This year was a tough tomato year. I should of known it would be a bit rough since 2011 was so wonderful. First off spring was odd as it was warm early, but then got cold and wet. Many of you got lucky with just a nice warm spring, but here we weren’t so lucky. I am used to having an often cold and wet spring so It wasn’t too bad, but it does delay getting the plants out in the open and getting gardening in general done.
Then came the drought and heat. It was the driest summer ever here, and the 3rd hottest. There was actually a wildfire close to home which I have never seen happen before. Everywhere I went all summer was ended by the statement, “Well, I got to go home now. It is time to water.” I felt like the guy in the old Dunkin Donuts commercial, “Time to make the donuts.”
So I can handle that though, but then came the birds. Birds were pecking at the tomatoes. Not just ripe ones, but dead green ones! My garden was like an oasis in a desert. Many tomatoes got ruined. So I went out and purchased a huge roll of netting. The garden started to look like a crazy person’s place.
Then I see tomatoes half eaten on the ground. So I think do I have rodents taking up residence now?! I went out and bought hardware cloth for fencing, and wrapped it around what I could. Now it really looked like a lunatic was gardening, but I still saw tomatoes on the ground being eaten. I was confused.
So I bought those sticky traps for catching rodents since they are non toxic, and put them out. Well a day later, I’ve got the culprits stuck on them, and no it wasn’t rats. It was birds! Sparrow sized birds. They were getting in between the netting and the fencing. Birds stuck on sticky traps was not good I love birds even tomato eating ones.
So I covered up the tomatoes more pulled the netting to the fencing as best I could, and made due. With all of this, I know it could be worse! When things go wrong, I always play the “it could be worse” game. It could be worse, I didn’t have 2 hail storms in one day this year, it could be worse, I didn’t have a flood, etc.
I still got a good amount of tomatoes, and I am thankful for what I got. With many varieties though, I did not get to save as many seeds as I would like. So a few varieties may have a limit on packets, but it is not an indicator of being a poor producer as I’m sure you realize after reading all of this.
Looking forward to what 2013 brings!