When Tomatoes Don’t Grow – You Pray


I love a true gardener who prays for her plants!

Last year was so disappointing for our tomato crop, but what I found out was that almost everyone else in our area (southern Oregon) had the same experience. We had lots of rain in the spring, and my friend who supplies our tomato starts had warned us …

But what I really love is that she prays for her plants!

Because, really, all that hard work that you put into starting, growing, loving your plants, it’s really disappointing when they don’t produce.

“It’s been a horrid year for the greenhouse. I lost over 300 starts when it was so rainy in March. Just too cold and dark for them to grow – so they all died. I replanted in April – and the little guys are only about 4″ high. I’m praying for lots of heat and light – and they should be good by the end of May.” – Terri, my green-thumb goddess*

We all know that fertility plays a role in tomato success or failure, but I really do believe that the rainy weather was the culprit. (My tomatoes last year, some were so tiny.)

Facts about tomatoes:

– If you can, buy starts (either later into spring, or grow in your own greenhouse)

– The soil needs to be warm and stay warm.

Trench-style planting really does work. Plant deep and follow this method.

– Use mulch after you plant.

– Sunshine and warmth are both critical to sugar development / flavorful tomatoes.

– Too much water limits the tomato’s sweetness.

– Frequent shallow watering does not benefit the plant.

– Watering deeply once or twice a week helps in growth and flavor.

So the weather really does have a say in what happens with our beautiful tomato plants. Let’s hope that this year we don’t have such a crazy rainy season.

And when all else fails, pray for heat and light!

Did you plant tomatoes last year and how was your summer crop?

(*This post is dedicated to Terri, my friend who supplies us with beautiful greenhouse starter plants every year.)

Last year’s Roasting Tomatoes with Whole Wheat Pasta.

8 comments on “When Tomatoes Don’t Grow – You Pray”

  1. Pingback: How to Plant Tomatoes in the Garden using Visqueen | reluctantentertainer.com Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

  2. Last summer we had a very similar problem here in Michigan…. LOTS of blossom end rot, everywhere! Looking forward to the start of a brand new season, and all the promise it holds!! :)

  3. A seasoned gardener shared with me to break off the first branches (closest to the roots) and plant the tomato plant deep enough to cover the first branches. He shared that it gives the plant a bigger root system.

    Living in the Pacific Northwest, I grow a lot of the mini tomatoes because we just don’t have a very long summer. I, too, always pray over our garden that we would have an abundant harvest to share with neighbors.

  4. I didn’t have a garden last year but plan to this year. The year before I did and just didn’t get a great crop. Hopefully this year will be better. and I too pray for my plants (C:

  5. Last year the extent of my gardening was this: my neighbor asked me if I wanted some of her tomato starts. She couldn’t remember what they were, but I took them anyway. They grew beautifully! Lots of little cherries for my children to pick. What fun! This year I have started several varieties indoors under grow lights. So far, so good! They have their first set of true leaves and I’m thinking about hardening them off soon.

  6. Oh, I lived in Southern Oregon, too…until last August, when I moved to California. I definitely remember my friends talking about tomatoes and other plans. I haven’t tried growing my own yet. However, I do know people who actually pray over their crops and other things their growing :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California,Heather :) :) :)

  7. Love this post! I did plant tomatoes last year, and for the very first time (in about 6 years of having a garden), they actually did pretty well. This year, I tried starting my own tomatoes in the sunroom on the back of our house. So far they seem to be doing well… I will keep these tips in mind and pray for another good season! :)

  8. One more little tip for planting, Sandy……plant them deep, right up to the first set of leaves. That helps establish a stronger root system. I know it means “losing” a couple of inches of height, but it’s well worth it as the planted stem will grow little roots and help establish the plant.

    Didn’t plant last year, but we’re well on our way for the garden this year with spinach, lettuce and peas in the ground already.

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