Monday, May 25, 2009

My First Tomato- on its way

This is why she's called Early Girl:
There are three beautiful green globes hanging from her branches. Soon those tomatoes are gonna make me the happiest momma on the block. I have wrought life! And nutrients! From the soil! She was transplated on or around April 26 (at least that's when I posted about it) and her first flower appeared on or around May 11.

We have more emerging, in the Big Boy/Better Boy hybrid:

The grape tomato plant has nothing much to show, yet, but its flower buds are beginning to form.

The Mr. Stripey plant is a different story. For awhile now I have been concerned about it. It said that its maturation period was 80-95 days. I really don't know what that means. To a novice like me, that could mean anything. For instance, I assumed that it could mean from the moment you planted the seed in the ground, to the time it bore fruit, should take 80-95 days. Compared to the 65 days for the Early Girls, it would make sense.

It really means, days to maturity from when you transplant the seedling. Or, for those who think that is too hard to predict, days to maturity from when the first flower appears. If that is true, we have a long time to wait until we get to bite into a Mr. Stripey tomato. Which is why I'm pretty happy I plunked that Early Girl plant into a container as a failsafe, and why I planted that Better Boy as well. Without one single flower on Mr. Stripey, we've over three months to wait at least - that's end of summer! I'll be selling them on the corner.

Anyway, Mr. Stripey hasn't flowered yet, but he has been growing. (I canNOT stop referring to the plant as a "he".)

This is the plant the first day I planted it, before a nice soaking. It did perk right up.

This photo is from May 10, exactly two weeks ago. It had grown considerably, and was minding its own business.

Here is the monster today, two weeks later. We finally decided to cage it, because if the fruit is as big as they say it can get (12-24 oz), I don't want it pulling the branches down and lying on the ground for every insect to devour. I had to use two cages, upside down because the plant is so large, to stuff this sucker in.

Now, the verdict is still definitely out on the quality of this fruit. Apparently it is a very beautiful and desirable to look upon crop. However, this beefsteak variety, as opposed to a smaller, tasty heirloom variety also called "Tigerella" can have a thick skin, be of mild to no flavor, all seeds, and also prone to disease, according to whom you ask.

See here for a lot of reviews, if you are wondering about Mr. Stripey. I can't wait to see what it will produce. It has been putting a lot of its energy into just growing big and strong and I hope will flower soon. Then we shall see!


Chris said...

Nice. I would love to have a garden-but like I said last time--we have no sun nor the room for it. How is the whole blog thing going for you? I've gotten some readers. Some I DONT EVEN KNOW! I am going to put you on my reading list.

Siren said...

LOL. Well, Chris, it's the opposite of what I expected. I started it as a way to let the family know what we were doing, what we were spending our time on at nights and on weekends, and why we weren't answering the phone every five minutes. Also so I wouldn't have to send out mass emails.

I can't say I have one family member who regularly reads this blog (laughing at this.) For awhile I even had to remind my husband to check it.

But I love looking back at it to see the progress of the garden b/c it is a great diary and a great way to connect with other people who cook, garden, etc! It has really upped my web-surfing time, though, and i was good about limiting computer time . . . .

I love your blog, too! It is funny and well-written and who doesn't love recipes you can actually make at home for a family. I found you from a comment you made on another well-known blog. The weird thing is that if you are making a comment here, on my blog for instance, and someone clicks on your name, it doesn't show your blog - b/c you have not set up a bare bones profile that shows your blog link. I checked yesterday FYI

Siren said...

ok nevermind. I clicked on your name again and there's your blog today. mea culpa!

Ninabaci2000 said...

My Mr Stripey is doing the same thing- weird little green outer parts of flowers, no actual flowers. And, the plant is huge. It is planted in an earthbox w a heirloom beefsteak that is making a few tomatoes, but I am beginning to suspect that the problem may also be related to the high heat we have been getting here in FL. I will keep watching your blog to see if the pruning helped!