Cherokee has been giving me conniptions, no word of a lie.

There had been so many flower buds, and I figured that once he hit the ceiling, he would settle down, bust open those petals, and pump out produce.

I hadn't counted back, however. In one week, he will hit the three month transplant date from the time I put him in the planter box. Cherokee tomatoes take about three months from transplanting before they will set fruit. (Why does it seem that size of the plant before transplant doesn't matter? And time from transplant for Ace doesn't seem to matter--he's six frackin' months old and he's been in the planter just as long as Cherokee, but he hasn't born any fruit, or even flowers, despite having a similar maturation requirement. Then again, he was only an inch tall [at three months old] when I put him in the planter...)

Cherokee did have one flower open (the one pictured here--see, I wasn't just imagining it!), but despite my best efforts, it didn't turn into a fruit. It dried up and fell off with barely an "Adieu."

But glory of glories, look at what I found today!

No no, this isn't the glory of glories...! This is what I encounter on a regular basis. Tiny flowers that never open and shrivel up, dead.

This is what they look like before they get shriveled. Tiny, unopened, just sittin' there in promising little clusters, mocking me, making me think that Cherokee (the little rooster-tease) is going to put out (some produce).

But these--these are the glory of glories. These are much bigger than those little harlot flower buds. I think these might actually mature, open, and bear fruit! But, I've said that before. I must remain zen, so I'm not disappointed. (OMGs yes, a harvest!!)

Here's Cherokee, on the left, towering over not only the light sources, but also little Ace (now 47.5 inches tall) on the right. Despite the fluorescent and incandescent grow lamps behind them, both tomato plants position their leaves to catch the sun's rays. It's like I spent money for nothing. Thanks, guys!

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3 Responses to Cherokee

  1. You touched on some major future research projects here.
    1. Do plants actively prefer natural daylight over artificial same.

    2. Do tomato buds need higher humidity for a day or two when just showing. (Have you tried spraying them with water?)

    3.Does a tomato plant need to reach a certain height in order to retain a flower bud and turn it into fruit.

    4. Would auxin manipulation by bending a stem horizontally speed up the process. (Like in roses)

    5. I'm sure I'll think of something during the day :-)

    As usual, you've set the mind racing.

  2. Oh geez, I'm not getting into experimenting on those questions anytime soon! They're huge!

    I think the answer to 1 is that the intensity of the artificial light cannot match that of natural light. Besides, there's just blatantly more natural light than those few tubes could ever produce, even though I leave them on much longer than I get direct sunlight in my apartment.

    2. No idea. I have taken to spraying a lot recently, to help get rid of the spider mites--maybe that helped churn out these regular-sized flowerbuds?

    3. Isn't height is often a direct correllary to maturity? I'd say yes, with a lot of buts in there.

    4. Huh. No idea. I do know that some of the branches bent over under their weight, but none of those have big flowerbuds on them. I'll have to look into this--I didn't know you could do that, even with roses (maybe especially with, what with my avoidance of that subject!).

    5. I'm sure you will. Please ask when you do! I might have an answer or even be able to test it out!

  3. Hey, random comment comin' up here:

    Do you know that your Cherokee's malady looks like a likely candidate for blossom end rot? It afflicts lots of heirlooms. Run on down to your local mega-mart and pick up a bottle of blossom set. Give the blossoms a little spritz, and you should be good to go.



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