Thursday, June 16, 2011
Managing the Growth Spurt
Last week's mini heatwave did wonders for plant growth. Especially the melon plants, they have really taken off.
Melon plants have a natural tendency to grow out and down, in a sprawling manner, but I want them to grow vertically, so I've been training the vines to grow up and back toward the reed fence. Once a vine gets long enough I tie it to the cage, wait for it to grow longer, and then tie it to the fence.
I recently tried hand pollinating a couple of the female flowers, I'll let you know if it works.
The smaller pepper plants have finally hit their stride. They're much bushier compared to last week.
The 2 Atris pepper plants in the Southern Patio container have set fruit. I noticed the fruit on Saturday , June 11th, so according to the seed packet green peppers will be ready by August 8th (58 days to maturity) and red peppers will be ready by August 15th (65 days to maturity). My harvest history, however, leads me to think that green peppers will actually be ready by mid July. If I'm snacking on red peppers by the end of July these seeds could be the new top pepper plant in my greatest hits list.
The Sungold cherry tomato plant is growing beyond the cage so I'm supporting some of the branches with rope. As a branch grows heavier with fruit extra support is needed to hold the branch up. If left alone the wind, combined with the weight of the fruit, will snap the branch off the plant. Use something wide and smooth so it won't dig into the stem once it bears weight. I used nylon clothesline, panty hose are also a good choice.
I only do this with tomato plants, I have not yet grown an eggplant or a pepper plant that requires such extra support for their branches.
Lots of flowers for the eggplants, some fruits should appear very soon.
Every single tomato plant has fruited. Yay!