How Does My Garden Grow

IMG_9601I’m a tomato growing guy! Over the years I’ve raised them at home and work.

Does raising tomatoes at work where I was paid make me a farmer? Sure. Why not?

Now that we’re in the land of perpetual sunshine I’ve got a single tomato plant in a pot on our patio. Growing space is limited. One is enough.

IMG_9600I cheated. The pot, with a plastic tomato cage above, came from Home Depot already in bloom. So far, it has survived my questionable care.

Our patio has limited sunshine. That’s good for people, but not optimum for tomatoes. They can’t get enough sunlight.

So far the impact has been minimal. Maybe it’s that sunshine is stronger in SoCal than Connecticut. Because of our more southerly latitude the Sun is higher in the sky.

I certainly started earlier. Back in the Northeast I never planted until Memorial Day. These bad boys are close to a month in.

IMG_9608I had been watering the tomatoes by hand. Today I installed irrigation.

We have a tiny sprinkler system for our flowers and bushes. I tapped into that, adding ‘dribblers’ for the tomatoes and a few other plants in pots.

The dribblers are rated one gallon per hour. The system runs two minutes every other day. That’s 4.27 ounces of water three or four times a week.

Is it enough? I’ll let you know.

In Connecticut tomato season ran from late July into October. It will be longer here. And no killing frost!

One thought on “How Does My Garden Grow”

  1. You’re not the only one who buys their tomatoes already larger from the big box stores – I’ve been doing it that way for years. It’s torture to wait until they get big. Also, if this is your first gardening season in a lower latitude climate remember a few points:

    While sunshine and warmth help tomatoes grow well – very strong sun and hot temps (90’s F day after day) can hurt them. Although Irvine, CA (34 latitude) is not all that further south than the New Haven area in CT (41 latitude), about 490 miles difference – the spring and summer weather across inland SOCAL has FAR fewer days with filtered sunshine or partly cloudy days than the CT/NYC area. So those tomato plants are in that strong CA sunshine with little reprieve for 6 months.

    Same for heat, when temps get much more than around 88 F or so, tomatoes can show signs of stress. In fact, I don’t know about southern CA, but in the hottest areas of the country like AZ, they actually wait until after Labor Day to plant tomatoes. Look at Florida, if I’m not mistaken, they actually only grow tomatoes from October through April, they would never survive the heat and sun intensity of deep summer down in those latitudes ( 25 – 29 latitude).

    So I would watch that sun and those pavement temps.

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