Growing in Thunder Bay: Tomatoes

This year my tomatoes are doing great. This beautiful little ruby is the first cherry tomato of what looks to be a few hundred, destined for many snacks until winter.

My garden was not always such a happy place for tomatoes, in 2014 I had a blight.


Tomatoes and Potatoes specifically can attract fungus that browns the leaves and shows up as a dark patch on leaves and stalk. Blight can very quickly turn a beautiful stand of tomatoes that you carefully staked and watered for the entire spring into a swampy green forest of frustration.

To add to that, blight can survive in plant material and fruit over winter to infect new plants. It is important to remove all plant material and start fresh after a blight. I tried again in 2015 and ended up with the same problem. This year I was very careful and seem to be in good shape.

This is my 2013 harvest off 8 plants, my back yard is a tomato paradise

Two very important methods I picked up to try and avoid blight going forward are:

  • Water in the early afternoon to make sure plants have a chance to dry.
  • Investigate all discoloration of leaves. Most times leaves turning yellow just shows a need for a fertilizer balance, brown and dying can be blight. (Or your plants being damaged by the sun)

Overall Tbay is great for tomatoes, just don’t be in too much of a hurry to plant them outside before the last frost (I wait until the second week of June religiously) and make sure that if you are buying or terminating bedding plants that you help them aboud shock by bringing them inside the house or shed overnight for the first few days up to a week. I am all-im on making the most gigantic batch of sauce to last the winter this fall!