Sunday, May 23, 2010

So far, so good!

I hesitate a bit typing that title-- I feel like I might be tempting fate. Weather this year has me a bit concerned, because we've had cooler, rainy days alternating with warm/hot, humid days. This is a recipe for fungal diseases, which can destroy tomatoes in no time. To be safe, I'm going to start spraying today as a preventive measure. I was just out visiting the plants, tying up the newer growth to the stakes where needed. I'm amazed at how fast these grow!

Here are pictures of all of the plants:

They really are getting tall, and I'm having to stay on top of pinching at least some of the suckers off to keep them from getting totally out of control. I want to keep them staked as opposed to caging them-- I was NOT a fan of the whole caging thing last year. It is easier, but I think that letting the plants get so bushy in the cages encouraged disease. I know staking isn't a guarantee they won't get sick, but I feel like I can monitor the plants better and more closely when they're staked.

I took pics of some of the blooms appearing on the plants. This one is Mortgage Lifter-- it has lots of blooms on it, and I'm cautiously optimistic that it looks like couple have already fertilized-- they're closing up and don't show signs of dropping.

Here are the blooms on Marianna's Peace, my favorite from last year. Don't know why, but these are noticeably bigger than the blooms on the other plants-- this plant can bear LARGE fruit, so maybe the size of the bloom is comparable to the size of the fruit? I really don't know, but find these beautiful.

Finally, here's a pic of the "star performer" so far this year-- Pink Potato Top. This one is a MONSTER! It's taller, bushier and has lots more blooms than the other plants. Mortgage Lifter may give it a run for it's money, but for right now PPT is bigger and badder than the other plants. I tried it specifically because I read that it's a heavy and reliable bearer and it looks like that might, indeed, be the case.

It's also supposed to have good flavor, which I hope is true since it looks like I may have a lot of fruit from it. I just hope I can keep these plants healthy (at least, healthier) this year-- I'm really looking forward to trying all of the different tomatoes to see which are best!


  1. Yarghh!! what happened after this? just dying to know more about your tomato growing exoerience. i am growing 13 kinds of maters this year, all from seed. this is the first time ever and i am so excited! i am also nervous as the one and only heirloom i have ever purchased last year from Lowe's (a Black Krim from Bonnie Plants) was ravaged by insects or some disease. the hybrids always produce though.

  2. So sorry I fell off the face of the earth after this entry! Last year ended up being pretty much a bust for my maters. I got a some off of every plant, except the Pink Potato Top. As beautiful as it looked when I posted this, it ended up with little leaf-- the bucket I had it in stayed too wet and got overheated. It made LOTS of tomatoes, but they were all afflicted and tiny.

    I think my problems last year were a combination of the heat and the buckets I used. As much as I like my homemade E-Buckets, they are just too small for the honking-huge heirloom plants! This year I'm going to try some other, bigger containers.

    I'm growing a few heirlooms (Marianna's Peace is still my favorite so I will try to always grow that) but most of what I'm planting this year will be hybrids that are heat-tolerant. I'm hoping that *this* will be my year for a bumper crop!