Container Garden Update — August 30, 2015

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here.  September 1, 2014 here.  September 1, 2013 here.

On September 2, 2014 we had a huge windstorm that blew over the cages containing the tomatoes and Tromboncino. As it turns out, we had a huge windstorm yesterday, and the cages were rocked, though not to the same extent. (Gusts to 45 mph!) This time it mostly bent and twisted the cages, probably because they were braced a little better. We were able to haul everything more or less back to “square” without too much trouble. We got really lucky in that we did the “big harvest” for the week shortly before the wind hit. Still… ugh.

That’s two years in a row of having tomatoes fall over. It’s time to figure out something sturdier.

Having said that — Saturday’s harvest was 28.7 pounds (counting the basil leaves, but not the basil stems and branches):

150829 harvest1

Saturday closeup 1 — tomatillos (3.3 lbs). The tomatillos got roasted and frozen, to eventually become green salsa. Note the rogue strawberry:

150829 harvest2

Saturday closeup 2 — tomatoes. Mostly Tigerella, Taxi, Sun Gold, and Sweet Million. Some of the tomatoes are less than perfectly ripe — the plants are actively throwing fruit on the ground, and we decided to beat them to it. (16.3 pounds of tomatoes today, spread between a few sheet trays):

150829 harvest3

Saturday closeup 3 — The Last Of The Tromboncino (2.4 lbs yesterday. 26.0 lbs for the year. That’s a 27% improvement over last year’s yield.) Also pictured are Bullnose Bell peppers, Yellow Bell peppers, Tigerella tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, and one stray leaf of basil. The former Tromboncino box was replanted with garlic — The Tromboncino were probably 95%+ done anyway:

150829 harvest4

Saturday closeup 4 — Romas (6.6 lbs):

150829 harvest5

Saturday closeup 5 — Mostly Peppers. Carmen peppers on the right. King of the North on the left. Lipstick peppers on the top left. The tomatoes are Cosmonaut Volkov:

150829 harvest6

Monday’s harvest (3.5 lbs). The non-cherry tomatoes are Tigerella and Cosmonaut Volkov:

150824 harvest

Thursday (8.8 lbs). Oregon Spring, Taxi, Tigerella, Sun Gold, Sweet Million:

150827 harvest

The total harvest for the week was 40 pounds. Of that, 29 pounds was tomatoes.

An overview picture, before the Saturday harvest. You can see “Fall” if you look closely enough:

150829 overview

The radishes are exploding. For reference, here’s last week:

150822 radish

And this week (a reverse angle picture of the box):

150829 radish

The Carmen peppers, prior to Saturday harvest:

150829 peppers

The Romas:

150829 roma

The salad table is overdue for thinning. Here’s the middle shelf:

150829 salad table 2

The top shelf:

150829 salad table1

The scallion/bunch onion starts. Note the small amount of copper tape around the foot of the salad table. I doubt it’ll really deter the slugs, but it’s worth a try:

150829 scallions


2013 total weight to date:  93.1 pounds

2014 total weight to date:  108.7 pounds

2015 total weight to date:  199.7 pounds

More Progress!


Visit Daphne’s Dandelions, host of Harvest Monday.

7 thoughts on “Container Garden Update — August 30, 2015

  1. Those are sure some good looking tomatoes! And it would appear the strawberry has photo-bombed those tomatillos. My cages have gotten blown over too, though not in a couple of years. I’ve tried tying them to pieces of rebar driven in next to the cage, but that was labor intensive and didn’t always work. So now I mostly just cross my fingers and hope we don’t get a big wind at the wrong time.


  2. Thanks Dave.

    Given that we’re on a concrete pad, we’ll likely need to do something like concrete blocks attached to a wood frame, attached to the cages.

    Alternately, we could do 2″ x 2″ x 8′ cedar sticks in big “X”‘s running along the sides, and attach the cages to those.

    Or some combination. Or we could just do as you do, and cross our fingers.

    On the bright side, we have about nine months to come up with an “answer”.


  3. Amazing harvests! I can’t believe that you have been able to grow that much in containers. Your plants are thriving & I’m glad that you didn’t lose any of them in the wind storm.


  4. Those are some really beautiful harvests. I really miss growing tomatoes (I can’t eat them anymore) and not just for the taste. I loved the trays of tomatoes covering my counters.


  5. So glad to have found another happy harvest blog that uses containers! We grow alot of the same vegetables and love seeing all those all tomatillos. For the structure of the tomatoes, you can check out my blog, it might help. We grow all our vegetables on the rooftop which gets very windy. We’ve made PVC pipe structures for everything with dual cages (they grow tall!) on all the tomatoes. We also wrap the tomatoes with wind blocking fabric around the tomatoes and raise it when we know a storm is brewing.



  6. Your rooftop *does* have a lot in common with our patio. I like the row cover idea to protect the short tomato plants from the wind — I’ll need to spend more time looking for other good ideas on your blog.

    I’m visualizing some big pvc structures in our future..


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