This is my first time growing tomatoes or anything really. I've tried growing potted grass for my cats and killed it - twice.
Back in May I bought three plants from a nursery - Patio, Big Boy, and Better Boy. I put them in 5 gallon pots with holes in the bottom, with potting soil and dirt from a flower bed (as suggested by a relative). Things were ok for a while but a few weeks ago I started having multiple problems. First, hornworms (yuck) decided to eat a good amount of the Better Boy and a little of the Patio. Then I noticed brown spots and small holes on some of the leaves. I sprayed them with an organic spray that takes care of most fungal and pest problems. Now, something else seems to be affecting the tomatoes. The Big Boy's leaves are turning brown and none of the plants are really producing anything.
The weather around here has been hot (90s) the past few weeks with little rain. There were some days that were very humid and the temp was near 100. Some of the books I read said to water everyday, others said to skip a day, then others said to check the soil to see if it was dry and water if it was. I still can't tell when they need water and when they don't.I have the pots sitting on a small piece of wood (for drainage) and they're sitting on my porch. They were getting about 6 hours of sun a day. Now, with the sun and time changing I'm not sure how much sun they're getting, it's probably less but I'll have to check.
With the hornworm eating most of the leaves, many of the tomatoes were probably exposed to the sun. I thought some of them had enough protection from it but maybe not.
Any ideas as to what's going on? I have a few ideas but I'd rather have the opinions of those more experienced.
Could someone tell me exactly how I should be taking care of these tomatoes. How much and often should I water? When and how much fertilizer should they receive? I've been following other people's advice but I think I just suck at gardening. I have the thumb of death.
Is it ok to eat the tomatoes if something has infected or infested the plants? Like that tomato at the top of my webpage, is that ok to eat as long as the bad spots are cut out?