The weather the last few days has been cool and wet. Cool but not cold. We’ve had a few nights where the lows hit the mid forties. According to the map we are done with that and I have plans to kick the peppers outside this weekend.
The cool and clouds have not slowed down the tomatoes. I was staring at them, in somewhat shocked horror yesterday. Today, it is no better. My plants are enormous and thriving. We are far beyond where we were this time last year. The plants are a month older and it shows.
I decided to start installing supports. The one that is up is my weaker Sun Gold. It had tipped over the other night and I grabbed a cage when I got home from work and re supported it. It was a plant that was damaged when it was young and while I have buried it deep, it seems that it struggled with its own stem. Mixed with soft soil and heavy foliage, it decided to lay down.
It looks like we lost ta blossom as well. That may have been to the cold and wet. I’m not sure. The rest of the plant is healthy and it has stood up. I realized I put the support on backwards and flipped it around. The plant is standing on its own for now but I expect it to sag back down under its own weight soon enough.
The cages serve two purposes. To contain the plant and to support the plant (and fruit). Tomatoes are vines. They will happily lay down and grow out and about on the ground. This leads to a lot of rot of the fruit. It is also messy and I have to admit I like things looking neat.
I was a victim of the ignorance that is buying tomato cages. The little 3 foot high ones are to small. I have some but they are supporting my peas.
A lot of the larger cages are beyond what I can do on my deck. If I had a house, I suspect I’d build PVC cages and use fencing wore. As is, I have a deck and have chosen Ultomato Tomato Plant Cage due to their flexibility. I’d been buying them at Home Depot for 7.97. I cleared them out and they have not restocked. But, when writing this I saw them on sale at Amazon for the same price. I paid a dollar more in the end. I’m okay with that. Some of my plants really are in need of cages.
This Black Krim for instance decided that it wanted to grow off to one side. Then, it wanted to grow a fork in its main growth stem. I hauled it in, and supported it up high. It is leaning firmly on its bracket now.
This is my second green cherry. Its growth stem was damaged on its second day outside. I think a bird landed on it. It has recovered and decided that it would like to be a bush. The cage is to stop it from visiting all of its neighbors all of the time. I also had to do a bit of pruning too.
All of the plants need pruning at their dirt level. Those leaves are not going to be productive members of society. The upper foliage will block the light. The dirt has the potential to get them sick. Pruning them now will let the plant no longer worry about them.
Flowers are also turning into tomatoes.
This cool weather may cause the loss of some flowers. They like it above 70 and we’re hovering in the mid sixties. It will also slow the development. This week is looking to be a bit warmer. Cloudy and some rain with some sun. It isn’t bad weather for the plants at this age. It may decrease the number of early tomatoes but I am fine with that as well. Everyone is growing more trusses higher up and those will do just fine.