Anyone else struggling with tomatos in SoCal?
I'm a home grower in Los Angeles and every year I have a few challenges with my tomato garden, but ultimately end up with a pretty decent crop. This year, however, has been just terrible. I compost through the cooler seasons in the same spot where my tomato garden is....being in a city, it's the only spot on my property where I can do it. In March I spread my compost, add a little granular organic fertilizer....just a little...and plants go in the ground by the end of March. I have room for 15 plants...all heirlooms. This year my plants took off like gang busters. By June they were over 8 feet tall and very healthy looking. Lots of flowers but not setting fruit. I feared that I had perhaps used too much compost and they were just getting too much nitrogen. I was also spraying with Oxidate to ward away the leaf fungal stuff which usually turns my crop to brown by the end of summer. I finally got a handful of tomatoes by mid July, but just a few and then virtually nothing. A month later, now in mid August, the plants are all covered with brown wilty leaves and there are virtually no tomatoes. Usually by this time of summer I have more tomatoes than I know what to do with. Now I only have a handful of tomatoes out of 15 plants.
Is anyone else in Los Angeles, or Southern California, also having a crappy year? Did I do something bad by adding TOO MUCH compost (about 8 inches across the top of garden, then incorporated)? I cut back watering to 1x a week when fruit started to set as I usually do. Any guesses as to what's happening this year?
Would love to hear your thoughts.