My Journey

From mind to paper and back again.

trials and tribulations of tomatoes

on June 6, 2010

Trying to Tame Tomatoes?

I am. I’m a beginner to growing veggies and fruits but even though my other plants and herbs all seem to be doing reasonably well; I’m having to fight with my tomato plants.

The first one I got, grew really well, I re-potted it and it continued to do well for a while, I even got it to the point where I had to buy a little trellis to keep it supported, when all of a sudden it shrivelled and died.

I went back to B and Q and bought one that was part grown by the name of Pick-a-Tom which is supposed to crop early, it already had a few tomatoes on the vine although none of them were ripe. I got it home, re-potted it into a nice big pot, fed and watered it and started to get nice ripe tomatoes. Great, I was finally getting somewhere. Until the leaves started to dry out and turn yellow. I scoured the internet looking for reasons that this could have happened, from what I could tell it could be dry rot or potato blight. Both recommend removing any affected leaves if this is the case and to try and continue as normal with them, so that is what I did. I’m still getting lovely fresh tomatoes off the plant but the rest of the leaves continued to yellow. I removed the rest of the leaves and brought the plant back inside as it is now very unprotected from the elements and we’ve had a couple of the biggest downpours of the season.

This morning after I dropped my husband off at work I went back to B and Q on the quest of pain relief, I was trying to ease my back by doing a little walking, and I like looking around the garden part of B and Q, I picked up some more herbs and was looking at the tomato plants they had there when I realised that they all have the same problem with their leaves. All yellowed and brittle; I turned to the man that was watering containers of plants with a hose and asked what was wrong with the plants so if it was dry rot I could look out for it in the future and maybe even deal with it much earlier on. When I asked the man his answer was so simple that I would never have guessed it. They’ve been over watered. He asked about my other plants and told me in the future to make sure that it isn’t just the top of the soil that is dry, he said only to water the plants if the soil is dry for more than an inch; well so far none of my plants have ever been allowed to get so dry.

After taking his advice he also told me about a type of tomato plant that needs little work, doesn’t need the side shoots taking off and he said off one plant he was able to fill 3 buckets with fruit, I’m sure that was just a metaphor as the fruit doesn’t come off all at the same time, but he even spent some time looking for a young plant that didn’t have any issues with the leaves and wasn’t too wet, advised me to bring it home and replant it straight away into a much bigger pot which I have done and expect a decent fruit off it from next month (July). The variety of the tomato is Totem so I have had a look on the internet on gardening websites and this is what I have found.

“Perfect for container growing, this dwarf tomato plant only becomes 10 to 12 inches tall, but produces lots of flavorful, small red tomatoes. Dark green, quilted leaves are attractive and fruit is abundant, making this a great variety for indoor gardening. Needs no staking.” http://www.tomatogrowers.com/small.htm

So hopefully this will be a new trial worth fighting for.

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