I’m making a new attempt with tomatoes this year.
Learning from previous failures, this time I didn’t try growing them from seed. I bought seedlings early. I planted them directly in fertilizer mix rather than normal planting soil.
This year they have escaped the attention of deer and are actually growing very nicely, way better than any of the previous years.
Almost too well, in fact. They are now not only taller than me, but almost taller than I can reach. I built supports for them of bamboo poles when I planted them, but underestimated how tall they could get. Now the whole thing is an unstable tangle of sticks and string and vines.
In a storm about 10 days ago two of them actually fell over but I got them back upright with barely any broken branches.
What I learn from this iteration is that pruning is a good thing. I know, I know, any “Tomato growing for dummies” will tell you that… But I’ve only grown bush tomatoes before and no tall ones, so I wasn’t prepared for their wild growth.
Sneakily they did most of their growing while I was away in Estonia – I really got a surprise when I got back, and it was kind of late to start pruning then. Now the one bush tomato has lots of tomatoes but the four tall ones are really mostly lush green foliage. Well, there are fruit here and there but not nearly as much as on the bush tomato.
So next year I will build taller supports for the tomatoes, and prune them. Or maybe just stick to bush tomatoes.