I am trying my hand at growing tomatoes again this year, what could possibly go wrong?

Why is it so hard for me to grow tomatoes? I know people who fresh have tomatoes all season is it just me?

I think Texas singer-songwriter Guy Clark said it best, “ain’t nothing in the world like homegrown tomatoes”, I just love em. So, this year, once again, I will try my hand at growing homegrown tomatoes. It always starts off great. You bring them home, plant them, get your first little bud, ohh you’re so hopeful. Then you get that first tomato… seems like it takes forever for it to ripen but when it does, you’re in culinary bliss. In past years there wasn’t much past a couple of tomatoes before everything went South for a number of reasons, too dry, too hot, some kind of bug gets on them. Last year we got Southern Blight. Southern Blight is caused by the soilborne fungus Athelia Rolfsii. Whatever that is. If you get this, you are pretty much done for the year. But this year will be different… this year I will conquer.

To spice things up this year, we added a jalapeno plant, pun intended. This thing is going crazy, like home grown tomatoes, homegrown jalapenos are hard to beat. So here we are in a new year with a renewed anticipation for some homegrown goodness. Things were going great as you can see in the pictures, we had an ample number of tomatoes and jalapenos.

Was it too good to be true? Well, yes it was. As I stood on the back porch drinking coffee this morning, I looked over at my plants and noticed they looked a little ragged. As I got closer, I thought the leaves had a funny color…  it wasn’t a leaf at all it was a tomato worm, well that’s what we called them when I was a kid. The official name is Manduca Sexta. It gorges itself on your beautiful plants then turns into a moth. I’ll tell you this, they can eat a lot in a short amount of time. These little suckers destroyed an entire cherry tomato plant and almost got my jalapeno plant. I found at least ten of these machines of destruction, and fun fact, if you angrily throw them against the fence they’ll explode. We removed at least ten of those little suckers and dusted all our plants for reassurance.

The jalapenos are looking promising but as for the tomatoes…. looks like we will be eating H.E.B. home grown tomatoes again this year.

Craig Chambers

Craig Chambers

3PM - 7PM

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