Container Garden Update — September 18, 2016

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here.

September 20, 2015 here. September 21, 2014 post here.  September 22, 2013 post here.

In the coming week it’s supposed to be getting into the 40’s at night — that meant that it was time to harvest in earnest, and we pulled 73 pounds of stuff in the last seven days.

It would be fun to watch the harvest in time-lapse, but photos will have to do.

September 15th, “before”:


September 15th, “after”:


The harvest for the 15th:


[Left sheet tray – Paul Robeson, Valencia, Tigerella, other assorted tomtatoes.  Taxis in the center. Cherokee Purple on the right.]

We did another big harvest on the 18th:


[Around a dozen different types of peppers, including Serrano on the top left, Anaheim center left, tomatoes on the top center, and tomatillos on the top right.]

The “after” picture:


[Back Left – Tromboncino and Lemon cucumber. Front Left – the last of the tomatoes. Back Center – Tomatillo, Right – Cucumber.]

You can tell it’s late in the year because tired plants do weird things, such as this “double” Tromboncino. There’s a normal fruit below it:


I sort of rebooted the salad table:


[Arugula on the bottom. Parsley left side, 2nd shelf. New Zealand spinach and Miner’s Lettuce on the right side of the 2nd shelf. The top shelf has lettuces, cilantro, and a bunch of other little things that I hope size up before the weather turns ugly.]


Visit Dave at Ourhappyacres, host of Harvest Monday.

Container Garden Update — September 5, 2016

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here.

September 6, 2015 post here. September 7, 2014 post here.  September 8, 2013 post here.

Well, we learned something about basil — holding out on the harvest is a very bad idea. Over the last ten days the weather has cooled, and the basil didn’t dig it at all. It went from almost totally healthy to dying off in that short span of time… On Friday I brought it all inside. Note the computer mouse for scale in the middle of the stack and the camera case at the bottom right:

160905 basil

Maybe 10-20% of the basil was “fresh” and not yellowing or turning purple. It’s a bummer, but it’s definitely a lesson. The plan for next year is to harvest 50% of the basil on August 1st and most of what’s left on August 14. We’ll probably also harvest more aggressively throughout the summer.

Basil really is a hothouse flower.

On the bright side, we harvested 30 pounds of stuff this week, not including the basil:

160905 tomatoes

We’re at 85 pounds for the year. That’s waaaay behind last year’s 200 pounds on this date.

Over the next seven days the weather forecast calls for cloudy days in the 60’s with some rain. If the weather doesn’t improve we may be harvesting almost everything else over the next two weeks, regardless of ripeness.


Visit Dave at Ourhappyacres, host of Harvest Monday.

Container Garden Update — August 28, 2016

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here.

August 30, 2015 post here. September 1, 2014 here.  September 1, 2013 here.

Lots of sun this week — we finally got a chance to have a “tomato tasting” get-together. The Tuesday harvest:

(L-R) Paul Robeson, Sun Gold, Tigerella, Taxi, Oregon Spring, Black Krim.
Tomatoes (L-R) Paul Robeson, Yellow Pear, Sun Gold, Tigerella, Taxi, Oregon Spring, Black Krim.

Thursday was more tomatoes and a colander full of tomatillos. The tomatillos are starting to drop off of the plant in earnest, which I’m assuming means they’re ready. A thick layer of Sun Golds is hiding under the other tomatoes:

160828 harvest2

It seems like the Sun Golds always look like this, no matter how many we harvest:

160828 sun gold

The only really large Tromboncino. We may be getting near “done”:

160828 tromboncino

Oregon Spring:

160828 oregon spring

The “late” tomatoes are now ripening too. The first Romas:

160828 roma

Cherokee Purple (and Taxi):

160828 cherokee purple taxi


160828 valencia


It’s supposed to be cooler this week. (70’s and cloudy/light rain). I think fall is starting, so hopefully everything ripens quickly…. or else it’s just one of those years. There’s a reason basically all of our tomatoes varieties are “early”.


Visit Dave at Ourhappyacres, host of Harvest Monday.

Container Garden Update — August 21, 2016

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here.

August 23, 2015 post here. August 24, 2014 post here.  August 25, 2013 post here.

We had some nice sunny weather this week again. The garden ate it up. We’re now officially “in gear”.

To quote last year’s post:

47.1 pounds of produce this week, including 38.5 pounds of tomatoes.

The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting cooler. The cucumbers are completely finished, and the Tromboncino may not be far behind. The tomatoes have begun to randomly drop fruit. If it’s not Fall already then it’s coming real soon.

…and 14.9 pounds this week. Roughly 1/3 tomatoes, 1/3 Tromboncino, and 1/3 cucumbers. On the bright side the cucumbers (and everything else) are still a long way from finished. And the weather has been much warmer lately. There’s still time for a late rally.

On to the pictures:

A Midweek Harvest:

Sun Golds, Yellow Pear, and cucumbers.
Sun Golds, Yellow Pear, and cucumbers.

Another Midweek Harvest:

Tromboncino, Sun Golds, Taxis, Tigerellas, and Lemon cucumbers.
Tromboncino, Sun Golds, Taxis, Tigerellas, and Lemon cucumbers.

Continue reading “Container Garden Update — August 21, 2016”

Container Garden Update — August 14, 2016

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here.

August 16, 2015 post here. August 19, 2014 post here. August 10, 2014 post here.  August 18, 2013 post here.

It’s been relatively hot and sunny this week. We had a few 80-ish degree days and the garden is loving it.

Friday’s harvest being inspected by the boy cat:

160814 boy cat and harvest

In the box (L-R) — Oregon Spring tomatoes, Taxi, Sun Gold, Marketmore cucumbers, Lemon cucumber. A Tromboncino zucchini is in the foreground.

The Tromboncino plant is still going strong, with lots of fruit in process. For size reference, the netting squares are 8″:

160814 tromboncino

As I mentioned in the last post, we recently cleaned up the bottom of the tomato plants (on the left, below). Peppers are in the center. Basil on the right:

160814 overview

In 2015 we did the first “tomato tasting” on August 12. We’re a little ways away still. Hopefully it will happen within the next 10 days. Most of the tomatoes are now starting to color up.

The Tigerellas:

160814 tigerella

Taxis (which need to be cleaned up):

160814 taxi

Sun Gold and Yellow Pear:

160814 sun gold and yellow pear

The peppers are ripening too:

160814 peppers

The Serranos are going bonkers:

160814 serrano


The basil looks good, mostly. It seems to benefit from aggressive pruning — I think it knows fall is right around the corner:

160814 basil


Visit Dave at Ourhappyacres, host of Harvest Monday.

Container Garden Update — August 8, 2016

by A.J. Coltrane

It’s been more than two weeks since the last post, but then, I started this post on the 6th and today is the 8th, so you can kinda see how it’s been going around here…

Previous Update post here.  August 2, 2015 post here.  August 3, 2014 post here.  August 4, 2013 post here.

The 2013 post includes the “search favorite” picture:  “Girl Cat With Bags Of Green Stuff”:

The girl cat is not impressed.
The girl cat is not impressed.

…complete with a caption referencing the 2012 Olympics — “McKayla Is Not Impressed”.

Also — “Green Stuff” wasn’t legal in Washington state at that time, which I’m sure contributed to the popularity of the photo.

The garden is finally now producing. We had a smallish midweek harvest:

160806 harvest

The Oregon Spring are far and away the best and earliest producers this year:

160806 oregon spring

The Taxis are sharing a box with the Oregon Spring. They’re “next”:

160806 taxi

The “overview” picture. Shortly after this photo we cleaned wonky leaves out of the bottom of the tomato plants. Next week’s picture will look very different:

160806 overview

Note the basil on the far right of the overview picture — we’ve been trimming it back far more aggressively this year and it seems to like it. A closeup:

160806 basil

I feel like we could trim the basil twice a week at this point and it would just grow faster. Maybe we’ve been “doing it wrong” all along.

The Yellow Pear tomatoes are starting to ripen (bottom right) — pictured with Sun Golds:

160806 sun gold pear

The Paul Robeson are rocking. I have high hopes that they’ll taste good:

160806 paul robeson

Bell Peppers of some sort in the foreground. So far not many have been “bored”. We’ll see:

160806 pepper


The cucumbers are now producing 2-3 fruits every couple of days:

160806 cucumber



Visit Dave at Ourhappyacres, host of Harvest Monday.

Container Garden Update — July 24, 2016

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here. July 26, 2015 post here. July 27, 2014 post here.  July 28, 2013 post here.

A quote from the 2015 post:

2013 total weight to date:  24.6 pounds

2014 total weight to date:  22.3 pounds

2015 total weight to date:  56.4 pounds

I believe we’re at less than ten pounds of produce so far this year. My guess is that 2015 was the “sunny and hot” outlier, and that 2016 is the “cool and cloudy” outlier…  The weather this week is supposed to be sunny and warm, so hopefully the yield will start to look a little more normal soon.

I think the pictures this week are similar to last week’s — only a few peppers are really starting to show color.

The overview:

160724 overview

The “Marketmore” cucumbers:

160724 cucumber

The “bit of color” — Gypsy peppers:

160724 pepper


“Verde” Tomatillos — the fruits are starting to fill the husks:

160724 tomatillo

Basil and Marigolds:

160724 basil and marigold


Visit Dave at Ourhappyacres, host of Harvest Monday.

Container Garden Update — July 17, 2016

by A.J. Coltane

Previous post here.  July 19, 2015 post here. July 27, 2014 post here.  July 21, 2013 post here.

We’ve been thinning out some of the Tromboncino zucchini with the idea that the plant only has a finite amount of energy to pour into fruits.

A photo of a few small zucchini and the first cucumber:

160717 harvest

I tried to bend the Tromboncino over the top of the 8′ trellis. I’ve done it in previous years. This time I bent a little too hard, and the plant now has a 90 degree angle turn at the top. Hopefully it won’t die above that point:

160717 tromboncino

Some of the basil became part of a pizza Margherita:

63% hydration, 3% oil. Last year's frozen "assorted tomatoes" as sauce.
63% hydration, 3% oil. Last year’s frozen “assorted tomatoes” as sauce.

The Basil plants pose with Marigolds. Peppers back left, cucumbers back right:

160717 basil

The Taxi are getting close:

160717 taxi

The Tomatillos continue to produce huge husks:

160717 tomatillo

The Jersey Knight asparagus and strawberries now have a fence between them and the weeds. The strawberries came with the house. They were in a bad location, so we moved them. They’re loving the new place it seems:

160717 strawberry asparagus


An overview. Tomatoes on the left. Peppers front center. Basil on the right. Zucchini back left. Tomatillos back center. Cucumbers back right:

160717 overview


Visit Dave at Ourhappyacres, host of Harvest Monday.

Container Garden Update — July 10, 2016

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here.  July 12, 2015 post here.  July 11, 2014 post here.  July 14, 2013 post here.

More wet. More clouds. It’s been an overcast spring and summer. In comparison to 2015 we’re waaaay behind, and I doubt we’ll catch up.

Though taken in isolation we’re doing ok.

The overview photo:

Tomatoes on the left, basil on the right, peppers in the center.
Front:  Tomatoes on the left, basil on the right, peppers in the center.

Standing near the leftmost pepper box:

160710 second overview

The basil looks better at this point this year:

160710 basil

The cucumbers are not digging the rain:

Continue reading “Container Garden Update — July 10, 2016”

Container Garden Update — June 26, 2016

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here. June 28, 2015 post here. June 28, 2014 post here.  June 23, 2013 post here.

Looking at last year.. we’re well behind. For comparison, in 2015 the zucchini was already over the top of the 8′ trellis. It’s not 5′ tall yet this time.

Today has been one of the nicest, sunniest days we’ve had in a while. There are supposed to be at least a few more nice days coming up. I doubt we’ll equal last year’s overall production, but the improved weather should help pick things up.

A few of the plants are doing at least ok. The Oregon Spring are first on the scene, as usual:

160626 oregon spring

The Tromboncino are growing. Hopefully we’ll be able to start harvesting in a week or so:

160626 tromboncino

Standing next to the cucumbers, looking north at tomato plants:

160626 inside

The flowers in the whiskey barrels are doing well. The nasturtiums have completely overrun their container:

160626 flowers

The tomatillos have lots of flowers too:

160626 tomatillo


The boy cat hanging out in the shade:

160626 boy cat


Visit Dave at Ourhappyacres, host of Harvest Monday.