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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 58 Entries.
Saturday, February 11 View Page
Welcome to our 2017 diary. With family needs and limited time, we have decided to make our garden efforts into growing a giant tomato instead of pumpkin this year. As you can see, we have been blessed to be off to a good start this year. Myself, Joshua, and Andrew are growing them. We have some good strategies on how to grow a 5 plus lber and give Chris and Kevin a run for their money. Our target, grow a state record, a tall order for tomato rookies. lol Well, our line up includes, a 5.11 Dunn, a 6.88 maccoy, 5.30 maccoy, a 8.41 maccoy, and 3 4.57 maccoys. 7 plants in all will be kept inside until march 1st or so and then transplanted to patch when weather is frost free. We have never tried to really grow a big tomato in it's proper timing in our growing area or grow this amount of them so should be fun! Early spring will give us our best chance before it gets too hot. We got almost 100 percent germination this year, got some good starting mix and put pots onto a heating mat and seeds came up in 4 to 5 days.
 
Tuesday, February 28 View Page
Joshua and our giant tomatoes! This is the first time we really tried to take good care of seedlings and boy are they growing fast! Mainly inside, but on warmer days they enjoy the sun outside and warmth of inside. They get transplanted tomorrow in the patch so we are excited to be off to a great start.
 
Tuesday, February 28 View Page
a close up of the little guys, so far the 6.88 maccoy is twice as big as most of the plants, not sure if that matters but they all start at different rates of growth.
 
Tuesday, February 28 View Page
we will till up this spot in the pumpkin patch and transplant tomorrow. Let's see what these guys can do:)
 
Wednesday, March 1 View Page
Well, had pictures today but Joshua dropped the camera on the street! lol Now it is not working, so might be awhile till photos come back :) All 7 plants are in the ground, soil tilled, lots of myco, a little azos, and a lot of hay I got across the street for mulch cover. Area is fenced off with wood in middle of mater garden so we don't compress soil. I told my wife that me and Joshua are really trying to bring it this year for maters lol. If I did this on a large scale, I might have a chance to beat chris sometime too for a future pumpkin hehehe :) BTW Chris, your 5.11 is on the ground too and looks happy!
 
Thursday, March 2 View Page
Ok, the camera suddenly came back to life so we have a few pictures to share, although the end result was not pictured when the camera died lol. Here is papa leading the troops to victory. Let's go Joshua, build the mater patch!
 
Thursday, March 2 View Page
Joshua brought the metal poles and papa hammered them in. Nice team work buddy. Tilling was already done before this photo:)
 
Thursday, March 2 View Page
fence is up, suddenly the troops thought riding scooters and bikes was more fun than planting and the work that goes into it lol. I'm thinking to myself, where did my help go and what do I do next?
 
Thursday, March 2 View Page
I collected myself like a true sportsman and regained my mental awareness. Dug holes, put in myco, and azos, more myco, and then a little more myco! Plants go in!
 
Thursday, March 2 View Page
by this time Joshua showed back up from his biking adventure just long enough to grab the pen and mark the stick so we could tell which plant is which. He loved to write on the Popsicle stick!!!! Then off he went again with a blurrrr!!!
 
Thursday, March 2 View Page
whew, one down and 6 more to go!!!! Hey, where did my helper go again????? All I could do to compose myself was to say out loud, gotta beat Chris, gotta beat Chris, state record, state record!!!! lol By the time I was done I was exhausted! Then it was time to go get the hey. Got it from a store near by and put it over everything. I began to remember that hey makes you itch heheh and I think it might take a year to get it all out of my trunk! By the time I was done, you could barely see the plants and Joshua said, Hey, it's done"! We'll show the completed patch in a day or too!!!
 
Thursday, March 2 View Page
A view before the work was done. Alright, I know my spelling is bad, Hay, verses Hey, lol :) More pic's to come.
 
Thursday, March 9 View Page
Andrew hanging out with the ducks! There were a handful of guys on the lake, but didn't see anyone catch anything, even one of the guys in a kayak said it was dead, no bites, the water was dirty looking from an algae bloom and probably the rain run off.
 
Thursday, March 9 View Page
we went onto a floating pier all by ourselves and I was fan casting a dropshot purple 4 inch worm. My line was going slack in a weird way even against the wind, even after trying to tighten it up, didn't feel anything but thought it was worth a shot to jack the pole back and fish on! I tried to get Andrew up to land it, just trying to delay landing the fish, well, long story short, fish got off cause Andrew was kind of slow! lol Anyway, more casts and thump thump, bendo! Landed this chunky little guy, was hard to take photo but it was not huge, not tiny, nice little bass. Another guy fishing onshore moved to the floating pier and started casting in my area and he caught one too. Kind of got in our way so we left for some lunch on shore:)
 
Thursday, March 9 View Page
the completed photo I promised, no weeds no how this year lol. Still can't get all the hay out of my trunk ;)
 
Thursday, March 9 View Page
6.88 is my biggest plant (pictured) with one 4.57 almost neck and neck with it. Started 7 in the gound, 2 plants, one 4.57 and 5.30 were damaged pretty bad by frost, looks doubtful either one will survive. 75 to 80 in afternoon and upper 30's to low 40's at night. Warming up finally this week so looks like we shouldn't loose anymore plants to frost. BUT, I bet it is gonna be a bad year for bugs after all the rain, maters already getting chomped on big time, I would be afraid this year growing a pumpkin with bug nightmares. Not taking any chances, will merit maters in a day or two soil drench so they can survive.
 
Thursday, March 9 View Page
Chris, this is for you, your 5.11, not the biggest plant, but coming around nicely.
 
Friday, March 10 View Page
When I posted our fishing trip, the first post somehow got erased when put on bp.com. Me and Andrew went to Lake murray from shore for 2 hours of fishing time. Joshua is in school so it makes it harder to do stuff now. Andrew was sooo excited and loves fishing. After our big storm last week, all of san diego lakes went flat due to dirty water and serious run off. I didn't expect to catch much and everyone I asked at the lake pretty much got a zero. So it was nice to catch a fish and loose another. On a side note, the park called us and said no chicken wire anymore, I was what? Been doing it for 9 years. So took down chicken wire, hope kids stay out! :)
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
need some help with leaf issues, most plants look healthy but lower leaves have this burnt edge, or darkness, concerns me a disease is starting. Here are some photos of the plants. The 5.11 which I will show in a minute, I'm sure it is disease. I need mater experts opinions on what to do since I am a pumpkin guy! :)
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
another leaf
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
another
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
another
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
alright, leaf off of the 5.11 Dunn, definitely looks like disease to a non mater expert, on lower leaf.....
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
same leaf.
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
overall plants look healthy, been warm the last week or so.
 
Sunday, March 19 View Page
another plant! Opinions please!
 
Thursday, March 30 View Page
Well, our camera battery died and we can't find the charger, sooooo, pic's will wait until we find it. :) Plants were sprayed with daconil 9 days ago, cut off many leaves for disease. Sprayed daconil again 2 days ago, blasted it really cause the disease was still spreading. After 2 days of spraying, a few leaves still showed new signs of disease that looks like blight, but seems to be slowing, but won't go away. Our chances look bleak in reality, but we aren't giving in. Megablooms are just starting to open on our two remaining plants, plants are highly trimmed, lol with only a few leaves. If we can keep the remaining leaves and stop the disease atleast we can get some kind of tomato. Our dreams of a monster seem to be thwarted by disease once again, a common theme at our patch lately. We might need to find some new dirt in the future!
 
Friday, April 7 View Page
Well since the camera is out of action still, post an old but great san diego bay photo of my dad catching a nice bonefish! A rarer catch this far north from the tropical waters. Now, to maters, we have a mater!!!!!!!!!! It is the size of a pea or so, maybe day one I would guess, much harder to decipher day 1 on a mater than pumpkin. Many flowers on my two remaining plants. Disease is still present but slowed way down after extreme spraying and pruning lol, still spraying every 6 days or so and taking off any leaf that shows disease right away. We keep loosing leaves, but like they say, we aren't growing salad:) We are hopeful for at least some kind of mater with our struggles. Plants seem healthy enough yet if they can hang in there a little longer, but not sure what is gonna happen. Hope for photos when we find the stinkin battery charger lol, it's hiding good.
 
Thursday, April 13 View Page
Finally got my wife's camera since our other one is out of action! It has been awhile since photos, this is the 4.57 maccoy, we are so blessed to still have 2 plants after such a battle with disease. We have hit the plants hard with daconil for 3 weeks now and we are finally seeing the disease "seemingly" to stop for now, or slow down so much I don't see it anymore popping on new growth. we pulled off probably 40 to 50 leaves off of both plants and cut off many branches. They were both really small and have really grown and filled out in the last 2 weeks. We have gone from game over, to well, we have a chance!!!!
 
Thursday, April 13 View Page
first tomatoe pollinated on the 4.57, seems to be what I would call a triple tomato, three fused together. Not sure what you mater experts call these things lol. I left a couple maters in a cluster as back ups and will go to one, but.......
 
Thursday, April 13 View Page
8 inches above, there was a single massive megabloom, the flower was huge, so we will see what it turns into and if it goes and is big, we will go with the bigger megabloom. Not being an expert, I would assume the larger the fused mater, the better? Any advise on that please:)
 
Thursday, April 13 View Page
the other survivor and biggest in the patch, the 6.88 maccoy. She has really turned on and grown like crazy. She was not that big a few weeks ago after her trim. Disease has "seemed" to stop on her as well. I just cut off her top today, no more new growth, want it all into her fruit.
 
Thursday, April 13 View Page
this girl was a huge flower, just 10 inches off the ground. When I look under her, it looks like 4 to 6 maters all together, so many it is hard to tell. She will be the one on this plant, good or bad:) We have been using compost tea once a week and a few other ferts. Not using wallace wonder, I think I have a better tea. I will reveal it when done after we see the results. I can say that I have pollinated one year before with a vibrating toothbrush for the megablooms and I have never seen a cloud of yellow pollen go into the air with every bloom I pollinate like this year. Is this normal for other growers? So our fert program is doing something right.
 
Thursday, April 13 View Page
Joshua got his first bike! He is so excited about riding and his maters!
 
Thursday, April 20 View Page
this is our empty pumpkin patch so you can get an idea where we are growing.
 
Thursday, April 20 View Page
7 plants in the ground, two remain. Lost the other 5 to frost, bugs, and disease. The 6.88 and 4.57 maccoy
 
Thursday, April 20 View Page
the 6.88! I found a slight area of blight on 2 leaves but cut them off, but over all the plant looks great now. Yes, you can see our mater!!!!!!!
 
Thursday, April 20 View Page
she is day 12 or 13 approximately. Weather is as good as it gets for my area except an occasional heat wave. Our morning temps are finally out of the upper 40's and now low 50's, high's around 75 to 85. Next two days are supposed to be in the 90 degree range so will set up a small shade cloth over the plant just temporary, long term weather looks like 70's and 80's for a little longer. Gonna get hot soon.
 
Thursday, April 20 View Page
the 4.57 here, we made a decision and cut off the bottom fruit, went with the bigger mega bloom and now chopped off the top of plant
 
Thursday, April 20 View Page
she is a big blob of maters lol not sure what she will look like but let's see! 3 to 4 days old now
 
Thursday, April 20 View Page
Joshua gives a thumbs up for the plants!!!!!!!!!
 
Thursday, April 20 View Page
Andrew tried to give a thumbs up!!!!!!!
 
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
6.88 plant as of today.
 
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
I'm no sling expert but seems good enough to me lol
 
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
day 18 as of today. Gonna get hot for the weekend unfortunately in the 90's then back to mid 80's. Cool down temps, come on! :)
 
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
4.57 as of today
 
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
fruit on 4.57, she was pollinated 8 or 9 days after the 6.88
 
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
underneath view of the black area, looks like catfacing from what I can see but opinions are welcome please.
 
Wednesday, April 26 View Page
top leaves on 6.88 look a little off, maybe I burned them with a foliar, not sure, most of plant looks great.
 
Tuesday, May 2 View Page
mater on the 6.88, she is approximately day 24 or so and 17 inches circumference, been warm lately, too warm, but a cool down is coming and even some rain.
 
Tuesday, May 2 View Page
this is the 4.57, she is 8 or 9 days approximately behind the 6.88, a later pollination. She is turning it on right now, already 13 inches on day 15 or 16, not quite sure of the exact day, should have marked it lol. We are having a blast growing the maters, giving it all we got but for our first serious attempt, not sure where we will end up.
 
Monday, May 8 View Page
Grandpa hanging out with Andrew. For those of you who have never met my dad, he is an amazing man! I am blessed beyond words from the Lord. As for patch stuff, we had a HUGE cold storm run through, snowed and everything in our mountains heavy. We got almost 2 inches of very cold rain where I lived. high of 54 degrees yesterday. what happened to nice mild spring weather in san diego? lol Maters survived, I was thinking the 2 days soaking and cold temps probably wasn't good for them, but seem ok. Anyone know what is the best way to estimate weight? Seems one circumference would be inaccurate like a pumpkin compared to a mater ott? Just curious. We are still having fun:)
 
Tuesday, May 16 View Page
weather has been cool, which is great for us. But weekend is gonna warm up to around 90 which is not good, but then back into 70's. I have been told 40 to 50 days for these guys if weather remains mild. We are still growing for both maters, day 39 approximately and 31. Right now the 6.88, if it "could" do the 50 day growth cycle would be exciting because it might challenge the state record:) But if it stops growing soon, then well it won't happen but we will definitely have a nice mater for our area. Photos in a few days!
 
Sunday, May 21 View Page
been 90 to 92 the last few days and hot again tomorrow before we see a little cool down, not the weather we need to keep our maters growing for awhile longer. They are still eaking out some growth in our hot climate, keeping fingers crossed that it cools way down soon:)
 
Sunday, May 21 View Page
4.57 Maccoy, she is over 21 inches around now. High heat has slowed growth for both maters, but still growing. I found a sucker vine inside the plant about 2 feet long, lol, was hiding and growing, oh well, could have used that going into the fruit! She still has a lot of growth in her if weather cooperates.
 
Sunday, May 21 View Page
6.88 Maccoy, she is now 43 or 44 days, still eaking out growth, but slowed by heat. She now sits at 23 inches. Her color has not changed, so I am assuming she has more to give if it cools down. Come on baby, a little more and it gets interesting! :)
 
Tuesday, May 30 View Page
Alright, tomorrow is the day where we weigh our first ever tomato on the 6.88 maccoy. She is hard to measure in her position but best measurement I can get has her at 24.25 inches, she is totally red now. She started turning red awhile ago but kept growing so I left her on. She sits right on an estimation of over 5 lbs and our state record is 5.11 lbs held by our good friend Chris. No matter what, we had a blast whatever she weighs. Pictures of the weighing in the near future....
 
Friday, June 2 View Page
We weighed out first tomato ever! Here is Joshua holding her enjoying every minute. She weighed in light at 4.17 lbs, not the state record we were trying for but we can't be disappointed with our efforts. We have one more to weigh in a week or so!
 

 

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