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The Challenges of Growing Tomatoes

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Growing the delicious garden tomato becomes more and more elusive for me and others as well. Back in the day, my parents would put a few tomato plants in amongst the foundation plantings and we’d have plenty of those summer treats. Now with increased disease and insect pressure, I‘ve become an aficionado of cherry tomatoes which seem easier to grow; although you need a really sharp knife if you are going to slice them for BLT’s. There’re also tasty greenhouse grown tomatoes, with brown skins and lots of flavor available all year. Growers of hot house tomatoes often use colonies of bumble bees for pollination as there isn’t enough air movement inside those structures to be effective. Bumble bee hives are short lived, sometimes only a few months, so growers protect them using integrated pest management to limite pesticides applications.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.