July’s Continuing tomato mis-adventures

So it’s July in San Francisco- one of the most consistently warm Julys in a while. This is good- It means the tomatoes are growing, ripening and should be nice and tasty.

It also means the fungal issues that plague tomatoes in this city are only a little horrific- instead of nightmarish.

It also means the red aphids are very happy.


Even the lightly fungal-y hanging cherry tomatoes are heavy with fruit- but as a cherry type that’s not surprising.

Also heavy with aphids.

What is surprising is that my Petaluma hill purple is even alive. It looks undead but as long as it has tomatoes growing I will keep the zombie plant going.

Hopefully minus the aphids.

I am never growing a tomato in a large pot again- unless it’s in a breathable hanging pot like the cherry falls- or a plastic grow tub I can take in at night.

I’m also sure some of the fungal disaster is being spread by those nasty little red bugs.

What to do about that?

There’s no kill quite like overkill is there?

A week out from my ladybug carpet bomb- it really seems to have worked.

Not just on the tomatoes either- just about everything has a ladybug on it.

This is both good and also a reminder that my goal to be a bit more on the ball about hand smushing the nasty bugs was perhaps not the most realistic of goals this year.

My other lesson of this year is that I really really need to get behind the idea of tomato cages because random staking is just not cutting it.

In a way I lucked out this year- if we’d had a wetter and foggier summer like last year, with this type of bad tomato tying discipline I wouldn’t have fungal but healthy vines- I’d have fungal and dead ones.

The heat waves saved my bacon this year- next year it’s cages all the way.

I’ll leave you with the Petaluma which was just never the greatest of ideas- but now it can be a mistake covered in breeding ladybugs.

That fingers crossed I’ll get at least a few tomatoes from!

Minus the aphids.


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