In all the years that we’ve grown tomatoes, we’ve had great luck all of one time.
Yep. Just one year of fantastic success. But before you write me off as someone who doesn’t know what she’s talking about (I admit, that’s a possibility), hear me out.
Eighteen years ago was our year of tomato success. I remember because I was pregnant with our oldest son. We planted 4 tomato plants in the backyard and they yielded tomatoes like crazy. We were still picking lots of tomatoes (and giving them away) when my son was born on Oct. 31.
What did we do that worked so well? A modified Japanese tomato cage. This was something that was in our local paper all those years ago. The original idea had a large fenced in circle with the tomatoes planted on the outside of the circle. Inside was a large pile of manure (composted so it doesn’t stink). You water the manure and it runs down to the plants, providing all kinds of nutrients.
We didn’t do the circle of plants, but instead poured a pile of manure in front of our plants. Same effect. And the results were wonderful.
The next year we moved to a house with a very shady yard and could never get the tomatoes to grow. We’ve tried growing them at our house now, but haven’t had good luck. But we’ve not tried the manure again until this year.
And I believe it’s going to work! Here’s my evidence:
The photo above was taken on planting day. Derby day is the traditional day for planting in Kentucky and that was the day this garden was put it (May 5). You can kind of see the row of manure in front of the tomatoes.
Now here’s the garden today, less than 3 weeks after planting:
See how the plants are taller than the chicken wire? They’ve grown a lot! And the stems are strong too. Not only that, they are full of blooms and one plant even has quite a few tomatoes on it.
Manure! It works!
I’m anxious to see how the tomatoes keep growing. If you’ve got tomatoes, go get yourself some manure. It’s pretty cheap and it can’t hurt. Who knows? You may end up with a prize winning harvest!