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Late Summer Sprawl: Tomatoes and Tomatillos

I can’t be shocked that it’s this hot in August, it’s supposed to be. But This year has followed a different pattern from the get-go and I somehow expected to sail into autumn without a meltdown.

But there is some nasty Augusty weather here now. And my tomatoes are eating it up like 7 layer dip*.

Right now, I have to wait until the sun goes down just to water the important things. And clearly, my tomatoes weren’t on that list for a few days because I went out to check them just now and they are just spreading everywhere, laying down where they can, they’ve shot up long lengths of growth that look like Hermione Grainger trying to answer every question in class–And you would seriously not know that I only planted one tomatillo.

Tomatillo takeover with 2 1st year Buddleia ‘Black Knight’
Dirty old man Dahlia peeping on the ladies


A few years ago, my tomatoes all split after one of those “100 years rains” we get twice a year now and I swore them off. The are just total monsters, taking up all the room and then some and then there are all the things that could go wrong. I decided they’d be just as good from the farmers’ market down the road and so I quit cold turkey.

But I felt like something was missing. So I got back on it and planted 2 Black Krims, 2 Indigo Rose in the garden and a few cherry tomatoes in my straw bales. I had quit tomatillos, too, after the first time I planted one. I was all “No one warmed me they get 4x7x6” so I planted them among some Buddleia to help support them and be all interesting looking. Except that now the butterfly bushes are being smothered by a plant that has yellow flowers a-plenty and, from my casual observations, no fruit (Despite the fact that bees are up on that thing like Miley was on Robin Thicke at the VMAs).

It was SO HOT when I want out there, just now, and the tomatoes were SO AGGRESSIVE that I just picked a shirtload of them and ran back into the house.

I wonder what I’ll see when I get my guts together to go back out there in a few more days…



*I think tomatoes are IN 7 layer dip, so that gets weird. Right?

View Comments


  1. susan749 09/02/2013

    My 9 tomato plants were doing beautifully: over 5' tall, bushy and full of green tomatoes about 2 weeks ago. Now they are still tall and full of ripening and ripe tomatoes, but also suddenly severely affected with one of the fungus blights. Many wilting and brown leaves. Sigh... I still hope to get a good crop of tomatoes but I can see that the blight is already affecting some of the 'Juliette' plum-type tomatoes themselves. It is always like this vegetable gardening: some years one thing does really well and another totally tanks. I'd surely hate to have my livelihood depend on this.

    1. Stasia 08/18/2014

      Hi Susan, how did it go this year? I live just north of San Francisco in
      a very warm to hot micro-climate in the summer, and have suffered the
      same situation as you describe. Frustrating. Was hoping to be harvesting
      tomatoes into November, and clearly I will be done in September, maybe
      sooner. I am going to learn about organic composting and hope to have
      fabulous soil in my raised beds for next year's crop. Would love to hear
      about any strategies you've used and results. Thanks for sharing!

  2. GardenersWK 09/11/2013

    I love your story ! What to the Black Krims taste like? They looks so so cool! I've got to get my hand on some of that seed!

  3. deodasher1 08/18/2014

    Tomatillos require 2 plants to produce fruit. I learned this by planting only one and getting nothing but blossoms. This year I have 2 plants, one is loaded with fruit and the other has only a smattering. But there will be plenty for green salsa.

  4. uttaraghodke 06/23/2015

    Just came across this wonderful link. Going to try growing tomatoes at home now Very helpful

  5. user-7007837 10/02/2015

    Nice post.

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