What a learning experience this summer has been. Along with many of my friends, I decided to grow vegetables this summer. The most rewarding, and the most challenging, have been the tomatoes. I’ve grown them before, but not in a very long time. I like to think that I’m a pretty good gardener, so I went into the season thinking, with a fair amount of hubris, that this would be a cakewalk. Well, tomatoes have shown me that there’s always more to learn when growing plants.
I decided to grow several well-known hybrids as well as two heirloom varieties so that I could judge how they each perform in our climate. We had a nice, warm July and August (an understatement). The heat pushed the plants, and in general they grew very well as the heat built. All varieties did well at first and set lots of fruit. But eventually the trouble began.