Monday, July 6, 2009

Over Too Soon

At the beginning of spring I never would have believed that my tomatoes would be all played out by the beginning of July. But that's indeed what has happened. You may recall the issues I had with my cherry tomato, Sweet Million. Eventually that plant succumbed to spider mites and a general unhappiness and went to the big compost pile in the sky.

Last week the lovely Cherokee Purple tomato started looking bad starting from the bottom leaves and going upward. I'm sure it probably had some type of wilt, probably not too surprising for an heirloom plant. But the tomatoes were still hanging in there fairly well. Until a few days ago. Then some beastie, be it a squirrel, bird, racoon, or possum, started eating my almost ripe tomatoes. What nerve!! I tried to stick it out but finally, after losing one too many tomatoes to the unknown critter, I picked the rest of them even though they weren't fully ripe. So sad.

All is not lost though. I plan to start my fall crop of tomatoes soon. This is really the toughest time in a southern garden, so keeping baby tomato plants alive in August will be a challenge. (You don't know how hard it is to get motivated about new plants when everything and everyone is barely surviving the heat!) I've never attempted this before, probably because of how difficult it seemed and the typical summer malaise. But I'm thinking I'm up for the challenge this year so wish me luck!


  1. They look pretty good Jean and will ripen quickly. My tomatoes are always pretty well over by July and that is when they come out or I cut them back to where I see a decent shoot. If I can find some I do plant new ones. I threw some seeds in the ground today in the hope that they would germinate. I too am plagued with mites plus early blight and nematodes. In such a small veg garden it is really hard to rotate. Good luck with your next planting.

  2. I know exactly how hard it is to get motivated about new plants in this summer weather, at least when I'm out in my own garden and can see the devastation. BUT then I visit a nursery and allow myself to be seduced by how good things look there. I conveniently forget that they're watering about 10 times a day.

    Hang in there, fellow sufferer!

  3. Hi Jean, those Cherokee Purples are beautiful! I NEVER let my tomatoes ripen on the vine. In fact, as soon as they begin to turn whatever color from the green, they go to my windowsill. I will not lose any to birds or beasts. I just read on someone's blog, can't remember whose, about starting their fall tomatoes from cuttings from the summer ones. It seems like such a good idea, have you ever tried that?

  4. Frances, I've heard of starting fall tomatoes from cuttings but have never tried that. In fact, I've never tried growing fall tomatoes at all (other than the good ol' Sungold which will grow from spring to fall). My Cherokee Purple is not looking that good so I don't know if I'll have any good cuttings to take. I'm hoping my supplier of quality herb and veggie plants shows up at the farmers' market this weekend. Then I'll buy from him.


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