The Tomato Project: Part 3 – I Have Achieved Tomato!

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It’s been almost three months since I transplanted my tomato seedlings into the garden. The plants are still growing. Two are four feet tall and still growing. The third is also tall, but I suspect it has a virus and I’m going to have to pull it.

Harvesting My First Tomato
I have my first striped Roman tomato. It weighs in at five ounces. It came in a full month earlier than the others, so it will be a few more weeks before I have more tomatoes to show for my efforts. At my current count, I have 23 more tomatoes growing on the two plants combined, and it’s still early in the season. So far, that would come to about $1.80 per tomato, but I’m hoping it will get down to $1/tomato or less.

 

Pruning Tomato Plants
Be careful not to overprune the tomato plants. I think I might have done that with my suffering plant, however I’m also pretty sure it has a mosaic virus. There’s no cure for that, so I’ll have to pull it before it gets onto my other plants.

Each week, I visit my plants to pull off any suckers or new vines that are forming. Right now each plant has two vines growing off the base. One of those branched out into two more, which is really the limit.

Securing the Plants
My plants have outgrown their original cages, so I have to add taller stakes. The tricky part is avoiding the roots, so I’ll have to be very careful to put the stakes far enough back in the soil, while still offering support.

 

I’m enjoying this experience of growing my own food. Next year I’ll have much more to show for my efforts, but I’m learning as I go, which is important, t

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