Author Topic: Tomatoes  (Read 61340 times)

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colporteur

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2010, 01:01:51 PM »
Sybil;

If your plants are getting reasonable sunlight after they come up I'm guessing its not the temp or the sun but either too much water or not the right amount of fertilizer.  They can be fussy when they are small especially if other conditions are not the best. They need water every day but they cannot be water logged for too long or else they get a wilt/rot type issue.

 I set my tomatoes out this year 8 weeks before the last frost date. They are doing well and we had a night of 18 degrees and several nights in the 20s. I covered them with buckets and blankets. Believe it or not tomatoes are tougher than most warm weather plants when it comes to the cold. They can generally withstand cold (short of freezing the plant) better than they can take lack of adeguate sunlight. Early in the season flourescent lights help out in that area. There is nothing like sunlight but the artificial lighting helps out quite a bit until the sun is shining.
     My melons did not handle well the extended period of cold temps with lows in the 20's and 30's and highs in the 40's and 50's. The squash handled it better and the tomatoes the best. It is strange that it is in the 90's here this week. Last year it never reached 90 degrees the entire summer.


For me the tomatoe is the queen of the garden. If I could grow only one thing it would be the tomatoe. To garden without is not to garden. I like the way they look, the way the plant smells, the way they grow, and of course best of all the way they taste. They are my favorite food, fried, boiled, baked, and best of all raw with some salt.

Now, ..back to my spaghetti and tomatoe sauce. No kidding!
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Mimi

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2010, 01:21:02 PM »
Great advice, thanks! The little planting cups shown in an earlier photo were placed inside a next size larger pot with new Miracle Grow potting soil. I do have a saucer under them and maybe I should remove those, allowing the water to flow through it as it would in a regular bed. Typically they are dry between waterings. I will remove the saucers and see if this makes a difference. Thanks!
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Richard Myers

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2010, 01:35:22 PM »
How much miracle grow?  Liquid or solid?  They little plants cannot take much. They need very little. I will defer to cp. How much is too much, cp?
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Mimi

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2010, 02:20:52 PM »
I do not use the Miracle Grow crystals, only their potting soil brand. For fertilizer, I use a concentrated sea weed mix from a local nursery and only with initial seeding. After the plant comes up, it's water and sunshine only.

 
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Ed Sutton

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2010, 06:43:22 PM »
How much wind were the tomato seedlings exposed to before transplanting outside?     Wind strips away moisture, breaks plants, cools the plant lower than still air tempature, carries abrasive dust, stresses the tender seedlings.       Just like skin, plants can get wind burn, then there's altitude to consider, UV at 7000+ feet elevation is much stronger than 1000-2000 ft elevation, and can really stress tender seedlings

1. As a test - ask a local friend to give you a tomato plant.

2. cut a gallon plastic jug so it's only 75% as tall as it used to be, put 1-2 inches of gravel in and and fill with water low enough to not go into the inner jug.

3. put ink or dark food coloring in the water so it will soak up heat better


4. cut a 2 quart plastic  jug short enough that if is 2 - 3 inches below the top of the other jug, and put potting soil, and the new tomato plant in your homemade solar heater water container.

5. put a weighted top with holes in it over the top of the inner jug. Or use a layer of dried weed stems as a shade, gradually removing stems to allow more light.

6. every 2 days make more holes to let in more light

After a week to 10 days the seedling should be acclimated if wind, and high altitude UV were the problems.

BTW when planting in the garden work some sand into the dirt where planting, the silica from the sand helps build stronger tomato stems.

A lot of strong light on tender skin ='s sunburn, a lot of strong light on tender plants too fast = 's sun damaged leaves.   ( like my transplanted irises  :(    )     90-95% cooked for this year.   went from heavy shade to a bright sunlight spot and once the rainy days quit - ZAP !   Woops - too late.
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colporteur

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2010, 06:57:40 PM »
It is kind of a guessing game depending on what type of soil you are using and how big the tomatoe plant is.
The smaller the tomatoe the less fertilizer it needs and the easier it is to burn them beyond recovery.

I usually use seedling mix. Before the plants come through I use no additional fertilizer. Once the plants come through about 1/2 tsp. per gallon of water is enough until I transplant to a 16 oz plastic cup with nail holes in the bottom.  From the time of sowing the seed until planting in the garden I set the containers in a tray so they can soak up water or drain excess water. Since potting soil tends to be rich in fertilizer I would be careful about adding fertilizer. It may be too rich for most seedlings to sow the seeds directly in potting soil. If you do I would recommend no additional fertilizer until the plants are up and growing well. Perhaps the cheapest route for a starter mix to sow the seeds in would be 50% potting soil and 50% spagmum peat. The peat would dilute the potting soil so as to be gentle on the sprouts. Then one can peck away with some miracle grow @ 1/2 to 1 tsp. per gallon of water. When we get the right combo together with good sun the tomatoes will be sturdy as can be and they are good therapy just to look at them. When the plants are healthy and growing well I like to try to bring the plants just short of burning the tips of the leaves. The bigger the plant the easier it is to fertilize. If  one does burn the tips of the leaves you can back off or even drop the fertilizer all together until the plant grows out of the burn.


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colporteur

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2010, 07:05:12 PM »
Very true, Ed.

Some light breeze is good for the plant but it must be gradually aclimated to wind and hot sun. I move my plants to a more protected spot if it is too windy and set them in and out of the house until they get toughened in a bit. It doesn't take long for them to adjust but if it is warm, sunny, and breezy it is critical not to let them dry out. Even if they survive a major wilt down it is apt to stress them to where they never fully recover.
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Mimi

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2010, 04:58:41 AM »
What a blessing to wake up to such good instruction! Thanks, guys!

I am convinced it is the wind, which was unusually high over the past week because the plants have been sitting in the direct sun (indoors) before taking outside. They were doing just fine before being exposed to the unexpected burst of wind.

Our soil is red clay. It's awful stuff. That is why I buy numerous bags of Miracle Grow potting soil.

BTW, we had a freeze last night.  :'(
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Wally

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2010, 11:13:52 AM »
BTW, we had a freeze last night.  :'(

I'm sorry to hear that, Sybil, but if I remember correctly you live above 8000'.  When I lived in the mountains in Calif., I couldn't even grow tomatoes, since we could get a frost any night of the summer.  Not to rub it in but up here in the arctic regions of Maine we just hit 90 for the first time yesterday.  I'll be planting my tomatoes this weekend.

I have clay soil, too, and I rarely have to water; but it sounds like your soil is a bit harder to work with.
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Richard Myers

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2010, 12:44:33 PM »
90s?  We are in the 60s and have not come close to 90 yet. Things are very weird. Global warming! It always hits 90 before June, but not this year. Often we hit a 100 in May. Something is going on. Do CO2 emissions bring warmer weather?
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Wally

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2010, 02:31:15 PM »


We had an early spring.  Everything was 2-3 weeks early.  It was a strong El Nino this past winter, and I'm wondering if that played a part (and still is) in our early spring and your unusually cold weather.  It's not unprecedented to hit 90 here in May, but it usually isn't hot and humid like it is today.  Today feels like  a typical July day.  The term "Bermuda High" was used by one meteorologist to describe the set up the past few days.  That term is not normally used until July.  
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Mimi

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2010, 07:11:18 PM »
Quote from: Ed Sutton
Sybil,

Do you have any lumber mills where they saw and plane lumber - near you ?   If so pick out a garden spot, order a truck load of sawdust, have it dumped and spread.  Order a truckload of chicken or turkey manure and get it dumped and spread on top the sawdust, and then a truck load of sand dumped and spread on top of that.

If any friends with a tractor with a 6 ft wide rototiller on the back, barter 2 apple pies for 1 deep garden tilling, then let it sit a while and the stuff cook a bit.  

Hardpan soil solved
 



Do you know what, Ed? I can do that! Thank you!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2010, 09:58:21 PM »
Great suggestion!! Use rock or water jugs or drums to collect heat during the day and release it at night. (heatsink) It will moderate the day time temps and give you warmth during the night.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2010, 09:51:08 PM »
What kind of fencing material are you suggesting, Ed?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2010, 06:01:41 AM »
How about galvanized hog wire? It is incredibly sturdy, plus, I have some - but maybe not enough.

  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2010, 09:31:18 AM »
That is a beautiful fence!! Double the height and I'll take one! 

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2010, 06:54:48 PM »
That is a beautiful fence!! Double the height and I'll take one! 



It is an internet photo. In my dreams, I own one just like it!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #37 on: May 28, 2010, 08:03:34 AM »
I looked at those trees and the ground cover and though it strange to see them in your neighborhood. And, I thought, for what good purpose is that fence? The bears and deer are not going to be stopped. :) The tomatoes would surely be gone overnight. Thanks for removing the nagging concern that it was your fence. Though, I was impressed with your taste. It is beautiful and would work well where there are no deer and bear.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2010, 06:08:35 PM »
Quote
Though, I was impressed with your taste.

 :D :D :D I know a good fence when I see one and it seems as if you do, too!  ;)
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: Tomatoes
« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2010, 06:30:22 PM »
Hey, Ed - Geodad inspired me with his mist system. As the architect of the dome, I would like to know how to integrate one of those systems into the plan you created. After Sabbath hours, let's discuss this further. Also, I need to know how the structure would hold up to heavy snowfalls. Would I take it down in late October to avoid that problem? Thanks!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89