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Customer Discussions > Gardening forum

Have You Had Tomato Success?

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Showing 51-75 of 75 posts in this discussion
Posted on Apr 28, 2011 10:07:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 28, 2011 10:12:08 PM PDT
ellenflower says:
Horse manure works great, and is easier to get if you are in the city or suburbs. Find a stable -- google local businesses or check yellow pages for riding lessons. Give them a call, and they'll probably be glad to give you some. Take a bucket or a bag and a shovel when you go. Get the old, decomposed stuff that was mixed with the horse's bedding, like straw or shavings. It should be dark in color, loose, and not too smelly. It will probably be at the bottom of the pile. It's compost at this point, and it's got microbes, nutrients, and humus. Highly recommended for good health and high yields.

Posted on Apr 28, 2011 10:44:29 PM PDT
ellenflower says:
Re: Epsom Salt
A quick look yielded the following:

Epsom salt is Magnesium Sulfate, which is chemically considered a "salt" but is not a sodium chloride based salt, which can be harmful to plants.

Magnesium is essential to plant health, and ours.
It is an essential macronutrient. It strengthens the plant's cell walls, assists in the uptake of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Sulfur. Magnesium is also important for the production of chlorophyll.

Sulfur is vital to the health of plants for protein production and plant enzymes. Plants suffering from Sulfur deficiency are light green. Often Sulfur deficiency is often confused with nitrogen deficiency. One way to tell the difference is identifying where the "light green" is occurring in the plant. Nitrogen deficiency is more noticeable in the older, lower leaves, and Sulfur deficiency is noticeable on the newer growth, the upper parts of the plant. This occurs at the beginning of the season when the whether is cool.
In addition, additional sulfur has been proven to confer benefits to a plant's ability to resist fungus diseases and other pathogens introduced by pests.

So, it can't hurt!

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2011 1:58:29 AM PDT
go to buckets...try their system or other homemade boxes like theirs...let me know what you think...

Posted on May 2, 2011 7:39:50 AM PDT
W. Hood says:
Might be tomato viruses, fungus or pests like spider mites. Check out the below link to Curly Top Virus with the following symptoms:

* Leaf and fruit deformation
* Stunting
* Leaves turn yellow with purple veins.
* Leaves twist and curl upward.
* Leaves become thickened, stiff, and crisp.
* Petioles curl downward.
* Premature fruit ripening
* Reduced fruit quality and yield
* Infected young seedlings may die.

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2011 8:21:13 AM PDT
Hello GW,

I live in Orange County and have had the same experience until last fall when I bought a Kangen water machine and discovered that 6.0 Ph microclustered water did wonders for my wheat grass growing. I started watering my almost dead tomatoes which had given only a few pathetic tomatoes anyway and they blasted away into new growth. I got a few in the winter but come spring I cut them back and am giving them another chance. They are looking decent but my new plants are amazing. Right now I have plants 5 foot tall with lots of blooms. You are welcome to come by and take a look. You can check out the Kangen machines @
If you want to see what I am doing with my garden you can contact me via that site. David

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2012 3:51:10 AM PST
C. Cowden says:
Many people have found this ebook useful. Growing Juicy Delicious Tomatoes
Growing Juicy Delicious Tomatoes (Rainforth Home and Garden's Secrets and Solutions)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 28, 2012 12:01:54 AM PDT
Swedey says:
Make sure you are growing the right type of tomato for your needs. Canning tomatoes will produce a sturdy thick tomato. Salad tomatoes are bigger, juicier and best eaten fresh.

Posted on May 6, 2012 10:52:37 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 6, 2012 10:53:44 AM PDT
We have GREAT luck with tomatoes. After I put mine in the ground, I cover them with the wall street journal. (I get it free, it's soy ink, lol, and I just sorta get a kick out of putting it on the ground.) Then I put wheat hay on top. It helps hold the water in.
I plant them with basil - always, and sometimes marigolds. It helps keep down bugs and they seem to like it better and do better.

I take a 2 liter bottle, and cut the bottom out. Then I put it upside down in the soil, as a self-watering mechanism.

I grow all mine from seed. I bought some from Bonnie that had tomato blight. Luckily I had put them in containers that I could bleach. I would have been seriously ticked if I had put those in the ground.

I also grow some in hay bales. You can find that method on youtube. It works great.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 4:55:09 AM PDT
KP says:
The Whole Foods' in Maryland were selling organic compost for at least $5.99 a bag. I got some as late as June.

Posted on Sep 26, 2012 6:08:24 PM PDT
catlady wdc says:
Just wondering how everyone's tomato harvest was this year? Mine was better than last years but not what it should have been...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2012 6:40:52 PM PDT
Dee Rohe says:
Mine was better than I'd had before, but all my harvests have been pretty darn minuscule.

Posted on Sep 27, 2012 11:48:54 PM PDT
catlady wdc says:
Dee - same here! I'm thinking of overhauling soil in veggie garden as early this summer I did a soil test that indicated I needed nitrogen and one of the "P" minerals (potash???) Anyway, I supplemented soil and that's perhaps that's why this harvest was better, but I think I still have work to do.

Only trouble is that I'm not sure whats's best!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2012 1:06:44 PM PDT
Swedey says:
Mine are getting much better. I think it's the worm tea that I watered them with. I actually canned some this year.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2013 9:23:13 PM PST
Hellcat V says:
P is phosphorus. Plants need it in larger amounts when they flower. They need more nitrogen (N) in vegetative growth, and potassium (K) in balance with the phosphorus. Too much P locks out other nutrients, and causes leaf burning. That taken into consideration, you can boost the amount of flowering a plant does by increasing the potassium in the soil. New growth (like flowers) require nitrogen, so you may want to supplement that as well as the increase in flower could potentially cause your plant to become deficient in something else.

Posted on Jan 18, 2013 2:30:35 PM PST
catlady wdc says:
Thanks HV, you actually reminded me that I had picked up bone meal but did not mix it into mulched leaves, grass clippings, etc. in my vegetable garden so it can work itself into soil over the winter. Hopefully will be able to do so on the next nice day.

I'll need to do more soil testing early in spring. Have you ever used the soil test kits they sell to DIY at home? I'm wondering how accurate they are since they are more convenient then sending soil to county extension office.

Sounds like your garden def was not a disappointment and I'm JEALOUS! Do you grow other vegetables too?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2013 5:18:28 PM PST
frances says:
Catherine hope you receive this. Been thinking of you. Hope you'll give me a holler. Love Francie

Posted on May 18, 2013 7:01:05 PM PDT
Deja20 says:
I'm lazy. Whether I start from seed or buy the plants, I dig a hole, loosen the soil. I mix in epsom salts and oyster shell, stick the plant back in and water. Then I clean out the duck house and pile all the straw around the plants. If I don't clean the duck house, I just put flakes of straw around the plants. Worms love it. Tomatoes love it . Keeps weed out and moisture in. Lots of juicy, lazy lady tomatoes.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2013 2:31:04 AM PDT
C. Cowden says:
Good call on the oyster shell addition. Low calcium is one of the biggest causes of end rot and oyster shell provide it. I've used chicken coop scrapings before and the high nitrogen burned the plants so now I compost it for a year to mellow it out. The straw mulch is a great weeds.
Rees Cowden

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2013 11:01:46 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 19, 2013 11:05:19 AM PDT
I was raised helping my Italian grandparents plant, tend and harvest tomatoes. I, too, have never had tremendous success since moving to the Pacific Northwest, but where you are, it shouldn't be a problem. I agree you are in an ideal zone, but tomatoes are fussy. All varieties are fairly hardy, but NOT in all zones and locations! In the past few years, hybrids have been cultivated to increase success in different climes. Here are some brief suggestions:
-Make sure you are planting in well-nourished, well-draining, composted soil. Tomatoes love a bit of extra nitrogen when developing, so blood meal is helpful (expensive).
- Provide an area where there is full sun,but with some am or pm shade. Tomatoes love warm days and cool, breezy nights.
I have had good success using plant food such as fish derivatives, and also, Osmocote(R) brand plant food granules for vegetables.
- Most recently, we tried the "grow upside-down" tomato planters, (available from Gardeners Supply Co., Their tomato plant food is also excellent!

Hope all this helps. Oh, and as to the gentleman who was lucky enough to throw a tomato into his compost and ended up with a tomato farm, I send oceans of jealousy. Nyah-Nyah-Nyah to you too. :)

Posted on Jun 1, 2013 12:13:38 PM PDT
I agree that more information about your growing conditions would be helpful. I would recommend getting your soil tested every year if you are growing regularly, as well as adding at least 2-3 inches of compost to your soil between plantings to help replenish nutrients. In Brooklyn, I use red clover as a cover crop in the winter as it grabs nutrients out of the air and pulls them into the soil. I'm not sure that you really have a winter there? Do you let the soil rest?

Between soil testing, I can gauge what's happening with the soil by watching the leaves carefully. I love this image that shows the different types of nutrient deficiencies in the soil and what that looks like on the plant.

Peace and carrots!
p.s. check out my complimentary training on how to grow more food with less effort (based on my backyard farming best practices):

Posted on Jul 14, 2013 9:09:07 PM PDT
M. Lambert says:
I live in the pacific northwest and have some lovely tomato plants growing in my raised beds. I planted the seeds on the may long weekend. In my soil I have a mixture of compost and horse manure and they are over 8" tall about a month later. We are just getting the heat now (july) and they have not flowered yet, but I will be interested to see what my outcome is this year. Last summer was so cool and rainy that my tomato plants grew tall and did produce fairly well but they were still green in late October. So, I pulled the plants inside and hung them upside down from my basement rafters. I have lovely ripe tomatoes all the way until December! Good luck! I still consider gardening a bit of an experiment!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2013 4:00:35 PM PDT
M. Esposito says:
I have tomato but deer ate it before me. I do have cherry tomato but I have to add extra deer net over it so I can enjoy it. Tell u the true stick with basic what you like.

Posted on Feb 19, 2014 3:08:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2014 3:10:53 PM PST
Rhea D. says:
Anyone growing tomatoes again this year? Anyone started their seedlings yet? Gina, are you still gardening?

anyone still out there? I know we have a lot of great gardeners who post regularly on here, wondering if any are checking in.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2014 12:12:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 4, 2014 12:15:39 PM PDT
Renwonug says:
Just seeded my tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Our average date of last frost here is May 10th so they will be ready to plant around the 15th. I usually have an excellent crop. However, excessive rain played havoc last year. Hope for more sun in 2014!

I'd be interested in hearing about heirloom tomatoes and what success other gardeners have had with them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2014 3:42:04 PM PDT
tray to star the seeds inside i put buy my windows put just litlle water and outside in feb or march full sun 8 hours plus water morning and afternoon good luck
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Discussion in:  Gardening forum
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Initial post:  Aug 29, 2010
Latest post:  Jul 22, 2014

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