Yesterday was one of my favorite kinds of summer (well, close enough...) days - up early, out early, breaks just for cold drinks, lunch, and dinner. It began with giving all of the plants some well deserved nutrition (during which I learned that it takes about an hour to feed all that was in need). Next came a round of genetics - carrying out new, and repeating, some crosses. I will talk more about that in a later blog, but I was delighted to find that a few that were begun in early June succeeded.
Finally, I pulled up my portable seat to each plant, armed with scissors and twine, and carried out the next round of supporting (tying to the stakes) and pruning. Soon, topping will be part of the activity as well; when indeterminate tomatoes are growing 3 inches per day, it doesn't take long for them to reach the tops of the stakes. Much of the pruning consisted of removing lower spotted foliage infected with early blight and/or septoria. It does seem to greatly slow the progression, and certainly makes for a better looking driveway of plants.
By mid afternoon, the intense sun meant that it was time to give everything a deep drink. Once all of that was finished, I armed myself with a small voice recorder and carried out a thorough assessment of every plant; this information was transferred into an Excel spreadsheet last night (my cats and dogs always look at me oddly when I am playing these back - they hear me but my mouth is not moving).
A bit of data following the day's documentation: Fruit has formed on 95 of the tomato plants. Open flowers adorn another 35 plants, and unopened buds on 31 plants. The remaining 7 plants are a big behind, but healthy. The eggplant are looking great, with one variety (Skinny Twilight) already showing buds. Quite a few of the peppers have open flowers.
How about a few pictures? The following is a gallery view - just hover your cursor to the right or left to advance the pics. There are some driveway views, some unusual foliage (Silvery Fir Tree with carrot like leaves, Variegated foliage) and fruit, and the eggplant Prosperosa