The first time I planted tomatoes, the plants died. I’m 99.9999% sure the soil in our garden plot was diseased, so I don’t blame myself entirely. But it still felt like a big failure.
This year I decided to give tomato growing another go. I had several friends tell me they had great success growing tomato plants in pots, so I decided that would be our approach this time. And, so far, so good. No diseased soil. My plants are staked and growing upward. I’ve fertilized every 7-10 days. I’ve taken care of the suckers. And we’ve actually gotten some tomatoes this year (they sure were yummy in the watermelon salad). Woo-hoo!
But then…then…last week, I went to my friend Natalee’s house for dinner and saw THIS on her back porch.
Just to give some perspective, this is my pot of tomatoes compared to Natalee’s.
Left: My ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ tomato plant. Well-loved, but seriously more of a novelty at this point. Right: Natalee’s organic behemoth of a tomato plant.
Both of our planters only have two tomato plants planted. And they get the same exact sun exposure. And yet, it’s downright stunning how different our plants are. I asked Natalee what in the world she did. She and I are at about the same level of tomato growing expertise, so her bounteous plants give me hope that one day I will be able to to grow decent tomatoes.
- She used an EarthBox garden kit. Natalee swears by this system. It basically allows you to water your plants perfectly and you can grow all kinds of vegetables in them. Natalee bought her EarthBox planters at one of our local nurseries, but you can also buy them online, and you can use them year after year.
- She used a soil that the local nursery recommended highly for growing tomatoes. Apparently that soil has a little pixie dust mixed in because seriously, look at those plants!
That is ALL she did differently than me. The pot was a little different and the soil was tailored for tomato growing. When I first saw the plants, she hadn’t even fertilized them yet, if you can believe it! She’s still planning to fertilize, of course, but, yeah, whatever. Her tomato plants are still knocking my socks off.
Maybe next year I’ll actually get tomato-growing all figured out!
Calling all green thumbs! If you actually know what you are doing with tomato plants, please share your tips!