Friday, July 23, 2010

Tomato Update

We had some wicked thunderstorms work though our area last Wednesday evening. Tornadoes even touched down in several locations in southern Maine. The National Weather Service has confirmed three E1 tornadoes so far.  Surprisingly no one was hurt but there was some damage. One story in particular touched my heart. A barn collapsed in Gorham, ME. As soon as it happened, the community rushed to the site to help rescue the animals trapped in the fallen debris: Portland Press Herald “Farmers find friends indeed.”

No tornadoes here at the garden spot, but we did have some strong winds that knocked over most of the Early Girl Tomatoes in the garden:


The tomato cages bent right over. We propped them up, pounded in additional stakes, and secured them as well as we could. It’s not pretty, but it will serve for now:


So far, there were only minor casualties. Only a few stems were damaged and trimmed off and about a dozen green tomatoes were lost. The tomatoes in the Square Foot Gardens (SFG) and in the Self Watering Containers (SWC) are fine.

San-Marzano Tomatoes in the SFG:






 Roma Tomatoes in SWC:




 Bush Boy Tomatoes in SWC:





If I decide to grow tomatoes again next year, I will have to plan on a more secure support structure for those grown in the ground.

Wait, did I say “if?”

::sigh::

Well, it seems that Late Blight is creeping its way through the area once again. Earlier this week, MOFGA reported that Late Blight was confirmed in Waldoboro, Maine. Since then, a fellow home gardener and blogger in my town has also discovered late blight on some of her tomatoes. Late Blight spores can travel on wind, I fear it may be only a matter of time. So now I wait and watch and try to hope for the best, but prepare myself for the worse.

Unlike last year, at least we will enjoy a few ripe tomatoes this year:



Info on Late Blight:




16 comments:

  1. Since my in-ground tomatoes collapsed, I see it everywhere. I read your second sentence as "Tomatoes even touched down in several locations in southern Maine." Actually, that proved to be true. Your newly upright plants look much better than mine!

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  2. Sorry to hear about your tomato plants falling over! Your tomato plants in the self watering containers are so tall! Looks great. Did you make your own SWC? Do you have a blog post on how to make these?

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  3. Late blight was found in tomatoes on a farm in Mass too. I just hope it doesn't spread, but it just keep raining here.

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  4. Your tomatoes look very very happy dispite them falling over! I certainly hope that we don't have the same problem with the late blight as last year.

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  5. Granny: Yes, I have noticed a lot of falling tomatoes in my blog reading. At first I didn’t know what to do. K sprung into action grabbing anything that could be used as supports. Hopefully they will be ok.

    Meemsnyc: The Roma tomatoes in the SWCs are about 2-3 feet high (not counting the containers). There is also a row of Early Girl Tomatoes behind it. Those have some branches that stretch 4-5 feet high. EG at Our Engineered Garden has a great tutorial on home made SWCs. Look along the right sidebar for the links.

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  6. Daphne: Welcome back! I hope you had a nice vacation. It’s so scary to have such a devastating tomato disease so close. No, rain is not good.

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  7. Your paste tomatoes are stunning. Mine still look sort of stubby and small. Those EGs will probably bounce right back -- hope you miss the blight! Or at least get lots of tomatoes before.

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  8. Your tomatoes in swc's look beautiful! Strong winds sure can do alot of damage to things that have alot of foliage - especially tomatoes!

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  9. Robin: I don’t think the tomatoes were phased much with falling over. They are still going strong.

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  10. Stefaneener: Thanks! I only hope they don’t get hit with Late Blight. There are a lot of sauces and salsa planned for them.

    EG: The tomatoes in the new SWCs are doing very well for me this year. One SWC the plants are smaller and has developed a little BER. I used the same amount of lime for each, but the fertilizer type may have been different for this one. I wish I remembered what I did so I don’t do it again. I lost my notes when I lost my hard drive.

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  11. i'm so glad you took that bad storm in stride. you tomatoes still look absolutely beautiful! i'll keep my fingers crossed that you remain blight free!!!

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  12. I will take a storm over the LB. The LB is one of the things that changed me from organic. John

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  13. Allison: I am trying to remain hopeful.

    John: Me too. I have decided to try a preventive copper spray. Still organic, but I am not happy about adding any chemicals to my garden spot.

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  14. Oh no, not LB ! Let's hope it stays far from the garden spot and those fine fine looking toms ! Hot and dry here for the most part so luckily it won't be an issue this year. Keeping my fingers crossed for you !

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  15. Miss M: Thanks for crossing your fingers for me. Hot and dry here too for the most part, so we do have a better chance of not getting it than last year.

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  16. Tornadoes in Maine! Who would have thought. I happy your crop was spared however. Great photography!

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