Tomatoes…end of season and looking like it!

This was a so-so year for my tomatoes, part of the problem was me and part the weather.

What I did wrong:

*waited too long to pot up my seedlings, they stayed in their starter trays for at least a month so they started off starved and stunted because..

*waited too long to start feeding the seedlings.  I usually start feeding them diluted liquid fertilizer when I pot them up.

*waited too long to introduce them to the outside world. Normally when around the end of April when the days are warmer and longer I’ll set the trays of youngsters on the back porch where they’re exposed to real sunlight and evening chill.  If it’s going to drop below 40 degrees at night or if some really lousy weather is forecast I’ll bring the trays inside for the duration.

*didn’t change the dirt in their planters.  I grow my tomatoes in large planters that I’ve been using for years and most of the potting mix has been in the planters for years.  Even though I fertilize and enrich I think the mix is exhausted and needs to be replaced – especially since we’ve had blight in the area for two of the past three years.  2010 was a total disaster.

So while I got some really good tomatoes I have ended up with a rather disappointing harvest overall.

Didn’t have nearly as many tomatoes produced as I would have expected and I think that may also be due in part to some of the severe storms we had while the plants were blooming – I lost a lot of blooms.

Also I had more rot in September than I’ve ever had before:

German Orange Strawberry Tomato

Wayahead Tomato

The tomato that had the worst issue with the rot is the German Orange Strawberry, the tomatoes get nice and big but I lost quite a few before they ever got ripe.

This year’s selection:
Yellow Pear – it’s an heirloom, tastes great, very susceptible to blight but it’s a real trooper!

German Orange Strawberry – it’s big and orange, is shaped like a strawberry, sweet and tastes good cold.

Wayahead – tried for the first time this year, medium sized red tomato, nothing distinguishable about it so far. I’ll probably try again next year since I still have seeds and if I treat it better….

Tumbling Tiger – very pretty red and green fruit, look like huge grapes, English hybrid, tastes good but did not produce well this year.  Needed more sun?

Super Mater – a grafted hybrid hubby picked up from the garden center – I don’t think we ever got any fruit off of it.

Black Pearl – a small dark red mottled cherry tomato, supposed to be very flavorful.  I’ll probably try them again next year and see if they do better with proper care in their early life.

So next year I will again start my tomatoes from seed and hopefully give them a better start in life than they got this year!

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