The Giant Tomato and Other Observations

Yesterday Tom picked a GIANT tomato. It was enormous and weighed 1lb 8oz. It’s the largest tomato we’ve ever grown and in my opinion only got that large out of sheer luck. I’m still really proud of it and immediately saved seed from it. It’s a Dr. Wyche’s Yellow tomato – a heirloom beefsteak type tomato that normally gives 1lb fruit so this probably isn’t that uncommon for this variety. It’s just a new thing for us as this is the first year we’ve grown this variety.

To be quite honest our tomato plants aren’t looking so hot. The bottom leaves are yellowing and there’s some death creeping into some of the branches. There appears to be simultaneous nutrient deficiencies going on as well. I’m pretty sure this is due to overwatering of the plants. I’ve since reduced the watering so I’m hoping that will help.

This leads me to my next observation. My last post about black plastic may have been premature. It appears to work better for some plants but not so great for others. Fortunately we had cut the plastic in sections for this very reason. We can then reuse the ones that worked next year in different configurations and won’t have to make new holes in them since they are already spaced out correctly for each specific crop. So here’s what I’m noticing:

Tomatoes – Worked well when they were young but now appear to be holding in too much moisture. Not really needed for weed control because the plants are large enough to shade out competition. Not as efficient at keeping soil warm now that plants are shading it. Since the greenhouse will be going up I’ll have the ability to put in larger plants because I won’t run out of room.

Peppers – Works really well and will continue to use them. Getting large, early crops.

Squash – Gets plants going fast – early germination – however they don’t seem as robust now that the plants are full size.  Hard to amend now that they are larger. Weed control is questionable as we’ve never really had much of a problem with weeds with squash. Not as efficient at keeping soil warm now that plants are shading it.

Melons/Watermelons – Totally works. Biggest crop of watermelons and melons we’ve ever had with large fruits. Plants are incredibly robust.

Sweet Potatoes – TBD. Won’t know how well it works until we harvest.

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