Category: Gardening


Tomato Update

Why does it seem like such a chore to write during the summer? I don’t mean to let an entire week go between updates but that seems harder to avoid during summer break. I think I did the same thing last year, too.

Anyway, I thought I’d do an update on the tomatoes, which still seem to be going strong.

Despite the main stem of the Sweet 100s — the part closest to the planter — turning a sickly yellow, the far-flung branches are still a pretty green and are still producing fruit and blossoms. We had a caterpillar issue last month but we’ve sprayed it and haven’t seen anything since, though it may still be affecting it. I suspected blight but it doesn’t look like those pictures. Either way, our temps are firmly in the 100s now so I think overall it’s still doing really well.

Sadly, we’ve all but given up on the beefsteaks. We’ve had several that have made it to a beautiful deep red with a decent size, but you flip it over and they’ve all got blossom end rot or the tops around the vine end are splitting. Mike has a coworker that also grows tomatoes and he says he’s never been able to grow any of the big varieties here.

So, we’ve considered taking out the beefsteak and giving the Sweet 100s some more room, but at the same time I think the beefsteak is providing some support, so we’re just going to wait and see. Next year we’re going to do a bigger cherry tomato variety (the Sweet 100s are great, but they’re tiny) and try some Roma tomatoes.



We have tomatoes! Hannah spotted this one over the weekend and after we gave it another couple of days we decided to pick it. These guys are so tiny.

There are a bunch more in the orange stage and as I mentioned last week, there are still blossoms popping up too.

Last night we sprayed the plants down with the caterpillar killer so I’m hoping that starts working soon and my poor leaves stop getting munched.

If you’re here often or via Tuesdays With Dorie, you’ve noticed I didn’t do this week’s project. I decided to give this one a pass because I really couldn’t justify all. that. butter. since we’re trying to watch what we put in our pie holes. I’ll let you know how that goes.


EarthTainer Update #6: Nooooo!

Last Friday I was out poking around the tomato plants and saw a bunch of chomped leaves (above), and a lot of little brown dots spread across several more. Now, I’m not a gardening expert but I do have enough experience with critters to know that little pellets usually mean one thing: poop.

I Googled it and came up with… ugh. Tomato Hornworms. I went straight back out and immediately spotted one happily chowing down on a leaf. He didn’t last long. I’ve only found two more since, and they’re not big yet (thankfully, because gross), and we went out last night to hunt down some more. Yuck!

Unfortunately, we also had one of our main stems snap in half over the weekend. We got some wind kicking through all Friday and Friday night, and the stem couldn’t handle it and collapsed. We carefully removed it and everything else looks to be doing pretty well, but I’m disappointed about all the lost tomatoes on that branch.

The Sweet 100s are going crazy. Not only do we have bunches of nearly-full sized tomatoes, but we’re still getting new blossoms. I can’t wait until these guys are ready!

We also finally have some beefsteaks making an appearance. These blossoms seem to stay put forever.

So for next year we already know that we have to put up the cage around these guys, and we need to research pest-repelling plants like marigolds to put around them. I’m kind of miffed that some stupid moths found their way into our little courtyard to lay their stupid eggs, but I think for this year we’re going to give one of the recommended sprays a try (like this one).

Have you had to deal with tomato pests? What worked best for you?