064-Tomato Growing Season Lookback: Lessons Learned With Craig LeHoullier

| Grow, Podcast

Here in the southeast, our warm temperatures mean that tomato season is coming to a close. If you find yourself in the same boat, this podcast is right up your alley. I invited my honorary co-host, Tomato Guy Craig LeHoullier to join me for a discussion about the highs and lows of this particularly odd tomato year.

If you live in cooler climes, this podcast will be right here waiting when your season starts to wane too. Although, I suspect our discussion will still be interesting even for those with tomatoes just coming on the vines. Craig is always a wealth of fascinating tomato tidbits.


Craig LeHoullier

In addition to writing, Craig also teaches classes to share his wealth of tomato knowledge. (photo: Craig LeHoullier)


Wild Weather and Other Tales

I know many gardeners struggled with unusually cold temperatures this year, which translated to a slow start out in those vegetable beds. Snow lingered in much of North America well into April. Although I wasn’t battling snow here in the Atlanta, Georgia area – I had some close calls with unexpected frost as I moved my hundreds of seedlings outdoors to be hardened off.

Hundreds of seedlings? Yes – this year, my daughter and I undertook to start hundreds of seedlings of numerous varieties of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant for her fledgling plant business. If you didn’t follow that journey, you can check out the photos on my Instagram page.

More and more of you are starting your own plants from seeds too. We all strive to get the timing just right to have seedlings ready for the great outdoors just after that normal last frost. Normal frost – but this year was anything but normal. Seedlings across North America remained indoors for far longer than expected or optimal. Fortunately, they can be incredibly resilient.

Once I got them outside, my seedlings weathered some serious temperature drops (with and without appropriate cover) as well as a little too much time in direct sunlight. Your seedlings may have struggled while they waited indoors for their garden debut.

In either case, you – like me – probably found that as warm temperatures finally arrived, those struggling seedlings took off in an impressive explosion of growth. With proper warmth and sunlight, young plants can quickly catch up to the size and production to be expected under normal weather conditions and planting time. Mine sure did, and Craig experienced the same in his driveway garden as well.

This year, Craig chose to grow his plants in straw bales. Ever the scientist, he was eager to experiment with that new growth medium to test plant vigor, production and disease resistance when not grown in soil. If you know much about plant diseases, you know that many of them are soil borne – they exist and are transmitted to the plant through the soil. So, what happens when you remove the soil from the equation?


Craig LeHoullier garden

This year, Craig grew some of his crops in straw bales and containers in the driveway of his home. This was just another of many experiments in the LeHoullier garden. (photo: Craig LeHoullier)


Craig’s plants did well, and he reports he’s enjoyed some of the best tasting tomatoes he’s ever grown. His squash, green beans and cucumber were also very productive. Where he did not find success was with those narrow root crops – like radishes and carrots. Those small roots were too susceptible to drying out, and so, those crops failed. If you know much about Craig, you’ll know that this just presents him with another challenge to try next season.

Craig and I both struggled with spending too much time away from our gardens this year. I’ve had lots of travel time throughout spring and summer filming episodes for season nine of my PBS show, Growing a Greener World®. Craig, on the other hand, enjoyed a week’s vacation during peak growing season. It was a reminder for both of us that it doesn’t take long for a thriving garden to thrive right out of control, and we each had our hands full playing catch-up when we returned.

It’s just so easy for disease and pest issues to take hold when the resident gardener isn’t on hand to proactively watch for warning signs. For Craig and me, that meant our tomato plants were in full throes of disease, and we had plenty of diseased foliage to remove. Weekend warriors often find themselves in that same boat.

A gardener who is able to spend a couple of hours each day in the garden has a very different experience than his or her neighbor who may only have an opportunity once or twice each week. Fortunately for us all, that rapid onset of pests and diseases doesn’t have to mean the end of crop production.

So when can disease be managed and when does it signal time to remove the plant altogether? Your first step in determining a course of action is to do a little diagnosing. This takes a bit of observation.

Septoria leaf spot or early blight will cause plant foliage to begin to show spotting – usually on the lower leaves of the plant. There are other diseases which manifest in the same way, but these two are the most common culprits. If you observe foliage spotting, you can keep the plant and manage the disease by removing the damaged foliage. You’ll have to keep at it – removing foliage as the season continues – but your plant will still produce.

One of Craig’s Ferris Wheel tomato plants has been defoliated up to 6’ high, yet that plant is still producing tomatoes.

If, on the other hand, you notice your entire plant beginning to droop and yellow, you are likely dealing with Fusarium wilt or late blight. Both of these diseases are a plant death sentence. These diseases work to cut off the plant’s system for delivering food and water, so the plant will die within about a week. Plants with these symptoms should be pulled completely out of the garden and removed from your property – meaning don’t add them to your compost pile.

Unfortunately, these diseases really love heat and humidity, so a few days unsupervised in those conditions can wreak havoc on your tomato plants. Fusarium wilt results from pathogens in the soil, while late blight is spread from pathogens above ground. In either case, the sooner you remove the affected plant, the less likelihood you will lose other plants to the same disease.

For any of you who have struggled with Fusarium wilt or late blight this year or in past seasons, look for varieties which are resistant. Craig has learned that Red Brandywine is able to withstand Fusarium wilt in his garden and under our southeastern heat and humidity. On the other hand, Brandywine is one that is struck by Fusarium wilt each year that I grow it in at the GardenFarm™.

Interestingly – although these two tomato varieties share a similar name – they are very different genetically. One originated in Ohio, while the other originated in Pennsylvania. They have different foliage types and growth patterns. Odds are, they aren’t related at all – someone simply decided to include “brandywine” in the name when Red Brandywine was first introduced.


Garden harvest

Craig’s straw bale garden produced some bountiful crops this year. (photo: Craig LeHoullier)


All this to say that you shouldn’t jump to any conclusions when it comes to heirloom tomatoes. While hybrid tomatoes remain genetically consistent – because they are engineered and bred to do so – heirloom tomatoes are a little like humans in their unpredictability. Maybe that’s one of the reasons we love them so much – they continue to surprise us and challenge our gardening aptitude.

Take Sungold, for example. I love Sungold – it’s my favorite cherry variety, and I had huge success with it for a few years. It produced well and stood up to the weather in my area. However during the past 2-3 years, it’s succumbed to Fusarium wilt, and I’ve had them planted in the same beds as other tomatoes which weren’t impacted.

So, why were my Sungolds such a success story only to become one of my greatest disappointments? It could be a number of things. They may not have liked the wild weather swings I’ve seen this year – but that wouldn’t explain the previous two years, which were pretty normal.

Craig suggests that there may be something in Sungold genetics which is only just now beginning to show itself. He’s experiencing the same issues with Sungold recently – in spite of growing it in straw bales without the soil which bears the disease. For that reason, he wonders if this particular variety – after years of seed saving – is simply showing signs of weakness which existed all along.

We would both love to hear if other gardeners are having the same Sungold experiences. If you’ve been growing Sungold, share your success and/or struggles in the Comments section below.

One of the best steps you can take in your garden is experimentation. Try several plant varieties each year until you find those that thrive in your beds. Performance can change from season to season, and you will even find it can differ from household to household. What fails for your neighbor may turn out to be your favorite plant. Heirloom tomatoes can be just that sensitive to different soil pH, microclimates and maintenance techniques

Gardening is an ever-evolving hobby. Different seasons, shifting quality of seed stock, unpredictable weather, evolution of pests and diseases – all these aspects keep everything changeable and keeps us gardeners on our toes.

Egg Yolk tomatoes

Craig experienced the same Fusarium wilt issues with Sungold that I have seen at the GardenFarm the past two seasons. He’s switched to cherry variety Egg Yolk, which has performed better. (photo: Craig LeHoullier)

The Business of Seeds

Sometimes, it may not be plant development which is an issue but, instead, plant distribution. Take Black Krim as a great example of this. Black Krim is another favorite of mine. This year, I purchased seeds from a single source, a very reliable seed company. As part of my epic seed starting project this year, I seeded 200 Black Krim – that’s right, 200.

When my daughter and I began selling seedlings, I encouraged everyone to buy Black Krim and raved about its flavor. Then, I planted several in my own raised beds.

As the season wore on and the fruit developed, I realized that those plants were not Black Krim – at least not any Black Krim I’ve ever had. Instead of the good-sized, dark tomato I expected – what came of those vines were small and orange. Their flavor was nothing like the Black Krim I love.

And to think how many of my daughter’s customers have likely been disappointed with the yield of what they think is GardenFarm Black Krim! Let’s just say, I’m not a happy joe gardener about this tomato surprise.

So, what happened? There are a few possible culprits.

Large seed companies receive their seeds from many suppliers. My seeds may have initially been provided to the seed company by a seed saver who didn’t take the necessary precautions to prevent cross-pollination of Black Krim with some other variety. My seeds may have been provided by one of the many large seed growers across the country and in Europe and China who grow plants for seed in vast fields which are susceptible to cross-pollination. The seeds I received might have been an altogether different variety, mis-labelled by one of those large growers and, then, repackaged by the reputable seed company.

Regardless of the reason, it’s becoming more and more common to purchase mis-labelled or compromised seeds.

Craig and I recommend using The Garden Watchdog or talk with friends to find out who they recommend as a reliable seed supplier. Yet as I learned, even the reputable companies have some issues. Many large companies don’t grow what they market, so they have no idea that their plants aren’t true to variety. If you have this experience, provide that feedback to the company who provided your seed. They may simply be unaware of the problem.

Craig has a three-strikes policy when it comes to a particular tomato variety not living up to expectations. If he grows a tomato with unexpected performance or qualities, he will purchase the following year from a different company and try again. If the same happens in season two, he’ll switch suppliers again in season three. Craig is the persistent type. It’s not until that third season, if a tomato still doesn’t hold up, that he decides it’s simply not a variety he wants for his garden.

Even when you save your own seeds, things can go awry. Craig inadvertently let his favorite sweet pepper cross-pollinate with a hot pepper. The resulting fruit was a spicy surprise to say the least. The simple fact is, we all make mistakes, and nature can be a tricky business.


Cherokee Purple and Cherokee Green

Cherokee Purple (left) and Cherokee Green (right) have become popular heirloom varieties. When Cherokee Purple was first introduced, it was considered a risky option – as Craig explains in the podcast. (photo: Craig LeHoullier)


Many gardeners have asked if it is better to purchase seeds from a local supplier. Are seeds grown and sold in a region better-adapted to growing in that region’s conditions? The fact is, when the seed is true, an heirloom tomato seed is the same in Seattle as it is in Atlanta. A true Cherokee Purple seed grown in northern Canada, will produce the same plant as a true Cherokee Purple seed grown in Texas. The resulting tomato plant and fruit should display the same characteristics, because those characteristics exist in the DNA.

Since growing heirloom plants is as much art as science, it is possible they could adapt regionally – but only after a number of years. Craig is interested in this as an experiment in coming seasons. He would like to grow a variety, carefully preserving seed integrity, year after year for a decade or so and, then, compare the resulting plant with the same variety grown under the same care in a completely different climate.

This experiment would take dedication, time and a genetic comparison. Stay tuned for that in years to come. Here’s hoping that Craig will be able to share those results on episode 721 of The joe gardener Show.

As those plants and seeds exist in today’s market, where you buy won’t have as much impact as what you buy. So, just look for varieties known to perform well in your area.

Where you buy does, of course, matter when it comes to supporting small business. There are many large seed suppliers, and some are great companies. Yet, there are some wonderful small companies trying to remain competitive out there, and it’s a good idea to support their efforts.

Many of these small businesses – like Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Victory Seeds, Heirloom Seeds, High Mowing Seeds, and Fruition Seeds – are competing by specializing in heirloom seeds, and they’ve often grown the plants they sell. So, they could have some great insight and consistency that the larger companies may not able to provide.


Dester tomato

Dester has performed well in Craig’s straw bales this year – in spite of unusually high heat and humidity. (photo: Craig LeHoullier)


Does Overwatering Dilute Flavor?

It’s been commonly suggested that providing too much water to your tomato plants will dilute the flavor of the fruit. It seems Dr. LeHoullier may be disproving this theory.

Some growers choose to withhold water in order intensify flavor, but since tomato health is so dependent on consistent watering, this approach can create a host of problems. Blossom end rot is generally caused when there is not enough water available to the plant to allow it to transport key nutrients and minerals – such as calcium – through the plant. In other words, it’s not a lack of nutrients or minerals in the soil. Instead, it’s water deficiency preventing the ability to move those nutrients from the roots up into the plant.

While growing his tomatoes in straw bales, Craig has watered the plants liberally – once or twice every day. Since he’s found this year’s crops to be the best tasting of many years of tomato-growing, he feels confident that water does not impact flavor. So, water those plants. If the variety is known to be delicious, sufficient water won’t change that experience.

One thing you do need to be cautious of when providing plenty of water – or if your area receives heavy rain – is cracking. That excess water can cause tomatoes to swell and crack, and some varieties like Lillian’s Yellow are particularly susceptible to that. You can avoid this issue by picking your tomatoes while they are at the breaker stage. They will ripen with all the flavor (and without the cracks) on your kitchen counter.

If your tomato does crack, it’s still just as good to eat. You can cut out the cracked area (save the seeds from that area if you’re a saver!) and eat the rest. Waste not, want not – right?

I hope you have some great new tomato stories from this season and some lessons learned to carry into future years. These are the experiences that keep me fascinated by and passionate about gardening.


Lillian's Yellow tomato

Lillian’s Yellow is prone to cracking, so it’s best to harvest them during the breaker stage. (photo: Craig LeHoullier)


I encourage you to share your experiences in the Comments section below. Have you received mislabeled seeds recently? Are you experiencing the failures of Sungold that Craig and I describe? We can all learn from each other, so I look forward to hearing from you.

If you haven’t done so already, I recommend you listen to the podcast recording by scrolling to the top of the page and clicking the play icon under the page title. You’ll hear Craig and I discuss the variety he is developing for me, currently known as “Lampy,” as well as Craig’s story behind the initial marketing of the now widely-popular Cherokee Purple (it was initially considered risky!). Plus, our conversations are always just lots of fun. I hope you’ll join us.

Links & Resources

Episode 042: Raised Bed Gardening, Pt. 1

joegardener Blog: When is the Best Time to Pick a Tomato?

joegardener Facebook Group

joegardener Instagram

Growing a Greener World®

Craig LeHoullier

Epic Tomatoes

The Garden Watchdog

Fruition Seeds

Heirloom Seeds

High Mowing Seeds

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

Victory Seeds

Rainbird: Podcast episode sponsor and Brand Partner of

About Joe Lamp'l

Joe Lamp’l is the creator and “joe” behind joe gardener®. His lifetime passion and devotion to all things horticulture has led him to a long-time career as one of the country’s most recognized and trusted personalities in organic gardening and sustainability. That is most evident in his role as host and creator of Emmy Award-winning Growing a Greener World®, a national green-living lifestyle series on PBS currently broadcasting in its tenth season. When he’s not working in his large, raised bed vegetable garden, he’s likely planting or digging something up, or spending time with his family on their organic farm just north of Atlanta, GA.

0 Responses to “064-Tomato Growing Season Lookback: Lessons Learned With Craig LeHoullier”

  • Amy P says:

    Joe and Craig, for the Sun Gold discussion, I also had issues this year and for the first time with Sun Gold. My one plant was in a new garden bed with fresh soil, soaker hose watering, mulched with fall leaves, and still the foliage had some issues. Where in the past I harvested bowls full of fruit, this year it was just a few handfuls. It just didn’t perform like Sun Gold is supposed to. Our weather during July – when I should have been harvesting lots of tomatoes – was extremely hot and humid. Days and days of consecutive temps at or near 100 with intense humidity. Lots of bug pressure and fruit splitting when it rained. All tomato plants in the garden performed poorly in these conditions, but I didn’t expect Sun Gold (the only hybrid in the garden this year) to do so badly. Very disappointing. Thanks for the great discussions on the podcast.

  • Joe Lamp'l says:

    Very interesting Amy! As a veteran gardener yourself, this is good to know, and further supports Craig’s theory that there may be something going on with the seed quality itself. I’m glad you pointed out that your plant was in a new garden bed with fresh soil!
    Thanks so much for chiming in here. By the way, wondering about where you got your seeds for this? I’m curious if we’re all getting them from the same source?

  • Amy P says:

    Great question. I went back and looked at my notes. These were leftover 2017 seeds that I had purchased from Burpee. So I can say that plants from this same pack did well in the 2017 garden so maybe this year’s crazy climate was the main culprit for me rather than the seed?

  • Joan Walters says:

    Great podcast! Learned sooo much! Thank you both!!

  • Nancy Wu says:

    I love your podcast! Your topics are timely, useful and interesting, and the guest speakers are always amazing! I’m an experienced gardener, but I can always learn new things with each podcast. I especially love your guest speaker, Craig LeHoullier. I promptly listened to this podcast twice and read the show notes. I’m hoping that you would add in the show notes the methods that Dr. LeHoullier uses to sanitize his tomato seeds before planting to ensure the seed doesn’t carry the Fusarium or Verticillium wilt virus with it. This is the first time that I heard these diseases can be carried by the seeds. Are there other plant diseases that can be carried by the seed and if we can use the same methods to sanitize before sprouting?
    I also planted Sungold this season (and previous seasons), and it’s planted in a 15-gallon pot. The seeds are from Renee’s Garden that I purchased in 2016, but it’s the first time I used the seeds. The plant did not grow as well as previous years, but I’m wondering if it’s from our very strange weather this summer in Northern California (zone 9B). It’s been unusually cool and we didn’t reach day time temperature in the 70’s on a consistent basis until June. Last year my Sungold seedling was bought from the Master Gardener’s plant sale, and it did extremely well and I was able to harvest tomatoes until end of December.
    With limited space in my garden, I’ve been planting interdeterminate tomatoes in the same planter box for the past 4 years, and have noticed a substantial decline in plant quality this year. I plan to use Biochar from Organic Mechanics next season to see if I can improve the quality of the soil to grow healthier plants.
    I’m also testing 12 dwarf tomato plants in 5 and 7-gallon pots this season. I’m thrilled to have these varieties that can be grown in limited space and soil. The fruits are starting to ripen and I can’t wait to try them.
    Thanks again for your excellent podcast!

  • disqus_gcXsM9Mjqe says:

    Hi Nancy – Craig here (got to figure out how to modify my disqus name) – thanks for your kind and really interesting comments. As for your questions….I’ve not used any pre-planting seed treatments yet. My experience with losing my Nepal plant is what is sending me to do some research on which diseases may be seed-borne, and which are removed through fermentation (my typical method). My initial thought is to do hot water treatment – this appears to be an excellent link for the technique to use – http://vegetablemdonline.pp… . The three main pre-planting seed treatment options are hot water, bleach and TSP – and different diseases appear to be removed by different treatments. This is an area in which I hope to do more research once I get a bit more time. (Psst – sounds like a future topic for a chat with Joe!). As far as seed age, that should not impact seedling health – I’ve gone with 15 year old seed or more with great results, though the germination will drop off significantly after that. Ask anything, any time – it is with great questions that we who garden are inspired to go off and search for answers…then share them so that all can benefit from the hunt!

  • disqus_gcXsM9Mjqe says:

    Craig here again – My Sun Gold seed is a mix from three different companies. I need to have a good think about what is going on with a variety that has never caused me issues in the past. The initial US company to offer the variety is Johnny’s Selected Seeds, a top quality company. Since it is a variety that is produced in Japan, all available seed in the US could possibly be from that one central source….just a guess.

  • Nancy Wu says:

    Thank you, Craig, for your insight, as always. I love to experiment so I look forward to your future episodes!

  • Tom Posey says:

    Had similar problems with Sungold. Plants were in a raised bed, with weed-guard and straw to prevent water droplets from splashing on to the foliage. Weather has been hot and humid most of the summer. Planted several varieties in the above listed method and Sungold was the only one to come down with the disease. Lost half of the harvest due to splitting because of the constant rain. Will try it’s sister variety, Sun Peach next year which is more resistant to splitting.This was the first podcast I listened too. Really enjoyed it and found it very informative.

  • Joe Lamp'l says:

    Hi Tom. Thanks for listening and sharing your comment here. Welcome!

  • Joe Lamp'l says:

    Thanks Nancy for the kind words. And love to see Craig jumping in here too.

  • George White says:

    Hi All, I had a blossom rot problem on my Romas during the hottest and driest period of July but with the return of the rain I still harvested quite a few that are of good quality. I was told a calcium deficiency in a new planting bed, does that sound right and what to do for it? As for Beefsteaks and Brandywines, well, Forrest had the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company but I have the Craig Lamp’l Tomato Company. Yep, tomato base, tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomato…you get the picture. I think I will dial back the enthusiasm for next year but, as always, thank you all for the great information and motivation!

  • JoAnna Chrisco says:

    This was a fantastic episode. I listened to it back to back and will listen to it again this week I’m sure. Thank you for the discussion about Black Krims. I thought they looked different this year but figured it was in my head (mine were purchased from Gurney’s this year). As for the asked for Sun Gold feedback, mine have been fantastic the past two years (Botanical Interests). They have reached about 15-20 feet and attempt to knock over my trellis supports. I’m in Lakewood, CO zone 5B/6A and while we had an unusually hot June this year, we certainly weren’t as hot or humid as the more southern locations.

  • Forrest Jones says:

    Joe, I had given up on growing tomatoes in my garden. I suspect the entire garden is infected with fusarium. I tested a spot at the edge of my driveway after hearing Craig’s methods. I tryed just a 4 pack of Husky Gold repotted in large nursery pots and mounded wood chips up to the rim. We have not had a full week without rain this summer and most weeks more than one rain a week. I am having success there.The plants have remained healthy to date. The medium height plants are getting nice solid unblemished green tomatoes but only a few are ripening. I have resorted to harvesting the large green ones before they split or collapse the stems and set them on a bench to try to ripen. I was getting 8 hrs of full sun until recently. Do you or Craig have experience/reasons with healthy tomatoes not getting ripe.I wil test a couple of red brandywine in my garden next season to see if they will survive. Thanks for the lookback Joe.

  • Carey Powell says:

    Sungolds let me down this year too! Last year I had a prolific season and this year it died after putting off just one tomato. I’m not great at deciphering the causes, but if I had to guess I would say it was fusarium as well. It definitely DID NOT get over watered and got plenty of sunshine. When I pulled the plant out it lifted right out so at first I suspected it was a gopher munching on the root system, but after listening to your troubles now I’m leaning towards disease, especially since the other 2 tomatoes next to it eventually seemed to succumb as well. Just much later.

  • Joe Lamp'l says:

    Wow Carey. Good to know. Thanks for chiming in. For me, 3 years ago, I had 2 plants and bumper crops on both. Last year, 2 plants – one died quickly (fusarium), and the other did well. This year, both plants died of fusarium. And different beds each time. So frustrating! Yet we persist, right? Gotta love that. Thanks for your comment.

  • kathy rouleau says:

    Hope someone still checks on this 4 months after you first posted. Very interested in what you all have been saying about Sungold, as mine have not been as good the last few years. In 2018 the seeds were the same I’d used for 2-3 years, so not 2018 seed. I buy mine from Johnnys,. but that apparently doesn’t matter. I’ve grown them since they first were offered. I remember in 1995 we had a very hot dry summer here in northern Vermont, and I counted the tomatoes from 2 sungolds, and got 2000. When I started sungolds with other tomatoes they always stood out for their vigor, and when I planted out 8 week old plants they were sturdy, tall, and ready to take off. That hasn’t been true the last few years, and I’ve figured I haven’t cared for them as well. A couple of years ago I even went to a local nursery to get a couple, but there’s weren’t any better, and I figured it was the weather. It honestly hadn’t occurred to me that the seed quality might have drifted. I even tried a couple of other varieties that were compared to sungold (including estarino), but wasn’t happy with the fruit. Sungolds are incomparable. The fruit has been okay but the plants have not been. I’m going to try Wild Boar Farm’s Big Sungold this year. I do not have fusarium wilt here, so that cannot account for it.
    I went back and looked at a picture of sungold I posted on a gardening blog of mine from 2010, and realized that I haven’t seen any sungold this lush, green, disease free, and sturdy for a long time.(https://verfoodie.blogspot….
    You say of Craig “For that reason, he wonders if this particular variety – after years of seed saving – is simply showing signs of weakness which existed all along.” But since sungold is a hybrid, it would have to be drift in the parent varieties, right? Or have they managed to create an OP sundgold and are now selling it as a hybrid? Many years ago a self sown dwarf tomato in my garden, which I didn’t rogue, was a sungold. It was a busy summer and I wasn’t seed saving at the time, and I regret not capturing it. I know that Rutgers U went back to old saved seed from the original parents of Rutgers and in 2017 (I think) offered Rutgers 250, recovering the variety from the drift of the parents.

  • Chickadee Ridge Farm says:

    Are you guys rotating your tomato crops? I’ve read that if you plant them in the same place every year diseases develop in the soil.

  • Joe Lamp'l says:

    Hi, Kathy. I guess better late than never in this case. Your email is very interesting and sounds very much like the experiences I’ve been seeing this year, including this summer with the 2 plants I grew. One of them I had to pull out of the ground before July 1. It was totally gone. The other one is producing beautifully but the plant is not looking good. Both of my plants came from seeds I ordered from Totally Tomatoes.
    I still have more work to do to try and isolate the problem so stay tuned for more. Right now I’m still on the hunt to figure out what is really going on! Thanks for writing.

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