There is nothing like a fresh ripe tomato from the garden, and what only makes it better is beautiful variety. Below is a half bushel of tomatoes I harvested last night. I am growing Black Krim, Dr. Wyche’s Yellow, Black Cherry, Green Vernissage Cherry, Sunrise Bumblebee Cherry, as well as a Yellow Pear and Cherokee Purple that are not quite ripe. They are all ripe and sweet and so delicious!
Below is a nice picture of four levels of the Sunrise Bumblebees growing up the vine. You can see the white trellis line I dropped down, and that I am a little behind in wrapping them around the cord.
The Green Vernissage, with the spring peas harvested, vines cleaned out, and a new crop of purple hulled pink-eye cowpeas starting to sprout behind them.
I have blogged about my tomato structure before, but wanted to add this picture below. It is of the area where I am growing the big tomatoes, the Black Krim, Dr. Wyche’s Yellow and Cherokee Purple. I noticed last week that the tops were starting to bend a little to the side under the weight of all the tomatoes. This is my second year with this particular system and so this bend was new to me. It is probably due the addition of the row of tomatoes in the middle and they weight they add. So far it is holding, and pvc is fairly strong, but I would sincerely weep if it broke in the middle of the season and came crashing down!
The cherry tomatoes in their structures seem to be doing fine and there is no swaying. I also added some wood structure to the back of the garden, coming out of the the small 1×6 beds. These I built these beds specifically for trellising. This year it is tomatoes (Yellow Pear and Black Cherry), next year probably winter squash.
This is the tough part. My tomatoes have developed blight probably as long as I have grown them. In the past, I just have not known what to do and didn’t do much research. Last year I tried the copper based fungicide Liqui-Cop, and it seemed to help, although I discovered it late, after my tomatoes were very infected.
So, I have a large garden, and I have still been working on prepping wood for beds, establishing strawberries and raspberries, planning and figuring things out, etc. I was very diligent with pruning the suckers off the tomatoes, as last year I saw both a great harvest of large tomatoes and vines under control. I stayed on it because I understood from experience to do it.
Unfortunately I was late in looking for blight. When I first saw a lot of the brown/black spots on their leaves, I did start to spray with the Liqui-Cop. That was probably about 2-3 weeks ago. Now some of the most infected leaves are dead, and I have started to prune them off. I was not sure if I should prune them at the time, not sure if they would recover… just not sure. According the directions, I should have been spraying preventively immediately after transplanting. Sigh.
Below is some blight developing on my Sunrise Bumblebees, which have been slow to develop the disease.
Below you can see some of the spots and dead leaves from the Black Krim.
Fruit has still set on the plants, and is continuing to grow. You can see groups at the bottom ready to be harvested. The bottom leaves are the most damaged, but the upper leaves are still green and growing. There are spots on some of them, and spots on the vines. Last night I sprayed about a gallon and a half total on all the tomatoes (and on some cucumbers and squash). We had a storm front move through the area last night, and I was afraid the Liqui-Cop got washed off the plants. A Google search, though, confirmed that it is “extremely weatherproof”.