Tomatoes–Queen of the Garden

tomatoes on a vineThe most glorious veggie in the garden is without a doubt, the tomato. Right off the vine, a warm, sweet tomato is one of summer’s greatest pleasures. Here at BuzzQuack, we planted our tomatoes a couple of weeks ago. It was too early and we suffered some losses as a result. We were impatient and paid the price.

We like to share our successes as well as our failures, so sit back for a dose of foolishness.

The first weekend in March, we bought about 12 tomato plants from the local, organic, community garden. Beautiful and interesting varieties were available and we indulged in some lovelies. We knew we should wait until the soil temperature was consistently 50 degrees, but after about a week, we decided to put them in.

What we did wrong? We put them in too early.

What we did (kind of) right? We followed the same steps as the find folks at Love Apple Farms. We did it all, the egg shells the aspirin, the fish heads. It wasn’t just fish heads we buried first, it was entire fish sans the meaty fillet.

By planting them too early, we had to fight off a couple of chilly nights. To protect the young tomatoes, I covered the whole garden with frost cloth. The cold nights lasted 3 nights, so I didn’t remove the frost cover that whole time. When I uncovered it, I discovered that pill bugs (doodle bugs) had devoured a few of my plants. Some people will tell you that pill bugs will not eat healthy plants, that’s a discussion I just can’t have. All I know is that there were piles of pill bugs and little stubs left of my plants. Heartbreaking.

Well, I still had a bunch of plants so the garden would recover.

Then, the racoons or opossums descended. I don’t know which it was, but was I do know is that for a couple of mornings in a row, where there had been a pretty little tomato with an underlying fish head, there was now a hole in the ground with a destroyed tomato by its side. This was probably because I didn’t bury my fish heads 2 feet deep, I probably only made it about a foot down. More heartbreak!

To try to put an end to that, I sprinkled the parameter of the garden with Shake-Away Critter Repellent Granules. There have been no more holes in the 4 days since.

So there you have it. Sad story, ain’t it? Don’t make my mistakes. Wait until the soil is warm, don’t invite pill bugs, and if you are going to bury a fish head, bury it down 2 feet deep!


4 thoughts on “Tomatoes–Queen of the Garden”

  1. The pillbugs do not eat living parts, but your leaves probably rotted and they ate the rotted bits. I’m so sorry — I had the same experience with coons when I buried fish, and even when I sprayed with fish emulsion. The critters just can’t leave it alone.

    I am going to bury some seaweed this time.

    I was gone for a week and my hubby let my tomatoes, which I had not put in the ground, die. So I am starting anew as well. Hang in there — gotta have tomatoes above all else!

  2. Make sure after a heavy rain you reapply the shake-away critter repellent because it will wash away. If shake-away doesn’t work try
    Critter-ridder. It is a product by Bonide it seems to do the job.

    To prevent pill bugs on your tomatoes use Bonide Tomato & Vegetable 3 in 1 Ready to Use Quart. It is completely organic and works great. I recommend it to all my customer. For more info follow the link.

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