My poor tomatoes — all of them indeterminate heirloom varieties — endured record rainfall during late spring and early summer. But they survived without a hitch. Why? Because I planted them in a raised bed. Gardening on “higher ground” affords excellent drainage.
To keep the vines upright, I attached a wooden post to each end of the raised bed, and ran jute twine on either side of the plants. This “Florida Weave” is not as attractive as my previous support-system, but it’s super-easy to arrange. And it definitely beats wire cages.
A layer of mulch helps to retain moisture in the soil. Furthermore, during a heavy rain, the mulch keeps water — and potential fungal spores — from bouncing off the soil and splashing onto the lower leaves.
Do you remove suckers from your tomato vines? I do. Suckers burden the plants with excess foliage. Too much lushness promotes the shady, wet conditions that inevitably lead to problems (like fungal diseases). If you need a refresher course on sucker-identification, take a moment to be read this post from 2012: De-Suckering My Tomatoes.
As for the fruit, it’s… tiny! But I’m not concerned. Harvest-time in my Hudson Valley region (zone 5-b) is normally mid-August through late September. So there’s plenty of time for these cute green marbles to achieve their monster potential.
In the comments field below, let me know how your own tomato plants are coming along. As always, I enjoy hearing from you.
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