sábado, 24 de octubre de 2009

TomatObession

In the manner of all obsessions, I didn't realize it was happening until it was too late. A little spaghetti here, a bowl of chili there. A BLT for lunch, a zippy pico de gallo as a snack. Before I knew it, french fries, burgers, and dogs all were naked without ketchup; friday night was and is eternally Pizza Night; and every salad is incomplete without fresh sliced tomatoes.

Needless to say, when I prepped my first garden plot last year, tomatoes were at the top of my plant list. little did i know....

tomatoes are very sensitive. Factor in my severe wet and dry seasons and newbie gardener skills, bam: the perfect recipe for disaster.
In my desperation, I have gone so far as to grow tomatoes upside-down, hanging in a bucket. The latest of such experiments ended up with late blight, a yucky fungus that will ultimately destroy your plant and spread to others.
However, the reason i write today is not to whine, oh no. On the contrary, a pledge to persevere. Rest assured: this is not a passing fancy, a forgettable whim. Deliciously homegrown tomatoes remain my fixation and despite discouraging setbacks, I will not be deterred.

Selecting from an impressive assortment of tomato seeds that kind visitors smuggled in for me over the past year, i picked out disease-resistant varieties.
My latest crop has been fortified with preventative measures of every sort:

  • To reduce contact with soil, i.e. soil-born fungi, i have mulched with newspaper and cardboard.
  • Note that the plants are raised on mounds, allowing the heavy and frequent rains to run off rather than collect in moldy puddles.
  • The tomato bed is surrounded by beneficial plants: anti-fungal garlic, nematode-resisting marigolds, & pollinator-attracting borage
  • Branches are appropriately staked on string, & low hanging limbs and leaves are removed immediately to prevent mud saturation
My efforts are already paying off:
happily fruiting tomatoes!

To the early blight and late blight, blossom end rot, tomato hornworm, leafminers, and creepy red spider bugs: Gracias for humility & first hand experience; the tomato quest prevails!

6 comentarios:

Vickie's Michigan Garden (my backyard) dijo...

I'm so glad your tomato crop is doing better! We had Blt after Blt and now they are gone. I already miss them. Happy eating.
vickie

azplantlady dijo...

I hope your tomatoes continue to grow well without any more problems.

vrtlarica dijo...

These are some good tips you have here. Good luch with your tomatoes!

Meredith dijo...

Your new crop looks great! I've been too scared to try growing tomatoes, but I might this next year just for fun and to say I did it...

Dan R-M dijo...

Doesn't success feel good? Congratulations, and may you breeze through this year blightlessly well.
Our tomato problem here is that the season is so short. The small varieties do fine, but the big ones just begin to get going when frost hits them.
Cherry tomatoes don't work quite the same on BLTs...

Liz dijo...

Gracias for the encouragement!! i admit, i'm trying not to get too excited yet. the little guys are still green. Dan, cherry tomatoes are better than no tomatoes!