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Tomatoes: Tomato Adventures part2

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 6, 2012
3:03 PM

Post #9032482

Came from here

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1236416/

Random picture for the topic

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 6, 2012
3:08 PM

Post #9032490

I cannot remember which thread had a topic about setting their portable chicken coops over their square beds...I set my rabbit cage over my raised bed. The rabbits will be spread out into the other cages as soon as I pick up another water bottle.

I won't be planting my tomatoes and other veggie plants in this bed until the first of April. The rabbits have 3 to 4 weeks to fertilize it.

4 female rabbits and one male rabbit...all brothers and sisters.

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 7, 2012
5:51 AM

Post #9033060

Jnette asked questions about the rabbit cages in the previous thread.

answers.
I have 6 other rabbits.. 2 (bucks) will be gone by the end of the week. ..2 others are pregnant. One mama rabbit due today. The other is due Friday. They will have anywhere from 5 to 8 babies each.
The cage in photo was pre- made. I have two of those. I think they cost $75. I made one cage with 1/2 inch hardware mesh to keep snakes out of cage when babies are born. Have another cage that is snake proof that someone else made.
I think the 1/2" mesh was $12 for a 2x12ft roll at Tractor Supply.

They are meat rabbits and we will eat rabbit.

Total rabbits today= 11 with two litters on the way.

My son bought a doe rabbit yesterday with a cage. The man selling the rabbits was disappointed cause he bred his does so he could sell rabbits for Easter and non of them had any babies. I felt this rabbit last night and told my son she was expecting and he should put a pile of hay in her cage. This morning she was pulling fur and making a nest.
texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 7, 2012
7:12 AM

Post #9033144

I fooled around and have not yet bred my 3 does this season. My 4 rabbits cost me $7 a month in feed and they convert it into the very best garden fertilizer there is. It can be used without worry of burning plants.

Last year I dug a hole with a post hole digger about a foot deep between my pepper plants and filled it with rabbit pellets. I had outstanding peppers. I plan to do the same thing again this year and will add the process to some of my tomato plants.

The fertilizer alone makes keeping rabbits worth the cost. The butchered babies are just an occasional treat.
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 7, 2012
7:21 AM

Post #9033149

I may have contributed to a couple of threads regarding rabbit tractors as a childhood friend's father had a set-up for his rabbits which I always thought was genius. His was set up on wheels and rolled along the brick bed borders. I always thought the bunnies enjoyed the change of scenery.

Congratualtions on your son's good buy.

I wouldn't mind doing rabbits, my dogs would love it! =( Maybe in a few years. The Corgis aren't really the problem. They leave anything in a cage or coop alone. Its that crazy sheppard/healer mix someone dumped at our house a few years ago. She's a darling really. But a heat-seeking missile when she smells bunny. Good for my garden but she has impulse control issues ;~/.

My tomatoes should be going outside in the next couple of weeks. I'm going to try the shade cloth this year and see how far I can extend the tomato season in to summer. I love garden experimentation!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 7, 2012
8:24 AM

Post #9033208

So, how different is building a rabbit hutch than a chicken tractor? The GardenGirl has a chicken tractor that sits directly inside her raised beds. She moves it as necessary 3 months before planting.

Could I do the same with a rabbit hutch that sits over the bed? The poo would drop right down into the bed.

Linda
tarheel2az
Tonto Basin, AZ

March 7, 2012
11:21 AM

Post #9033391

[quote="terri_emory"]. . .crazy sheppard/healer mix . . . heat-seeking missile when she smells bunny . . .impulse control issues. . .[/quote]

Haa haa haaa haa ha!

We got one of those.

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 7, 2012
11:23 AM

Post #9033395

Linda,

I raised meat rabbits for a while a few years ago. I think the most I had at once was 30 does. They definitely produce plenty of fertilizer! It would be fine to have the rabbits over raised beds. I would still keep them in wire-floored cages, versus an open-floor chicken tractor. Keeping them out of the dirt will help with some parasites that could be a problem in the dirt.

My cages were all wire, 1"x1/2" welded, galvanized wire bottoms, with 1"x2" wire sides and tops. I made them 2' wide, 2' tall, and 4' long. For non-pregnant does and bucks, I put in a divider, for 2' x2' cages. The brood cages (for pregnant does and litters after weaning) were the full 2' x 4'. They were assembled with "J-clip" aluminum rings. The cages could be hung, or rested on bricks/blocks. There is absolutely no reason that the rabbits couldn't be raised over garden beds. Since their manure is less hot than chicken, they wouldn't have to be moved so long before actually planting the bed. Also, earthworms LOVE rabbit manure. Many commercial rabbitries also raise worms in the manure.

David
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 7, 2012
12:10 PM

Post #9033439

Sh...don't tell my pet rabbit. He has the run of the kitchen, he is box trained so he almost always uses his cage. When I clean it the contents always go it the garden. It dosnt take long to see the benefits of rabbit poop.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 7, 2012
1:45 PM

Post #9033559

Now, see, if I could train a bunny to the kitty litter pan, I could work with that, too.

Uh, who butchered your meat rabbits? I don't think I could ever "kill duh wabbit..."

So, if I did rabbits over the beds, do I need at least two? I know some animals prefer life with a companion. But, two females, or two males, since I don't want to breed more bunnies. Which pair would be more agreeable?

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 7, 2012
2:58 PM

Post #9033663

Linda,

You could keep them "together" as in side-by-side in separate cages. Two males will definitely fight. Two females may get a little irritable from time-to-time but won't fight like males will. For just a few...if you don't plan to raise and butcher, you might get pets from a rabbit rescue.

As far as butchering, we did occasionally, but I sold most of my rabbits to a commercial processor, "Pel-freeze". They took them live, and processed at their plant. You can buy rabbit in some grocery freezer sections.

David


Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 7, 2012
4:08 PM

Post #9033745

Ok. I'll be looking for rabbits already frozen, and rabbit recipes!
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 7, 2012
7:05 PM

Post #9034002

It has been another long tiring day. I had customers in between the work and I had to show a rental mobile home in between work plus ...gosh, fed the chickens, re-constructed a few chicken nesting frames...gathered eggs and more eggs...
Those rabbits over the raised beds are really putting out some heaping piles of fertilizer in only a few days...SWEET.
And my sons new doe rabbit did have 5 babies today by lunch time.

I did not take pictures today...I was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off ... I like it that way. Anyway, I lifted the lid on the tomato trash can and saw a few roots making their way out the drain holes. Sweet.

The tomato plants that are upright in the tomato turvys are doing gang busters compared to the upside down tomato.

I tilled the garden plot today for the later crop of mater plants. It finally dried enough to till it. Good thing too cause the weeds were happily on their way. The garden plot will only have Better Bush tomato plants. I will have enough vines to tend to already.

Got half of the tomato plants that are in 4 gallon pots twined and tied up. Gotta work on the other half in the next two days. The plants are getting tall fast. I don't want them falling over.



CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
6:46 AM

Post #9035606

will finish stringing up the first 200 tomato vines today. The plants are growing about an inch a day.

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1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 9, 2012
7:22 AM

Post #9035636

How do they grow so fast? I wonder about that with my own plants too they grow so fast. You are so organized how long will it take you to string up 200 vines? Are these the plants you posted a picture of at the beginning?
JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 9, 2012
7:42 AM

Post #9035659

What gorgeous tomato plants!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 9, 2012
8:04 AM

Post #9035691

I'm still trying to figure out how those tomatoes are growing under the greenhouse, with the filtered light? I keep reading that they need 6-8 hours of DIRECT sunlight every day. I know the greenhouse temps are controlled, but the light doesn't look all that sun-shiney bright.

Please explain.

Thanks!
JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 9, 2012
8:17 AM

Post #9035708

GG, I don't think greenhouse cover filters the sunlight all that much unless there is shadecloth on it. At least my greenhouse experience was that the sun was VERY hot- especially when I was having to work in it!
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 9, 2012
9:49 AM

Post #9035797

Jo, forgot to tell you your seeds were sent yesterday. Should get them tomorrow I would think.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 9, 2012
9:57 AM

Post #9035804

Thanks, Jo!
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
11:37 AM

Post #9035915

It is very hot in the greenhouse and very bright. It gets something like 99 percent direct light and 200 percent heat during the day. The last picture was taken just before a storm. = cloudy

It takes about 4 hours to twine 200 vines with several breaks to dry off. :)


not sure if these are the same plants I posted in the begining. I will have to go look.

CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
11:46 AM

Post #9035921

from left to right.

Feb 4
Feb 27
Mar 3
Mar 8

the plants are about 8 weeks old now and will flower in a couple of days.

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Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 9, 2012
1:07 PM

Post #9035999

Amazing...
hornstrider
Hutto, TX

March 9, 2012
2:21 PM

Post #9036114

I have a question about raising rabbits. My son recently purchased a 45 acre farm 5 miles outside of Marble Falls Texas. I am building a big garden for his family. There are many outbuildings on the property including a house, 2 story barn, and this goat pen?. I would like to make this a rabbit hutch. Is this a suitable structure to raise rabbits. How do I get started? Can someone take the time to walk me through it? I would be very grateful for the info. Thank you in advance.

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
4:31 PM

Post #9036229

I don't know everything about rabbits but I will tell what I know.
If they have a pen like that, you have to put wire on the ground so they don't dig out.
It is best to keep males seperate from females so you can monitor and house the expecting does. Even then, some females will fight with other females but you can seperate them if and when you see a problem. Males fight for territory.
Another thing to know is, does have two uteruses from what I understand which means if they are with a buck a little later than the 1st pregnancy then it is possible that they get pg again and carry two litters at once and normally 2 wks apart and this is said not to be a good thing...dunno why ...which is why the does should be seperated from the bucks after they are bred once. They are prone to eye infections especially the kittens after birth. This is why rabbit breeders like to keep them on clean wire elevated above the ground to keep the rabbits out of the manure.
I am still learning. I have learned more reading stuff on the net with google search. My aunt raises rabbits. She has them in dog kennels with wire on the ground but when she breeds the does, she puts them in special housing for a clean environment and safe from snakes and other predators.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
4:57 PM

Post #9036258

I think I lost two pounds of weight from sweating while stringing up the tomato plants. It was hot way up there. I normally do it in the late evening or early morning when it is not hot but I wanted to get this done and out of the way.

This batch of toms set up is complete.

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
5:02 PM

Post #9036265

update on the hydro trash can tom.= you can see the new suckers at each leaf node...I am keeping these. This plant will be pruned to have 8 to 10 vines on the plant.


and the big beef seedlings that get transplanted into the grow beds in the tomato house.
I want to transplant these just as they are...seedlings into the soil...but I have a fear that as soon as I do, the mice will cut their heads off. Undecided.



This message was edited Mar 9, 2012 7:04 PM

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texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 9, 2012
5:21 PM

Post #9036278

Everything looks good. The string tomatoes look like the setup you used in 08 or 09. We do tend to go back to what works for us, don't we? I know I do.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 9, 2012
5:29 PM

Post #9036282

Its amazing how fast those plants grow, they do look great. I have some pepper plants that were sown on Feb 5 and by the 27th they were so big I couldnt figure out what was going on. They will be potted up this weekend, its a little late size wise but the warm weather has encouraged them to grow really fast.

Hornstrider-theres one thing I want to add about rabbits. Make sure their house is really secure, Ive lost more chickens to coons then I care to remember. I dont wish that on anybody.
JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 9, 2012
5:45 PM

Post #9036295

Cricket, that is one beautiful setup there!
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 9, 2012
5:48 PM

Post #9036300

I would think that this structure, with some work, could be made into a nice rabbit hutch. I think you would want to start out with some info on how many rabbits you want/need for what? Eating, freezer, pets, or?? Different breeds for each thing. I would not have them down on the ground tho. Like Cricket said. But, even at that the wire down there is a good thing to keep predators out. Might be difficult to clean is the only thing.

If it gets cold there it should be insulated. On one of the threads they are discussing this very thing. I will look and let you know 'cause they are talking about size of cage etc. for does and males etc. Seemed to be quite knowledgeable. I'll let you know.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 9, 2012
6:01 PM

Post #9036310

Hornstrider, the discussion of rabbits is on this thread at the top of it. Take a look. Or is that where you got the idea of using that structure? Whatever, I think it will need some work,but it should be good.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 9, 2012
6:58 PM

Post #9036373

woohooo Cricket. can't wait until mine look that way.
we just got a 24x 96 but will only put up the 48 ' first .
i don't do as many tomatos as you do :)
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
7:28 PM

Post #9036394

I am cleaning the tomato house now...been cleaning on it off and on between other chores... it is where the seedlings go this week starting tomorrow, including the other 32 varieties x5 for that " tomato pic nic" that I am scared of now that my grandfather asked-----what are you going to do if you have cars lined up down the road????????? Ummmm I don't know. That image scares me to death.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 9, 2012
7:40 PM

Post #9036402

LOL, is he trying to scare you? That would be a dream. To run out instead of having them left over. Then you just put up a sign saying sold out.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 9, 2012
10:45 PM

Post #9036501

"If you plant them, they will come!"
(Fields of Tomatoes)

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 10, 2012
4:57 AM

Post #9036587

LOLLLL Gym that is great ! I sure hope they do start lineing up down the road for your tomatos.
hrp50
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 10, 2012
5:55 AM

Post #9036660

Gymgirl
High five for that one.
hornstrider
Hutto, TX

March 10, 2012
7:11 AM

Post #9036778

CricketsGarden ...thanks for the information. I will need to do some reading up on the subject thit is for sure. That is some set up you have there...very, very impressive!!!

Jnette...Thank you...I will take a look at it

Lisa (sorry...I was tired)...did you get any snow in Liberty Hill Alaska last night??? I am heading your way here shortly. I am going to the farm.

CricketsGarden...speaking of the farm. We have another outbuilding that would make a great greenhouse if we opened up the sides, and put a clear roof on top...Whatcha' think??

This message was edited Mar 11, 2012 8:39 AM

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Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 10, 2012
8:04 AM

Post #9036835

Hornstrider, what were all these buildings originally? Seems like a lot of them, and why are they in the condition they are now? By condition, I mean they don't seem to have any reason, like what were they used for?
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 10, 2012
12:00 PM

Post #9037070

Looks like it would work out great as a greenhouse. I wouldn't open up the sides. I would just put a greenhouse roof on it. I don't know how the shade rolls over it but that might be a problem...take out some trees.
JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 10, 2012
1:09 PM

Post #9037145

Those concrete walls would surely be great insulation!
hornstrider
Hutto, TX

March 10, 2012
3:17 PM

Post #9037236

Jnette...there are a number of outbuildings, I just got back from there. Rained all day. I finished hooking up the automatic water system that I installed. Today we ripped up the kitchen floor, and found a hatch door that leads to a 8' X8' root cellar (I have questions about the root cellar). I am beat, and I am heading home (I am at my office)...I have pictures of all of the buildings, and I will post tomorrow morning if you guys want me to. Maybe some of you can tell me what some of these buildings are. I think the place used to be a hog farm... real quick...this is a picture of the original settlers house...I am getting off topic of the original thread...CricketsGarden I will quit if you want me to.

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Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 10, 2012
3:34 PM

Post #9037251

Hornstrider, if I were younger, this is the type of thing I would love to tackle. Too old to do that any more.

I love it, but this is Cricket's thread I think so I cannot encourage you one way or the other.

Have a good evening.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 10, 2012
3:51 PM

Post #9037277

Im really interested in it, even tho a root cellar would scare me. You can always start another thread, it is way off topic but I have a lot of questions.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 10, 2012
4:38 PM

Post #9037334

I would like that too Hornstrider. Lisa's questions would be very interesting to me too. Let us know if/when/where you do. Jeanette
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 10, 2012
4:40 PM

Post #9037339

Hornstrider, you've got to start with what the farm is, and why your son bought it. Take it from there. :0) Also, where it is.
GrowingNVegas
Las Vegas, NV
(Zone 9a)

March 10, 2012
5:54 PM

Post #9037415

Yes, if you start a new thread please let us know.

I think a root cellar would scare me too, but in a happy "Oh my God, I have a root cellar!" way.

JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 10, 2012
6:28 PM

Post #9037451

WOW! This is really interesting- do make another thread- you will have lots of visitors!!Me for one! I love old buildings and all old stuff .
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 10, 2012
6:36 PM

Post #9037460

Hornstrider,

Looking at the picture of your building with the concrete walls. Very possible that was a milking parlor. the doors on each side would let the cows in, with the mangers and the haybales in the middle for feeding and those gutters on each side were to catch the manure for washing out. They required more concrete for milking, as it has to be washed down twice a day. Of course they could have been feeding pigs there too, but just the layout reminds me of how the old milking parlors were constructed.

Ernie
JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 10, 2012
6:45 PM

Post #9037467

Horn, I think you have a jewel there- I want to see the house- I bet it is full of wonderful things!
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 10, 2012
8:21 PM

Post #9037560

Horn, I figured out part of the problem. I'm Lisa, Gymgirl is Linda. Got to start another thread or I'll do it for you and you'll have too fill in the blanks.lol If you do it here it will got "lost". Is that in MFs?
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 10, 2012
11:15 PM

Post #9037654

Sorry if we got you into something Hornstrider, but it really is intriguing. To all of us. How about it you guys??? Jeanette
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 11, 2012
4:43 AM

Post #9037722

for such a huge topic of the farm, I think the homesteading forum would be a good place for the new farm topic.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2012
9:56 AM

Post #9038056

Maybe the Texas Forum? I want to know. More about it even tho it looks creepy. Horn, when you decide please post a link. The place looks kinda creepy. But fun.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 12, 2012
6:22 AM

Post #9039164

In addition to my own personal tomato production, It is time to start transplanting tomato plants for plant sales. I will be transplanting 3000 seedlings this week, 4000 next week, and 4000 the next week. The next three to four weeks will be tiresome and I may not be posting as much as usual cause I am the only one working on it. I also have to transplant other veggies, flowers, more baskets, and finish transplanting tomatoes into the tomato greenhouse beds...and and etc...
Will be taking update pictures very soon.

Happy Gardening





MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

March 12, 2012
6:41 AM

Post #9039180

Yikes! that's a lotta transplanting. Do you have some type of machinery that automates the process or is it all by hand?

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 12, 2012
7:40 AM

Post #9039307

I'll keep you in my prayers!

Godspeed, and Good Harvest, Cricket!
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 12, 2012
8:36 AM

Post #9039398

Crcket how do you do that many? Where do you get the energy/time? When were these plants started?

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 12, 2012
12:12 PM

Post #9039711

Cricket good luck and i will be sending you many " energy thoughts " for you :)
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 13, 2012
6:40 AM

Post #9040798

It's really not hard to do, just time consuming. Everything is manual. I have a large riding mower Trailer that I use to break down the soil in. I use a Mantis 2cycle cultivator to chop the 3.8 bales of soil. I fill a wheel barrel with the soil, set my chair next to the barrel with the flats and inserts all ready and stacked next to me to be filled. I fill the containers and set them on a table next to me until the wheel barrel is empty. I move the flats to their permanent location and fill the barrel again to start over until I have all the containers filled for the day or for several days. I been doing it for many years and came up with my own home made assembly line that makes it happen quickly. Yesterday I was out shopping and lunching with my sister and got home about 1:40. I started working on filling containers about 2 pm. I had 60 flats prepped and filled with soil and in their growing location in one hour. I did not transplant into those containers yesterday. After that I tilled the tomato house beds and transplanted bush tomato plants and okra into one of the beds. That is one bed complete and 2 to go. That bed has 41 bush tomatoes, 18 cherry tomatoes, and 190 okra plants.

The batch of tomato seedlings that get transplanted today and tomorrow were sown Feb 27th. The seeds trays are placed on 8ft heat mats and start germinating within 4 days. They get transplanted 2 weeks after the sow date. I sow the seeds so there is a batch to transplant every week to 10 days for 3 to 4 weeks. Plant sales rush last about 7 weeks. It's normally over with a week after Mother's Day with just a few customers here and there looking for tomato plants to replace one or two that had died or was damaged. I try to have ripe tomatoes by Mothers day to pick up the slack in customers . In addition to having eggplant, squash, and peppers. This gives me another 8 weeks of sales. The first 4 weeks is pretty good until everyones gardens start producing and then the sales start to drop. I want to start 2013 tomato plants about Mid December to have them ripe earlier. The fall production this year will be started June 1st.

It takes longer for Spring tomatoes to mature due to low light and cooler temps. Plants mature according to how many heat hours they receive and light. The Fall crop is a few weeks quicker to mature cause they start growing during hot temps and high light.

texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 13, 2012
7:28 AM

Post #9040846

CricketsGarden wrote:

I been doing it for many years and came up with my own home made assembly line that makes it happen quickly.

The batch of tomato seedlings that get transplanted today and tomorrow were sown Feb 27th. The seeds trays are placed on 8ft heat mats and start germinating within 4 days. They get transplanted 2 weeks after the sow date. I sow the seeds so there is a batch to transplant every week to 10 days for 3 to 4 weeks. Plant sales rush last about 7 weeks. It's normally over with a week after Mother's Day with just a few customers here and there looking for tomato plants to replace one or two that had died or was damaged. I try to have ripe tomatoes by Mothers day to pick up the slack in customers . In addition to having eggplant, squash, and peppers. This gives me another 8 weeks of sales. The first 4 weeks is pretty good until everyones gardens start producing and then the sales start to drop. I want to start 2013 tomato plants about Mid December to have them ripe earlier. The fall production this year will be started June 1st.

It takes longer for Spring tomatoes to mature due to low light and cooler temps. Plants mature according to how many heat hours they receive and light. The Fall crop is a few weeks quicker to mature cause they start growing during hot temps and high light."


What you say here should be learned by everyone. If folks would try to understand what you have written on developing their own system and understanding timing it would answer so many questions that the same folks ask over and over again and they seem to ask it about every vegetable out there.

God Bless you for posting.



This message was edited Mar 15, 2012 8:21 AM
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 13, 2012
7:44 AM

Post #9040865

thank you taynors.

I have an article somewhere on the net about GDH...Growing Degree Hours...I will try to post it here when I find it so everyone can try to understand what it means.




MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

March 13, 2012
7:47 AM

Post #9040870

Thanks for the good info Cricket - much appreciated.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 13, 2012
8:06 AM

Post #9040911

I dont grow near as many as you do but I do understand the timing thing. I wish I had your energy! Thank you for posting.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 13, 2012
1:28 PM

Post #9041347

Ok,,,I am upset...

Somebody is hounding the snot out of me and accusing me of saying things that I haven't said or done and twisting things around. In a private message. Since I am so snarky, as I was called, I am thinking about giving someone my sign in name and password so they can read my messages cause I need some guidance on how to handle the situation.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

March 13, 2012
1:29 PM

Post #9041350

Oh my goodness...contact admin Cricket. Sorry for your troubles.

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 13, 2012
2:36 PM

Post #9041434

Cricket, definitely contact an admin. Melody is usually around.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 13, 2012
2:38 PM

Post #9041435

I have been re- reading the messages trying to make sense of it... It is minor and does not require admin... but it does need help.
I cannot concentrate.
GrowingNVegas
Las Vegas, NV
(Zone 9a)

March 13, 2012
5:45 PM

Post #9041676

Perhaps a joke to lighten the mood...

What did the snail tell the police after being robbed by two turtles?

..."It all happened so fast!!".

Life is all about perspective. :)


Cricket,
I have found this thread to be very interesting, and informative. I did not read any of your comments as "snarky". If someone else read them that way, that is unfortunate. I do NOT think that is how they were intended. This is a good thread, it is too bad that it has caused added stress to you, or anyone else. DG'S should be a place to relieve stress not add to it...

ON THAT NOTE ONE FINAL JOKE

What did the snail say while riding on the back of a turtle?

Whhhheeeeeee!!


CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 13, 2012
5:48 PM

Post #9041683

I don't like the upside down tomato. It's ugly and it is very slow.
No wonder those turvys are on sale.

I have put a lot of wave petunias in the turvys like you would a hanging basket. more soil, less watering, larger wave petunias.

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 13, 2012
5:54 PM

Post #9041693

somebody sent me a message...and i had no idea what they were talking about so I asked a bunch of questions trying to figure out what they were talking and they said my questions in the private message was snarky. I had to google snarky cause I had no idea what it meant. It means scarcastic.
Oh well.

Love the joke.

CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 13, 2012
5:57 PM

Post #9041697

Time for a 5 day update picture on the other tomato plants.

first pic= March 8th
second pic= March 13th

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden   Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
Click an image for an enlarged view.

JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 13, 2012
5:57 PM

Post #9041699

Cricket, I agree with you 100% on Topsy Turvies- it just goes totally against nature!!! Cut some side holes and plant some trailing flowers!
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 13, 2012
6:55 PM

Post #9041798

CG,
Probably the best and quickest solution to your "snarky" problem would just be to post the offensive message, as most people that use safe and secret ways to do nefarious things do not like to be found out. Your questions were posted on a public discussion, so it does seem to be a public matter and the criticisms or opinions,which we all have the right to make, should be public, too.

When the tranquility of the forum was upset by the thread deletion, i did not think the person that deleted it without notice deserved all the protection they received, as to their identity. And, of course, i do think that the person that wrote the critique has the right to defend or justify his opinion on the forum.

I think the valuable advice you post, which saves a lot of less knowledgeable garndeners are a very important part of the forum.

Ernie

CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 13, 2012
7:14 PM

Post #9041835

I got side tracked...I have a picture of a tomato plant that is growing upright in the topsy turvy. It is growing pretty good. They have been blooming for many days now. Have a few tiny maters showing.
not the best pic...the sun was going down and it's kinda dark. There is a shade cloth on that greenhouse that needs to be taken down. I haven't made myself take the time to do it. The cloth is 30x96 . Here is the kicker. There is poly wired to the roof and then the shade cloth is wired to the roof. But then the poly walls are also in the wire track on top of the cloth. I have to take down the poly walls in order to get the cloth off the top...FUN!!!!! not




Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
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JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 13, 2012
7:31 PM

Post #9041860

Cricket, that mater looks a lot happier than the one you showed that is upside down!!!
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 13, 2012
7:34 PM

Post #9041862

then we have the "boring" (as someone else called it) trash can tomato.

I think it is doing really well considering it is a giant tea bag. The roots are showing at all the drain holes in the pot. Waiting for the roots to get long enough to take a picture. It will bloom in a few days.

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 13, 2012
7:36 PM

Post #9041864

it is happier Jo. I think the turvy container is just fine for growing in as long as It's Not Upside Down. They make great hanging baskets.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

March 13, 2012
7:37 PM

Post #9041867

I don't find anything boring in that tomato plant. Thanks for continuing to share.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 13, 2012
7:53 PM

Post #9041893

did hornstrider start a new farm thread somewhere?
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 13, 2012
9:17 PM

Post #9041952

How come the font is so different on this thread? Soo small. Horn has not started a thread about his farm but he has mentioned it briefly on the thread GG just started on this forum.

Sometimes things are taken the wrong way when they are written and your not actually interacting with the person. Mary and I had that issue, but I misunderstood her and she misunderstood me. It was unfortunate and I'm glad we talked about because if we had been talking in person it never would have happened. Don't worry about it Cricket when things are typed they can be taken the wrong way by either side.
texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 14, 2012
5:03 AM

Post #9042109

Cricket, I want to try the trash can tomato. Is the fertilizer you use water soluble?

I see you are growing yous in a greenhouse. I wonder if it were outside would the sun heat the water too much and cook the roots? Maybe that's the advantage of 32 gallon container vs something smaller. I dunno?
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2012
5:40 AM

Post #9042132

I still don't know what I said that stirred up a hornets nest. If somebody would just tell me that much I wouldn't be so lost.


The trash can is very warm. The greenhouse is hotter than outdoor temps and the container will heat faster in the greenhouse than it will outside. I am not using water soluble in the trash can tomato nutrient water but I don't see why you can't. Just use 1 tablespoon of Tomato Miracle grow for every 5 gallons of water, 1 tbs of epsom salt per 5 gallon of water and 1 tbs of calcium nitrate per 5 gallons of water.
I am using 13-13-13 and micro-nutrients. But the water soluble miracle grow should already have micro-nutrients in it and you don't have to worry about the micros.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2012
7:57 AM

Post #9042311

ok folks...I have never had a problem with off topic subjects and I will never have a problem with off topic subjects. I enjoy off topics. I will never be rude and ask someone to take their subject elsewhere But if you are wondering if and where you should start a new topic, I will help as much as I can but this doesn't mean I want you to leave the thread. If you ever want to talk about anything, please feel free to discuss whatever is on your mind even if it is off topic.


I am running so far behind, I thought I was first.
HAPPY GARDENING


HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 14, 2012
10:45 AM

Post #9042541

CricketsGarden - when someone takes umbrage with something I've written, I either ignore it, or delete it.

As 1lisac said [quote]when things are typed they can be taken the wrong way by either side[/quote]

We have a little sign in our house that reads:

"Don't sweat the small stuff - It's ALL small stuff"

^^_^^
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2012
11:08 AM

Post #9042563

taking a lunch break

I really like the Better Bush tomato. It is the prettiest tomato plant I have ever grown. I just like how it has very thick stalks and grows naturally in the shape of a tree. Grows 4 ft tall. I want to learn the best way to grow this tomato plant. I did plant 36 better bush in the greenhouse along with 16 Bush Goliath and have 124 Better Bush for the garden plot. And a few in 5 gallon buckets that already have tiny maters on them.

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden   Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2012
11:10 AM

Post #9042567

wishing I had green tomatoes big enough to eat right now.

brandywine

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2012
12:33 PM

Post #9042650

Somebody on Facebook posted a picture of a business sign that said=

IT'S SPRING
We are so excited, we wet our plants.
texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 14, 2012
12:39 PM

Post #9042655

I guess I'd better run out and my Better Bush seeds for next year. After posting your pics there will probably be a run on the seeds. Good pics by the way.

"We are so excited, we wet our plants." Now this is just funny!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 14, 2012
12:42 PM

Post #9042657

Cricket,
What'd you fill your 5-gallon buckets with to grow your tomatoes?
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2012
1:40 PM

Post #9042743

The 5 gallon buckets have 2/3 promix and 1/3 compost.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 14, 2012
1:51 PM

Post #9042757

Ok. I do remember you saying that on another thread. Couldn't find it. Was it you who grew something in 1/2 Worm castings and 1/3 compost, too?
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2012
3:52 PM

Post #9042826

No Mam. I don't have any worm castings.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

March 14, 2012
4:50 PM

Post #9042897

Today I managed to get a pick-up truck load of compost for the garden. This farm has the best compost in town but it's about a 50 mile round trip. I happened to have an appointment out there, and made a few bucks while at it and so was able swing by and get a front loader full.

This is actually for the Lady Banks hedge and whatever is left over the tomatoes etc will get. The neighbor across the alley has been flooding that alley for years and the Banks hedge is along the fenceline. The hedge 'down stream' of his flooding episodes has been sickly for 2 or 3 years so we're dumping in all this compost on it, watering well then replanting a half-dozen new bushes. Here's hopin'! And also hoping he has that flooding problem under control. Jeez!

McHappy

CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 15, 2012
6:14 AM

Post #9043401

A truck load of farm manure that has been composted already must be extremely nice. The farms around here only sell the fresh stuff. I have never been able to completely compost horse manure. The horse manure nuggets went into the compost bin and came out looking the same...a bunch of nuggets. Running nuggets through a shredder would be nice if it were all dry.

I finished planting tomatoes in the greenhouse grow beds. I did not plant as many as I originally planned. They are planted 12 inches apart instead of 8 inches. I haven't been out there this morning yet and hoping the wild rabbits and mice didn't find them yet. Last year the mice or something ate the tops out of some of the plants...crossing my fingers. I have to go out there today and write everything down in a notebook in case something happens to the plant tags inserted in the soil. Sometimes the ink fades too with all the watering. Also crossing my fingers that there is no soil born disease or fungus issues. Only time will tell.
After the plants establish, I will treat everything with Daconil fungicide. Nobody had Daconil on the shelves last year but I found some yesterday at Walmart. Also have Fung-O-Nil . I spray the plants with Copper too until they start bearing fruit. I don't want Copper on the fruits. It's a mental thing. After they start fruiting, I spray fungicide around the base of the plants and the ground cover and the tops of the plants and I try not to spray the fruit directly even though the fruits do get some over spray.

Have tons of work to do today. I have to finish transplanting tomato seedlings into flats. Sow squash , cukes, melons.

Happy Gardening




TX_gardener
Brady, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 15, 2012
6:40 AM

Post #9043450

Cricket, just a quick question re buckets for tomatoes -- where did you drill drainage holes
and do the buckets sit directly on the ground?
(and as an aside, am I the only one seeing this thread on about a 2-screen width? I
have to scroll back and forth to read each entry.)

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 15, 2012
6:55 AM

Post #9043469

Tx_gardener,
I have been getting this wide screen for about 3 days now. I thought it was my internal computer system. Glad you thought to ask here!

I go to my preferences and change the font size, then change it back. It works for awhile. But, it's two feet wide as I type!

Linda

P.S. I drill five 1" drain holes in the bottom of my free-draining buckets. Then, I drill 5/8 holes around the side, about 1/4" up from the bottom, to ensure good drainage.

texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 15, 2012
7:01 AM

Post #9043476

To change text click on "View" in the tool bar then "text Size" then "Medium".

Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

March 15, 2012
7:06 AM

Post #9043485

Usually when people post an excessive amount of ****** or ------- in a long line it tends to widen the thread. It looks like texasrockgarden did that on his March 13th post. If most of those were removed it would bring the thread width back to normal.

Critter, I'm enjoying your tomato adventures this year! Keep up the good work. And I'm as happy as you are you're no long dealing with the past tomato allergies you had to go through.

Shoe
TX_gardener
Brady, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 15, 2012
7:16 AM

Post #9043496

Shoe, that's what I was thinking as it had happened in another
thread -- and you're right, texasrockgarden's edit would fix it.
Linda, thanks for your answer.
Mary
texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 15, 2012
7:21 AM

Post #9043508

It's done. Thanks
TX_gardener
Brady, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 15, 2012
7:41 AM

Post #9043531

yaaa! and thanks
Mary
lindypuddin
stony mountain, MB
(Zone 3a)

March 15, 2012
7:58 AM

Post #9043555

hi all from manitoba canada zone 3a
have found so much interesting info on this thread...
seeing if anything can apply to my zone.
been starting tomatos for 30 plus years, always tweaking to improve.
always fertilize with 10-52-10, a substantial root ball helps with the short season.
start hardening off seedlings at 3 weeks, put a fan on seedlings at 4 weeks.
favorite short season hybrids are, starfire... developed @ morden manitoba, and
applause...a bush hybrid with even baseball sized fruit.
love the late season kentucky heirlooms.
about the pails...do you add some sort of drainage material ie. stones ?
cheers L
applause in planter..hybrid first lady

Thumbnail by lindypuddin   Thumbnail by lindypuddin
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taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 15, 2012
4:18 PM

Post #9044116

wow you all have been chatty and busy. great pics on the tomato plants.
i just started some of my seeds today. i m a bit late as always :( LOL
still need to do tomato's tomorrow or saturday . well no i can't do them saturday. i have a hosta thingy to go to
cool garbage can tomato ! a must have in every garden
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 15, 2012
7:56 PM

Post #9044415

Sometimes I have a wide screen that I have to scroll over to read and sometimes I don't.
Right now, I do not.

TX_gardener...I put drain holes in the bottom of the bucket about 3 to 4 inches apart. My buckets sit directly on the ground.

Shoe==Sadly I still have the skin allergy...Very thankful that it's not the tomato plants...It is one of these tree pollens that I am allergic to = (according to the doc.) I put kerodex on my arms before I head out to work. I have some blisters but not too bad. Been taking Allegra and Advil Allergy Sinus for sinus allergies. I had sinus issues for a week and I bought and took the Allegra and my sinuses cleared up within 24 hours...I was kinda shocked and in disbelief. Not sure if the Allegra cleared it or if it was a mild head cold that decided to ease up.

LindyPuddin, Nice to meet you. I don't add stones in the bottom of my containers. I don't seem to have drainage problem... I think my plants suck up the water instantly before it has a chance to drain... kidding...but tomatoes are blood suckers, so to speak. (maybe that is why they are red ) kidding again. It looks like your tomato selection produces pretty good. Have you checked into those dwarf hyrids? I don't know much about them but I heard they produce early with large fruit.

Soil= I keep thinking somebody asked about soil...
Most of the time I use 1/2 peat and 1/2 compost. Sometimes if I have the extra money, I will use pure Promix BX. Promix is my favorite. And sometimes depending on what I have on hand, I will use 2/3 promix and 1/3 compost.
I make sure the compost is of good quality before I buy a truck load of 40 pound bags. I use to buy my compost from Walmart for years and years. One year i bought 150 bags. Got it home. Unloaded. A week later I started mixing the soil and saw that the once cherished compost wasn't the same any more. It was composted clay. YUCK.
Now, I always buy a bag and check it out before I buy in bulk.

I probably talked more about the Better Bush Hybrid somewhere but I can't remember and I am too lazy to go look.
The Better Bush grows 4ft. Semi Indeterminate which means it will produce longer than determinate but not as long as indeterminate but will produce until frost kills it in my zone 7. It taste like Better Boy. The plant has a strong tomato fragrance. The first fruits are large and the later fruits are medium and finishes off with small fruits. I don't know this from experience but Bonnie says the Better Bush will produce 90 to 120 fruits in My Zone. I do not know how well it will do in the 5 gallon bucket but I do know it grows very well in a 10 gallon pot from experience. I think it would grow wonderfully in those Earthboxes. (one per box for less watering) I will be growing One Better Bush in an Earth Box. I forgot how many gallons of soil it holds...8gal???? The reason I am growing one in an Earth Box is cause,,,i hate the see the earthbox sit there and go to waste and I am always looking for a place to grow another tomato plant...yes I am mental. That is why I want to write a book but I don't know how to make that happen. I started on it. Gave it a title. Wrote a few chapters. Then I found out that it would take an act of congress to get it printed. Poofff.

Well, I guess I need to shut up before I put the book in this one comment. (long winded)










CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 15, 2012
8:06 PM

Post #9044432

Someone asked the name of my business and I will share it here too.
It is called Crickets Greenhouse
My nick name is Cricket and has been since shortly after birth.
My real name is Carolyn Juanita Phillips. I use to be a Smith (adopted), was born a Yates.
Most everyone calls me Cricket.
lindypuddin
stony mountain, MB
(Zone 3a)

March 16, 2012
7:53 AM

Post #9044801

morning cricket...i'll be putting 'better bush' on the list for next year. see what i can do with it .
what's tricky is having the late season heirlooms do well. it's really unusual to see any growing here. commercially, theres always the same varieties, 'manitoba' 'earlygirl'
'betterboy' 'bush roma', 'bush beefsteak'. i know of some farm ladies that kept their seeds
from 'fantastic' 'rutgers' and 'oxhearts'.
as i'm potting up only 3-400 i buy a pre-mix soil and mix it 3-1 with perlite.
and i get them out to harden asap. the plants turn a deep green and the stem thickens,
i'll start cutting back the water, so root nibs appear along the bottom of the stem.
nicknames...only my father called me lindypuddin, with his polish voice and scottish accent [ww2] it was like music to my ears.
cheers L

Thumbnail by lindypuddin
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Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 16, 2012
8:01 AM

Post #9044808

Lindypuddin,
At how many weeks and at what temps are you hardening off your seedlings? What protection do you use when you put them out?

Linda

This message was edited Mar 16, 2012 1:02 PM
lindypuddin
stony mountain, MB
(Zone 3a)

March 16, 2012
9:50 AM

Post #9044922

hello linda, i have a south -facing deck that warms up nicely. the seedlings are still in plug trays.. appr. 3 weeks and they go into portable greenhouses, maybe you've seen
them, 4 shelves with zip-up plastic covers during the day. that would be mid-april. that seems to slow them down, at the same time they're getting the 10-52-10 so they pop -out of the trays nicely. after a week or so they go into 3.5" pots, and then if weather permits into the greenhouse. often at night all the plants have to go down, so i can place cardboard over,
and place heaters. this is not carved in stone...we've had blizzards in april, so it keeps me on my toes. by plant -out the roots are starting to show through the drainage holes,
and they can be picked up by their stems. plant out is usually last week-end of may. we
always plant deep in a pre-soaked hole, and keep a close eye-out for frost. in 50-55 days
we're having our first toasted tomato sandwich !
cheers L
lindypuddin
stony mountain, MB
(Zone 3a)

March 16, 2012
9:55 AM

Post #9044926

to add to above... they first go out into 40-50f and the greenhouse will go at least that low L
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 16, 2012
10:32 AM

Post #9044970

Lindy, are you saying that your tomatoes actually grow in 40 to 50 degrees?? Mine just sit there at those temps. I like to hope that their roots are growing, but I am sure they aren't. I have done that also. Put them in the zipper plastic on the deck. At those temps they don't do anything. It has to be that high P in the NPK that you are giving them. Forcing them.

Jeanette

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 16, 2012
11:17 AM

Post #9045006

Lindypuddin,
Now THAT'S what I wanted to know!!! WOW!

So, you're actually putting 3 week-old seedlings out into 40-50 conditions with protection for temps below 40 at night? So, the sun on the greenhouse is warming the interior and your soil during the day to what, 50-60? That would be very do-able.

►Do your 3-week-old seedlings have a 2nd set of true leaves when they go outside, or do they develop them while outside?

►Can we discuss your fertilization? How're you introducing the 10-52-10? Water soluble? Time-Release Granulated? And, in what concentration? 1/4, 1/2 strength? A speck? LOL!

►Finally, we are talking about Short-season tomatoes, right? Determinates or Indeterminates? Cherries?

This is GOOD stuff!!!

Thanks!

Linda
lindypuddin
stony mountain, MB
(Zone 3a)

March 16, 2012
12:54 PM

Post #9045100

hi folks, the seedlings have 2nd set of leaves.. and they're only out during the day when
the sun is out. then they're back in under the lights, with the fan on.
to jnette, yes.. i think it's the phosphoric acid, @ 5ml. to 2 quarts 3x a week till pot-up.
water soluble 10-52-10 ..www.plant-prod.ca is what i use
after the plants are in the green house i'll adjust again. with our short -season i find the late heirlooms don't have the time to settle in. the fan helps too, it encourages stabilizer
roots. i had a neighbour who would brush the tops of her plants with a feather duster lol
never tried that...
i think the best thing to show what this crazy canucker is doing is to post pics and dates.
i'll show which varieties, and as i like to talk tomatos i'll post any wives tales i hear.
will be seeding by about the 24th or 25th. thanks all for the interest
cheers L
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 16, 2012
1:46 PM

Post #9045159

Gosh, would love pics. Boy!! What we all do for our plants. Or tomatoes!!
lindypuddin
stony mountain, MB
(Zone 3a)

March 16, 2012
2:38 PM

Post #9045214

j, i'll push my luck with the tomatos...but stick to zone 2 or 3 perennials.. costs too much
to have plants not make the winter...sadly i lost 10 large hostas 2 yrs, ago. even morden
roses developed here in manitoba have died out. recently found a nursery with native plants...i have a tall prairie cone flower thats spectacular...
it's strange right now... getting crazy warm temps, the snow is almost gone,
the geese have been back for about a week, going to bring the grow rack into the house,
will post pics as things go along
cheers L
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 16, 2012
8:20 PM

Post #9045645

My greenhouse thermostat is always set between 45 and 50. Most info tells you that the tomato plants wont grow below 50 and they won't. It is the high day temps that makes them grow. And it takes a few hours after dark for the soil temps to drop to 50.

I haven't used any heat in the greenhouse for 2 weeks now.

My sister has one of those zip up plastic seedling greenhouses. She used a Heat Lamp that you would use on chicks to keep it warm at night. Those lamps put out a lot of heat. On extra cold nights, you just throw a blanket over it to help hold in the heat.

I have finished transplanting my first batch of tomatoes. I start transplanting the second batch Monday and sow the third batch Sunday.
I transplanted 20 Bell Peppers into the Table Top square foot Gardens this evening. Only time will tell if that was a mistake or not. (early due to warm weather)

I moved the trash can tomato outdoors yesterday. That took some doings. I had to empty 15 gallons of the nutrient water before I could move the trash can on hand trucks. I used 5 gallon buckets to hold the water.
I have a tomato plant growing in a 50 gallon drum that needs to be moved outdoors too.

I am moving all this stuff out of the greenhouse so I can make room for that 2nd batch of toms that has to be transplanted. The third batch gets transplanted outside the greenhouse and set on pallet tables.

I am tired. Nite
Happy Gardening



1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 16, 2012
8:28 PM

Post #9045654

How deep are your pallet tables? I now what you mean about the weather I keep have to reminding myself its its only the middle of March. We have plenty of time for a freeze. it wouldnt even be a late freeze.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 16, 2012
9:19 PM

Post #9045678

Anybody here mind if I asked Lindypuddin to cross post her seed starting method over on our "Seed Starting Methods 2012" thread?

CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 17, 2012
5:28 AM

Post #9045831

I don't mind Linda.

My pallet tables are about 4ft x 4ft. They hold 8 flats of plants on each. I collect free pallets and nail 2 ft 2x4 legs on them to make tables.

So far the Almanac weather prediction has been right and I am counting on it being close to right in the future. It says we will be warm until 3rd week of April with a cool spell at that time and I am assuming that will be our blackberry winter. I have a few reinforcement wire Hoops that can be placed over my table top gardens to support blankets if we have a light frost and a few heat lamps.

CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 17, 2012
10:10 AM

Post #9046064

Brandywine fruit...I just think it is so cute and yummy and I am impatient for a ripe tomato and fried green tomato.

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MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

March 17, 2012
10:47 AM

Post #9046095

A few pics from this morning ... the keyhole garden, I promised 1lisac a recent picture, the Peron tomato is at the top of the keyhole (there's a close up), the washing machine tub is growing some fingerling potatoes (I have two of them going now), lady banks hedge is in its glory ATM, the mosquito netting came from an Army surplus store and is designed to fit over a cot. It fits this 4'x6' raised bed perfectly. The pvc hoops are 10' long. Notice the strip of satin-like edging on the mosquito net - perfect for securing the clips without damaging the netting. He only had one mosquito net. I've ordered 2 more. These are for insect control...like those dad burn grasshoppers.

Edited to add that this is applicable to Tomato Adventures because there are several tomato plants in there!! ;-) Notice my 'horizontal trellis'. I like to let some of my tomato plants sprawl. The theory is that the vegetation helps to keep the soil cool. This is the first season I've tried it since I lost the last experiment to an early frost last Decemer.

This message was edited Mar 17, 2012 10:50 AM

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Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 17, 2012
8:24 PM

Post #9046778

VERY nice documentary, Mary!

Two questions: what did you paint ur washing machine tub with?

How's the horizontal trellis working?

Thanks, Cricket and Lindypuddin. I paraphrased your post on our thread, and will post the link.

Linda
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

March 17, 2012
8:33 PM

Post #9046799

gg, the potatoes are mostly in straw. I tossed in a shovelful or so of potting mix (RO) on a layer of staw when I started the seeds. Top with more straw as the greenery shows. I grew potatoes in just soil/dirt last time and by the time it was harvest time the soil was really compacted and the potatoes stunted. I'm trying 90% staw this time. So far so good.

Too soon to tell on the horizontal trellis, ask me in a couple of months. ;-)

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 17, 2012
9:16 PM

Post #9046850

Mary,
Look at my question again...
TX_gardener
Brady, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 18, 2012
6:17 AM

Post #9047047

what did you paint ur washing machine tub with?

Painted? Can't tell...
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

March 18, 2012
6:23 AM

Post #9047057

No, it's not painted. Stainless steel. There's holes in the bottom and of course all around the tub. Linda, sorry, I read paint as plant...a gardener's mistake.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 19, 2012
7:28 AM

Post #9048497

Thanks, MaryMcP!

I have three old washer tubs, and have been meaning to paint them. That stainless looks great!

This message was edited Mar 19, 2012 2:02 PM
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

March 19, 2012
8:19 AM

Post #9048566

gg, they also make a great fire pit, especially when there is a bit of wind. Sparks are well controlled. We sometimes will take one camping.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 19, 2012
8:28 AM

Post #9048583



This message was edited Mar 19, 2012 2:02 PM
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

March 19, 2012
8:59 AM

Post #9048631

okay gg - this is easy...crumble up some newspapers, add some kindling, add some bigger pieces, use a long bbq lighter and light 'er up!

Probably best to set it up on some bricks (4 or 6?) around the bottom so there's airflow. Voila!
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

March 19, 2012
9:04 AM

Post #9048640

I should have given you this picture...here you go. We're WAAAYYY off topic here Chica!

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Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 19, 2012
11:59 AM

Post #9048895

OOPS!

Cricket,
Please forgive me!!! I've pulled my posts.



This message was edited Mar 19, 2012 2:03 PM
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 20, 2012
6:55 PM

Post #9050741

I don't mind off topics...besides...I been so busy working I haven't had time to read anything on here. I been wanting to take pictures too but I keep forgetting at the end of the day. When I sit down at the end of the day, It is hard to get back up.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

March 20, 2012
7:47 PM

Post #9050813

I hear you there! - - been crazy busy with work.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2012
12:54 PM

Post #9051603

The tomato growing upside down finally decided to do something. It will bloom within the week.
The tomatoes that are in the topsy Upright have gone crazy.
And the tomatoes in the 4 gallon pots trained up the strings Look like they were given Hulk juice and Loaded with blooms.

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HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 21, 2012
1:01 PM

Post #9051608

CricketsGarden - They all look gorgeous!
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2012
1:01 PM

Post #9051611

Maximus Strawberries= huge berries= my favorite but june bearing.
Quinault Strawberries= ever-bearing

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HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 21, 2012
1:05 PM

Post #9051613

Okay - I wanna be Cricket's next door neighbor! You don't lock-up at night, do you? LOL

My neighbor calls our vegetable garden her "personal grocery store."
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2012
1:14 PM

Post #9051627

Love those strawberry turvys...less space.


The Trash Can Tomato and the roots

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2012
1:18 PM

Post #9051633

Nope==I don't lock up at night. It's free range around here.

The 50 gallon drum tomato= Big Beef

The 5 gallon bucket Better Bush

and the Better Bush plants for the garden

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2012
1:22 PM

Post #9051636

Tending to the plants and watching them bloom and grow makes me hungry.
Especially all the fruit trees and muskedine orchard and grape vines and and and fig and blueberries and and and blackberries , dewberries...HUNGRY

Gotta have a cucumber to go with those tomatoes. I have some plants for the garden too. These were grown cause I am impatient for a good cucumber too.

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MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

March 21, 2012
2:00 PM

Post #9051683

Looking good Cricket!!
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2012
2:21 PM

Post #9051712

Cricket, a cup of tea on offer for the midnight browse? I wouldn't take much. Mostly I just like to sniff the tomato plants. I love the fragrance of growing tomato plants...Hmmmm...
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2012
2:29 PM

Post #9051723

yep...tea it is..

I like to smell the plants too. You can almost tell what the tomato will taste like by smelling the plant. If it has a strong aroma then it will have a better tomato flavor. Have you noticed that?

This message was edited Mar 21, 2012 3:30 PM
lindypuddin
stony mountain, MB
(Zone 3a)

March 21, 2012
6:27 PM

Post #9052042

cricket, you do an amazing job...

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 24, 2012
6:38 AM

Post #9054974

i think i may venture in them strawberry turvys . that looks great
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 26, 2012
6:01 AM

Post #9057254

Thank you for the compliments. I am sorry I haven't been around much. So much to do and so little time. It's just that time when you spend every waking hour in the greenhouse and with customers but Plant Sales season only last about 8 weeks. I just finished week 1. 7 to go. I am still sowing and transplanting tomatoes.
I am growing 150 less tomato plant vines for myself than I originally planned. Instead of growing those 150 single vines, I planted 22 larger older plants and will Cage them with little pruning instead of twining single vines. I took those 150 plants and potted them into 6 inch pots last week. I am still working on the garden plot for 97 Better Bush tomato plants. I have already planted 23 Better Bush in raised concrete block beds and 54 Better Bush in the greenhouse raised beds. I have no idea how the Better Bush will produce. I have never used it for a production plant. I always grew a few because they were so darn pretty and never recorded the production. This is what you call diving in head first but I do know they taste good.


In the greenhouse...raised bed of Better Bush and Clemson Okra.

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texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 26, 2012
7:55 AM

Post #9057409

Is the okra for transplanting, else won't over power the tomatoes?
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 26, 2012
1:27 PM

Post #9057899

The okra is not for transplanting. The Better Bush and the Okra are in their permanent growing locations.
I don't think the okra will over power the tomatoes. I was hoping the okra would shade the tomato plants this summer so the fruits don't get sun scald in the late afternoon. Since the okra is heat loving and will receive mid and late afternoon sun. ===heres to hoping. Tomato plants do better if they get some late after noon shade around here. But I also read in the almanac that our summer should be mild this year.

Better Bush in the 5 gallon.= I am watering it a quart of water once a day right now. It now has about 4 clusters forming toms and several clusters getting ready to bloom. I will set it in a place where it will get late after noon shade. The plant is 12 weeks old.

Thumbnail by CricketsGarden
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Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 26, 2012
1:29 PM

Post #9057904

Cricket,
What kinda twine are you hoisting the tomatoes up with on your overhang?
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 26, 2012
5:09 PM

Post #9058229

Cricket, I am thinking of planting a Bush type tomato in a corner of my Hotbox for growing into November after i take the trellis down and put the covers back on. [Pictures of the Hotbox on GymGirl Seed Start thread.] Summer temps occasionally reach high 90's but mostly 80's. Frost not a problem until Mid December.
Would the Better Bush variety be good for my attempt? And would June or July be a good time to have it ready to transplant out?
I appreciate the way several of you successful growers are willing to share your hard earned expertise with the rest of us, but i know you are busy and if you do not have time to reply, that is okay, too.

Ernie
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 27, 2012
6:20 AM

Post #9058846

Gymgirl...I don't know what this twine is made of. I buy it in bulk ( 10,000 feet )at http://www.hydro-gardens.com. I use to buy twine at Walmart in the hardware department but I can't remember the name brand. It was the small brown twine.

Ernie, I plan to grow the Better Bush for a fall production too and my plan is to sow the seed about 18 weeks before my first expected frost. Sometimes we get a light frost Oct 15 and sometimes it doesn't show up until Oct 30. I am sowing my seed June 1st. This would be the normal for me but the Almanac is saying My Area will have cooler temps earlier this fall so i might sow the seeds May 1st.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 27, 2012
8:33 AM

Post #9059003

Cricket, Thank you. I will save your post and plant seed about June 1, then. The only reason i guessed June or July might be the proper time was because of what i have learned here on the forum. Ernie

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 27, 2012
9:00 AM

Post #9059031

Thanks Cricket!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 27, 2012
9:18 AM

Post #9059076

Cricket, I FINALLY got my tomato frame built yesterday!

It's an upside down square frame that goes up and over the 4x8' RB, 8" from one end of the bed. The frame is about 6' tall. I planted THREE tomato plants parallel to the crossbar of the frame, then tied a triple length of twine at the base of each plant, wound the twine up the stem of the plant, and threw the excess line up and over the overhead crossbar. As the plant grows up, I'll wind it around more of the twine. The plant is perfectly vertical and the line is holding it up!

Almost just like your system!

('xept, when I reread your posts from January last night, I discovered I could've put 6 plants in the line instead of just three...)

But, I'VE GOT TOMATO PLANTS IN THE GROUND!

I planted two Sioux (not Super Sioux), and one Virginia Sweets. I mixed six handsful of Dolomitic lime, 3 hands of worm castings, and 3 hands of Epsom Salts together in a large bowl, then dug three planting holes with the post hole digger, and sprinkled two large hands of this mix into the bottom of each hole. Then, I backfilled with a bit of the soil before I set the plants, so the roots wouldn't be sitting directly on the mix. I just had time to fill the holes up before the mosquitoes drove me inside! Didn't even have time to water them in as it was pitch black out by then.

I watered them in well this morning, and they started saluting the sun as I was watering! I am sooooooooooo excited to have that frame up! It is so much neater and easier than cages all over the bed, plus the tomatoes seem to have more space to grow vertically without the cages around them. I'll prune each plant to just one main stem for control, like you do. And, when I get better at this, maybe I'll do two main stems like you do, but I'm still in a learning curve.

Did I say I was EXCITED???!!!

Forgive me, I didn't have time to snap pics. Will post some this evening.

Linda

P.S. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Cricket, for your very sharing spirit!
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 27, 2012
9:49 AM

Post #9059124

It is exciting to experiment with new (to you) techniques, isn't it!

Looking forward to seeing your results.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 27, 2012
7:49 PM

Post #9059838

I am excited for you too Linda. Congrats on your support and please do post pictures. Would love to watch your maters grow too.

I was talking to another tomato grower
and they had a few suggestions too about pruning to two vines. They said the sucker just under the first bloom cluster is also very strong and will work just as well as the sucker that grows after the first bloom cluster...so if you are in a hurry, you can keep the sucker just under your first bloom cluster. I always pinched mine off and went with the guide lines of saving the sucker after the first bloom cluster. Either or will work just great.

I know these clusters and suckers can sometimes sound confusing but Just watch your plant grow and learn how it naturally forms then decide for yourself what you want to keep and what you want to prune off.

These tomato plants are starving me to death. The aroma makes the stomach rumble with hunger.

I am now having to water the tomatoes in the 4 gallon pots 1/2 a gallon per day. A quart in the morning and a quart in the evening.

The Up right turvys get about 1/2 a gallon per day in one watering and some water drains out the bottom.= some wasted water. It would save on water if I watered them the same as the 4 gallon pots with two waterings.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 28, 2012
8:37 AM

Post #9060327

LOOKIE!

And, when I construct the other beds, I can use the frame as a bean trellis on that end!

Cricket,
I re-read this thread from the beginning (January) to pick up what I might've missed. You really plant 8" apart? I planted these three on the west end of the bed, as was suggested. The bed is oriented E-W, as the wind tunnel in my yard blows across the bed, N-S. I was afraid if I installed the frame on the long, North side, I'd create a wall against that wind that would tear up the plants. Am I ok?

And, what else should I put in that bed?

You think I should try to plant two more tomatoes on that line? I dug the holes with the post hole digger. The plants are standing vertically in the holes, at least 16" down under the soil. I could put two more plants in between those three, if I dug the next two holes as an "L" shaped trench, going down only about 10". Those stems could be redirected a bit to not interfere (too much) with the existing plants.

Lemme know!

E-X-C-I-T-E-D, Linda!

This message was edited Mar 28, 2012 10:47 AM

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texasrockgarden
Canyon Lake, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 28, 2012
8:46 AM

Post #9060340

Good job!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 28, 2012
8:52 AM

Post #9060354

TRock!

Thanks! And, I only spent 2 hours and $60 on my ER visit for the 3 X-rays of the thumb I whacked with the hammer while putting up the frame! They don't think it's broken, but the x-rays were to rule out a hairline fracture on top of my knuckle. I'll know something soon.

And, the swelling is going down! I can bend it about 15 degrees from yesterday.

Oh, and I have to play (piano) church services almost every day next week...

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 28, 2012
9:41 AM

Post #9060404

That is a nice looking raised bed and trellis. If you plant as closely as Cricket does in her greenhouses, then you will have to be diligent about pruning and keeping the plants fed. She definitely has mastered greenhouse tomatoes!

Good luck with the thumb. I have arthritis in my left thumb from whacking it too many times. Never actually broke it, but the repeated, minor damage has left it weak and somewhat painful. You could always suggest that your church services revert to the traditions of the early church, and sing everything a cappella . I think that even stands for "in the manner of the church." : )

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 28, 2012
10:21 AM

Post #9060432

Thanks, D.
I'll only have about 10-15 tomato plants to keep up with, so that may be do-able!

And, our premier song, "Ride on, King Jesus!" is a capella, this Sunday!
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 28, 2012
11:09 AM

Post #9060512

Oooooo, broken fingers HURT! I know, spent half of last growing season with a cast on my hand. Hope all is well!
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 28, 2012
11:23 AM

Post #9060531

GG,
I just recently switched from hammer and nails to battery powered drill and screwdriver with the phillips head fasteners, and that is so much easier, and stronger, if you are doing much more carpenter work, you might want to try the difference. I hope i never have to drive another nail, now.

i am copying Crickets, prune and grow tall system, too, as it sounds like an excellent way.

Ernie

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 28, 2012
11:32 AM

Post #9060545

Thanks, Ernie,

If you look closely at the picture, you'll see couplers toward the top of the uprights. Below the coupler the uprights are two 7.5' galvanized steel fence posts (from my Hurricane Ike fence repurposing) that are sunk 24" into the ground. Above the coupler the uprights are 18" sections of PVC tubing joined with elbows to another piece of PVC tubing that forms the crossbar.

We were pounding the couplers and the elbows together onto the PVC pieces and Galvanized metal posts when I caught my thumb.

I do have a battery powered drill, and a screwdriver with the phillips head fasteners...

I painted the whole shebang to coordinate with the fence...

Hugs!


HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 28, 2012
11:37 AM

Post #9060547

Gymgirl - Ouch! I know how a broken finger feels - well, actually, when I broke my little finger I couldn't even feel it! I was scared to look incase it was no longer there!

It was winter in Tennessees and I was tobogganing down a steep slope and hit a rock - which was better than going off the side of the ravine into the lake! That was 33 years ago. The finger still doesn't work correctly.

I hope your diagnosis is a good one ^_^

I should also mention that I was pregnant at the time, which is why I know it was 33 years ago!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 28, 2012
11:43 AM

Post #9060554

And, of course, you haven't been tobogganing ever since, right? No...wait...

You were "with child," which means you had to continue tobogganing to give your child the opportunity to break some fingers, too!

Good deal!

Hugs!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 28, 2012
11:56 AM

Post #9060568

Nope, haven't been tobagganing since. I probably would have done, but we moved back to south Florida after our son was born and ya don't get snow there!

My life is never boring ^_^
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 28, 2012
12:44 PM

Post #9060632

Linda, your grow bed looks great. And yes, I grow the single vines anywhere from 6 to 12 inches apart but 8 is a good medium. So sorry you whacked your finger. Hope it recovers quickly.

Dreaves= I shot my index finger with a nail from a nail gun a couple years ago and it caused arthritis to set up in my knuckle. Arthritis is an ugly set back.

I finally found time to clean last years tomato cages and place them around the 22 tomato plants that are growing in the greenhouse raised beds.
Now I need to find time to twine up those 32 varieties in the other raised bed. ( about 150 vines)
And I need to put one twine on the Better Bush so they don't fall over.

I should have ripe tomatoes in 6 more weeks. Bounce Bounce. They take forever but so worth the wait. Everyone I know is asking when will the tomatoes be ready. I give them a date and then the pressure is on.

We have used all 75 quarts that I canned last year. I am officially out of homegrown canned tomatoes. : (

ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 28, 2012
12:53 PM

Post #9060651

GG,
I did notice the nice uprights were pipes, but the boxes looked nice and new, toom so wrongly assumed it was hammer and nails. I was probably the last person to buy a drill and driver, but i had lived on a sailboat for thirteen years so had not had to use a hammer and nail until i moved here a year ago. So i was surprised to find how much easier it was.

You have a real nice setup there.

Ernie

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 28, 2012
1:38 PM

Post #9060721

Thanks, Guys!

It is a serious labor of love!

So, Cricket,
What else would you put in that bed and which way? I know you're busy, so I'll be patient until you can answer.

In the meanwhile, I'm starting okra, eggplant, and bell pepper seeds this weekend, probably outside in a seed flat, since the weather's so warm during the daytime.

I wanna do ONE squash plant, grown vertically on a squash trellis that will take up less room, and I'd like to have at least ONE cucumber plant, so I can make pickles.

Finally, I have Ky Wonder Green Beans going in 5-gallon buckets. I should've put them in eBuckets with reservoirs, but I wasn't thinking about water needs at the time...and there are onions growing in my Earthboxes, and the strawberry eBucket is cranking out steadily (will construct MORE of these for the fall)

I may try to plant a sweetie or two in the two 15-gallon SmartPots, or more Ky Wonder Pole beans with the trellis in place from the beginning...
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 28, 2012
4:25 PM

Post #9060986

Linda. I have always tried to make sure that my squash got evening shade. So...your tomatoes are on the south end of the bed???? I would put okra on the North or West side of the box allowing it to shadow over the squash and protect it from the strong west winds.. I think the sun goes down more into the NorthWest direction during the peak of our summer.
Bell pepper veggies scorch real easy and they also need extra protection from the sun between 2 and 5 pm. I plan to cover my peppers with a shade cloth this summer so the bells don't scorch. I would put the eggplants on the East side of the bed. Bells in the middle along with the squash, and the Okra on the West side. Hope that all made since.
You said you may try to plant a sweetie or two=======what is a sweetie?

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 28, 2012
6:46 PM

Post #9061182

Thanks, Cricket!

The long ends of the bed are on the north and south sides. The tomatoes are planted on the WEST end of the bed.

Sweeties are sweet potatoes.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 28, 2012
8:08 PM

Post #9061272

Roops. but you got the idea -right? about arranging it so the peppers don't scorch and that squash needs a little mid evening shade too so they don't wilt from a heat stroke.

ah...sweeties.


showing some update pictures.

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 28, 2012
8:11 PM

Post #9061274

more

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kevcarr59

kevcarr59
BUda, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 28, 2012
8:32 PM

Post #9061294

Linda, I've felt your pain, in '88 broke my left thumb just above the wrist on my concrete mixer truck. Could have REALLY messed my arm up, but got it out in time...

Your raised beds look great. Building ours I used railroad ties and tried to hammer 12" spikes to hold them together, that didn't happen. Luckily have air tools and impact wrench worked great...

You gave me the solution how to do my cucumber trellis, Thanks much!!!

CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 1, 2012
6:48 PM

Post #9066047

Most of the tomato plants have issues. I am thinking fungal. It's in the air cause even the hanging tomato plants and the tomato plants that are in the 4 gallon pots and the ones in the grow beds all have the same issues. It is early but it almost looks like powdery mildrew at this stage. The plants are pretty green but the lower leaves have a different shade of green spots and on the underside of the leaf opposite of the spot is a brown spot. I have never seen it before. I don't know what I am seeing so I have to google it.
I sprayed the plants with Daconil a few days ago. I sprayed the plants with copper this morning. Both outside and inside the greenhouse. I worked on the house all day and didn't check on the greenhouse until late day. Now I have a Big ROOPs. The plants that were in the hoop house have burned leaves from the copper. The plants in the other greenhouse had more air circulation and are fine. The plants outside are fine. The hoop house was too hot and the combination of heat and copper burned the plants. I should of sprayed an hour before dark.
They will survive the burn but not sure how long they will last with this issue==what ever it is.
We have had a lot of rain and very warm temps.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 1, 2012
6:52 PM

Post #9066054

This is what they have

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/publications/tomatoproblemsolver/leaf/leaf_mold.html
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 1, 2012
7:17 PM

Post #9066087

Cricket,
What form of copper are you using? I am using Kocide, but do not have the heat and humidity problems you have. I am having fungi problems on both the tomatoes and my persimmon tree, and scared to death of harming those beautiful tomato plants Ray der Phan gave me.

I took a page from your book, and am trimming off the lower leaves on the plants as fast as they can spare them, as the problem is worse on the leaves closer to the ground. Please keep reporting what you do to control.

Ernie
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 1, 2012
9:00 PM

Post #9066203

Cricket, is there anyway that you can get them out of the GH. That article is pretty optimist about the plants recovering if the humidity is lowered and circulation improved. I do wonder how they all got it?

Ernie, don't be worried about the plants Ray gave you. It seems that do to his microclimate and near by strawberry fields he has a lot of disease issues with his plants. He always manages to fix the problem. In 2010, when I first "met" him he had something going on with his tomato plants and could not figure out what it was. Even with the help of many DGers. He finally figured out it was grey mold. But he learned a lot (we all did) from his experience, I know he will be more then happy to help you figure out any problems you may encounter.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 1, 2012
9:11 PM

Post #9066214

Lisa,
I know Mark will do everything in the world to help me, but i told him I do not want to embarrass him now that all of you know who my tomato plant's daddy is. lol. He lives closer to the Ocean than i do, so he has more humidity and i have drier but colder micro climate. We will make it one way or the other. He is going to come by pretty often, and share his knowledge.

Ernie
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 1, 2012
9:32 PM

Post #9066232

So just call him Ray, that's what I do. I'm from SoCal and as a child used to visit Vista often, as a young adult I used to visit Oceanside often because of the Marine Base (grin). It gets pretty cold at his place from what he's told me, I didn't realize it got colder in Vista but it probably gets warmer too.

You won't need his help for long before you have it all figured out besides it's always nice to have somebody close to bounce ideas off of. I KNOW he doesn't mind. Ya, he told me himself, I've been lurking through YOUR tomato adventures. Lol. When it comes to disease the more eyes and ears the better, especially because pictures aren't always clear off the computer. I'm still astounded at how fast Cricket found out what her plants had.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 1, 2012
9:45 PM

Post #9066245

Lisa,
I think either name pleases him. He is proud to be a Raider fan, and i only spell out his name for people that will recognize that but may not know who Mark or Ray is.

The ocean modulates the climate, so mine is more extreme, both hotter and i get more frost. I do not think he has lost anything to frost but i have been hit both last year and this year.

I can understand why a young lady would visit the Marine Base. I am sure you found those Tanks and Guns and Choppers and dust clouds fascinating.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 2, 2012
6:18 AM

Post #9066499

Rofl


I forgot the copper brand. I'll have to look when I go out to the gh today.
I thought about taking the hanging tomatoes out of the gh but I have no where to hang them outside and they would have to sit on pallet tables for a while. I will be pruning today too to get rid of those spotted leaves down below.
The tomato plants in the hoop house are setting their 4th and 5th cluster of toms this week and then they get their heads cut off. Their life will be over with in 10 weeks. There is no way I can move those plants outside. They are growing up twine and 4ft tall + and already loaded with toms. They have to stay where they are at. 100 pots= 200 single vine plants.

1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 2, 2012
6:23 PM

Post #9067503

I thought there was some way you could roll up the sides or something. I still find it strange that you found it everywhere. Do you think it was spread by you touching the plants?
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 2, 2012
6:50 PM

Post #9067528

I think those fungi spores are microscopic and are very easily bounced around and spread by the wind and water drops. The pattern i am seeing is where they seem to bounce up off the compost i have spread beneath the vines onto the lower leaves. I also cut off any branches that show black spots on the stems. So i am pruning upwards, too, and i also really sprayed the compost heavily with the kocide spray today. We will have dry weather hopefully from now on, and then maybe i can get ahead of it, but you folks have a much tougher environment to cope with. I am hoping i can save the leaves on the Jap persimmon, as that is my main concern. I am going spray weekly or more often if necessary and see if i can stop it.
Ernie
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 3, 2012
6:20 AM

Post #9067889

I'll be spraying every 5 days. Mostly using Daconil. I couldn't find Daconil last year but it's back on the shelves this year.

This fungus is definitely in the air and caused by warm moisture. It is a hit and miss and outside and inside. Mostly inside.
My big Hoop House does not have roll up walls. It is solid covering cause I normally only use it in the Spring for plant sales. By the time it gets too hot to deal with it, I move the remaining plants outside. It just happen to get a lot warmer a lot sooner this year. I will be moving small plants out soon. I just want to make sure all the frost are gone for sure. The almanac says we will have a cool spell around the 3rd week of April but no idea how cool it will get. It might be our blackberry winter with a light frost.
I was trying to figure out how to disconnect the poly at the base enough to place a saw horse in place to hold the poly up so I can get some air draft through the middle of the greenhouse. It's just too hot too soon. ugh.

All the tomato plants in the other greenhouse seem to be doing ok. Except for those hanging in the turvys. They use to be in the other greenhouse but that was a month ago. They are elevated and in the draft of wind so I would think they should of had enough air circulation but I guess not. It is what it is and sadly beyond my knowledge to understand.

Everything is blooming now. Hoping I get at least 3 to 4 clusters of tomatoes on each single vined plant before they get wiped out by fungus. I have seen a lot of huge blooms (megablooms). All the Better Bush tomato plants are getting big and pretty now. No signs of fungus on them. Maybe I should take my glasses off and look closer. I have to take my glasses off to read...same with looking at small stuff in detail..
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 3, 2012
7:55 PM

Post #9068888

Between customers, tending to plants, watering, and working on the house window shutters, I manage to take a few pictures.

It really is heart breaking to see the burnt leaves on those beautiful tomato plants. so sad.

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 3, 2012
8:00 PM

Post #9068894

I took the hanging upright turvys out of the greenhouse. Pulled off all the spotted leaves. Moved the plants to the chicken coop. It freaked the chickens out at first. Then they calmed down and started pecking at the leaves through the fence.
and an update on the Trash Can cucumber.
I forgot to load the trash can tomato === It's not looking so good.

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 6, 2012
7:36 AM

Post #9071771

I am preparing the garden for the Better Bush tomato plants.
The garden is on a slight slope and when it rains the water washes the row beds out.
We have a building supply company near by with a salvage department.
They have 1x6 x10 untreated wood for $3.25 each. I have bought enough wood to build
12 beds that measure 4x10. Only half of those beds are for the tomato bushes.
The other beds are for corn, okra, beans, and squash. The boxed beds will allow water to flow through
the garden without washing away my top soil.
The garden is all tilled but not very deep and making these raised boxed beds will increase the dept.
I am filling the boxes with the existing garden soil and will gradually add organic matter and compost.
The soil has already had organic matter added but not enough to tell a difference. I think it has been washing away.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 6, 2012
11:36 AM

Post #9072006

Cricket,

I believe in the old saying that "You can see an awful lot just by looking", so i have been studying the tomato plants to learn more. I have noticed that some of the varieties seem to be much more resistant to the Septorum blight [sp.?] than others. Have you noticed that, or is it just happenstance?

The more resistant plants have a different shape leaf than the ones that are hit the hardest.

Ernie

CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 6, 2012
8:36 PM

Post #9072659

Ernie, The brand of copper I used is "Southern Ag" Liquid Copper Fungicide.
I have never had a problem with Septoria. That is some UGLY stuff. It may be one of those problems that only show up in certain regions.(yours)
I currently spotted a few leaves showing Early Blight signs. I also saw a few with signs of Verticillium Wilt.

These fungi problems are making me nervous. It makes me plant a few more tomato plants to make up for the loss I am about to have.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 6, 2012
9:15 PM

Post #9072676

Septoria may be some what regional but its a listed disease down here as well.

Cricket what signs of "Verticilium" have you seen? I have a fungal infection in one of my gardens. It came on in the summer of 2010 after a very wet and cool fall, winter, and spring. Ive yet to ID it but I can grow everything except Nightshades. A lot of weeds act as host plants for what I think it is. It appears to be soil borne but I dont put anything in my gardens that I dont grow myself, so I cant figure out where it came from. Have you talked to your ag agent?

Good Luck its making my stomach feel funny too. lol but since you caught it early you may be OK. I sure hope so after all the work youve done.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 6, 2012
9:25 PM

Post #9072681

Linda and Lisa,

Mark thinks the fungi on the tomatoes is Septoria, which is brown, but i also have problems with another blight on the persimmon tree that is more like black spot, and the one that was so bad last year on the Loquat that is brown and eats in from the leaf edge instead of usually starting as a spot. Kocide kills the fungi, but the blight and loss of leaves also weakens the plants. Some of the tomato plants i have do not get it but other varieties do. So i was wondering if anyone has identified the varieties of Tomatoes that the blight does not bother as much.

I have pruned the plants that have it to get the leaves up away from the ground, and they will survive, but next year i will try to avoid the ones that catch it the easiest. So now i am hoping the resistant ones also have the best tomatoes.

Ernie

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 6, 2012
9:31 PM

Post #9072685

Cricket,
Hope I can give you a tomato smile. Digger9083 just stopped by my place on her way back to GA. She brought me the humongous Big Beef? Tomato plant she had been growing at the winter place. It was in an eBucket. It had 5' branches and shoots going everywhere, mostly on the ground. And, it was full of green golf ball tomatoes.

It took Digger9083, her DH, and me to carry it to the yard!

Well, I just had to prune the plant back to get it under control. And, I did eat a mess of fried green tomatoes last week, and they were outstanding!

Now, you know that I built a frame over my new raised bed with the tomato guide lines like you use, right? Well, today I looked at that plant sitting there next to the tree we had parked it under, to try to prop it up. Then I looked up at the branch hanging right over the bucket. Well, that plant is now standing straight up on a 16 ft guide line strung over that tree branch. It is a beautiful sight!

The plant is very happy, and is putting out new blooms. It stands about 3 ft. high on the line, and I'm gonna document how tall it actually gets.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get the whole picture so you can see the line, but here's the tree. The first branch you come to is the one that's holding up the plant.

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1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 6, 2012
9:32 PM

Post #9072686

Every year is different, at least thats been my experience. I now realize that while the fungus may always be present it thrives under certain environmental conditions,which change yearly, sometimes daily here. lol

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 6, 2012
9:45 PM

Post #9072688

And, here's the plant.

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 7, 2012
7:24 AM

Post #9072918

Ya Lisa. Sounds like you have had an interesting week. A yummy one too. I hope your eb mater gets enough sunlight under that tree. Have you calculated the amount of sun under there? I think you have too much twine wrapped around that vine. It doesn't take much wrapping to hold it up. I think that much will make it too tight to allow the vine itself to thicken correctly. The twine should only be wrapped around the vine about every foot. Congrats on that red mater. I won't see red until Mothers Day.

1Lisac, I have seen a "few" brown lesions in the lower portions of the young tomato plants. Last " fall " I had the same problem and as it progressed, the leaves gradually had brown lesions and browning leaves. I had the same problem about 6 years ago and it looked similar to Fire Blight that fruit trees get early in the spring when it is cold and wet. Later I learned that it was Verticillium Wilt on the tomato plants. And from what I understand, VW is caused by long periods of cold wet weather.

I have a strange idea. I have no idea if it will work. I have no idea if it will harm the health values of the fruits. But...There is a fungicide product called Captan??spelling. It is a powder. I have used it on giant pumpkins and the plants when the stem end of the pumpkin would crack due to lots of rain fall. I would make a paste and rub it on the crack to prevent fungus setting up and rotting the pumpkin and it would also prevent air from getting inside the pumpkin and causing it to rot if the crack just happen to be deep without knowing it and I would use it on broken leaves to prevent vine fungus. Anyway...I thought about sprinkling some on the soil to help prevent soil fungus. I haven't done it yet. I need to read more about the Captan funicide power. (new learning adventure)

Ernie. I really don't know of a variety that is most resistant to any of the fungal problems. I think it is a hit or miss when it comes to fungus caused by the weather and sadly I haven't figured out how to win. I have been growing Big Beef because it is said to be the most resistant of all the diseases and some fungal issues. The Goliath Hybrid is suppose to have the same resistance. I have always said that the best treatment is prevention but I failed to do that this year. I kept putting off the fungicide treatments cause I was just plum lazy and didn't want to take the time to do it. I waited too late to prevent fungus and now I have to control fungus.

I let the garden plot grow up with weeds in the past two years. I was busy building a house and didn't do anything with the garden plot. Now I have to gradually bring it back under control. This picture is just half of what the garden use to be. I had a cow back behind that fence. The cow is gone and I can remove the fence. I will work on getting the other half back in shape this summer. Right now the outer limits need to be mowed and then I will till it and get the weed roots out. etc... Mean while. These are the beds that I built yesterday and I have 7 more to build today.

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 7, 2012
7:29 AM

Post #9072926

Yes, all that land you see is mine and I want a tomato farm ...rolling my eyes at myself.

Oh...I have iron rods to drive into the soil down the sides of the 10 foot beds to hold the wood in place so it doesn't expand outward. I will be happy if that wood last 6 years. Probably wishful thinking.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2012
7:51 AM

Post #9072952

Thanks, C!

I'll make the twine adjustment. I watched the sun all yesterday, and the sun shines right on that bucket.
I had already moved the bucket into the sun's path before I tethered it.

PS. The plant came with the ripening tomato, courtesy of Digger9083!
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 7, 2012
8:12 AM

Post #9072986

Cricket,

That Captan sounds familiar, from using it on the Nursery, and as i recall, i disliked using it because it is just like talcum powder in the dry form, if i remember correctly, but it was a good product.

i am going to record the resistant varieties, because of the 20 or so varieties of Flowering Crabs i grew, there was a wide range of Blight resistance among them, and it will not surprise me if the same thing exists in tomatoes. I doubt if most larger growers raise as many different varieties as the group on the forum do, so perhaps when there crops get hit, they do not have the basis for comparison.

I will research the VW and see if that could also be a problem for me here. One of my plants have leaves with about a 20% curl, instead of being flat. I assumed that was a variety characteristic, as the leaves on different varieties look very different.

I have about 20 varieties here from Mark, and only one of each.

Ernie
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 7, 2012
9:22 AM

Post #9073053

Cricket-I really don't think "plum lazy" is a good description for yourself. I wish I had 1/2 your energy. Lol

What do you use for fungus prevention?
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 7, 2012
12:14 PM

Post #9073204

Prevention== Daconil, Fung-O-Nil, and Copper. I also drench the beds with regular mouth wash a few weeks before I plant. I did not do that this year.

Plum Crazy= I want to do so many things that I don't have time to do them all and I do what i want to do the most which causes problems if I don't do what is most important and that's just plum crazy. I should put important stuff first and save the fun stuff for last. Like right now! I should be pruning and tending to mature tomato plants but instead I am Playing in the Garden Dirt so I can plant more tomato plants. (smack my forehead= I coulda had a V-8)

1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 7, 2012
12:20 PM

Post #9073208

That's one thing I have learned as I've gotten older, is keep it simple. If I spend a little extra time doing it right then I don't have to fix it later. BUT this may have happened even then so you can't beat yourself up for it.

I've been so busy the last 3-4 days and gotten sooo much done. Now I can't move ...
TX_gardener
Brady, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 8, 2012
4:41 AM

Post #9073773

[quote="CricketsGarden"]Plum Crazy= I want to do so many things that I don't have time to do them all and I do what i want to do the most which causes problems if I don't do what is most important and that's just plum crazy. I should put important stuff first and save the fun stuff for last.[/quote]

Sounds exactly like me! Put off the necessary so I can do the fun stuff ...
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 8, 2012
6:57 AM

Post #9073938

I don't know why or what but the tomato growing in the trash can of nutrient water was turning light green so I checked the roots under the lid and they had turned brown and there wasn't very many of them. I chunked the mater plant. It is a goner.
The tomato plant in the barrel drum is doing excellent. The soil has settled about 6 inches and I was going to add more soil but I think I'll just put 6 inches of mulch in there.

I started transplanting the Better Bush into the garden grow boxes.
I will be growing 10 Celebrity in the garden too.

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HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 8, 2012
11:04 AM

Post #9074211

Cricket - [quote]I will be happy if that wood last 6 years. Probably wishful thinking.[/quote]

Our plain pine boards have lasted six summers. The DO need replacing now, but will have to wait until 1013 when I'll have more funds to invest.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 9, 2012
10:05 AM

Post #9075554

Cricket everything looks so wonderful !
i just wanted to stop in and look at all the great work your doing. wow .
my dh is getting our larger Gh up , sure hope he does ? LOL
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 9, 2012
6:45 PM

Post #9076321

congrats taynors. I feel your excitement. It is a delight on chilly mornings. Love to have coffee and eat cherry maters in the greenhouse every morning. My cherry maters are not ripe yet. Waiting impatiently. (3 more weeks) The big tomatoes will be ripe in 4 more weeks. I drool over them every day.

My husband is my hero. He has been washing dishes for me and doing some laundry too cause I work all day and work so late. Like now===I just came in from the garden. I was out there with a spot light sowing my corn seed and wetting it down. Before I planted that corn seed, I made 2 of those grow boxes and scooped up all the surrounding top soil that the box would hold. I hoed 4 trenches in each box as deep as I could and sprinkled fertilizer in the bottom of the trenches. I covered those up and made shallow trenches above it. Then I made circle indention with my hoe handle every 8 inches and place my soaked corn seed in each one. Covered them lightly and wet them down. Sowed 120 corn seed. I am no corn farmer but I do like home grown fresh corn. Also transplanted 20 more Better Bush tomato plants today. 40 complete. 46 mater plants to go and my Spring planting will be finished. The grow boxes are 4x10 and I planted 10 better bush tomatoes in one grow box and planted okra plants down the middle. Then I mulched it lightly with shredded pine bark mulch. It looks pretty good right now. The soil is sandy topsoil. Watering is going to be a chore. I need to add peat moss and chopped leaves to the beds but that will be a future expense.(fall) When things slow down, I can go to the pine thicket across the road and gather pine needles and run them through the mulcher shredder and add that to the thickness of mulch. Going to have a light frost Wednesday night. I will drape sheets over the grow boxes that have plants.


Happy Gardening!
(I am running so far behind, I thought I was first)

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 10, 2012
5:20 AM

Post #9076661

LOL (I am running so far behind, I thought I was first) LOL love it

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 10, 2012
7:17 AM

Post #9076801

I love your husband -- er, in a strictly platonic sort of way, and, on your behalf.

You get me, right? ^^_^^

ROTFLMBO!!!
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 11, 2012
7:48 AM

Post #9078247

I gotcha. ;)


It's gonna frost tonight. I have much to protect. It will be a long day sorting it all out. Blankets, sheets, drop clothes, large pots, etc...

Last years last frost didn't kill anything. It was strange. The tomato plants were covered with tiny balls of ice. The dew covered the plants and the plants perspired leaving those little balls of water on the leaves and then it froze but all survived and was not damaged but the plants had been out for a long while and was very hardy. It seems to me that the plants that have had alot of nitrogen, big lush and green are more tender and will have frost damage and the plants that have had little nitrogen are more hardy during a light frost and no damage. Just something I have noticed over the years. So...my advice would be to hold back on nitrogen until after your last expected frost. Give very little.

some update pics.
still working on the garden beds.
better bush plant,
better bush fruit


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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 11, 2012
7:51 AM

Post #9078256

greenhouse beds
better bush and okra
brown lesion on stem

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 11, 2012
8:04 AM

Post #9078276

This is Better Boy tomato plants. Getting them ready for the garden. I laid them on their side so the tops of the plant will start turning upward so the plants can be planted in a trench.

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 11, 2012
8:12 AM

Post #9078290

The trash can cucumber is doing great. It has cucumbers (Alibi). I want to do more like this. After the frost tonight, I will take the trashcan out of the greenhouse. The water nutrient level is getting low and I can move it now. I will have to add another 3 ft cage to top of this cage so it can keep climbing. Very happy with the trashcan cucumber. Trying watermelon like this sometime this week.

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HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 11, 2012
8:13 AM

Post #9078292

Cricket - [quote]big lush and green are more tender and will have frost damage and the plants that have had little nitrogen are more hardy during a light frost and no damage.[/quote]

Which is probably why the volunteer tomatoes and squash in my garden are laughing at these cold/hot cycles!

That's a lot of work, Cricket. I hope you managed to save everything.

It was supposed to get near freezing here last night, but didn't. Frost is predicted again for tonight!
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 12, 2012
6:18 AM

Post #9079428

We had a light frost. I think I saved most everything outside. I didn't heat the greenhouse at all. I didn't even close it up.
I had 60 4gallon black pots on all the bush tomato plants. I had 4 ft tall tomato plants that had 5ft cages on them and I put painters drop clothes over those. I had 30 something peppers and eggplants that all had cages and I put clothes over them too. I had 20 squash outside growing in 4 gallon pots and I put a tarp over those.
I forgot to put something over my 50 gallon drum tomato. I am hoping it survived.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 12, 2012
8:08 AM

Post #9079559

Hey, Cricket!
Glad everything survived.

Question: what are you finding is the advantage of growing the cuke/watermelons in the trash can system?
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 12, 2012
9:04 AM

Post #9079636

The trashcan cucumber is hassle free other than guiding the vines every now and then. You don't have to worry about watering it and You don't have to worry about fertilizer until you refill the nutrient water. I really like it.
I haven't started the watermelon yet. I have the plant ready and now that the weather should be warm from here on out, I can set the watermelon up this week. Doing a pumpkin vine too. Curiosity killed the cat.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 12, 2012
10:03 AM

Post #9079700

Ok. I have three Sugar Crunch cukes inside under lights. They came up in about 5 days, and are about 2.5" now. I noticed in your pic you used a larger pot than the 6 oz. yogurt cup I was proposing to use. What size pot did you go with? Also, you used regular granulated fertilizer as I recall, and I'll be using the hydroponic fert that Hilo-Sun recommended.

32 gallon Brute/Rubbermaid Can?
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 12, 2012
10:07 AM

Post #9079705

Yes..the 32 gal Rubbermaid. Yes I used 13-13-13, epsom salt, and calcium nitrate. I used a 1 gallon pot. I would suggest a sturdy thick walled pot. They are easier to drill holes into. The thin wall gallon pots are dangerous when using a drill.(been there , done that)
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 13, 2012
5:40 AM

Post #9080631

Happy to report that the Big Beef tomato plant in the 50 gallon drum survived no protection during light frost. I guess it was hardy enough to withstand the frost. Also, some cucumbers, squash, better bush tomato and 12 young but hardened pepper plants survived no protection. If all these plants had just been planted and were young and tender, I am sure they would not have survived. I wouldn't want others to think their plants will survive if they planted out just before a frost was due. These plants had been outside for 2 weeks when this light frost(38 *F) arrived.

CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 18, 2012
8:51 PM

Post #9088362

What we gonna do here is= cut the top of my head off.

I have been pruning tomato plants that have managed to grow too many suckers while working on other chores.
I have also been pinching the tips off of the first batch of tomato plants located in the Hoop House cause they will not have enough time
to produce any more to maturity before it gets too HOT in there.
The other greenhouse plants will last much longer than the hoop house plants cause it gets more air circulation to cool it off.
I only have 4 big beef tomato plants in a raised bed "outside" that have now reached 5 feet tall. They have had a few leaves pruned off the bottom to help air circulation but all suckers were allowed to grow freely. I also have 17 Big Beef tomato plants in a greenhouse that were managed the same way and all supported with reinforcement wire cages.

The single vine tomato plants in the other greenhouse was for extra early crop and they were pruned and pinched caused they were growing in 4 gallon pots.
I much prefer to let plants grow freely. Tis why I have gathered 26 25gallon pots to grow the Fall crop with less pruning and pinching. I need a few more pots. I am also working on Cages for those pots. One moment at a time.

Every tomato plant needs some management and the idea management is to have one vine every 6 to 8 inches apart to allow air flow through the plant to minimize fungus and diseases. I am the first to admit that I can keep up with the pinching of suckers for several months but then I get busy doing other gardening and household chores and the suckers get away from me and I end up with more suckers than i can handle but also by that time, the plants are pretty much done for and it doesn't matter to me one way or the other.

I have been pruning tomato plants to single vines for only 8 years but my health is slowing me down. Arthritis from hell in every joint. Had it for 22 years already but it has worsened in the past 2 years. I have been planning the change for the past year. It takes time and money on a large scale.

I wanted to take pictures but i cant find my camera. I laid it down somewhere and can't remember. I am also loosing my mind. :)


CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2012
1:39 PM

Post #9089170

Sorry====I found my camera. Brace yourself.

The first two pics are concrete block beds on each side of the steps with Better Bush tomato plants.

The Big Beef in the barrel. I gave it pond water today.

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2012
1:44 PM

Post #9089175

Sweet Million in the topsy turvy (upright) are starting to ripen. (sweet)

big beef uprightin topsy

better bush in 5 gallon bucket

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2012
2:02 PM

Post #9089191

big beef
brandywine
brandywine

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Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 19, 2012
2:12 PM

Post #9089204

Uh, PLEASE tell me why your tomatoes are FULLY LOADED and I barely have blossoms?
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2012
2:13 PM

Post #9089207

Big Beef in cages, squash, and rosemary in the backyard raised beds

Big Beef in cages in the tomato house

Bush Goliath



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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2012
2:15 PM

Post #9089214

I am so sorry Linda. I wish I knew. YOu don't have any blooms showing at all? not even buds??

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 19, 2012
2:21 PM

Post #9089226

I have a couple blossoms on one Sioux.

This morning, I saw the plants I gave to my neighbor across the street. I believe I will need to change where I grow tomatoes in my yard. Her plants are almost 3' tall, she has at least 1 green tomato that's about golf ball size, and more blooms than I have. The real factor is her plants are growing in full sun for AT LEAST 6 morning hours every day. I have bright morning shade over my RB, and sunshine for a couple hours on the tomatoes (drat!!!!).

Having a tree cut down next week, and, hopefully more sun directly on the plants for a longer period of time. Otherwise, I'll need to grow the tomatoes in another area next time...
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2012
2:23 PM

Post #9089233

Better Bush in raised bed in backyard next to eggplants.

Bell Peppers and Strawberries

Cucumbers

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2012
2:45 PM

Post #9089258

Yes, sun is very important for bloom formation.
I wish I had a tree in my yard. I would love to grow some impatiens, hosta, and hydrangeas. The only place I can put these plants are on the morning sun end of the house and I never go around there. :( I might have to build a shade pergola trellis on the sunny side of the house.

I have to show a picture of the trash can cucumber. I love it...sorry, you have to look sideways.

Two Better Bush in a 25 gallon pot next to 10 gallon squash.

Better Bush in a 12 inch deep Table Top Garden. along with peppers and cukes.

I have stuff growing everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2012
2:53 PM

Post #9089264

random pics of the 30something varieties

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2012
3:00 PM

Post #9089271

want to see a flower?

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1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 19, 2012
9:14 PM

Post #9089688

When did you plant your tomatoes GG.?
JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

April 19, 2012
10:50 PM

Post #9089728

GG, sounds like your tomatoes are sun deprived! Better get that tree cut down!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 19, 2012
11:03 PM

Post #9089730

25 days ago I planted them out. Two Sioux, which cranked out tomatoes in last summer's drought, even when I refused to go outside and water them.

Yah know something? I just remembered I planted them out close toward the end of my planting window precisely because I calculated they'd rev up just as our heat set in.

I think I should be more patient.

Thanks, Lisa!!

I'll be sure to report back!
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 20, 2012
6:00 AM

Post #9089890

In early spring, tomato plants start blooming when they are between 8 and 10 weeks old from sow date depending on temps provided they get plenty of sun.
In the late spring and summer, tomato plants start blooming when they are between 6 and 8 wks old.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 20, 2012
7:07 AM

Post #9089982

Thanks, Cricket!

Jo,
The tree is coming down Thursday! But, I've already decided next season to move the tomato operation to a sunnier spot on the north side of my yard, against a fence. I had the Sioux growing there last summer, and they got full-on sun most of the day.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 20, 2012
1:56 PM

Post #9090592

I cannot remember if I mentioned=
I bought a can of tomatilloes and made homemade verde sauce for chicken burrito with cheese sauce and everything.
I went out and harvested a few green tomatoes and made green sauce with the tomatoes and they both tasted very good and very similar.
I even added lemon juice to my green tomato sauce. I liked the tomatillo verde sauce better but if I had none, those green tomatoes work Great.

I took pictures of the tomatillo plants that I ordered by mail.
4 Purple and 4 large Green
I am so undecided on where to plant them.
I wanted them in the garden but keep reading how they make great potted plants too.
I would love to save my garden space for okra, corn, and large tomato plants, beans...etc...
I know if I want to save seed from these tomatilloes that I have to keep the purple separated from the green. Which is really a shame...I would like all of them on my deck in earhboxes. I have no idea how far apart to keep them. Bees travel all over the place.

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Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 20, 2012
2:04 PM

Post #9090602

Those sure are nice looking plants!
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 20, 2012
2:46 PM

Post #9090667

Thanks for the tip on the green tomato sauce cricket. Always good to find more uses for green tomatoes.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 20, 2012
3:10 PM

Post #9090698

I cooked my chicken down, added chicken bouillon, fresh garlic and onions, some celery seed, ===a good chicken stock basically. I chopped my green tomatoes- pureed. I added my home chicken stock and a little lemon juice. Salt. cooked slowly. Delicious!

This message was edited Apr 20, 2012 4:11 PM
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 20, 2012
9:59 PM

Post #9091128

I was just noticing today that only 1 of my Market Tomtato Plants is blooming. They are in 4" pots and by now usually a few at least have blooms. The only thing that is different is that its cooler. The plants look great but Im always pinching blooms by now.

GG- I must have missed something why arent your plants blooming? If any of mine have been in the ground that long without blooming they are getting yanked. lol
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 21, 2012
6:30 AM

Post #9091360

Strange= even though warm temps came a month early, everything was about a week late blooming. I did start things early cause the almanac said it was going to be warm sooner but...it all has to do with daylight hours too. Putting sun loving plants in the shade will slow them down greatly and also when you start seeds sooner than normal you have to think about daylight hours even when growing in full sun.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 21, 2012
8:02 AM

Post #9091464

Very true. The angle of the sun (intensity) and number of daylight hrs. all play a role among other things. I seem to always get mine tomatoes planted out late but I seem to have less days between planting out and harvesting??

However, The Market Plants are in the same place they always are, everything is the same, except the temps. It was MUCH cooler this A.M. then expected. We did have a Warmer then normal period at the end of March beginning of April, and the plant growth reflected it. Needless to say the peppers are just sitting there. I have had the thermometer in the GH but I moved it outside so tomorrow I will know the exact temps (not that I can do much about it). LOL Oh Well!
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 21, 2012
9:29 AM

Post #9091596

Reminder/ Repost
The tomato plant that was growing in the trashcan no longer exist. It had root rot. It was "trashed".
The 50 gallon barrel tomato plant is growing in a soil mix.

kevcarr59

kevcarr59
BUda, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 22, 2012
2:30 AM

Post #9092443

Picked up a couple Mr. Stripey at Lowe's that they had on sale 2 for $3, tried them last year but they died very quickly. Maybe this year will be better...

Are they a candidate for a container??
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 22, 2012
5:37 AM

Post #9092522

Container Gardening tomatoes depends on how many tomatoes you want to produce with your plant. All tomato plants can be grown in containers and it depends on what size container on how much pruning you will have to do. The bigger the plant, the bigger the pot and more watering.

Mr Stripey requires caging or other support system.

This is how I figure it on the average. One vine per gallon of soil. If you want 5 vines, use 5 gallon. If you want 10 vines, use 10 gallons. If you want 25 vines, 25 gallon.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 22, 2012
6:43 AM

Post #9092604

Personally, I wouldn't grow a tomato plant in anything smaller than a 5-gallon pot. I've tried smaller pots in the past with disappointing results.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 22, 2012
6:48 AM

Post #9092611

I agree

kevcarr59

kevcarr59
BUda, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 22, 2012
8:37 AM

Post #9092715

I've got the Home Depot Orange 5 Gallon Home Container System, GUARANTEED, by Home Depot...LOL...

About to mix a double batch of Al's Container Mix... See how that goes and it's a GORGEMOUS, Bluebird morning here in Texas!!!!

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 22, 2012
4:08 PM

Post #9093242

CricketsGarden:How big is the garbage can,and how's it filled? Ilike trying melons in different size containers;ETC; by the time I work my garden soil for watermelons I could have a dozen containers with moderate results.That is compared to one small garden bed.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 22, 2012
7:10 PM

Post #9093515

The trash can is 32 gallon. I been reading stuff about growing melons in the nutrient water and I am getting leery of the idea. I keep reading that the water nutrients have to be drained and refreshed every 3 weeks if using a non-circulating system. So...I think One should install a faucet or drain cap on the bottom side of the trashcan or barrel.. But I am not sure I want to go through all that trouble right this moment and that is a lot of waste so my thinking was to put the trash can or barrel near a garden plot so when I empty the nutrients, it will flush into the garden through a hose pipe. Still thinking.

I cut a hole in the lid to fit a 2inch pvc pipe through and I placed a pvc pipe that reached the bottom of the trash can and it sits in there at an angle so when I refill it up, the water runs in freely.


This is a picture when I first set it up.

This message was edited Apr 22, 2012 8:11 PM

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 22, 2012
7:16 PM

Post #9093529

As for the tomato plant that was growing in the trashcan nutrient water. It had root rot and i think it didn't get enough air. So...I want to keep trying. Maybe set it up like I should the watermelon. The nutrient water will not go to waste. I have many plants that would love the waste.
Thinking.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 22, 2012
7:20 PM

Post #9093532

NEAT IDEA,sounds like a lot work for me though, best to ya.

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