Friday, June 18, 2010

Washington Tomatoes in June

This is for perspective. The first rung of my tomato support is at twenty inches. That is the top of my tomatoes, some of my best tomatoes as a matter of fact. I am in Everett. I do not know if this is normal for June tomatoes in western Washington. What I do know is that is has been crazy cold and record wet on the rainy side of the state. Yesterday (June 17, the high temp was 59) I am not ready to bag the whole works yet but neither do I hold out much hope for more than a tomato or two. I just read a post from The Family Garden, which I think is in California, but she did write how her garden had some cool weather but the tomatoes just "took off" when the weather warmed up. Kewl! I'm stoked again ....sorta.
Oh look, blossoms on the Black Plum Paste Tomato (seed from Greenheart Gardens on Lopez Island) When I goggled this heirloom, the information said they were very short season. I sure hope so.

These are Persimmon Tomatoes from Territorial Seed Company in Oregon. What was I thinking? With out a quarter or something for perspective you cannot tell from the picture that even the blossoms are larger then the plums.

A side view of box number 3. These plants were started in my bedroom on March 1. The beans that you can see are not doing much better. I put them in when we have a warm day and then worry about them through the rain and chill.

Another view of the same box. That itty-bitty thing on the right is a pepper plant that likes the chill even less then the tomatoes.

This is a Siltz. This tomato is determinant and is not recommended for a Square Foot Garden. It likes its big black bucket, but even this cold tolerant tomato would rather be warm. It is busting out with blossoms though.

I got a little nuts with the tomatoes. Two of these are Siltz that I started from seed (TTS) the rest are plants I bought from the farmers markets. They are indeterminate and could go in the garden but I put them over here because I have no idea how they were raised and want to protect the garden from disease. There are no guarantees, but I'm trying. Yes, I see the contribution from the puppies, but isn't nitrogen good? I know, yuck, but they are not very tall puppies.

Finally, these are just so I can say I gave the Topsy Tervy an honest try. In the brown planter is one of the Black Plumb. It isn't doing so well but it has survived some really cold days. Next to it in the white pot is a patio tomato, just to compare another small container plant. There is basil just surviving on the top part of the brown pot. I hung a picnic table weight on the Topsy to encourage it to grow down instead of up.

Did you see those beautiful peas? The last picture is to show off something red in the garden.

Deborah get out and get dirty


  1. how fun! I like your tomato support system. Can you do a blog post on just that and email me when you do? Or, where did you get the idea? I don't have flowers on my tomato plants yet, and I haven't had a red strawberry yet. I haven't had a female flower on my giant pumpkin plant yet either. The waiting is going to drive me bonkers!

    Thank you for commenting on my chocolate/orange muffin recipe post. Do I know you in real life?

  2. Hi Peg, glad you had fun! I don't think we ever met, I linked to your page from another Washington garden page and I don't even remember which one off hand (rainy day surfing)

    The tomato support idea came from a SFG'ner on the Square Foot Garden forum. Whoever it was posted a picture which I showed to my husband who made it for me. I cannot see from my pictures how you can tell what it looks like. They are so simple if you have the tools. My husband bolted eight foot 2 x 4's with precut holes for the cross pieces to the base of my SFG. The cross bars are 1/2 inch metal conduit placed every 18 inches up the 2x4's. We probably should have started lower. I think the picture I looked at was from Mississippi where tomatoes grow tall and lush. Probably the part you see is a recycled deck post. I just stuck it in the ground behind the support and tied my one leaning tomato to it. It is wedged between the conduit and the edge of the box which keep it upright. I'll post some pictures soon.