Tomato Advice

Posted by Eric Tue, 21 Jan 2003 00:00:00 GMT

I spoke to my mother about growing tomatoes last night. Her advice: Purchase the yummy-looking varieties, but also some early ones. The growing season in Maine is all too short, and a September frost can kill the late-bearing varieties. If this happens, you need to pick all the green tomatoes and take them inside, where they'll turn red--but never properly ripen. So if you want to be guaranteed that ripe tomato taste, you should plant at least one variety which ripens early.

My mother, like every other New Englander I've asked, agrees that tomatoes are the one plant worth growing at home.

In related news, Fedco Seeds is running low on Orange Banana tomato seeds. I'll have to order this week!



  1. null said 1179 days later:

    I planted 3 BHN 444 hybrid tomato plants in topsy turvey tomato planters. Assuming not every tomato is treated the same and recognizing the attributes of the planters I am wondering about the watering frequency. What are the signs of overwatering tomatoes?

  2. Eric said 1181 days later:

    The biggest danger seems to be uneven watering. If you leave the tomatos dry for a while, then suddenly start watering them heavily, you’ll start to see cracks around the top of the tomatos.

    So it’s best to water them consistently, and make sure your planters can drain off any excess water.

  3. Daniel said 1510 days later:

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I need some advice on my tomato plants. The leaves seem to be dieing off and the fruit has a brownish colour at the bottom of it. The tomatoes have not yet ripened, but are near. Any advice on what and how to treat the problem would be most appreciated.

    Yours truly, Daniel Nash

  4. Eric said 1511 days later:

    Hmm. If you lived in New England, and all the leaves were dying off, I’d blame mildew. We’ve been seeing a lot of more that in recent summers, thanks to heavy rainfall. It’s gotten so that our plants are half-dead by the end of the season.

    But I’ve never seen the tomatoes themselves turn brown. You might have more luck talking to local gardeners. (I’m guessing you’re in the southern hemisphere, right, if you’ve got tomatoes in March?)

    Good luck!

    [A note to anybody else looking for tomato advice: I’m an occasional hobbyist gardener living in the northeastern US, around zone 4. I’m quite happy to discuss the kind of problems we see around here. But for expert advice, or information about different climates, you might have more luck elsewhere. Happy gardening!]

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