26 May 2015

Tomato Tuesday 2015/3

The weather has continued to be cool and overcast, which is not good tomato weather. In the last few days it's been occasionally hot, and sometimes the sun comes out, and then the wind kicks up again and it's chilly and the clouds and fog roll back in. I continue with the reduced watering, every two or three days, either early in the morning or as the sun is going down. I took these photos Sunday during one of the sunny intervals of the afternoon. Again, Michael Pollan is on the left, Cherokee Purple on the right.

It's getting difficult to see the plants against the plants behind them, so I hung a pale blue sheet behind these two. The wind was kicking up and kept blowing the sheet down (it was suspended and not very securely from a tomato cage and a stripling pear tree) so I had to move fairly quickly.

Below is a clearer view of Michael Pollan; this week it is 11 inches high (last week: 9 1/2 inches), again measuring the stem from the base up to the top of the main stem. It has no blossoms yet.

And below is Cherokee Purple. This week it is 11 1/2 inches high (last week: 10 1/2 inches, so it grew, but not as much as Michael Pollan). There are seven blossoms on it.

Here are some random roses. The one below is Our Lady of Guadalupe, which I bought a few years ago. The tag was quite blunt about the growers giving the rose that name in order to appeal to the growing Hispanic market, though I always understood that the miraculous December roses in Juan Diego's cloak were red, not pink. Well, a rose by any other name. . . .

The one below is St Patrick, named so because the outer petals of the flower have a marked green tinge and green means Ireland and Ireland means St Patrick. These are past their prime, so the green is not as noticeable and the yellow petals are getting streaked and mottled with dark red. The roses are suffering in the drought. I've had a couple die already, though it's possible that they had more or less run their natural span. I had been watering the roses with water from the leaky faucets, but then I called a plumber so that source of semi-guilt-free water has been reduced. Roses are actually fairly tough, as they have to be to survive in my somewhat haphazard garden.

I mentioned in the first entry that heirloom is one of those words that sells me on a plant right away. Here's proof: heirloom lettuce! It's called Freckle Lettuce. Not a name I care for, and I'm not a big salad eater, but I saw "heirloom lettuce" and had to buy myself one of those little six-packs at my local nursery.

Here's a close-up of these beauties! Yes, the leaves are supposed to look like that. You can see something has taken a little bite out of one of the leaves. I should maybe mention I do not use pesticides or chemicals, so . . . these things happen.

I'm not sure how well this is showing up because the light was momentarily very bright and washed out some of the colors, but the apricots are starting to get a blush on them. I think if you click on the picture to enlarge it you might be able to see it better. My other apricot tree seems to be dead, so I'm glad this one is coming through. I've noticed that some of the little green fruits have already tumbled down – possibly stress from the on-going lack of water? The fruits also seem to be smaller than they used to be.

OK, it's a watering day, so off I go.

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