing on the size of the tomato produced, but we will see.

Very small tomato