I’m here doing a sustainability gardening channel. I am not thinking I am a cool beans. What I am is somebody who has epically failed at tomatoes multiple years in a row.

I used to love growing tomatoes.

Then the last four years, I have really just hated growing them. I grow them because I love to eat them. And they have a definitively different flavor than the ones you get from a hothouse and the grocery store. But what’s my problem. I have been gardening my entire life? Why have I struggled with tomatoes until this year?
Oh, until the end of last year, beginning of this year, I didn’t realize that there were different types of tomatoes. Obviously, I know that there are different breeds of tomatoes, but there are actually, definitively, two different types of tomatoes – actually three.

Determinate – INdeterminate and Semi-Determinate

I just learned that one while doing more research within the last week! The two types of tomatoes typically are determinate, which just flat out means “Bush.” Why can’t they just say, this is a “Bush tomato (determinate) vs indeterminate  – vine” – tall, massive tree-like thing. It would make life so much easier if they wrote these things on the tags. Okay, maybe they do and I didn’t know what I was looking for.
If you try to plant them (determinate and indeterminate) the same way and you try to grow them the same way, you’ll have the epic failure that I’ve had every year.
So this year in my garden I put Amish paste tomatoes, and, um, I put six of them in one bed. There are bushing tomatoes. So I’m going to try to use the age-old theory of caging. We’ll see if that works. I’ll keep you posted.
Well, what I wanted to really let you know about in this video is that there are three types of tomatoes, they’re determinate, which are the short bushy ones. Then there are the semi-determinates, which are the three that I staked into my garden in a totally separate bed from the Amish paste tomatoes. They are a Celebrity tomato and are semi-determinate. So I put massive tree stakes and I’m not joking. I put massive tree stakes in the soil next to the plant so that as they grow up, I will be able to continue to trellis them for lack of a better term to that tree stake and not have it fall over every year.
Now, mind you, none of these, these tomato plants, have I grown from seed? I have not. I have bought them at a local nursery.
IMPORTANT: Um, now the one other thing that I learned about tomatoes is they’re in the nightshade family. Something about their leaves is toxic to specifically chickens and I will do more research and get back to you on that.

The Wrap UP

So to wrap up, there were three types of tomatoes. I am going to be trying different methods this year for different kinds of tomatoes. And I will keep you posted on our progress to see if we are successful or just epic failing.
Keep going and keep trying new things in your garden. Like this year, I’ve never potted tomatoes. We’re going to try something new and it’s making me happy. It’s exciting. You’ve got to find that loving thing for you because sustainability is about what lights you up and makes you happy.
If it’s the sustainability of knowing how to make bread in your kitchen when there’s no more yeast, you can do an awesome sourdough! Rock on! If that’s how to be able to wash your dishes or wash your clothes with a washboard when they decide to actually cut off all the water to your house, because wait, they have to replace fire hydrants.
That’s what sustainability is really – kind of going back to those grassroots skills-based things that we all kind of let lapse because of industrialization and just because of the convenience of things.
But as we’ve learned, hopefully, we’ve learned the resources aren’t always available, and sometimes we need to buckle down and know how to take care of ourselves. So enjoy tomatoes, enjoy gardening. Find that one thing that lights you up, people, talk to you later.
Bye bye.
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