Less Noise, More Green: Has attempting to grow healthy tomato plants become a lesson in futility?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Has attempting to grow healthy tomato plants become a lesson in futility?

Tomato plants with yellow leaves, tomatoes, urban farming
This gardening lark is such a roller coaster. One minute I'm excited about all the delicious strawberries coming out of the berry patch and the next I'm using sharp implements on my tomato plants to remove infected leaves.  What a downer. Two days ago I was thinking how great the Roma tomatoes were doing in their containers. Today I'm hoping they survive long enough for any tomatoes to mature. This is what happens when you count your tomatoes before they are sauce.

White aphids on tomatoes, urban farming

Yellow curling leaves appearing in the middle of the plant. Some have brown spots. Some of the plants are also crawling with white aphids which happened over night as I've been checking the plants.

Tomato plants with yellow leaves, urban farming

After removing the yellow leaves I sprayed with neem oil. Any leaves with suspected disease are bagged and trashed rather than being put in the compost. Is it early blight? Maybe. There are many reasons leaves turn yellow including over and under watering as well as lack of nitrogen. I don't think it is the later as I used potting soil which contained plant food.

All I can do is watch my watering, keep removing any dodgy looking leaves, treating what remains and cross my fingers. I don't know how tomatoes fair in your part of the planet, but this is the story year after year here in New England. It is starting to feel like an act of insanity to grow home grown tomatoes and expect them to thrive.

To close, here are some more uplifting photos from my garden right now. We gardeners have to enjoy the good moments when we find them. 

Black- Eyed Susan

My first Back-Eyed Susan flower getting ready to open. Hey, lady bug - you're needed on the tomatoes!

White geranium

The potted geraniums are starting to bloom. Isn't this white one pretty?

Broccoli crown, urban farming

We ate the first broccoli crown this week with more to come!

Yes, I feel better now.

How are your tomato plants doing?



  1. Oh I feel the same way! I always read from others how "easy" tomatoes are to grow compared to other veggies in the garden. Every year what I have the most trouble with is those dang tomato plants! Here's to a successful tomato summer---at some point.

    1. I think where in the country you live has a lot to do with how easy tomatoes are to grow, The humidity is a killer in New England, then there are the cold rainy weeks followed by 95 degree weather. It's a lot for a little plant to deal with! A sense of humor is needed, for sure!

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