Monday, August 22, 2011

August 2011 Rooftop Tomato Update

Lower left, the Wapsipinicon peach (a beauty that's lightly fuzzed like a peach with a rose blush) and at lower right the indispensable Matina, flavorful, reliable. The small yellow cherry tomato is brilliantly sweet, and has been a steady producer. Plus, the first of the purple beans, Royalty Purple.

Most of our tomatoes have been on the small side, plenty for daily eating, fine flavor, and oh how we savor them.
Since we posted Aug 4 about the sad state of the tomatoes, I visited my brother's in-ground organic garden just outside the city. While he's got a harvest, it's not as robust as usual and the lower third of his plants are fried in the same way ours are. And just like ours, the top of the plants show good recovery, presumably due to the last several weeks of moderate summer weather.

So there are some tomatoes. Just not the piles a greedy gardener hopes for.
This was illuminating (via Washington State University extension):

Optimum fruit set occurs within a very narrow night temperature range of between 60° F and 70° F. When tomato plants experience night temperatures lower than 55° F or above 75° F, interference with the growth of pollen tubes prevents normal fertilization. The pollen may even become sterile, thus causing the blossoms to drop. High daytime temperatures, rain, or prolonged humid conditions also hamper good fruit set.
I think we had all that in Chicago this summer.



Debbie said...

Your tomatoes are beautiful!

H2 said...

Thanks, Debbie. We feel lucky after this bizarre weather to have any at all. Because we have numerous plants the harvest is steady, if smaller.