Every year we learn new things, and this year is no different. We have grown tomatoes in the past, but we have never had a problem with tomato rot. Our garden is not very big, we have very little sun in our yard, as a result we have to plant our crops as close together as possible to save space. That and I also have a problem throwing away seedlings, I plant everything even when I know I will be planting them too close together. In the past, that has just caused me to have a garden that looks like a jungle, this year however, I think that me planting the tomato plants to close together has caused the tomatoes to get tomato rot.
I dont think that I can take all the blame though, we have had a very unusual spring for this area. It was cooler than normal with a lot of rain. I honestly think that it was a combination of the two, no matter the cause now we had tomato rot and we had to figure out a way to save at least some of our crop. I planted a couple different types of tomatoes all with a different purpose. Our sauce tomatoes however, were the ones that were effected the most by the tomato rot, they are also the most expensive to replace if I were to buy them at a farmers market.
Not knowing much about tomato rot, I did a little research and found that moisture and air flow had something to do with it. Even though no one really knows the reason for tomato rot. I decided to try and trim my plants as much as possible to increase air flow at least two feet off the soil. We trimmed off all suckers as well as any limbs that had not started to produce any tomatoes. We made sure all the plants were tied up and supported and clipped any limbs that were rubbing another limb. At first you read that and you think oh, that does not sound like much work at all… well you would be very wrong. It took three adults 2 days to complete this simple task. In the end I think that it was worth every second of effort. We still lost some of or crop, but once we trimmed we noticed a drastic improvement. Was it the act of us trimming or was it the weather warming up and the rain slowing down, I cant answer that, but I am happy to have my sauce tomatoes back and we have continued to produced a close to 10 pounds of tomatoes a week. Not bad for our little plot of land.