Here’s a note for my future self: expect tomatoes in August, not July.
In July, I was ready to throw in the towel on my tomato farming endeavors. The few fruits were green and not ripening very fast. The plants grew into a jungly mess and I had to prune off long straggly branches and haphazardly stake them to prevent them from collapsing. We had blossom end rot on several plants.
But, come August, things turned around. We got the blossom end rot under control by adding lime to the soil. Nature did her trick, and once the days became reliably warm, we magically started to have ripe tomatoes.
For having 9 plants, we have not been overwhelmed by tomatoes. We didn’t prune our plants when they were small. According to some wisdom, this makes the plants concentrate on growing foliage, not fruit. On the other hand, I know some people who have never pruned their tomato plants, and they are overloaded with fruit. Next year, I think I’ll try pruning the plants when they are young to see if it makes a difference in the yield of fruit.
And finally, an update on Mike’s giant Tahitian squash. You may remember that I pruned it back after the plant started to trail and strangle the tomato plants in the same bed. This made the plant very unhappy. But! Despite the savagery I unleashed on the squash to save the tomatoes, we still ended up with two giant squash. Mike is very happy with his twins.