Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dear Brandywine, There's Still Time

Dear Brandywine,

I first heard of you a long time ago, way before I actually started growing tomatoes. I got the idea you were the queen of tomato land—the purest tomato taste, the best-looking fruit, the best pedigree. And it's true, with your deeply burnished shoulders and intoxicating hue, you're the tomato I imagine when I think of the ideal tomato.

This year is the first year I've tried to grow you. We both know how it's going.

I'm not sure if it's you or me. Sometimes I think it's you, to be honest. Sometimes I think you're just temperamental and fussy. Forgive me, but sometimes I think you're high maintenance. And can you blame me? What with your fungal diseases and blossom drop, the caterpillars and the black spot, it's not like you're making this easy on me. I'm working really hard here.

Sometimes I think it's me after all. Maybe I just wasn't meant for a tomato like you. Maybe I live in the wrong zone, or I don't know the secret code, or you're just not that into me.

But here's what I really wanted to say. I'm not giving up on you. Yeah, so this season isn't working out between us. I get it. But I'd like to think I've already learned a few things about you. For example, I think when I grow you again, I'm going to treat for fungal diseases and black spot from the day you go into the ground. I think we need to make some allowances here in Zone 10. That's just for starters.

Anyway, that's just what I wanted to say. You and me? We're not done yet.


  1. I have the same problems with Brandywine here in Orlando. Lots of vine and very few fruit. I actually found your read while searching for some glimmer of hope for the six plants I have this year. Not a bloom yet and all the other varieties have half-grown fruit already. Happy to know I'm not alone!

  2. I'm having the same problems with Brandywines here in Miami. I believe the variety doesn't flourish in these climes, it was developed for the Northeast. I had no problems growing it in the warm (not hot) and dry Oregon Summers.