Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Stepford Plants Update

First off, we mowed the yard yesterday. It took two attempts. I went around early in the morning with Moby the Mower and got most of the yard except the Northern-most portion, while Eric trimmed with Whimpy the Weedwacker. We didn't do the Northern-most portion because the neighbor to our North over-waters his lawn and the excess water drains down into our yard and turns it into a virtual swamp for about four hours in the morning. And since the morning is the only time it's really cool enough for me to mow, this was becoming a problem. So Eric suggested we tackle it late in the evening. Which we did. I was out for much less time and sweated about twice as much, but we got it done.

Which is why I was a little stunned to go out this afternoon to water the plum stick and notice that the grass we've seeded around the plum stick had already grown almost an inch above where I'd cut it down to yesterday. Now, I think it's part optical illusion and part fast-growing grass. The illusion comes from the tumbleweed around the grass (that the grass is slowly supplanting with its deeper roots) having dried up from yesterday's mow. I think the tumbleweed shrinks more than the grass when it dries out, and it was wet enough yesterday morning (as well as the tumbleweed being semi-healthy and not cut) that it dried quite a bit. I also think that this grass we've seeded grows pretty fast once it's established itself. But the effect was startling.

Right. But you want to see pictures. I know I loved comparing the pictures I posted before leaving for California to the ones I took today, so I'll let you in on the fun.

One Dollar Tomatoes

As you can see, the plants themselves are continuing to explode outward and upward. All of them have tomatoes on them now, event the small one that I thought wasn't going to make it. I quickly lost count when I tried to figure out how many there are now, so I gave up. Too many intertwining leaves and branches.

One Dollar Tomatoes

This image shows the same little cluster I took a picture of last time, with my fingers holding the biggest tomato on all the plants. You can't tell from the picture, but it's gone from being straight green to a slightly freckled green. I still have no idea how long it will take to ripen, or when to pick it.

However, speaking of picking...

One Dollar TomatoesOne Dollar Tomatoes

As I was weeding, I pushed a branch up against the tomato cage, and this little guy popped off. Rather than leave it to rot on the hot dusty ground, I brought it inside to examine. I'm not sure why I cut it open. Just to see if it really was a tomato, I guess. Silly me.

Moving on, the Plum Stick is healthy despite the topmost leaves getting torn off by the cage when I moved it. It continues to grow more branches, and appears to like my regular waterings. I really like having a sprinkler that I can just turn on for a few minutes each day to get a deep watering in. I think the soaker hose isn't working for the tomatoes as well as I'd hoped, so when/if I get a few dollars I'm going to go down to ACE and get another hose and sprinkler for them. But the plum stick is doing just fine.

Plum Stick

The leaves are looking much more alive than when I had trouble watering it daily, and it seems to have gotten a bit sturdier. I adjusted the line holding it against windstorms and it seems to be more solid now that a few weeks ago. Hopefully that means the roots are getting down deep.

Plum Stick

Looking at this, I can almost see it growing into a tree that I will enjoy in five years. I expect to still be here, but who knows. In any case, I hope I can keep it alive for its first year. Remember, I planted it on May 6th.

Well, we've got guests coming this weekend, and I still have lots to do, so I'm off until next time. Does anyone actually read these plant posts except me?


David Oakes said...

If it looks like a tomato, and quacks like a tomato...

...It's a Triffid!

Irv the Nerve said...

Hi. I read the plant posts. I've always hated to do any gardening my own self but I'm always interested in how others are doing.

Steven said...

read the plant posts - a week late, but still read.