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The $50.00 Tomato I Grew In A Container

Updated on July 30, 2015
mary615 profile image

Mary enjoys gardening, and loves a challenge, but from now on she will leave growing tomatoes to the professionals.

My $50.00 Tomato

My failed attempt at growing a tomato.  It's pretty sad, right?
My failed attempt at growing a tomato. It's pretty sad, right? | Source

My Goal In Life

I have a goal in life: To grow delicious homegrown tomatoes!

When I was a kid growing up on a farm, our vegetable garden always included tomatoes! I would walk among the huge plants, and just pluck a big, red, juicy tomato and eat it right there on the spot! No need to even wash it.

My favorite sandwich was two pieces of bread slapped together with a tomato, mayonnaise, and a little salt. I can still taste it after all these years!

My Don Juan Rose

I grow many types of Roses.  This is a favorite of mine.
I grow many types of Roses. This is a favorite of mine. | Source

My Cattleya Orchid

This Orchid was a Mother's Day gift about four years ago.  It blooms every year and is gorgeous.
This Orchid was a Mother's Day gift about four years ago. It blooms every year and is gorgeous. | Source

Zinnias From My Flower Garden

Zinnias are a favorite flower to grow.  So colorful and beautiful.
Zinnias are a favorite flower to grow. So colorful and beautiful. | Source

I Can Grow Anything (Except A Tomato)

I don’t like to brag, but I can grow anything! I can take a bare branch from a shrub dig a hole and water it until it turns into a big, beautiful flowering shrub that everyone notices and admires. Why buy a expensive potted plant when I can make my own?? Friends and neighbors are always willing to share!

I like to grow flowers that most people avoid because of their difficulty. Those are the ones I love to grow. I love a challenge.

African Violets? At one time I had 300 growing under my living room window. I finally just had to start giving them away.

Orchids? These are just too easy for me!

Roses? I had a rose garden once that caused people to stop their cars to snap photos.

Annuals? I just sprinkle seeds on the ground, lightly cover, and stand back watch them grow and bloom. Too easy!

Just A Few Of My Neighbor's Tomatoes


My Neighbor Grows Perfect Tomatoes

I have a neighbor who enjoys his vegetable garden. He prides himself on sharing his beautiful tomatoes with me and everyone who lives on our street. His wife brags about all the tomato sauce she preserves from his yield. She makes homemade salsa, and never has to buy spaghetti sauce.

I Hoped This Year Would Be Different

Remember when the big thing was to grow “upside down” tomatoes? As soon as I read about them, I ordered one of these contraptions. I followed the instructions exactly and never got one tomato.

I bought some tomato seeds one year. After killing myself to properly till the ground, and amend the soil to the exact pH the experts say to do, I think 10 seeds sprouted out of maybe 1,000. From these measly number of seedlings, none of them turned into a tomato plant.

For several years I tried growing tomatoes in containers. I have friends who boast about their harvest just from ONE plant. I have lost count of my failures on potted tomatoes. I joined a gardener’s group on Facebook and read all the advice there on growing tomatoes. I have watched countless videos on YouTube.

I was going to try just one last time to grow tomatoes in a container.

One Of The Three Tomato Plants Ready To Be Planted

This is one of the three  tomato plants  I bought  and planted in a container.
This is one of the three tomato plants I bought and planted in a container. | Source

This Year Will Be Different ( I Thought)

This year was going to be different. I was determined my luck with tomatoes would change.

I bought three small tomato plants from the local garden center, along with nice big pots to grow them in. I bought excellent potting soil. I carefully planted them. I bought cages made to support my plants. I faithfully watered the tomatoes, and became very excited as I watched them begin to grow.

My Three Tomatoes


I Began To Get Excited!

Every morning I would go out with my camera to check the growth of my plants. After a couple of weeks, the leaves began to curl under. A friend told me they needed Magnesium. I bought a box of Epson salt, mixed with water and applied.

Another week passed, and they were looking worse and worse! Two of them was as dead as could be. I sadly threw them out, and saved the pot and soil for a future flower.

The one remaining tomato just might make it. I was getting excited!

My hopes began to diminish when I began to notice the leaves on that plant were curling under. Too much water? Not enough water? I consulted Mr. Google to find an answer. I got conflicting answers. I asked in my gardening forum. No one seemed to know for sure.

I suspected a pest had attacked my tomatoes, so I tried the old standby: diluted dish washing soap and water sprayed onto the plants. They continued to curl. I broke down and purchased some liquid insect killer and sprayed the plants. This was a last resort because I hate using any chemicals on my plants.

Even though the plant looked unhealthy with its curling leaves, it began to bloom. I was really excited because after the blooms the fruit will follow, right?? Wrong.

I was joyful when I saw tiny little green tomatoes forming on my sad plant. I’m going to have tomatoes, after all.

I spent time every day taking photos, and anticipating beautiful red juicy tomatoes! I couldn’t wait to show my boastful neighbor.

Only One Tomato Plant Is Alive


I Now Have Blooms!

Each little blossom should turn into a tomato.
Each little blossom should turn into a tomato. | Source

I Now Have One Tomato!

It's a miracle!
It's a miracle! | Source

A few days ago, I saw my one lone tomato go from a nice green color to this color. It defies description. It is just pitiful. Maybe it will improve……

I patiently waited . I realized this was the final product. I plucked the fruit from the plant, brought it inside, washed it, and cut it open. Yuk!! Most unappetizing. I threw it away.

You be the judge.

Pretty Sad Looking, Don't You Think? Notice The Curled Leaves.

The color of my tomato defies description.
The color of my tomato defies description. | Source
My tomato is not very appetizing.  It's going in the trash can!
My tomato is not very appetizing. It's going in the trash can! | Source

I have about $50.00 invested in this one pitiful tomato!

If I add up what it has cost me for the three plants, pots, soil, Epson salts, insecticide and water I used, and the 3 cages to go around my plants thinking they would need support! Ha, ha….they never grew enough to need them.

I don’t think I have the talent for growing tomatoes. I’ll have to settle for a tasteless, overpriced tomato I buy at the grocery store for my BLT sandwiches.

I think it must require a very talented gardener to grow tomatoes. I’ll just stick with flowers that will reward my hard work and effort. I give up on growing tomatoes!

Just this evening my neighbor brought over enough tomatoes for me to enjoy for at least two weeks. Yeah for good neighbors!

My good friend, Peggy W. is an avid gardener like me. This is a delightful Hub she wrote about growing a Monster tomato.

I think I will just stick to growing things I know I can grow, and leave tomato growing for the experts.
I think I will just stick to growing things I know I can grow, and leave tomato growing for the experts. | Source

Do You Grow Your Own Tomatoes?

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florida, usa:
Florida, USA

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© 2015 Mary Hyatt


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    • Easy Exercise profile image

      Kelly A Burnett 

      2 years ago from United States

      Hi Mary,

      I am so relieve to find a kindred soul. I too flunked at growing tomatoes and alas I haven't even tried any other vegetable or herb. My repertoire is small - flowers only - typically hardy perennials.

      A big gardener lovers, dedicated to the dirt, weeding and design but oh, thank goodness the world did not depend upon me for any vegetables! We are in a better state because others can grow vegetables!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

      Yes you can link your article to mine about the monster tomato plant and I will do the same. It seems we both have similar luck growing tomatoes in the south. It was a far different story when we lived in Wisconsin. I had bumper crops up there! Happy to share.

    • Rabadi profile image

      2 years ago from New York

      Love tomatoes! What a great hub, Keep them coming :)

    • Besarien profile image


      2 years ago

      Hi Mary I am so sorry that was a 50 dollar tomato. I'll come grow your maters, if you come grow my roses? My roses are never that pretty!

      I don't think it was you at all, I think you got sold some crummy plants at your garden center. If you ever decide to try, try again, get a packet of heirloom tomato seeds. At least the finished product will be tasty.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      2 years ago from Texas

      Mary, I hope you are back to growing things and yes even tomatoes.

      Blessings and Hugs to you dear Mary.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      2 years ago from California

      Hope you are doing well Mary! Happy holidays to you!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I feel bad for you. I also tried growing tomatoes in a pot and it did well but the squirrels and raccoons got ahead of me in picking the fruits.

    • Helga Silva profile image

      Helga Silva 

      2 years ago from USA

      I love your flowers. Don't worry about tomato Es. I am in SC and I had so much frustration with growing tomatoes. One year they do fine, the next one they fail me. It's a lot of factors involved: sun, rain, soil, even the seeds.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A beautiful hub! I like the photos! Growing your own tomatoes sounds a great idea. We did this summer and had loads.

    • Joyfulcrown profile image


      2 years ago

      I am sorry about your experience. I hope you will try again. It does get easier. I've been growing vegetables for about 8 years now.

    • Rabadi profile image

      2 years ago from New York

      Never grew tomatoes but my father is a gardner who loves to grow all kinds of vegetables. This was a great read, I enjoyed it. I am now following you.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I miss you, Mary!

    • David Trujillo profile image

      David Trujillo Uribe 

      3 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Hehehe, ah well, at least you tried! And probably had fun while at it

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, sujaya venkatesh I'm so glad you like my flowers. I do enjoy growing them and I appreciate their beauty. I do wish I could grow a decent tomato, though. Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 

      3 years ago

      beautiful flowers and yummy tomatoes

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Vellur. After this experience, i decided to stick to growing flowers!

      Glad you like my roses, Mary

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      3 years ago from Dubai

      Tomatoes in the market are definitely overpriced and not that delicious. I hope you have success if you decide to grow tomato plants again. The roses in your garden are very beautiful!

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      marcoujor, hi there, Oh if I didn't have such a wonderful neighbor, I would frequent the local Farmer's Market! I'm just thankful he keeps me supplied!

      Glad you liked just a sampling of my beautiful flowers. At least I succeed in growing them! Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Sweet and funny story- clearly why I enjoy a trip to the Farmer's Market.

      What nice neighbors and beautiful flowers you have.

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, pstraubie48 I would like to think the problem was with the plants I chose, but honestly, some of us are just better at certain things than others, I think. I seem to have a talent for growing flowers and shrubs, so I'll stick to them.

      Thanks for thinking of Baby. It has been a heartbreaker for me, but we are slowly learning new skills at living with a blind dog. It takes a lot of love and patience,

      Thanks for the angels today; sending them back to you, my dear. Mary

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 years ago from sunny Florida

      It wasn't YOU, Mary. It was the plants....some plants just do not grow. :)

      I have had good luck with them some years and not so much with them others. I cannot tell you THE secret...but I do believe if you do not begin with good seeds or good plants you are doomed.

      This year I have grown no veggies as I have had so much going on with family that it was not wise to even try.

      Hoping all is good with you and Baby...I read your sad article about her blindness but know how blessed she is to have YOU.....Know that many Angels are on the way to you and Baby. ps

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, AudreyHowitt I would be thrilled to just grow a little cherry tomato. One year I tried one of those in a pot, and it didn't make it either. I give up!! I'll just stick to growing my flowers, but thanks anyway, Mary

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      3 years ago from California

      Oh I so get it Mary! I can't grow the big ones at all, but I can and do grow the cherry tomatoes! Try the tiny ones!!

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi there, Patsybell You just may be right! Maybe I tried too hard. It's true we can kill flowers (especially Orchids) by loving them too much rather than just leave them alone.

      At any rate, I'll stick to growing flowers from now on, Nice to see you, Mary

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 

      3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      mary615, I think you are working and trying too hard to grow tomatoes. Don't worry about ph, Epson salt, fertilizer. Buy a plant stick it in the ground in full sun. Water once a week, (IF it doesn't rain). Don't add anything to the soil.

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      thumbi7 , hi there. I felt like my tomatoes were just teasing me. I had plenty of blooms, but then nothing!! I certainly hope you have better luck with your tomatoes than I did.

      Goodnight, Mary

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 

      3 years ago from India

      I have a tomato plant growing on my balcony. It looks healthy. But the flowering is delayed. Right now we are having heavy rains and not much sunlight.

      Hope the plant will not end up like what you have described.

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, oceansnsunsets The "soil" where I live is mostly sand! I tried growing my tomatoes in store bought soil (which just killed me to do). I do envy people who can grow tomatoes, but I'll stick to my flowers that never cease to amaze me!

      Thanks for liking my photo of me watering my flower baskets, Mary

    • oceansnsunsets profile image


      3 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Oh Mary! I somewhat feel your pain, though I did have two great years of growing tomatoes, at two different locations. What I have learned is that my soil will often give up its nutrients for one good years growth of tomatoes. After that though, its very tough! They just take so much out of the soil.

      I have found that I have not mastered the replenishing of the soil with the right nutrients. I think its also why we love tomatoes so much, at least in part. Think of all the vitamins and minerals they soak up from the earth! Anyway I can't grow them now either.

      I did have a friend that put her rabbit pellets into her tomato garden, though I am not sure you are supposed to do that! She says it makes her grow amazing tomatoes. "Shrugs", I just don't know. I love a very good tomato though, and am very impressed by tomato gardeners. Voted up and shared!

      I love your pretty picture at the end too!!

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Sherry Hewins I think some people (like your hubby) are just talented when it comes to growing tomatoes. I admire folks who can grow them; I'm lucky to have a good neighbor to supply me!

      I would just love to can tomatoes!

      Good to see you, Mary

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 

      3 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      My husband grows wonderful tomatoes. He plants them directly in the ground, with very few amendments.

      We have a short growing season in the Sierra Foothills, so we only grow "Early Girl," from plants we buy at the nursery.

      We get a bumper crop every year, with plants 8 feet tall or better. It has forced me to can salsa and stewed tomatoes. Maybe you are saving yourself a lot of work by not getting any home grown tomatoes.

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, FlourishAnyway, Well, at least you are doing a great thing by feeding the deer! I do have to brag about my ability to grow flowers, though. I was raised on a farm and had to work in the vegetable gardens, but my parent's talent didn't pass to me, either!

      So glad you appreciate my flowers, Mary

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      3 years ago from USA

      I may have grown the same tomato. I do other things well, but growing stuff sure isn't one of them. At some point I just give up the watering and let the deer eat what they want. My grandfather was a farmer and didn't pass down the talent. I bet you could sell those beautiful flowers you grow, Mary.

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Thelma. You were certainly determined to grow tomatoes, and you did it!! Congrats!

      No, I will spend my time among my flowers and let others such as yourself grow the tomatoes!!

      Thanks for the encouragement though, Mary

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      3 years ago from Germany

      Sorry to hear about that Mary. I have green fingers when it comes to flowers but when I started planting my own pots of tomatoes, the fruits were rotten. I kept on trying and trying and at last I am harvesting tomatoes from my container tomatoes in my balcony here in Germany. Don´t lost hope. Keep on trying.

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      cat on a soapbox (Cat), good morning. It's now lunch time where I live, and I just made myself a BLT (my favorite), with a beautiful huge tomato my neighbor grew! I went out and cut him some Zinnias from my garden that are just gorgeous now.

      Thanks for reading my sad story and commenting, Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, ladyguitarpicker (Stella) Hey, that sounds like a good deal! I can grow any kind of flower you want (I'll bettcha), and you can grow the tomatoes!!

      I didn't use any manure; maybe that's where I went wrong....

      Well, no more tomato growing for this ole' gal. Good to see you, Mary

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 

      3 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hello Mary. How frustrating! Even the best gardeners have that one plant they can never grow well. Tomatoes take forever from seeds and can be hit or miss because of weather that's too hot or too cold and rain or humidity that bring diseases. You've obviously got a wonderful green thumb for most things, and a generous neighbor with a knack to grow good tomatoes. Sounds like a good deal to me! Thanks for sharing a story that so many of us can relate to. Enjoy those yummy sandwiches and the rest of your summer-


    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 

      3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Sorry Mary about the tomatoes. I hate to tell you I had wonderful tomatoes this year. We planted them in big 5 gallon buckets with holes in the bucket, we did use compost cow manure. I had 2 plants and had to give the tomatoes away. Don't feel bad I can not grow anything else here. I will grow your tomatoes and you can grow my flowers, Stella

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      ChitrangadaSharan, good morning. Well, I wish you all the luck in your attempt to grow tomatoes!

      I will just enjoy those beauties my neighbor grows.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed reading about my $50.00 tomato, Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, PegCole17 So you are another member of the "I can't grow a tomato" club!! Isn't it pitiful?? I'm not sure if I overwatered mine or not. We've had temps of high 90's for days on end.

      Thanks for reading about my failure, Mary

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Sorry about your frustrating experiences trying to grow tomatoes though your hub is an enjoyable read. And the flowers you have grown are so beautiful.

      I like growing plants of all types, especially flowering plants. I haven't tried tomatoes but planning to do it. I can grow them in pots only since I don't have a garden.

      Your hub title is brilliant and the hub is very interesting as well as informative. Thanks and voted up!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Oh yes, I can relate to this, Mary. My garden has produced only three tomatoes about the size of grapes. The last one remains on the vine as a sun-dried tomato. With the temperatures in the hundreds for the last two weeks, the plants are parched and nearly dead. Watering doesn't seem to help and only serves to par boil the veggies before baking.

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, phoenix2327 I don't understand how come tomatoes are so finicky! It's like they have a mind of their own, right? No, I'm over trying to grow tomatoes: I will stick to my flowers cause I know I can depend on them.

      The same neighbor who grows beautiful tomatoes also grows peppers! Mary

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      3 years ago from United Kingdom

      I'm sorry to read about your tomatoes. If it's any consolation your flowers are beautiful.

      It's hit and miss for me when it comes to tomatoes. Some years there are more than I know what to do with. Then there was last year when the didn't come it till August and there was barely enough for a salad. I didn't bother this year. I'll try again next year. Maybe I'll try my luck with peppers too so the year won't be a total write off.

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, newbizmau Our Spring has been a very wet season, but that wouldn't explain my failure cause my neighbor grows wonderful tomatoes!

      Thanks for the encouragement, but I will put my effort into my flowers.

      Hope you have a wonderful day, Mary

    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 

      3 years ago from Mobile, AL

      Yes Mary if we did live closer I'd share with you as well. We have good spring weather for growing veggies and we share the overflow with friends. Usually doesn't take much to grow a big crop here. Different varieties of tomatoes tend to do better than others. I'd urge you to give it another shot one of these days and try a few different kinds. Maybe one of them will like you.

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Anne Harrison You are so lucky to have good soil where you live. Our soil here in Florida is mostly sand! I'm glad you can grow tomatoes; must be a wonderful feeling.

      Oh, I love to grow roses! I have some now in full bloom, and they are gorgeous!

      Thanks for the nice compliment on my Hub, Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, BlossomSB Oh, Orchids are SO easy to grow. They usually grow not because of the care people give them, but in spite of the care. If you can grow tomatoes, bet you could grow some flowers, too. Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi there. Gypsy Rose Lee Well, I'm glad you get good tomatoes (thanks to Martin), I'm sure he could show you some tricks about growing some in a pot. (Maybe Sid will help you!)

      Goodnight from Baby and me.....

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Hi Mary

      What a great title! It drew me in straight away.

      I'm blessed with soil so lush you could spread it on toast and eat it (my bay tree is taller than my house) and my small tomatoes just self-seed. Larger ones tend to be eaten by birds and the like, so I stick to the small varieties.

      But then, apart from roses, I'm hopeless with flowers - pity we're no neighbours!

      Great hub

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      That was an expensive exercise. Somehow, tomatoes and parsley seem to enjoy self-seeding in my tiny garden, but I certainly don't have such success with orchids - congratulations on your success with flowers!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      I'm not an expert at growing tomatoes but they are there in our greenhouse and Martin makes sure they are watered and get plant food and they do grow and we can eat them that is all I know about growing tomatoes. Did try growing a tomato in a pot hoping to have tomatoes in the fall but no luck.

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      sgbrown , hi...So you are one of the gifted people who can grow tomatoes! I had dreams of picking a lovely red tomato like you. I really thought I did everything right. Water from the bottom? That's new advice for me. I watered mine from the top, but they were in the sun.

      Orchids are SO easy to grow. I just place mine in the shade and forget them. They are so rewarding: I'll just stick to my flowers.

      Good to see you, Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, travmaj I'm glad you have good neighbors who supply you with tomatoes, too. There is just no comparison between a home grown tomato and store bought, is there?

      No, I'm leaving tomato growing to those who are successful, Mary

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hubby and I have always had good luck growing tomatoes. We can our own picante sauce and stewed tomatoes. Just yesterday, I picked our first red tomatoes and they were the size of golf balls! I don't know what has happened. It sounds to me like you are doing everything right! Keep trying, I know if you can grow orchids, something I have never been able to do, you can grow tomatoes! The only "tips" I can give you is be sure they get lots of sun and water them from the bottom. Good luck!

    • travmaj profile image


      3 years ago from australia

      Hi Mary - that was one expensive tomato - sorry had to smile. I do know that feeling but my attempts certainly haven't been as full on as yours. We have space but water and rabbits etc can be a problem. So yes we have no tomatoes! We do have neighbours who happily supply us. Lovely. I loved tomatoes when I was child and my dad grew them. The taste was truly remarkable. Oh, the nostalgia. I somehow think you'll give it one more try.Best wishes Mary.

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, always exploring My kids call me stubborn! When I set my mind to try something new, I usually won't give up, I have given up on growing tomatoes, though!

      I saw lots of great videos on how to grow tomatoes in a pot: they make it sound SO easy.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed my Hub. Thanks, Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Larry Rankin I guess I've just been extremely lucky in growing flowers. At any rate, I will not attempt to grow tomatoes again. Just hope the good neighbor keeps on producing for me!

      Good to see you, Larry

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I'm ashamed to admit that I laughed out loud while reading this. You are a trooper! God Bless. I do grow my own tomatoes but not this year. We've had so much rain the tomatoes rotted in the ground, plus I moved to a smaller house and a small yard, no garden. I hope to plant a tomato in a pot. I never have done this, but I know people who do and grow nice tomatoes. I did plant some cleome seeds that didn't come up. My first time for that to happen..I enjoyed reading your hub. Good luck the next time.....

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Gardening is a trial and error process. Very amusing story. I'm not laughing at you but with you. I've had plenty of epic fails in the garden.

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, MsDora I always say "you win some, you lose some", and I'm a loser when it comes to growing tomatoes! Yes, I'm thankful I have a good neighbor who has better luck with his tomatoes than me. I will leave the tomato growing to him!

      Thanks for reading, commenting and the vote, Mary

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Mary this is a fun, honest, informative hub. I admire your bravery in taking the plunge into tomato growing. I also like your attitude toward the less-than-ideal outcome. Thank God for tomato-growing neighbors! Voted Up.

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      drbj Hi there. Yes, my neighbor keeps me supplied with tomatoes! (love your little rhyme). He makes it sound so simple to grow beautiful tomatoes!

      Glad you like my photo, BTW. Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Dolores Monet Yes, we have to laugh at ourselves, don't we?? Well, I managed to kill three tomato plants, but I'm not trying to grow them anymore. I'm like you...I'll stick to my tried and true flowers and shrubs.

      Have a wonderful day, Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, peachpurple Yes, I guess we can't be good in all areas, but growing tomatoes was such a challenge for me. If others can grow them, why can't I??? Funny you can bake cookies and cakes, but not bread; go figure!

      Thanks for reading about my sad tomato, Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Jodah I've never heard of a Tommy Toe tomato that has bunches of tomatoes! Thanks for the advice about watering; I did aim the water hose at the base of the plant.

      Enjoy those tomatoes and think of your friend in Florida who has NO talent for growing them. Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      good morning, Faith Reaper That is so funny; you thinking I had won a prize. Well, if the prize was for winning a dud of a tomato, I would have won a prize for this one!

      My neighbor did give me lots of tips: more water, less water, blah, blah. Nothing worked for me!

      Oh, yes, I can grow some beautiful flowers. At least I have a talent for that.

      Good to see you, Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, newbizmau Sounds like you are one of the lucky folks who can grow tomatoes! I started out with three plants, so I don't think they were lonely.....they just didn't like me!

      Too bad we don't live closer; you could share your tomatoes and peppers (I like those, too)

      Happy gardening, Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, Peggy W I swear, you and I have so much in common! People always ask for my advice on growing flowers, especially my Orchids.

      I loved your Hub on growing that huge tomato. I linked that into this one!

      No thank you, I won't be needing your tomato cages. I have three extras now. I think I will grow a flower vine on them.

      Thanks so much for the votes and the share, and your compliment on my photos, Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, there, mckbirdbks When I first started taking photos each day, I envisioned big red tomatoes on my plants. Oh, well, I guess we all have our own talents, but growing tomatoes is not mine.

      I wish I had your talent for writing stories that hold the reader from start to finish! Mary

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      3 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I had to read this because I love the title. There is nothing like laughing at our failures to keep us going. My master gardener friend said that you never really fail with a plant until you've killed three of them. Sometimes, things just don't work. I am the flower and shrub person in our family and leave the veggies to my husband.

    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      when you are good at one thing, it doesn't means you are good at the other. You are a pro in gardening flowers, plants but sadly not in tomatoes. Same goes for me. I can bake cookies and cakes but not bread. Odd sin't it?

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I can relate to this Mary. Sorry to hear your tomatoes failed. We don't have the best of uck with any except cherry tomatoes which go crazy and grow almost all year round. At the moment we have a variety called "tommy toe" growing in an old wheel barrow. It is bigger than a normal cherry tomato and is in fact a grape tomato variety...forms in little bunches which have a staggered ripening so you have a constant supply of tomatoes. Usualy bugs have ruined our tomatoes before but thi year not a single one...we have planted basil, garlic chives, parsley and rainbow chard next to the tomato and they are attracting native bees but seem to be repelling other pests. You might try planting ome of these nearby or check out my companion planting, or good bug/bad bug hub. Good luck. p.s. with tomatoes don't water the actual plant, just the ground under it, or you wash away the natural pesticide.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      3 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, my, Mary ...$50.00 for that tomato : ( sad indeed! When I read your title, I thought that you were writing about a grand tomato you grew that won a $50 prize LOL. I'm sorry.

      We have so many farmers around here and there are fresh tomatoes that I haven't a need to grow my own, but I have wanted to do so in pots too, as I always thought it was easy, but now I am not so sure.

      Maybe your neighbor can give you some tips. Well, you certainly corner the rest of gardening with your expertise at such lovely flowers, which they are all beautiful.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 

      3 years ago from Mobile, AL

      I think the problem might be the pot. I know tomato plants love the sun. Hot Sun and Lots of water. Less sun and less water. That's the rule. Composted soil works best for us to start. We usually plant them in a row. Several tomato plants next to each other with maybe one Bell pepper planted at the end. Maybe they like friends. Your tomato plant was probably lonely.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

      Like you, I have given up trying to grow them in Houston. I had great luck in Wisconsin! Everyone in the neighborhood thinks that I have such a green thumb and even ask my advice about things. But to count on getting a tomato crop despite all my best efforts...forget it. Need any extra tomato cages? I have them stacked up on the side of our backyard shed. Ha! As you intend to do, I think I will concentrate my efforts elsewhere going forward. Up votes and sharing. Love your photos!

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      You certainly got your story from that tomato. Orchids or tomatos is not much of a choice. Orchids look better - though you cannot eat them. I would like to give you a bunch of tomato growing advice, but you say the neighbor can grow them, which leaves me confused as to the cause.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      3 years ago from south Florida

      You are so lucky, Mary, to have a neighbor

      Who grows more tomatoes than he can eat.

      Shower him with gardening compliments,

      And he'll cover you with tomatoes . . . from head to feet.

      BTW, you look very cute in that photo!

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Sunshine625 I'm so happy you enjoyed my sad story. I love a challenge, but I'm over trying to grow tomatoes!! Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi there, Jackie Lynnley The tomato was not fit for human consumption! I did lick it before I tossed it, and it was awful! You are so lucky to be able to grow tomatoes. You are the kind of person I envy; I just cant' do it!

      I grow a lot of flowers in pots cause I have a tiny yard.

      We've had a lot of rain lately; almost every day. I thought tomatoes should be grown in the sun! No, I'm not trying to grow tomatoes again. I'll leave them up to people like yourself.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      rebeccamealey, one year I managed to get a tomato to ripen, but before I could get it off the vine, birds pecked it to death! Oh, well, at least I fed the birds.

      I'm sticking to flowers and herbs, too. Thanks for reading and the share, Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Nell Rose Hey, I always knew you and I had a lot in common!! From now on, I'll just stick to growing flowers, for sure. I'm so glad you liked my closing photo!

      Thanks so much, Mary

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I thoroughly enjoyed your tomato story, it was very entertaining and sad. I wouldn't eat that $50 tomato, it looks lethal. Thank you so much for sharing your story :)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Wow Mary I still would have had to cut the bad part off and given that tomato a taste; you never know. I am into the seeds this year and it is a slow go; may end up like yours. Years ago I use to take the plants my dad and dad-in-law were throwing out and just plant them around the house anywhere and they always did great. On summer blight hit everyone's tomatoes but mine and I had to freeze and can and cook for weeks.

      I have no luck with anything in a pot it seems. I do know mowed or pulled up grass around your plants is really great for nutrition and keeping them moist. Change it maybe once a week or so.

      You are in Florida; don't give up, try it again on a shady side of your house.

      Fun read!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I have no luck either, Mary. If it's not a squirrel that gets my tomatoes it's one of those big ugly green worms. I'm sticking to flowers and herbs!

      Great blog. Shared!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      3 years ago from England

      lol! I did smile when I was reading this Mary, you and me both! lol! I am useless at growing tomatoes, I usually let my other half do it, he has green fingers, but even this year we couldn't coax the little blighters to grow! never mind stick to growing your wonderful flowers, and I love that photo of you at the bottom! voted up! nell

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi there, liesl5858 We have have an unusual rainy season here in Florida. I'd like to blame my experience on the weather, except my neighbor grows them very well.

      Well, I'm just stick to growing flowers!

      Thanks for the compliment on my photos, Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Bill. Isn't is funny that some years you are successful, but not other years?? I think tomatoes are temperamental plants. They certainly don't like me!

      I really wanted to do this, too!

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi there, bravewarrior Yes, I can grow some lovely flowers, thanks! This thing about growing tomatoes just became too much of a challenge for me. I figure if other people can do something, I can, too!

      My neighbor just brought me over more tomatoes today, I'm happy. His are just so beautiful, Mary

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi. Kristen Howe Thanks for the encouragement! No, I'm over trying to grow tomatoes. Thanks for reading and the votes, Mary

    • liesl5858 profile image

      Linda Bryen 

      3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Mary, I am sorry to hear about your bad experience growing tomatoes. I have been growing tomatoes for ages and it has always been a success except for one year, I grown loads of tomatoes but the weather was always raining and the tomato fruits and the leaves became saturated and became brown. But most of the time I grow tomatoes, it has been a success. Never mind you are good at growing other vegetables and flowers. Don't give up, Mary, sometimes it is the weather that affects growing tomatoes. Good luck next time. Beautiful photos by the way.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I wish I had some words of wisdom, Mary, but I've had a hit and miss experience with tomatoes. We try every year. Sometimes, like last year, we had great results. This year not a blossom. I have no clue.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      Mary, so sorry about your tomato endeavors. At least your neighbor has more than enough to share with you!

      Your flowers are beautiful. You certainly have a green thumb that produces pretty things.

      My neighbor tried growing tomatoes without any luck. The squirrels got to them before they were ready to pick. He even had cages on them, but those are more to train the plants than to keep critters out.

      Pat yourself on the back for trying. At least now you know where your gardening energies should be spent.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Mary, don't give up. Keep trying. Maybe you'll have better tomatoes the next time around. Voted up for interesting.

    • mary615 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Bob Well, I've decided to just rely on my neighbor for home grown tomatoes. I just don't like the ones you have to pay a fortune for in the grocery store that have very little flavor.

      Good to see you here today. Thanks for being the very first person to read, vote and comment on my tomato Hub!! Mary

    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 

      3 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Sorry about your frustrating experiences trying to grow tomatoes, Mary. I've grown them a few times over the years, but I just don't enjoy gardening, so haven't had them for several years now. They were good, but I can get them at farmer's markets or from friends, co-workers, etc. I'm with you, though...nice fresh soft bread, thick slice of tomato, slather on the mayo and a bit of salt...can't be beat!! Fun hub, voted up, funny and interesting.


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