Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Overzealous Tomatoes...

For the past twenty two years, I have struggled to grow tomatoes in my garden!

What?!  Who can't grow tomatoes?  Apparently I can't couldn't.

Why?  Maybe partly because there's blight in my soil?  Maybe because when I would sucker them, I was damaging the stem and allowing disease in?  Who know why.

I make a lot of salsa, and I can a lot of pasta sauce, pizza sauce, and plain tomatoes for cooking.  I was determined this year to "do it right" and by the looks of things, I've finally succeeded.  I'm 5' 5", and this one is up to my nose, and just about as big around...

I found a couple of ripening ones this morning...

This is the cherry tomato on steroids.  I'm almost certain it grows a foot each day lately...

There are tons of baby cherry tomatoes hanging on the vine...

So...what did I do differently?

*Last fall I talked to an Amish neighbor who has a green house.  He sold me something to sprinkle on my soil.  Unfortunately, I don't remember what it was called!  It was a 40 lb bag of something that resembled lime in color and texture, but it wasn't lime.

*When I planted this year, I immediately sprayed the leaves with Liquid Copper, which helps to prevent early blight among other diseases.  I'm not an "organic" grower, but for those of you who are, it's an organic approved treatment.

*I also mulched heavily with straw, which prevents the soil from splashing up onto the leaves when it rains, which is how blight spreads to the tomato plant.

*Last, I didn't sucker the plants, but just put the cages around them and left them be.

The results seem to be positive...

All in all, it's a lesson for me to "never give up"!


  1. yay for you! only 22 years. ;)

  2. I was always able to grow tomatoes, no problem. I never suckered them. But lately, I haven't had as much luck. I also have a hard time with green beans. Seriously, a five year old can grow beans in a paper cup. I think the big difference for me is getting rid of my chickens. I no longer have a big amount of straw / manure to apply to my garden and till it in. I'm convinced it has made all the difference. Your garden looks wonderful! -Jenn

  3. Is the stuff your neighbor gave you gypsum? My brother gave it to me last year and my tomatoes went wild.

  4. Great job! I haven't any red tomatoes yet but lots of green ones so hopefully soon. I planted five or six different kinds this year plus have my yellow cherries that return on their own every year.

  5. Rotating the crops is very important. If a tomato did not do well in that spot before, it will not again. Bone meal, blood meal and lime were all items Dad added at different times to the garden dirt.

    Congratulations on your bumper crop and all you had to do was just "listen" to the plant to learn what it needed. Soon you will hear them as well as your neighbor.

    Isn't it such a miraculous thing? Enjoy the season.

  6. Wow good for you and thanks for those pointers. It pays to be persistent.
    I'm 5' 5" also. : )

  7. Wow! I am not a gardener, but we have a few tomato plants. We have gotten 3 large ones and a few cherry ones. I think I need to print out your advice! Enjoy!

  8. Well I will try your tips next year. Not a good year for me either. Your tomatoes are huge!! I wish I knew what it was you bought.

  9. Garden tomatoes are the best! Yea for you, Alicia! Enjoy the fruits of your garden.


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