Perhaps it was optimistic to plant so many tomato plants when all the community garden old-timers were predicting another hard year of blight. No one harvested a single tomato last year they all said. Blight wiped out everyone’s crops.
They say luck favors the bold. Or is it that you make your own luck? Whatever the case, we have 35 tomato plants and more than half of them have set forth green globes. I want tomatoes clear through to next summer, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make my babies as healthy as possible.
If you swung by the gardens this morning, you might have seen me — er, scratch that — you might not have seen me crouched among my tomato plants, pruning the leaves off the lowest 6-8″ of stem on each vine. I should have done this weeks ago. In fact, I got started weeks ago, but I spared my cherry tomato plants the trauma of clipping off the suckers. Bad news for me. My cherry tomatoes sprawled everywhere, stems and branches akimbo in an effort to reach the sun.
All in all, I clipped off a bucket’s worth of branches and vines from the whole bed. The cherries had it worst because I had started them indoors and they weren’t as strong as the plants we purchased from the greenhouses, so I let them carry on a bit before I paid them any attention. And then this morning, I crawled between plants to clip off any small branches lower than 8″, the point being that no leaves touch the ground, and the plant focuses its energy on one or two main stems. Now you can see clear from one side of the bed down ten feet to the other side.
All that’s left is to increase my weeding efforts. And shower. I’m yellow with tomato pollen.