Monday, May 15, 2006

The treacherous life of a tomato

Of the nine tomato varieties I planted this spring, 'Lemon Boy' was slain in a brutal snail attack and yesterday, 'Copia' lost half its limbs when a trellis I was moving fell on it like a guillotine. Doh! I hope it recovers.

Who knew the life of a tomato could be so treacherous?

Dead: 'Lemon Boy'
Wounded: 'Copia'
Doing fine: 'Black', 'Black from Tula', 'Costoluto Genovese', 'Sungold', 'Sun Sugar', 'Celebrity', 'Early Girl'


  1. Anonymous1:07 PM


    I'm looking forward to seeing how your tomatoes do -- sorry to hear about the Death of Lemon Boy -- that's one of my favorite tomato varieties, actually! I'm not growing those, but I had some from the farmer's market back in Virginia last year -- they were delicious.

    I hope the rest of the tomatoes fare well, and that the Copia recovers!

    The Inadvertent Gardener

  2. Hi, for the slugs and snails have you tried adhesive copper tape?
    7 bucks for an 8 foot roll. you can cut both ends off a plastic 2 liter and place it arround the plant (stuck in the ground about an inch) and put the copper tape arround it. Seaweed - can be ground up and put arround the the plants too- it has a high salt content but it wont be as harsh as dumping salt on them. A little toad house could not hurt- recruit your own garden swat team.
    lastly put a upside down clay flower pot on the ground, prop up one corner, put in half a grapefruit, the next morning they will be in there and you can dispose of them as you please.
    Good Luck!! -Rick
    Tomato Project

  3. Thanks for the encouragement and advice. I was looking forward to trying 'Lemon Boy'. Next year I'll keep extra seedlings as backups.

    I have tried copper sheeting (non-adhesive), but it's pricey. My beans are coming up now and I'm having to resort to using upside-down Solo cups with the bottoms cut off as slug and snail deterrents. I'll know tomorrow morning how effective they are.

    I don't think tomatoes are a favorite food of snails and slugs, but if they're desperate they'll eat them. Basil, delphinium, coleus and hostas are delicious to them. Peppers are somewhat tempting and tomatoes are what they seem to eat only when there's nothing better around.

    I think 'Copia' will be ok. I fed the in-ground tomatoes with Fox Farm Tiger Bloom (bottle says it's "great for tomatoes!") and applied an organic granular fertilizer awhile back. Temps are increasing and the plants are really taking off.

    Time to cage these beasts!