After a very strong start, our tomatoes have rather suddenly bitten the proverbial dust. The German Johnsons growing outside have nearly all succumbed to blight and it looks like the three varieties in the hoop house are soon to follow.

Blight is airborne and might have floated into the hoop house on its own, but I suspect the vector was me. Before I realized the significance of what I was doing, I would sometimes pick the tomatoes growing outside, then go into the hoop house and pick those. Big mistake. I think it likely that I carried the blight into the hoop house on my arms and clothes. Once I realized the risk, I always picked in the hoop house first and never went into the hoop house after working with the outside tomatoes, without first showering and changing clothes. Chalk it up as an important lesson learned.

But, in any event, I’ve eaten a lot of tomato sandwiches.


And of course we’ve enjoyed them plenty of other ways too, and the cupboard is fully stocked with sauce and salsa.

And even as the vines die, there’s still plenty of tomatoes to keep us happy for a while yet.


20 comments on “Tomatoes

  1. No worries Bill; it most likely would’ve gotten there on its own, with your help or without. ): There IS always next year… You can throw them into the freezer to process when you’ve got more time… From Michaela in Vermont: She also has a blogpost about an organic treatment for P. Mildew. Perhaps too late for this year but (if blight is a fungal disease) it may be useful as a preventative for “next year”; )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. avwalters says:

    I sympathize. I have been the watering wand vector in the tomato patch. Learning the hard way.


  3. Dani says:

    It’s always disappointing when a promising crop doesn’t yield as expected. Hope you have enough in sauce form to last you till next summer…?


    • Bill says:

      I don’t want to leave the impression that we had some kind of tomato disaster (we’ve had those in the past). We got all the tomatoes we need already and I’m still getting a few every day. It’s just that I was expecting to have them at market later than we’ll be able to.


  4. shoreacres says:

    I didn’t get my fill of tomatoes this year, so I sympathize. By the time I realized how time has passed, the rains had set in, and every tomato grower in six counties had split tomatoes covering the ground. I’ve never seen anything like it. Ah, well. There is always next year — presumably!


    • Bill says:

      We had the driest July on record here, so splitting wasn’t a problem. We finally got some rain last week and I had a few split after that.
      Every year gardening is different. One year we hardly got any tomatoes. Summer without tomatoes? That was tough.


  5. Eileen says:

    Hello! I had to google to see what blight was, I hope your crop of tomatoes will be ok. It looks delicious, I love a tomato sandwich. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day and weekend ahead!


  6. Phuong says:

    That looks like a beautiful tomato. How does German Johnson do as a variety? I’ve seen it in seed catalogues but have never grown it.

    Usually tomato blight takes down our tomatoes by this time as well, but I used Serenade a couple months ago to control tomato speck and it seems to have controlled blight as well.


    • Bill says:

      German Johnsons are difficult to grow. The tomatoes are delicious, but I’m not sure they’re any better than Brandywines or Mortgage Lifters. But they’re THE heirloom of this region and they have lots of loyal devotees. Folks ask for them by name. Nowadays they’re the only heirloom we grow.


  7. Laurie Graves says:

    Food of the gods!


  8. NebraskaDave says:

    Bill, yes, the season is winding down even here in Nebraska. There a tinge of Fall in the air at especially at night during the 60 degree weather. We finally got a healthy rain yesterday but still the soil has major cracks in it. Blight isn’t a problem in my garden. By this time of the year I’m ready to start the cleanup and move toward the shut down of the garden. I may plant some Fall garden lettuce and radishes but am still working on removing the cabbage and making sauerkraut. I am finally getting that task accomplished. I have one big glass jar fermenting and have enough cabbage for a couple more. It’s so easy to make. I can’t imagine why I haven’t done it sooner. I’m the only one in the household that will eat it so I don’t need much to keep me in Kraut over the Winter.

    Have a great day in the garden and hoop house. You will have to give us a summary at season’s end of your thoughts about hoop house growing.


    • Bill says:

      Thanks Dave. I’ll probably blog about our hoop house experience in a year end roundup. The tomatoes in there are pretty much done now, but it’s too early to plant fall crops in there. So I’ve got some beans coming, as an experiment.

      It’s been blistering hot this week. Hottest gardening I can ever recall. The weatherman says it “feels like 118.” I sweated gallons, but got the fall gardens in. Hopefully we’ll have lots of goodies in a couple of months.


  9. Blight has stuck here too on the two Brandywine plants I bought at a big box store. I’ve yanked them out and bagged them up hoping to preserve the remaining plants which went in later and have just now started bearing. If I don’t get many I”m ok … energy is scarce this year too.


  10. Joanna says:

    As soon as blight seems to be threatening I take off all the leaves of the plants, whether they are potatoes or tomatoes. It seems to save us from the worst of it and our climate means we are pretty prone to it. We also stop watering tomatoes in August – a tip from the Matron of Husbandry. It seems to stop the issue and we still get plenty of tomatoes and we will see what happens with the potatoes – they seem to be okay so far, but I’m not digging them all up until next month


    • Bill says:

      Hoping you have a good harvest.
      We plant our potatoes so much earlier than you that they’re already done by the time there is any danger of blight. We’ve never had any problem with blight on potatoes, but it gets our tomatoes every year.


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