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Fall tomato planting season in Florida

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

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>

BocaBob

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Here shows the tank setup

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

A closeup

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

My corn experiment

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Romaine seedings 2 weeks old

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Corte Madera, CA

wow, i will be watching this thread.

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

So neat looking! Very interesting indeed.

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Today's pic of one of 9 tomato plants in growbags

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Crestview, FL

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.
joy112854

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

All I can say is WOW!

Orlando, FL

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.

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

I would get a second opinion about tomatoes not setting in "cool" weather. How cool does it get in Orlando? And for how long?

Raeford, NC

Bob what size grobags do you plant your tomatoes in?Thanks deanna

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Deanna - I use 5 gallon ones.

Bob

Orlando, FL

Hi.
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

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

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

Here's a pic of mine today

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Here's a few pics Sept 16.....

Here my plants are now supported with plant clips attached to string.

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Here is a couple of closeups

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

another close up

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Here's my corn

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Here's some romaine lettuce just about ready to plant outside

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

If you scroll up to the start of this thread, look at the size of the tomato plants only 1 week ago

Orlando, FL

Bob,
Your tomatoes look great. Thanks. Fran

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I am a growbag fan and user.
Keep up the good work.
You give us winter folk something to read.



Cricket

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Here are some pics taken today:

I planted these bush beans 3 days ago in a EarthBox

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Here's another angle.

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

My toms are growing at warp speed.

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

another view

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

one more view

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Here's my corn crop

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Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

One of my sweet pepper plants

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Miami, FL(Zone 10b)

Bob, your plants are looking great. You may have mentioned it somewhere but what varieties of tomatos and beans are you growing?
Flip

Crestview, FL

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

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

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.

Bob

Crestview, FL

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
joy112854

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

No problem at all!!!!

Miami, FL(Zone 10b)

Couple of pics - this is the one of my 3 gardens. Eleven tomatos (planted ot 1 month ago) plus beans, lettuce, radishes, sweet peppers and thyme.

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Miami, FL(Zone 10b)

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.
Flip

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Crestview, FL

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?
joy112854

Aschaffenburg, Germany

Hey guys, I live in Morocco and am kind of wondering what could be planted here at the moment. Temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius. Tomatoes, lettuce, broccholi?

Martin

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