Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tomato Shake Up

Better Boy tomatoes certainly haven't turned out better in our container garden this year. Back in February and March I started several Better Boys from seeds, nurtured the three strongest seedlings into to healthy young plants, and set them out in mid-March and April. All looked great for a while, as they grew rapidly for the first few weeks. Then, two of the plants just stopped growing at about two feet while the third sprouted up to about five feet. Soon after their growth slowed, the leaves of the two stunted plants became a mottled yellow and green. Following this unsightly occurrence, their blooms began drying up and falling off. Now, leaves on the five foot plant have also started to yellow, while its blooms are also showing signs of drying out. So far it has produced only three small green tomatoes.

I'm assuming that some sort of early blight infected the plants or that they just couldn't overcome a short stretch of 105 degree weather we had in mid-May.

So, a couple of days ago I decided to pull the plug on the smallest Better Boys, replacing one with a Heatwave and the other with a Sunmaster. While it may be too late for these to produce in the Summer, the mature plants will hopefully provide a good crop in the fall. I'm still undecided on whether to replace the taller plant immediately or leave it a while in hopes that its three tomatoes ripen.


Julie said...

Hi there! You have inspired me to do more vegetable gardening at home! Your grilled okra looks wonderful, and I intend to try that this weekend. I'm sure your tomato plants only succumbed to the extreme heat there! I am in south Florida, and I have 2 bushes and everyone keeps telling me mine won't make it, but they are putting on fruit right now! I will move them into the screenroom for some shade, if I have to , but I would rather leave them in the sun. Best wishes for your continued container gardening!!!

Matt and Jen said...

Hi John! Thanks for stopping by our little garden.
Isn't it just heartbreaking to lose even one tomato plant? I mean, is the king of the garden, right? We lost a majority of our tomato seedlings this year and had to replace them too.

Tip of the hat at your innate drive to garden in such a harsh environment. That seems like quite a challenge. Good luck with your new blog and your containers! -Jen :)

Jennifer said...

We haven't had much luck with our Better Boy plant either. It has some odd discoloration on the leaves and it's growth stuted at about a foot tall. We got starts from the farmer's market and transplanted them into our community garden. We also have a Roma, which is doing well, and a Brandywine that is as good as dead.

I love tomatoes so much, not sure what is getting to them.

John said...

Thanks for the wonderful comments Julie, Jen, and Jennifer. Glad to hear that my little garden has inspired you Julie and that your tomatoes are doing well. All of mine except for the Better Boys are producing fine also. Sorry to hear that you too are having some problems with your plants Jen and Jennifer. Hope the remaining ones and replacements thrive.