One Towering Tomato

To the left at two feet ( approx. 61 cm) tall, tomato ‘Legend,’ to the right at three feet (approx. 91 cm), tomato ‘Cherokee Purple,’ and in the center at a whopping seven feet (approx. 213 cm) tall, tomato ‘Gardener’s Delight!’ Holy cow! Thanks Adam Leone of  for suggesting ‘Gardener’s Delight.’

There are many ways to grow tomatoes. Some people tie them to a single stake, some let them sprawl over the ground, and some like me give them each a cage of their own, tucking stray shoots here and there in passing. If there was a year to listen to old garden hands that say to snip out the wayward suckers to promote fruit over foliage, this was it, but I never even got around to mulching. Having the tomatoes top the cage is not an uncommon sight late in the season, but there’s a whole lot of season to go here in Wisconsin. Gardener’s Delight seems to demand a second cage. The raccoons are giving it a two paws up. The rude buggers eat half of each ripe tomato and leave the other half to rot. I gave my first full sized tomato from ‘Legend’ to My Love’s mom, the raccoons got the next two and I resorted to picking them just under ripe and letting them ripen in the house so I could have some for myself.

There’s been another “helper” in the tomato patch.

The infamous tobacco hornworm here to help with the pruning. I caught this guy, but there’s another out there lurking in the jungle of my tomato cage devouring what he can while he can. It has been a buggy year with variegated cutworms drilling into peony buds, tarnished plant bugs making daylily buds fall off, corn borers boring into lily stalks, and Japanese beetles gorging on nearly everything else. Still, despite the drought and the bugs and the raccoons and the deer (eating buds off my daylilies), we live in a kind of paradise with genuine amber waves of grain. I hope your garden paradise is just as joyful.

25 Responses to “One Towering Tomato”

  1. Reblogged this on Gardens for Cheap$kates and commented:
    Holy Moley . My tallest is about 41/2 feet, My beans are 7 feet tall.

    Will try this next year with tomatoes ( 2-3 kinds and bet I can harvest 125-200 fruits.

  2. that’s our dream tomato plant, minus the hornworm. nasty critters.

    • I can’t imagine what’s supposed to happen next. Should I cut it down to size? Let it drape over the outside of the cage? Create a fabulous tomato arch? (Just kidding about that last one.)

  3. That is so impressive! I don’t do Pintrest, but I’ve pinned it in my mental list of things I wish I’d do/grow/get/accomplish.

  4. My Dad used to pay 5 cents each for the hornworms we gathered from his tomato plants. With nine kids, most summers he could find one or two interested in a little extra income. Tomato plants look lovely!

  5. Despite my attempts to fully commune with nature, the tomato hornworms always give me serious heebie jeebies lol! Sounds like you know your critters well.

    • They’re a lot prettier than the Japanese beetle grubs I was picking out of my wood chip pile in May, but I get what you’re saying. Children are about the only cute squirmy things to have around.

  6. This is the year of the spider! All sizes and shapes. I am getting a bit tired of them crawling on me. 8-(

  7. We had a hornworm infestation two summers ago. I’ve since read that the best way to prevent them in future years is to do a good job plowing the soil (and hence the eggs) of the next generation. They are nasty little nibblers, aren’t they?

  8. Whew, that is one monster tomato! Mine are having trouble getting above “knee high” this year. Not that I’m wishing for it, but we haven’t had a lot of the heat that tomatoes need to grow and set fruit. Oh well–there’s always next year. That’s what gardening is about–eternal optimisn.

    • Well that explains it. We’ve taken all your heat this year with our early spring and endless days in the 90’s F (um, 30’s C?). I thought it was awfully hot. Not today, though. Today is gorgeous, one of those days we eternal optimists live for. Hope you have many such days!

  9. The nibbled on fruits are the worst, right? Just plain bad manners, if you ask me. 😉 I don’t mind sharing a reasonable portion of the crop, but don’t go poking holes in a dozen tomatoes like they don’t meet your high standards! Tacky, tacky, tacky.

    Great photo of a yucky looking worm. I’m going to keep my eyes open for this helper. I’m hoping the wasps are eating my leaf munchers?

  10. Hello! I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Here’s a link to it, if you’d like to go there:
    Have a blessed day!! We’re still waiting for tomatoes to show up, haven’t given up yet!!

  11. Not sure what would happen here in UK if Gardeners Delight got that huge! 3 ft max grown outside tho’ we don’t have raccoons pinching them

  12. I am hereby presenting you with a Liebster award.

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