Hi all you northerners harvesting your crops!!! Down here the growing season is just starting. Well, I'm taking some chances. Tplant told me to wait until the 1st week of October, but I'm a gambler. My tomato plants are 12 inches tall (started them inside a month ago), so outside they go. Pictured here is my newest experiment. Top spray grow bags. I'm using coconut coir as the growing media. I have a 32 gallon brute can to feed my plants (3 times a day via a pump and timer set up). Some people would say it is a hydroponic system because its using a soilless growing media. Because I'm growing on my patio within a screened enclosure, I'm going to support the plant stems with plant clips, attached to a string 8 feet high attached to a eye hook in the cross beam. ( Some greenhouse tomato growers use this method, and it looked very interesting). I will be pruning these tomato plants to a single growing stem as part of this experiment (sorry Carolyn, I know and have read how you hate doing that). I will be growing some in my Earthboxes and will let them do their own thing. I also started some sweet corn in a 30 gallon tub (another experiment), pictured below. Inside I have peppers, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and onions all growing and should be ready within a month. Like last year, if the interest is there, I"ll post lots of pictures. We have a long, 9 month growing season. See ya>
Wow, those are nice looking veggies already. I see you have a stone patio, no nimotoads right? I'm new at gardening myself, it looks like you have a complicated set up there; but, I've been wanting to condense my garden also, as I'm going whole hog this next Spring, and I live in Florida, NW Florida close to Pensacola. I was going to start all my own seedlings indoors around the middle of Januray and then transplant them outside around March. I am planning on having a pole coming up out of the yard that will support two topsy turvy planters with tomatoes in them and two veggie baskets, each veggie basket will hold 30 veggies. So; I'm going to try pickling cucumbers in one and bell peppers in the other. The pole will support all four. I'm then going to get a few construction horses and put treated ply wood on them and put 6 grow boxes with eggplant, artichokes and onions in them, I'm planting two types of eggplants (lavender and the black ones). I also have two square foot planters for more tomatoes. In the ground goes corn and cucumbers with a slanted metal trellis for the cucumbers to climb up and then I will plant greens under the trellis, as it will be shady with the cucumbers climbing up the trellis. On the other side of the yard will go my Charleston Jr watermelon, cantaloupe and later on pumpkins.
We were told to get ours in the ground last week by the extension service man. Said if not the tomatoes wouldnt set after it turned cool so I bought two plants and put one out and the other one is going out today. They were about 7 in tall. Fran
Also put a bell pepper out. Today is the day to plan t since its a full moon. Moon was so bight last night I thought the neighbor had his outside lights on LOL.
Cools off in late oct. but he says the heat makes them grow fast and then later they set before the coolest weather comes. Maybe he meant we need the heat to make them grow tall. Once I coverered my small garden plot with plastic and the plants grew so fast from the heat they hit the top and then the cold killed them. That ws in January. But the plants set tomatoes and I had a lot of them lot more than when they were not covered.
Fran - Maybe he was right. the Florida planting guide said for central Florida plant tomatoes in Sept and then again January through March. Down here in the south, we can plant from August all the way through March. Sorry I doubted what the extension guy said.
Bob: Your plants are all so beautiful, I'm new to gardening but live in Florida, NW Florida of course, but never heard of this bag growing? Is this something new and how do you do it, just start them in your own trashbags or do you have to buy special bags and just what kind of soil do you use and such? I like the water system you have also, can you explain that to me? Sorry, but you got me interested now.
joy112854 - This system is not new at all. It mostly is used by commercial greenhouse growers. If you are growing indeterminate tomatoes (the kind that keeps growing and growing), with this system it's best to have a support above the bags of about 8 feet. You drop twine down from the support and use special plastic clips to support the tomato plants. The 5 gallon grow bags are a special heavy duty preformed bag with drainage holes and when filled sit flat on the surface. I now have changed to coconut coir as my growing "soil" of choice. It's from a renewable source(coconuts), and its properties are perfect for growing veggies. Google coconut coir on the web and read all about it.
I buy the bag with dehydrated coir in the bag. Just add water. The watering(feeding) system is basically hydroponic. I have a 32 gallon Rubbermaid Brute container with a electric pump in it attached to 1/2 inch black pipe. Sprayers with a 1/4 in lead attaches to the 1/2inch pipe. I mix water and hydroponic nutrients and all my plants are feed three times a day for 2 minutes. You can plant seeds directed in the grow bag, or start seeds indoors and transplant when they are ready, or buy plants at HD or Lowes.
I probably just scared the heck out of you. It's not really complicated, but this is my only hobby and I love it. I can tell you where to buy all the stuff needed if you are still interested. Let me know.
Boca Bob: I'll bet a master plumber would have no problem putting your watering system together for me right? I have a boyfriend who is just that, so now I have some work for him to do right? LOL
and a pic of my one eb - given to me by tplant several years ago - Mariannas Peace and German Red Strawberry. Both are over 6' tall. Planted about 5 weeks ago. Maybe I'll get some fruit set tonite as the temps are plummeting into the high 50's here...brrr.
Crickets Garden: I'm taking it for granted you are in zone 8B just like me, who lives about 65 miles from Pensacola. When do you start your seedlings indoors from seed and do you use the earthboxes?
Aries: Your wooden fence looks just like mine, they are great for keeping out critters aren't they? Wow those plants are huge. I'm envious of all you southern Floridians, you are in your prime right now. Here, we are going dormant.
Martin in Morocco - 20 degrees Celsius - Is that the high or low temp? What's the other end?
Hi Joy - that part of the fence is the only surviving original fencing portion (17 yrs old) after being thru several hurricanes. The rest of the fence has been replaced in the past few years and looks a bit newer.
I'm still installing the wire supports around the rest of my in-ground tomatos. 35 are up - have 8-10 more to to do. Only 4 of 10 containers have this type support - the rest will have to live with the large hoops.
I have fruit on both Galinas and Green Doctors; also have tons of flowers on many plants - waiting on some fruit to set. Should be soon.