The ramblings of a woman,
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Garden Attempts by Novices - Take 15

June 7, 2007 - 1:57 PM

or I knew it was too good to be true.

or 10 to 1 the tomatoes die.

If you would have seriously asked me back in April what vegetable I thought would be the hardest of all, I would have told you hands down tomatoes.


But doesn't everyone do tomatoes? And haven't you successfully done onions and broccoli and lettuce? What makes tomatoes so hard?


Growing tomatoes has always been a scary thing for me. I do not know what it is about them that makes them so intimidating. I think it is... partially their size... Partially their bugs... Partially their long list of ailments. And I foreknew they would all happen to me.

Needless to say, our tomato plants are not doing so hot but hopefully are now on the mend. With all this wonderful rain, our garden has been so happy both veggies and weeds alike. So one would think, "Hey, the tomatoes must be getting huge?" Nope. I go to them the other day and they have these huge brown, rotten spots on the bottom of them and some of their leaves are getting dark brown/black. Ew! Ew! Ew! and Bummer to boot!

Issue #1: I started surfing for rotten tomato plants but kept getting movie links so I switched to brown spots on bottom and found out that my tomatoes are suffering from "Blossom End Rot" which means they have a calcium deficiency which makes the brown spots. Bummer!

Rotten Tomatoes

Solution: Super Cal! Some calcium supplement I have to water with that has been ranked one of the best solutions for Blossom End Rot. The gardener said that hope is not lost!

Issue #2: Tomato Blight! What? All I know is that is what it is called. Sick looking leaves from too much fungus er something or other?

Straw & Dust!

Solution: Turns out I need to mulch my tomato bed so that the water and dirt from watering doesn't splash up on the plants and that I need to prune off sick branches and that I shouldn't water overhead. The gardener also said that I needed to give it some extra nutrients for good measure. We picked up a few handfuls of free straw from the garden shop and am doing a whole bale for the rest of the garden just for good measure. I think that all our plants could seriously take a break after the days and days of rain they have been getting.

Either way, I knew these tomatoes were going to stretch my gardening skills. If I based my success on tomatoes alone I would never do this again.

But the positive results so far are huge!! Do you know what I heard the other day? Well, first I heard, "Mom, can I have a bigger portion of broccoli?" Then I heard, "Mom, can I have seconds of broccoli?" Amazing! They said it would happen in the books and they are right! Kids will eat what they plant! (Now, I have friends whose kids will eat Brussels sprouts with huge grins on their faces and ask for seconds, but not my kids. They eat veggies because they have to, but they are never asked for more of them, let alone seconds!)

Next coming to harvest is our cabbage! They are looking great! Ezekiel is the most excited about these guys for sure and can't wait to try them!

Our purple cabbage is huge! I am assuming that they too will form heads like the green ones. I honestly, don't know. I should ask someone. I have no clue what it is up to or how we got them so big, but I think next year we will try and grow the biggest one for the county fair. These ones are huge but not big enough!

Huge Cabbage!

by Dana

Response to Garden Attempts by Novices - Take 15

  • Amy said on June 19, 2007 - 11:28 AM

    It's amazing what they may actually eat - and we haven't even grown brussel sprouts before. We planted a whole bunch of them last week to see if any come up here. Good luck with your tomatoes. I don't have any fruit on mine. I need to get a non-nitrogen fertiziler this week. Nitrogen promotes healthy green stuff but the plant puts more effort into the green stuff than actual fruit and that's not the point of tomato plants. Have you started composting from your kitchen scraps yet?

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