How My Mom Saved My Tomato Crops
by Christine G
(San Diego, CA, USA)
My mom used to grow giant tomato bushes that produced copious amounts of mouth-watering tomatoes. The first few years I grew tomatoes, I had a little success. Then, I had three years of disaster. The tomatoes would be mushy or they would turn brown on the bottom before ripening.
One year, my mom came over and saw my half brown, half green tomatoes. She, magically, had the answer to my poor tomato crops. It turns out, I was providing too much water to the bushes. My hose had a leak and the leak was feeding into the tomato plants. Although you might think that water is a good thing for plants, it turns out that too much water can spoil your crops.
The solution was simple. We fixed the leak in the hose and installed an automatic watering system near the vegetable beds. This watering system kept me from overfeeding my tomatoes by placing them on a timer. We only watered them every other day during the hottest part of summer and every three days in the early part of summer.
With that solution in place, I ended up with the bumper crops that my mom always had. In fact, the next year I had so many tomatoes that I had to can several dozen jars of homemade tomato sauce and provide salsa to all of my neighbors at no charge!