STARTING OUR SPRING GARDEN STAGE 4

BUda, TX(Zone 8b)

Well everyone has been doing such a great job with this thread, let's keep the train chuggin' along....

Here is the link to the third page of the thread...

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1299711/

This message was edited Mar 14, 2013 11:23 PM

BUda, TX(Zone 8b)

dreaves>> At the top of Part 3 you asked about transplant date, well I can give you a definite date... Saturday the 16th the tomatoes will go into the Root Pouches and be put out into the garden. I still have to get the garden cleaned up, but have been involved with a new heart therapy 5 days a week, and it just messes up the day TOTALLY... Thankfully only 2 more weeks of it, so then I'll have more time for the garden.

The same is true with the cucumbers. They all have blooms on them already and the tendrils are up around the lights. I don't think we're going to have any more cold weather, so I think we're passed the posibility of frost, just hope we stay above 50 degrees.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Not necessarily veggie garden update, but next to the veggie garden. Planted out nine blueberry bushes to replace the ones that died during the drought. Very nice ones from Berries Unlimited. I'll get the drip irrigation re-installed over the weekend and mark the end of the line with a VERY bright marker to let DH know not to mow over the end of the drip lines again! Any suggestions for markers would be appreciated. He doesn't like to mow, so when he has to he just bangs it out. I'm the mower in the family now.

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

Terri,
What system are you re-installing? I may need your help in installing my DripWorks lines tomorrow. I'll send you a dmail, if that's ok?

Here're some pathetic pictorial updates of what's happening inside, under my fluorescent lights...

#1 A bell pepper has grown hidden by foliage...
#2 More bell pepper blooms
#3 Healthy bells

Everybody's going out tomorrow!

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Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

I've used DripWorks for some time. Very easy.

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

Thanks, Terri!

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Finally! It's going to be 70 this afternoon, sunny and slightly breezy. It's a perfect day for my tomato and pepper seedlings to get outside for some real sunshine.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Thank you for the new thread, Kev! We left our tomato plants out last night! Hope they're okay.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

No worries.
My tomatoes have been outside since February 16th and they are doing great.
Just protect them from the wind.

BUda, TX(Zone 8b)

I did the same with mine, look okay, but it's been windy today. Have to get some more starts to the wife's co-worker who is getting his garden going this weekend... Gonna be warm one this weekend, 90 possible for Sunday & Monday... Last week we had lows in the upper 30's...Good 'ole Texas weather....

Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

I planted Garlic (that I didn't get to plant last fall-instead kept in a 35-degree room), leeks, and spinach in the bales on the south outside wall of the greenhouse, with a little soil on top of the wheat bales, mixed with vermiculite and perlite. I topped it off with vermiculite and loose straw strewn to keep the baby birdies off it. Watered in. Inside, there's more corn up, squash, kentucky wonder bean, but the last batch of various corn are not up, yet. Corn- Bantam, Blue Jade, Smoke Signals, Roy's Calais (and yet to plant, Mandan Bride and Reid's Yellow Dent for my chickadees).

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

Kev,
You're growing the San Marzanos, right? What's the DTM on those? My avg. DTM on this batch will be 100 days, so I'm looking for a harvest beginning mid-May through the end of June. June is my cut-off date, when the tomato vines get ripped out.

The tomatoes have been in since Feb. 23rd, and I've been doing the "on again, off again" dance with the hoop cover. This was only bothersome until I figured out a method that now takes only 3-5 minutes.

The lightweight perforated plastic has stayed on 24/7 since plant out. On nights it dipped into the low 40s - high 30s, I pulled an additional, non-perforated sheet of 4 mil opaque plastic over the hoop. One windy night I added a bed sheet as a wind breaker.

Instead of taking the heavy sheet completely off, I anchored it on the bottom front corners of the hoop on one end, and sat my little red wagon on it so the wind wouldn't blow it all over. Now, all I have to do is grab it and drag it forward over the entire hoop. It's easy to reach under and grab the bulldog clips from the perfed plastic and re-clip both layers together. 3 minutes..

WHY did I wait so long to put up a proper hoop????!!!!

My soil thermometer has read 70 for the last three evenings... Suhweet!

Linda

This message was edited Mar 15, 2013 3:22 PM

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

If we don't get another freeze it will be a first, at least for me. It's supposed to be close to 90 one day then 60 the next. My fruit trees haven't even started to bud out.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

In the past three years I have been very successful on taking care of the LEAFFOTED BUG.
I found out that they like SUNFLOWERS and CARDOON blossoms so much better than my tomatoes.
My Cardoon is a stunning perennial while I seed my Mammoth Sunflowers every year (most of them they self seed).

Just plant them away from the tomatoes.
Example: my vegetable garden is on the back of the house ... the Sunflowers and Cardoon are on the opposite side.

In my zone is time NOW to seed SUNFLOWERS. Push down the seed on the soil of 1". That's all.
Good Luck !

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Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

drthor - what camera do you use? Your close-up photos are beautiful.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks
I am using a NIKON Coolpix P7000

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

drthor - Yes, NIKON makes great cameras. I've never been able to afford one. LOL

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Peacevine Cherry Tomato - first green tomato of 2013.
This is the first year I am growing this variety. So far so good.

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Cucumbers are in the garden and growing well (even under extreme winds)

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Today I removed the PVC hoop house and the perforated plastic.
I built tomatoes cages and secured them. Tomatoes now have been out for one month and they are much stronger and they can take those heavy winds with no problem.

I forgot when do I start to fertilize the plants?
When I see the first flower or the first tomato?
Huumm I don't remember ... I better watch the "Tons of tomatoes" video again.

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Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Looks as though you have a great start, drthor.

I fertilize my tomatoes from the day I sow seed, but I know others don't do this. When I transplant the seedlings to the garden, they get organic fertilizer in the hole, mixed well with the surrounding soil. I NEVER let my plants get "hungry".

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I've been fertilizing my tomatoes once a week. I use a fish emulsion liquid fertilizer.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Isn't fish emulsion very rich in N?
In general, tomatoes want less N as fruiting begins, and increasing amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, right?
You can get away with more N early on.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I don't know but my tomatoes have very nice fat stems and are almost 2' tall! They've been blooming since last week, but I've been trimming the blooms off so that more energy was spent on roots and plant health. I'm planting them out TODAY or tomorrow!! When I plant them, I'll put some earthworm castings, compost, and slow-release veggie fertilizer in with the dirt in the hole.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

My peppers are making lots of fruit indoor.
#1 Atris
#2-4 Corno di Toro Rosso
#3 Melrose
#5 Eggplant forming

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I love lettuce at this time of the year ...

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Today I am starting to harden-off: cucumbers, long beans and zucchini.
The rest of the cucumbers are growing well outside. I am protecting them with perforated plastic for a few more days.

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Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from drthor :
Isn't fish emulsion very rich in N?
In general, tomatoes want less N as fruiting begins, and increasing amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, right?
You can get away with more N early on.

Way back when I was studying tomatoes in school, the research showed it is better to get as much calcium into the plant as you can early on and keep it coming. It is almost completely immobile once it has moved out of the xylem into cells, and it needs to be available to the fruit as soon as they start to form to reduce BER. In other words, constantly available. Calcium nitrate is a good source for people who don't mind the pure form. It can be mixed right into the water if you liquid-feed.

-Rich

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Great tips !
I have a bottle of liquid CALCIUM and I will start to apply to the tomatoes ... even if I never Had problems with BER.
At time of transplant I did put some crashed egg shells in the hole ...

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

My tomatoes are not greening up, so today I gave them a side dressing of Ammonium Sulfate. I dug a "bowl" out in-between each plant, mixed the Ammonium Sulfate into the soil mounded around the "bowl," sprinkled a bitmore into the bowl and watered it in.

Should know something in a few hours...

This message was edited Mar 18, 2013 2:12 PM

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

what do you mean : "My tomatoes are not greeting up" ??

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

"greening" up. Nitrogen-deprived...

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

do you have a picture?

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Greening up? What are they doing instead?

We started planting tomatoes today!!! So far, we've got 3 Homestead, 4 Pantano Romanesco, 1 Rutgers, and 2 Beefsteak in the ground. Tomorrow, we'll get the tomatillos and large red cherry plants in the ground. We also still need to put up the cages for them.

We also pulled out the aphid and some other kind of bug infested broccoli plants. They were finished producing anyway, but I'll miss their flowers.

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Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

My Early Treat tomatoes are very green, my Big Boys and Beefsteaks are not, but I think they will green up after a few more days. I just transplanted them two days ago, I was wondering why some were so "healthy" looking and some not so green. I am hoping it is just a difference in the variety.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Stephanie- did the other bug look like a beetle?

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

My tomatoes are not a nice deep green. More yellowish green. It's either too little Nitrogen, or a drainage issue in the bed. Since I forgot to mix in any blood meal, I chose to work with that possibility first. I'd probably need to dig out a section and run a drain pipe if it's not draining.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Lisa, I checked my bug book and they were harlequin bugs. Ick!! Gotta spray for them this evening.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

stephanietx
your tomatoes looks really good !

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Thank you. I clipped off the bottom leaves and planted them deep. Added some earthworm castings & tomato fertilizer to the dirt at planting. I then watered with an organic fertilizer at a weak solution.

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