Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.
It’s August. Time for me to be out in the garden twice a day, plucking fat, juicy tomatoes from plants five and six at a time. It’s a time when the tomatoes overflow on the kitchen counter and end up as give-aways at work.
That’s my tomato tradition. But not this year.
My plants are spindly and don’t have much fruit. What’s there is smaller than normal. While I haven’t had much disease, the plants themselves look sort of pathetic, as if they’re just hanging on.
These are Early Girl, Celebrity and Sweet 100, varieties I always plant because I know I can rely on them.
I think the heat had something to do with it. While I’m religious about watering, tomatoes are known to drop their blossoms when the temperature passes 90 degrees. Maybe I watered so much that I should have egged the plants on with a bit of fertilizer — something I’ve never had to do.
My plants are in a raised bed when I switched out about half the soil. But I wonder if a maple tree is beginning to shade the spot a bit.
I’m going to blame the weather. I was at a farmers market this weekend where several people came to the Master Gardener table to ask, “What’s wrong with my tomatoes?” So I know I’m not the only one.
How’s your tomato crop this year?
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