Black Krim Tomato Plant, from Broken Vine is Fruiting

Last season, my one Black Krim tomato plant grew vigorously in the ground, where it has remained to this day. But during last season, part of the vine broke off. This broken part did not have any tomatoes yet, but I decided to plant it as a stand alone in a 5-gallon container with potting soil.

Happily, this plant is now fruiting. This is an easy way to propagate tomato plants. Simply plant them into potting soil and water enough to keep moist a couple of times per week.

I’ve already eaten several pounds of Black Krim tomatoes from the parent plant and it’s only early June, so I imagine that between the parent plant, this one,  and separate Black Krim plant taken from another piece of broken vine and in its own container, I will be quite awash with just these tomatoes. I’m waiting to see if other varieties will take in my raised row bed garden.

I’ve not decided if I will eventually transplant them into the ground since they seem happy in their containers. Certainly, this season, they will remain in their containers, now that they’re fruiting. This is shaping up to be a bountiful season.

CONSUMER ALERT UPDATE: The non-fruit parts of tomato plants are poisonous if ingested. More information on toxic plants can be found here:

http://www.calpoison.org/hcp/KNOW%20YOUR%20PLANTS-plant%20list%20for%20CPCS%2009B.pdf

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Harvesting Beefsteak Tomatoes

This is my first successful attempt at growing these lovely indeterminate tomatoes and I am beyond words with excitement to report that I have enjoyed several of these very juicy, quite delicious tomatoes already. The four pictured were picked within the hour and I’m enjoying the largest of them right now, still a little warm from the sunlight, shortly after coming home from work. That’s over 1 pound of sweet tomato goodness. Now that is a welcome home!IMG_3266IMG_3267

In the past, I’d grown different, smaller varieties of tomatoes in 5-gallon containers with good success. But I’d not thought to grow this large variety until this year. The birds were too quick to eat nearly all planted seeds – so next year, I will start these tomatoes indoors to give them a good fighting chance. The very happy news is that the lone surviving plant turned out to be a monster in size, but very productive. Turns out, that works for me, but knowing how delicious they are, I’ll make a concerted effort to have perhaps at least 4 of these plants next time. This one plant has taken over a part of one of my raised row gardens, but no worries. I’m happy with what I have – giant tomatoes!

I am pleased to see and taste such good results having them grow and produce in a raised row bed garden. What a wonderful way to conclude a summer day!

CONSUMER ALERT UPDATE: The non-fruit parts of tomato plants are poisonous if ingested. More information on toxic plants can be found here:

http://www.calpoison.org/hcp/KNOW%20YOUR%20PLANTS-plant%20list%20for%20CPCS%2009B.pdf

Planting the Last Seeds for the Summer Season

I still have some purple bush bean seeds remaining, but I planted the last seeds for the summer season: purple bush beans, summer baby round zucchini, and cantaloupe. The vast majority of these seeds were planted in the chicken-wire protected raised row bed gardens. When there were no more vacancies, I took the chance and dug up any loose soil in my back yard, essentially taking advantage of the tunneling handiwork of gophers of seasons past. If these future seedling are dug up, no problem since I have more than enough crops that will be emerging from my protected garden areas.

It’s good to have things grow in nice, neat rows but it’s kind of great to have plants fight the odds of birds, gophers, and others and still grow their destined crops. So while I’ll have some crop plants “follow the rules” and grow in garden soil from bags purchased at the garden center, I’ll hopefully also have some brave crop plants springing up against my roses and olive, apple, and citrus trees growing in the “native” garden soil – not the usual plant pairings and certainly not following the aesthetic touted by many garden designers but who cares if all plants remain healthy and productive? It will be a great victory.IMG_3256

As shown in the photo, some of the bean plants are in the very back, close to the wall. In front of them, in the same bed garden – just left of center of the photo – is the very tall tomato plant. The moist soil in between my blood orange and 3-in-1 apple trees – that is where I planted some of my cantaloupe seeds. I planted additional bean seeds in the two orange-colored containers behind the blood orange tree. Some of the very small green leaves in the front bed garden are bibb buttercrunch lettuces in development. It’s going to be a food garden bonanza!

I’ve planted many seeds this season and had some seeds that have germinated very easily (e.g, Royal Burgundy bush beans), others have struggled (e.g., cantaloupe). Right now, I have one monster-sized tomato plant – likely beefsteak tomato (“likely” because multiple seed attempts with various tomato varieties in this same space, but just this one very plant took), and it’s fruiting, thankfully. If successful, I’m very likely to be eating and freezing beans for many months. I’m ready and so are my refrigerator and freezer!

In the coming weeks, I’ll be headed back to my local garden center and buying seeds in preparation for the cold months and growing season-appropriate crops. I love the energy of having my various food plants in various stages of maturity.

CONSUMER ALERT UPDATE: The non-fruit parts of tomato plants are poisonous if ingested. Also, apple seeds are highly toxic if ingested. More information on toxic plants can be found here:

http://www.calpoison.org/hcp/KNOW%20YOUR%20PLANTS-plant%20list%20for%20CPCS%2009B.pdf

Black Krim Tomatoes

These are definitely my favorite of all of the tomatoes that I’m growing. This indeterminate has been very prolific – I think I’ve picked every ripe fruit off of each plant. I waiting for the next round of tomatoes to ripen. They’re that good! A native of the former Soviet Union, this dark red (“black”), heirloom tomato has an intense flavor that puts others at a very distant second. It is so juicy!

I’m finding that the superior taste of of the Black Krim has spoiled me from really enjoying another tomato in my container garden, the beefsteak tomato. It’s large and delicious, but the taste of a beefsteak tomato, based on several personal taste tests, does not at all prepare me for the very vibrant taste of the Black Krim. There’s a world of difference! Black Krims are outstanding by themselves and in salads.

As with most of my fruit and vegetable plants, all of my tomatoes were started from seeds purchased in packets, and a few were propagated from tomato side shoots (or tomato suckers) from these seed-borne plants. For me, this is definitely the Summer of the Tomato!

CONSUMER ALERT UPDATE: The non-fruit parts of tomato plants are poisonous if ingested. More information on toxic plants can be found here:

http://www.calpoison.org/hcp/KNOW%20YOUR%20PLANTS-plant%20list%20for%20CPCS%2009B.pdf

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