b. fusarium wilt
c. root knot nematode (of which BJ promptly made up a song about)
d. some soil deficiency
e. one of the other million problems that can affect tomatoes.
But what hasn't failed us are the plants that have sprouted up due to falling fruit from past seasons, or our compost. These are what one would call a "volunteer". And they have been awesome.
We've got tons and tons of tomato volunteers, of different varieties.
These volunteers need no tomato cages. They're happy to sprawl out wherever they can, letting their fruit hang out in the wind.
They grew up in wily places, like in between our asparagus beds, siphoning off water and curling up the feathery asparagus leaves.
And the most impressive volunteers of all? A mysterious pumpkin, producing what some visitors have named Big Bertha, and her man, and their love child.
So thanks, volunteers, for saving our summer crop. Although you make us feel slightly inadequate as we try and grow nicely cultivated rows that fail, we appreciate your unbridled fruitfulness, and will definitely partake in your abundance. Please share with us the secret of such strong growth.
"This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how" -St. Mark