Taymose Woes

I really shouldn’t be calling these woes (it could certainly be worse)…But it sounded good with “taymose” which is how the baby (she’s nearly two but I can’t seem to stop referring to her as “the baby”) pronounces “tomatoes”.

Look mommy! Here's one that is not ripe.

Look mommy! Here’s one that is not ripe.

We have lost equal amounts of tomatoes this season to the Baby Tomato Caper as we have to blossom end rot (maybe a dozen fruits to each). But, I ate my first two ripe tomatoes today! One yellow sun cherry (which I shared with the Chief Taymose Picker) and an orange icicle that I ate with romaine, spinach, sweet potato and hot sauce on pumpernickel bread. It was all so exciting (hahaha) I neglected to get pictures of either. Both tomatoes were bursting with freshness and sweet and tart and worth the eyesore they are in the garden. Maybe eyesore is a bit harsh.

25 Tomato Plants (there is also some amaranth, marigolds, basil and oregano planted among the tomatoes)

25 Tomato Plants (there is also some amaranth, marigolds, basil and oregano planted among the tomatoes)

Note the ray of light NOT shining upon the tomato patch in the foreground hahahhaa

Note the ray of light NOT shining upon the tomato patch in the foreground hahahhaa

When tomato plants are bushy and tall and lush they look great. My tomato plants are not bushy or lush. They are sort of tall but look more spindly and sad than the tomato forest I envisioned. The pictures above are not the greatest, but you can see the dirt is more noticeable than the plants in the curving garden bed. They are planted in the first bed that you see when you walk into the garden (making them more susceptible to Baby Tomato Caper). They are at the top of a slope so there is decreased moisture (making them more susceptible to blossom end rot). So the important question here is:

What good are woes without plans to turn them into “whoas!”?…

Fruitless complaints! Hahahaha

So here are my plans to improve the tomato situation next year:

I am going to plant them down in the back nine. Where the sorghum and cucumber obelisk grows now. Also I am going to think harder about the number of plants. I’m thinking 17 or 19. Because I like odd numbers and because 25 is a few too many. I like having multiple varieties (we have 7 now), but tomato plants are kind of high-maintenance. Suckering, tying them up, plus the plants stink and leave a residue on your hands that is hard to scrub out if you’ve spent awhile wrangling them. In the meantime, I will continue to guide “the baby” to picking the little yellow “starbees” (strawberries) instead of the green “taymose” and hope for more vine-ripened goodness soon!

11 thoughts on “Taymose Woes

  1. Pingback: 11. Tomato Review | Spy Garden

  2. gardenengineer

    It’s difficult to find the right density of tomato plants. Too sparse (like we had last year), and there is very little crop. Too dense (year before last), and they are susceptible to any number of maladies. We have what looks like the right balance this year (bordering on the dense) and yet, we have not had many ripe tomatoes (there are plenty of green ones). We’ve had good success with tomato cages but only when the cages are braced with a hefty stake. Good luck!

    1. Spy Garden Post author

      Thanks! This summer was pretty mild and so hasn’t been a great year for the heat-loving tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. The braced-cage idea is a good one, that would definitely cut down on tying them up (at least until they grow taller than the cage!)

  3. Mominthegarden

    Can I just say “adorable”?! How wonderful to have your little one sharing in the garden! I haven’t tried tomatoes as I think they’d need more heat than Ireland typically has. But your post has me so wanting to plant them! :-)

    1. Spy Garden Post author

      Thanks ;) It is pretty exciting to see the kids taking big bites out of tomatoes in the garden. They are so eager to taste everything out there. Of course, once the produce comes inside the enthusiasm does wane a bit hahah There are lots of shorter season cool weather tomato varieties you could try: both heirloom and hybrids. We have had an unusually cool summer here I actually wish I had tried one of those types! I found this link you may want to check it out to get some ideas: http://www.tomatodirt.com/tomatoes-for-cold-climates.html

      1. Mominthegarden

        Oh My Gosh! I had no idea about cool weather tomatoes! I am definitely going to see if I can get some seeds for next year. (oh I bet you are laughing at me right now! I seem to learn these things WAY after everyone else! lol!). Thanks so much for the tip!

  4. The Belmont Rooster

    Very cute little girl you have! OH, sometimes to many tomatoes is not enough. I planted I planted over 20 plants in 2012 and didn’t get to eat any more tomatoes than when I had 6 plants. The heat makes the flowers fall off and they won’t set much fruit till the temps cool down below 90 (usually). When this happens, you will have hundreds of green tomatoes when the first frosts knocks them dead. In a good year, I agree, you can have to many plants. I have grown several varieties I thought would set fruit in the Mississippi heat, and they didn’t do any better. Dad’s bought his late this year and they have LOADS of nice tomatoes and are still setting on a few. They are a hybrid called ‘Beefsteak’.

    1. Spy Garden Post author

      Thanks again for your nice comments! I have heard of that hybrid. Usually all I grow are heirlooms because I like to have the option of saving the seeds. Agree that every year is different for every crop!

  5. natarunmore

    I see this is a trend.. :) I like your suggestions because I also have far too many plants and not a big enough space. I also realize how tomato cages aren’t working for me, I learned the hard way. I’ll have to use stakes next year, I think my plants will do much better this way.


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