doodle by andre: how about them tomatoes?


APPARENTLY MRS. ANDRE’S TOMATOES succumbed to “tiny insect things that will not leave our garden alone,” we hear this week from Himself, who very sweetly shared the actual sympathy postcard he drew for Herself on the occasion of her lost tomatoes. “The tomatoes croaked,” Andre Jordan said in his email, using the precise botanical term for what’s been going on in so many of our gardens: croaking. A lot of things croaked here, too, and maybe a custom postcard would have softened the blow. That Mrs. Andre’s a lucky girl, despite the tomato tragedy, don’t you think?

  1. Lee (a.k.a. Riveted) says:

    A lucky lady indeed. I’ve been fortunate this season with Tomatoes (although, they are certainly not producing as fruitfully or robustly). I could though, use a condolence card for the (almost) death of my Zucchini plants (give ’em two or three more days and it will be total demise). For card specificity sake, they contracted what I call “The Dust” (powdery white mildew). Perhaps I’ll get a surprise (albeit suggested) doodle card? LOL!

  2. Dee/reddirtramblings says:

    I know all about croaking. Did I tell you about my Mr. or Ms. Frog who was being attacked by a garter snake? A spray from the garden hose filled with cold well water saved the day. As for vegetables, a lot of mine croaked this year too. Condolences to all.~~Dee

  3. Margaret says:

    @Dee: The snake here wouldn’t let go of the frog; nature is cruel. Next time I will try a spray of the hose, thank you.

  4. TexasDeb says:

    Our garden is unfortunately a tomato-free zone and the stores are running out of locals. Just too hot for too long. That doesn’t stop the interweb from featuring loads of wonderful recipes however. Cruel cruel web!

    Interesting email from Wood Prairie Farms points out the hazards of an “inoculum” for late blight introduced into NE via large box stores selling tomato starts. Pointed out if everybody buys starts from large chains/growers as opposed to DIY or buying heirloom/open pollinating type plants, entire crops can be lost.

    Wood Prairie folks have been using raised beds/row covers to get tomatoes and extend growing season. We might build a greenhouse here in Texas to soften the heat/drought effects on ours. I hadn’t realized quite how “front line” growing food is w regards to climate disruption. Sobering.

  5. andre says:

    Lee – a condolence card for the (almost) death of my Zucchini plant is very funny.

    I can see a range of ‘sorry to hear about the death of your …’ cards.

  6. chigal says:

    I’ve done OK this year despite a bumper crop of weeds in my second story containers (blow wind blow). The cherry tomatoes are rampant, and the indeterminate vines have hit the rafters and started to put out promising fruit. Last year, most of my indeterminates hit too late to ripen outdoors. It seems like you just can’t rely on the 85 days or so unless you live somewhere with higher average temps than Chicago all season. Will I plant determinate shrubby early tomatoes instead? Never!! I don’t have room for fat plants, and the deep reds and sweet oranges from my heirloom vines are TOTALLY worth it.

    My sweet baby watermelon vine never really got going. I’ve read you shouldn’t try watermelons in containers — I hate it when they’re right.

  7. Bobster says:

    I was heartbroken last year to learn from Margaret that the hummingbird-like moth that I’d been so taken with the very first time I’d seen so many years ago at my first adult garden in Minnesota was alas the despised hornworm caterpillar! Andre, I say buy the Mrs. tomatoes this year and tent the tomatoes the next.

    Let them feast on the neighbors tomatoes. I didn’t say that…you can’t prove it.

  8. Rosella says:

    I am SO sorry about the tomatoes, Mrs. Andre! Better luck next year!

    My zucchini plants, alas, have bitten the dust too–gone, nothing but memories and big cruddy vine stems filled with squash vine borers. But the beans! More and more and more — a veritable sorcerer’s apprentice bean patch. And (although I am afraid to say it!), lots of tomatoes on the indeterminate vines which are now 7 feet tall. Hope the fruit ripens before frost. Otherwise, eggplants (why did I feel we needed four plants?) and a tomatillo plant which is determined to reach Mexico by Wednesday.

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