Tomatoes these days… *sigh*

7 Dec

I’ve said it before, but I love love love tomatoes. Last year I was slow off the mark and planted only three hybrids. They thrived in only partial sun, and I was inundated with lovely little baby romas.

This year I planned big. I had a decent early crop of Stupice, and I grew approximately 50 other plants from seed. I gave some away and kept about 40. I planned to grow most of them in pots. I think that in any other year my plan would have been solid. Not this year.

We have had cold wet weather punctuated by stinking hot weather, followed by more (and more) cold wet weather.

My tomatoes (all of them) have succumbed to fungal disease and grubs. The Stupices were decimated. The other plants that set fruit early have holes munched in the tomatoes and most of the leaves are yellow and stunted.

All my organic ambitions flew out the window and a few days ago I pulled out the tomato dust.

I sheepishly moved some of the tomatoes to the back deck (out of public view) and dusted them ferociously. They have actually recovered somewhat since then and put on healthy growing tips. I think if I keep it up I might have healthy (if not extremely tall) plants.

Earlier today I swung by the nursery on our way home from playgroup to buy some replacement seedlings. I probably shouldn’t have bothered. The (outdoor) nursery has clearly had the same weather as we have had, and all their tomato plants were as bad as mine. I bought a punnet of the Burke’s Backyard Italian tomatoes ‘Costoluto di Marmande’. They are small, but I think healthy enough to recover.

There wasn’t enough room out back for all of the pots, so this afternoon I pulled out the globe artichokes from Bed A, added compost and planted out some of the healthier looking tomato specimens, along with the ‘Costoluto di Marmande’. I finished planting and mulching just in time for (you guessed it) the rain to start.

How are your tomatoes going? Go on, tell me the truth – I can handle it (I think!)

10 Responses to “Tomatoes these days… *sigh*”

  1. Lilian December 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    For some reason mine haven’t fared too badly with this blast of winter this week. I was half expecting them to keel over and die (with the cold/hot weather that we’re getting in Sydney). I must admit that these were the ones that just kinda popped out of the compost pile (which was relocated into the veggie patch) and are sprouting willy nilly through the garden path and everywhere else… so I don’t know what ‘variety’ they are. Last year the same thing happened and I got tiny little cherry tomato ones which were hardy as… this year, they seem to be getting bigger than the usual thumbnail size. Not sure if I’ll be harvesting much this summer – it’s so damp and cold!

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney December 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

      Funny you say that Lilian – My friends’ self-seeded tomatoes look pretty good too!

  2. Robyn December 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Well, actually, my tomatoes are looking brilliant for the first time ever! Got no idea why although I will say that I think the netting we’ve got over them helps. It’s fine enough that various moths and butterflies can’t get in at them, which means I’ve had a grand total of 3 caterpillars so far. I have put tomato dust on them about 3 times since planting, so I think that’s helping too. Mine are reasonably sheltered from the worst of the sun and I suppose being planted in the ground, don’t get drowned either???

  3. L from 500m2 in Sydney December 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    Yes, your netting setup probably helps. From memory you have 1 hybrid Apollo and one heirloom San Marzano – is the Apollo looking better? The hybrids are generally bred for disease resistance, so I’d expect so.

  4. Jo from the green backyard December 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    Mine are looking good too, sorry. There are planty of caterpillars and slugs, but they are leaving the tomatoes alone and eating all the kale and radishes.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney December 7, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

      Oh, I’m being left with the growing possibility that I’m just an incompetent tomato-grower 😦 Maybe the pots are a bad idea.

  5. Vanilla Pods & Green Beans December 7, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    *sigh* I am having the same issues .. I have two baby tomatoes in pots which have lots of green leaves lots of hight lots of green fruit but because of the crazy weather we have been having the fruit won’t ripen and there is a lack of flowers. I have moved the tomatoes to the porch where they get the afternoon sun, warmth from the bricks but are not being hammered by the wild wind and rain that we have been getting. Fingers crossed they will ripen up soon. Here’s to potted tomatoes .. grow pretty please

  6. Phoebe December 8, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    That is such a shame! My toms are slow because we haven’t really had hot weather I guess.
    I had trouble with fruit fly and blight last year. Hopefully your new ones pick up!

  7. Barbara Good December 8, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Mine aren’t looking to bad, but I’ve some trouble with black spot (I’ve resorted to tomato dust too. It seems once I got the snail bait out all hopes of an organic garden flew out the window). I have several with little fruit on them and almost all (other than a couple of really little ones) have flowers. I’m hopeful of a good abundant crop…..

  8. Asydfoodie December 11, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    Pots didn’t give my tomatoes enough room to grow, but they went nuts after I put them in the planter box. This year I’m getting some fruit, a few caterpillar nibbles, but no crop yet.

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