Tomato garden FAIL

Here’s my 14 measly scrawny little FAILURES of tomato plants — they’ve been in the ground (or potted) since the middle of May and what?  I’ve gotten maybe 8 tomatoes from them?  EPIC tomato fail…

tomato-garden-fail(Oh yeah, there are 2 strawberry plants in there as well, and they’re ALSO an epic fruit fail, having yielding about 6 strawberries.  WTF?  I’m going back to hydroponics.)

34 Responses to “Tomato garden FAIL”

  1. 1 mouthyorange Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Pathetic. I see a cherry tomato in the front plant on the right, though, and I want it. Although I suppose you should have it!

  2. 2 Q Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Must be the soil, they seem to have good light.

    Perhaps Miracle Grow sister.

  3. 3 Audrey II Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I had the same thing happen with my tomatoes. The cucumbers don’t look like they’re going to fare well either. In fact, the only thing that doesn’t seem to have been affected by the cold weather and late growing season has been the lettuce and the rhubarb.

    Too bad. I was looking forward to doing some canning this year.

  4. 4 deBeauxOs Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Tomato plants need exposure to full sunlight (minimum 8 hours) and heat to produce fruit.

  5. 5 Phatbiker Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Tomatos are heavy feeders like corn and pot. They need fluffy well drained soil with a neutral PH. Add dolomite If you add peat or manure because they will make the soil too acid when they rot. A little drink of 20-20-20 every two weeks helps alot. May not be a good idea to plant Strawberrys next to tomatos. Strawberrys do not like getting thirsty. Insect infestations can severly retard plant growth, use neem oil (Einstein oil) which is organic and safe to get rid of chewing pests (Spider mites, white fly, etc.). Do not over water tomatos or they might split.
    We have got 6 tomato plants and have a bumper crop, we are still getting lots of strawberrys (everbearing). Mind you we been having very hot weather here (+30C today) since the middle of June.

  6. 7 J. A. Baker Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I don’t really keep a garden. Our back yard’s too small, I think I have a Black Thumb (instead of a Green Thumb). Plants tend to die on me.

    In the first house I remember (our second time in Austin – we moved away from and back to Austin probably 5 times while I was growing up), we had a garden in the back yard. One year I tried my hand at gardening. Probably the only thing I managed to grow successfully that year were some radishes, and rather puny ones, at that.

  7. 8 Bruce Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    OMG! I hate to give you a hard time, but I will, you know I love you. Is it the climate this year? It’s Vancouver Island fer cripe’s sake. I lived not too far from you and gardening was a breeze, I mean you can put a burnt matchstick in the ground with a reasonable expectation that it’ll sprout.

  8. 9 hemmingforddogblog Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 12:56 am

    I’m with Bruce. The “weather” this summer in southern Quebec has been bizarre. The frost at the end of May(!) killed all the plants that I had put in. Then it started raining. That ended at the end of July. Last week we had four days of hot summer weather. Thursday morning the temperature was 7C! My everbearing strawberries started ripening, but the chocolate lab ate them. The only success was the garlic that was planted last fall. Emmm, fresh garlic. No vampires here!

    BTW The frost we had at the end of May killed a lot of the buds on the apples at the orchards around here. We are in apple country — ice wine.

  9. 10 mouthyorange Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 1:54 am

    Phatbiker — will neem oil get rid of mealy bugs too? On indoor plants? I so don’t want to use pesticides, for every good reason including that pyrethrins are dangerous to cats.

    SQ – You must have had the same four days of hot Summer weather we had in eastern Ontario. And it WAS damned cold a couple of mornings this week! — I’m distressed to hear about the late Spring frost killing buds on the apples. I’m in apple country, too. Been looking forward to those early gingery flavoured whatever they’re called variety.

  10. 11 Dr. Prole Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 6:48 am

    I forgot to cover my plants last night and now I’m worried about blight – oops!

    We’ve got 2 potted cherry tomatoes that have been doing pretty well, meaning we’re picking 2 good handfuls every day. I planted a med. sized fruit in a bigger pot, and there’s lots of green ones on there but I think we’ll be lucky to get 2 ripe before the weather turns.

    It’s not a good climate for tomatoes even though this summer has been better than most. There is that pesky blight, too, I’m not sure if you get that on the island or not.

    Don’t put the plants in your compost because if they have a virus it could spread next year.

  11. 12 Phatbiker Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 7:21 am

    MO, Yes neem oil can control mealy bugs and is safe and nontoxic for pets (can be mixed with shampoo for fleas and ticks). . It doesn’t have much of a smell, kind of like chopped scallions. Not gross like raid. Its not a contact poison but kills over time as it screws up their reproduction and life cycle.

  12. 13 mouthyorange Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Holy shit. Thanks, Phatbiker.

  13. 14 JJ Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 9:57 am




  14. 15 JJ Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Q and deBeauxOs – The garden is facing south/south-west, so they get sunlight about 12 hours a day at the height of summer (only about 8 hours a day now). Plus the shed wall reflects light and heat back out — that is the hottest place on my entire property, behind the shed. I can sit out there and read on a sunny day in January.

  15. 16 JJ Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 10:08 am

    phatbiker – Whoa, a farmer! 😉 8) Thanks for the great advice! It may be too late this year (wish I’d asked earlier), but I’ll keep this all in mind for next year.

    One of the primary problems this year was drought. For this part of the world, we had very little precip this year (not counting the huge dump of snow last winter), and the ground is bone-dry even 3 feet down. Since I have a well (that’s it in the far left corner, the little boxy looking thing), I can’t risk watering the plants as much as they need.

    Also, the soil is fairly fucked. I gave it a break last year and didn’t grow anything, but next year I need to get a pickup load of really good soil and dump it in, plus the nutrients you mention. (Spider mites — OMG, visions of washing leaves with milk in the middle of the night…)

  16. 17 JJ Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 10:09 am

    brebis Yes! 😡 Just not enough 😉

  17. 18 JJ Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 10:11 am

    JAB – Radishes are pretty easy to grow around here. I wish I canned and jarred radishes for spaghetti sauce, but woe is me, I prefer tomato sauce 😉

  18. 19 JJ Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 10:17 am


    you can put a burnt matchstick in the ground with a reasonable expectation that it’ll sprout.

    I know! 😯 That’s usually how it is — normally, those tomato plants would be so BIG that you wouldn’t even be able to see the well behind them. We didn’t get enough rain this year… also, too many people are moving into the area, and it’s fucking up the aquifer, which I think might be affecting the soil. Normally there’s lots of H2O in the ground, and the soil is pretty moist, but not any more.

    You just wait til next year! Things will be different 😛

  19. 20 JJ Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 10:20 am

    SQ – You got the weather we were supposed to have during April and May. We hardly got any rain this year, and everyone’s gardens are suffering (it’s not just me). Even the corn farmer down the road said his crop sucks this year — and I thought corn might be the one thing that would benefit from all the dry heat, but no.

  20. 21 JJ Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Dr.Prole – Do you think my tomato plants are diseased? 😯 They could be… I’ve pulled off a few leaves that are all shriveled and blighted looking. Fuck.

    They seem to be finally ripening, but the plants are ridiculously small and so is the fruit. Even the friggin beefsteak tomatoes look like cherry tomatoes… the cherry tomatoes look like little red ball bearings. Sad!

  21. 22 JJ Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Phatbiker – Thanks for the link! That’ll come in handy. If I have a garden next year, and that’s a pretty big “IF” (don’t even get me started on the flower gardens…)

  22. 23 mouthyorange Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 10:42 am

    I trust you realize I wasn’t saying that your care of the garden was pathetic? 😦 I was saying that what the garden has presented you with is pathetic. A pathetic showing!

    You do know that, don’t you? Don’t you? (Slightly melodramatic worried face)

    P.S. – Sounds like that cherry tomato I was wanting is a beefsteak tomato.

  23. 24 hemmingforddogblog Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Manure is what you need! Lots of good stinkin’ manure! 🙂

  24. 25 JJ Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    orange – Don’t worry 😉 I know. The garden is, in fact, pathetic and deserving of the utmost scorn… even weeds won’t grow there. (Seriously: I haven’t had to weed in over a month.) Next year! I’ll make up for it next year!

  25. 26 JJ Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    SQ – Yep, and I plan on getting a truckload of black soil that’s part BULLSHIT later in the fall and dumping it into my pathetic garden in preparation for next year’s MEGA-garden.

  26. 27 mouthyorange Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Oh no! Now I’ve promoted scorn for the garden! I don’t think that’ll help things grow …

  27. 29 JJ Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Don’t worry, nothing will grow there anyway. Garden of EVIL 😯 😉

  28. 30 hemmingforddogblog Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Re Bullshit: Do you plan on backing that truck up to The Manning Centre for Building Democracy? I understand they produce 24/7…

  29. 31 J. A. Baker Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Wow. How did a post on a non-political, non-kitteh subject get thirty-plus comments? 😆 😆 😆 😆

  30. 32 JJ Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    SQ – Yes, and I’ll also be backing my truck up to the loading dock behind Lifesite. I should be able to get enough bullshit from them to grow an acre of tomato plants for 100 years.

  31. 33 JJ Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    JAB – Weirdly enough, this kind of post usually gets the most responses. Don’t ask me 😆 😛

    ETA – Also, of the 33 responses, 14 of them are me.

  32. 34 Jerry Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I also think it’s the soil. Also, what are you using for pest control? Are you staying organic and getting bug sprays, such as Safer Brand Tomato and Vegetable Insect Killer?

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