Tomato Plant Troubles

From the top left, clockwise: The tomatoes we brought to Colorado, where they ripened; damage to the tomato plant in the yard (what ate the stems?); the first ripening tomatoes; a squirrel claimed the first ripening tomato and then abandoned it; my husband’s tomato plants in pots on the deck.

Some gardeners can stick a tomato plant in the ground, and a month or so later are harvesting dozens of tomatoes.  I’ve rarely harvested a decent tomato, no matter what I did, but I keep trying.  This year my husband and I had some success!!! There’s nothing so delicious as a tomato you grew yourself. 

My first problem is that I always choose to live in shady areas. I love trees more than growing tomatoes. I have a sunny spot in my current yard, though, which gets sun about seven hours a day.

Some of my past tomato problems: No tomatoes form until the season is almost over; blossom end rot when tomatoes did form; split skins; squirrels bit into my tomatoes; deer ate the stems and leaves; and tomato horn worms ate the stems and leaves.  I’m still dreading finding a hornworm every time I check my plant.

But I’m glad I didn’t give up. I grew one tomato plant in our flower bed.  My husband planted the same type of tomato in two pots on the deck with a little less sunshine but better soil in the pots. We didn’t do a scientific comparison, but I think his plants produced a few more tomatoes per plant than mine did.

After weeks of no baby tomatoes, I bought some plant hormone, which I sprayed on the flowers.  Soon some tomatoes appeared. I don’t know whether it was coincidence or due to the hormone spray. Anyway, this year we got tomatoes!

The tomatoes started to ripen at about the time we planned a nine-day vacation to Colorado. We picked the reddening tomatoes, wrapped them in newspaper and took them with us to Colorado, where we ate our garden tomatoes every day! While we were gone, our daughter checked on our house, watered the plants, picked the tomatoes, refilled the hummingbird feeder and brought in our mail. We came home to a lot more tomatoes!

How Much Sun Do Tomato Plants Need?

 

How to Keep Deer Away From Tomato Plants.

In a previous year, this tomato hornworm (Hawk moth) grew very large eating my tomato plant!

11 Comments

Filed under Gardening, Life

11 responses to “Tomato Plant Troubles

  1. I love living in shady areas too.

  2. I’ve tried growing veggies and not much luck with it so far.

  3. My man’s trick with tomatoes, Catherine, is to grow them with plenty of organic compost and/or aged animal manure! Then he covers them with netting to keep off the bugs, birds and little furry animals. We’ve also grown them in big plant pots this way – like the pots in your image, only much larger.
    And yes, they luv a well drained soil with lots of sun; not heaps of water – just enough to not dry out. And providing you don’t get frost, they’ll grow rather late in the season this way too.
    All the best…

    • Great to hear from you!!! I think our main problem is that we live in the woods! I would like a raised bed, as I wrote in another comment, but the bed is next to a fence that separates us from the rough of a golf course. The rough is full of weeds, which are always invading. So I feel lucky that we have harvested as many tomatoes as we did so far this year.

      • So many great things about living next to a golf course; open spaces; greenery all around; but, oh those weeds!
        So, congratulations are in order for your harvest. Here’s hoping there’s more.
        It is a great feeling to eat your own produce. I know I much prefer my veggies. They are definitely better quality. But then, Catherine, we do get almost all day sunshine! That’s probably the main reason for the great harvest.

  4. You have to set up a netted, raised bed. Also, as Carolyn said, there is NOTHING like actual compost if you want to grow lush plants. I do know you should never wet the tomato plant’s leaves– only water from below. Maybe get a soil sample to your local agricultural dept? At any rate, this is the bloke you need to watch for excellent advice about growing great veggies. He’s fantastic and fun to watch!

    https://www.youtube.com/c/Selfsufficientme/videos

    • Thanks for the link! I’ll check it out. I wish I could have a raised bed, but my growing bed backs up to a fence that separates my yard from a golf course. On the other side of the fence is the rough (weeds!) which is another problem I face. My soil is more suitable to make clay pots. I’ve tried to enrich it. So I am lucky to get any tomatoes. This has been my best year! 😉

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