Author Topic: Tomato Growing Project  (Read 19403 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mmarston

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 534
  • Location: Altamont, NY (Albany)
  • I can stop eating Pizza any time I want!
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #100 on: May 21, 2010, 06:47:13 AM »
Nobody cares if you can't dance well.  Just get up and dance.  Dave Barry


Offline pcampbell

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 767
  • Age: 33
  • Location: VT & NJ
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #101 on: May 22, 2010, 12:36:39 PM »
Looks cool - has anyone here done it with success ?
Patrick

Offline cranky

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 256
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #102 on: May 22, 2010, 03:26:15 PM »
There are quite a few youtube clips on growing tomoatoes in a hanging bucket.   

I have 26 tomato plants in the ground.  Once planted and established they pretty much take care of themselves.  All I do is tie them up off the ground with rag strips to a heavy duty galvanized fence panel and water them.  This many would be very impractical to do upside down I think.


Offline mmarston

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 534
  • Location: Altamont, NY (Albany)
  • I can stop eating Pizza any time I want!
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #103 on: May 22, 2010, 04:31:56 PM »
I just remembered this great book on the subject of growing tomatoes.

http://www.amazon.com/64-Tomato-Fortune-Endured-Existential/dp/1565125576/?tag=pizzamaking-20

It finally got warm enough to put my 20 plants in the ground! They were taking over my living room.
Nobody cares if you can't dance well.  Just get up and dance.  Dave Barry

Offline BrickStoneOven

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1589
  • Location: Boston
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #104 on: May 26, 2010, 05:31:10 PM »
Will pollen effect anything, because today was really bad around my area. My basil looked like they were daisies.

Offline Bob1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 601
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #105 on: June 03, 2010, 12:51:22 PM »
I was short of time this year so I downsized the garden to 14 x 12.  It was relocated and I needed to develop the soil.  I took the politically incorrect approach and tilled in 4" of peat with lime.  We then used 2 large $6 bags of potting soil to mix and mound the plants.  The peat is good because it holds water and prevents blossom end rot.  The only problem is that it repels water when dry.  I decided to try something different than my old soaker hose.  I bought a cheap 100' $28 garden hose and laid it out by each plant.  I then poked four hole at each plant with a 1" safety pin.  The holes were then wrapped with strips of cloth.  The cloth drips very slow and conserves water.  The whole system is on a timer for 5am watering.  It turned out very well.  I also picked up an established patio tomato plant from Lowe's that had a lot of tomatoes.  One has all ready turned orange.

Bob

Offline Ronzo

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1407
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Leander, TX
  • Beer, freedom n' pizza...
    • New Texian Brewery
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #106 on: June 03, 2010, 01:08:49 PM »
anyone have any ideas to keep stupid grackle birds from eating my friggin tomatoes?

Tried netting, but the netting is too restrictive on the plants, and the thieves can still get the fruit close to the netting. Tried plastic owls, but they aren't afraid of them.

Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

Former NY'er living in Texas
http://newtexianbrew.com - http://ronlennex.com/ - http://pinterest.com/NewTexianBrew

Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21509
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #107 on: June 03, 2010, 01:22:17 PM »


Bob,

Your garden looks nice.  :) The idea you used for watering your plant is good.  I am still watering with a hose. 

These are a few pictures of how my garden or gardens look.  I am running out of space, unless I plan to dig up more grass. 

Traman,

How is your garden doing?  Would like to see some pictures if you have time.  :)

Ron,

I sure donít know about the grackle birds, but you might need to put up a fence with netting above. My fences are  for the darn groundhogs.  Last night the skunks were spraying all over the place.  Still smells out there today.  :-D

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline cranky

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 256
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #108 on: June 03, 2010, 01:36:03 PM »
  I bought a cheap 100' $28 garden hose and laid it out by each plant.  I then poked four hole at each plant with a 1" safety pin.  The holes were then wrapped with strips of cloth.  The cloth drips very slow and conserves water.  The whole system is on a timer for 5am watering.  It turned out very well.  I also picked up an established patio tomato plant from Lowe's that had a lot of tomatoes.  One has all ready turned orange.

Bob

Another very cheap watering approach is a 1/2" pvc pipe.  It can be connected to a barrel on one end and capped on the other.  If you have more than one row a couple of elbows solves that.  Suspend the pipe from both ends 6" or a foot above the ground and drill two 1/64" holes in it on either side of each plant stem.

Fill the barrel to however much water you want to use and as it empties you can gently put a gallon or so of water on each plant.   

Drip irrigators generally do not soak enough soil space especially in well drained soil.  The water seeps down instead of covering all the root ball.  You can also fertilize through the barrel and pipe, but if you are using liquide manure be careful not to plug the holes.

Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21509
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #109 on: June 03, 2010, 02:01:13 PM »
Another very cheap watering approach is a 1/2" pvc pipe.  It can be connected to a barrel on one end and capped on the other.  If you have more than one row a couple of elbows solves that.  Suspend the pipe from both ends 6" or a foot above the ground and drill two 1/64" holes in it on either side of each plant stem.

Fill the barrel to however much water you want to use and as it empties you can gently put a gallon or so of water on each plant.   

Drip irrigators generally do not soak enough soil space especially in well drained soil.  The water seeps down instead of covering all the root ball.  You can also fertilize through the barrel and pipe, but if you are using liquide manure be careful not to plug the holes.

cranky,

Your idea sounds good.  :) I have a bunch of pvc pipe and will have to see if I can rig something up like you are talking about.

Thanks for the idea,

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!


Offline PizzaHog

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 542
  • Location: Clinton Township, MI
  • Heat matters!
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #110 on: June 03, 2010, 02:46:46 PM »
Quote
anyone have any ideas to keep stupid grackle birds from eating my friggin tomatoes?
Haven't had a garden lately but faced the grackle onslaught in the past.  They are aggressive, often live and forage in groups, and are of above ave intelligence (bird wise).  That combo makes them pretty much immune to all easy and common methods used to repel them.  Or if not, they soon end up figuring it out.  So, at least in my case, fencing/netting was the only solution.  I never was able to try a shotgun, although it was mighty tempting...

Offline Bob1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 601
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #111 on: June 03, 2010, 03:15:16 PM »
Thanks Norma,
Your garden looks nice also.  I use the fence because of deer.  They love to eat the tomato tops.  I will be adding another two foot piece of chicken wire on top of the existing.

Cranky,

I am an electrical contractor and I have the PVC in stock.  I was considering that approach but opted for the hose.  Especially because of the peat.  I have found that with the four small holes it weeps so slow that I can water for 2 hours.  It gives enough time for the the capillary action to catch the entire mound and create more of a moist environment.  I dug down to check and it worked very well in a square foot area.  This morning the soil was a bit damp from rain so I had a bit of run off.  I am still tweeking the times.  Because of the water retention I may need to drop it back to an hour once it is saturated.  I will be mulching the entire garden with triple shred, so the buried hose saves me a lot of water vs overhead.  At the end of the season the mulch is then turned into the soil.  Over the years this develops a nice rich black soil, with thousands of worms.  

I also have a patio tomato plant and my wife put the pot into a 1 1/2" by 20" round container.  we fill the bottom and the water wicks up into the soil (low maintenance).

On a side note- When I was a kid my father ran a copper line from the air conditioning coil in the attic he also used 1/64 holes and watered the  flower bed.  It worked well.  He had a reservoir with a handvalve and watered them weekly.

Bob

Offline Randy

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2020
  • Age: 67
  • Pizza, a great Lycopene source
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #112 on: June 03, 2010, 04:00:03 PM »
Ronzo, I use cheap fishing line.  Not sure about your birds but most birds barely can see it and it scares them.  I use it on strawberries and cherry tree.

Randy

http://animalrangeextension.montana.edu/Articles/Wildlife/Repelling_birds_monofilament.htm

Offline cranky

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 256
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #113 on: June 03, 2010, 04:37:16 PM »
Bob,

Sounds like you should have very happy tomato plants.

Offline Bob1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 601
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #114 on: June 03, 2010, 04:52:47 PM »
Cranky,
I'm hoping, those and the cucumbers are my favorite.

Bob

Offline Ronzo

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1407
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Leander, TX
  • Beer, freedom n' pizza...
    • New Texian Brewery
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #115 on: June 03, 2010, 09:14:27 PM »
Haven't had a garden lately but faced the grackle onslaught in the past.  They are aggressive, often live and forage in groups, and are of above ave intelligence (bird wise).  That combo makes them pretty much immune to all easy and common methods used to repel them.  Or if not, they soon end up figuring it out.  So, at least in my case, fencing/netting was the only solution.  I never was able to try a shotgun, although it was mighty tempting...

Looks like that will have to be the answer... for now.

A few friends suggest red Christmas ornaments, but they have to be hung on the cages, BEFORE the fruit begins to turn red, because the CRAPPLES (I hate them) will peck at the plastic and find the fruit is 'bad' so they supposedly won't bother them anymore. Problem is, mine are turning red left and right, and all the low stuff gets pecked to bits.

Another friend who has dealt with grackles says he has a fake alligator in his garden and NOTHING lands in it. Might look into that too.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

Former NY'er living in Texas
http://newtexianbrew.com - http://ronlennex.com/ - http://pinterest.com/NewTexianBrew

Offline Jackie Tran

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6977
  • Location: Albuquerque NM
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #116 on: June 03, 2010, 11:56:40 PM »
Just a quick update.  It's finally getting consistently hot enough here in Albuquerque for me to put the plants out.   It's been about 7 weeks or so since I started the project.  The plants have spent most of the 7 weeks indoors under some kitchen lights.  I have lights mounted under the cabinets and that's next to a window seal so they get indirect and artificial light. 

In the 7 weeks I have experimented with several seed starter mediums such as the jiffy starter kit in post 1, those brown biodegradeable paper cups you put potting soil in, and starter plugs from the hydroponic store made of bark and some other material.  The starter plugs have shown the most promise but all methods do work just fine.  I have also transplanted 1 of the tomato plants into the hydroponic unit and it's doing well.  For the future I will like start the seeds in the starter plugs and then transplant them to the hydroponic unit until it's warm enough to go into the ground.

Back about 5 weeks ago, I bought my 3 yo daughter an Elmo (Sesame Street) tomato growing bag from Lowes.  It had a packet of seeds, labels, some chinsy plastic gardening tools, etc.  Anyways, I was going to help her grow some tomato plants, but as I was taking a nap, she went ahead and opened up everything and basically dump all the seeds onto some dirt in the front yard.  She didn't even bury the seeds and made a mess of all the other supplies. :)  I cleaned up the mess and left the seeds as they were.  Totally forgot about them and yesterday notice a bunch of 2" tomato plants as I almost pulled them thinking they were weeds. 

So I told the story to say that (at least for my climate), it isn't even necessary to start seeds indoors.  I will continue to do so to get bigger plants when the weather is hot enough, but apparently you can just sprinkle seeds and they will grow just fine.   In the next month or 2, her little tomato plants will likely be as big as the ones I've started indoors. 

Also last week I notice some of the leaves had holes in them.  Upon closer inspection each day, I notice something peculiar.  Tiny green catepillars dessimating my plants!  Those little b@stards!!  :o They had eaten the tops off of 4-5 of the tomato plants.  Luckily I had grown extra to compensate for the lost.  They are so well camoflouge.  Over the course of several days, I continually found more.  The plants have spent very little time outside, so I suspect these came from the potting soil!  Another reason to go with the Jiffy starter kit or the starter plugs next year. 

Things I've learn so far...

1) Different variety of tomatoe grow at different rates.  My marglobe tomatoes (originally an American specimen) is the tallest and healthiest of the bunch at around 6-7" tall.  The San Marzanos are the smallest at just 2" or so.

2) Dividing the plants and transplanting them into the potting soil medium stunted their growth overall as a group.  So i won't do that again.  Originally I did that to give the plants a bit more room and to bury them deeper to allow for better root formation (so I  thought) and negate the long "leggy" stem situation.   Also transplanting them into the brown paper containers with potty soil/soil I believe lead to the worm issue. 

3) As mentioned before, do not transplant outside too early in the summer.  I transplanted 4 plants out yesterday and it was very hot today and they all did fine.  I did not "hardened" them and they were fine.  Apparently as Cranky mentioned you'll have to do that if there are still temp swings.  But if there are swings, it's likely it's too early to bring them out.  Best to keep them indoors under a light until it's hot enough outside. 

4)  I used the pruning techniques posted by mmarston in reply #49 for a tomato plant I bought from Lowes and it's doing well.  That is an excellent site with great tips.  Thanks mmarston.  I planted this little guy about 6 weeks ago and it has shown very little growth.  It's taken off just within the last 2 wks as the weather has been consistently warmer with little temperature swings.  Again, goes to show that it's not necessary to plant early as it's just a bigger risk of losing plants. 

5) If you want the seedlings to grow faster, keep them under a light 24/7. The constant light won't harm them. Just make sure you keep the soil moist at all times. 

6) My dad, who is the real farmer Tran, gave me a good tip.  He said to soak seeds in water for a couple of days before planting and they'll come up faster.  I haven't tried it but it sounds like a good idea.

Here are a few pics of the plants.  As soon as they start thriving in the ground, I'll snap a few more pics.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 08:17:43 AM by Tranman »

Offline Ronzo

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1407
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Leander, TX
  • Beer, freedom n' pizza...
    • New Texian Brewery
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #117 on: June 04, 2010, 12:53:05 AM »
I'll try to remember to take pictures of mine for y'all tomorrow. Mine look like bushes and I've had to trim them all back considerably.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

Former NY'er living in Texas
http://newtexianbrew.com - http://ronlennex.com/ - http://pinterest.com/NewTexianBrew

Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21509
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #118 on: June 04, 2010, 06:45:59 AM »
Tranman,

I enjoyed your story about learning about planting from seed.  It is a lot harder to start tomatoes from seed and have successful plants, unless you have some kind of greenhouse.  Once your tomato plants are outside in the sun and heat, you will be surprised how fast they grow.  Tomato plants especially love the sun and heat.  I have also learned a lot from your thread.  I find when transplanting tomatoes outside, to a least plant the tomato plants deeply in the soil.  It will make the stems and plant stronger.  This is just my opinion.

It made me laugh when you told about your 3 year old and her seed planting experience.  She will learn a lot from your gardening.

Thank for sharing your experiences,

Norma
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 06:54:09 AM by norma427 »
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline Jackie Tran

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6977
  • Location: Albuquerque NM
Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #119 on: June 04, 2010, 08:12:49 AM »
I'm glad you are enjoying my posts Norma.  I'll actually be able to use them for future reference when my memory is not spot on.

The story about my daughter is a cute one.  I could have gotten all bent out of shape b/c she didn't plant them the "proper" way but I didn't and the seeds grew anyhow.   I made sure to show her the plants and praised her for a job well done.  When relatives and friends visit I'll remind her to show off her plants.

There's something to be said about keepng things simple. I try to keep the same perspective for makng pizza or doing most things.  Often times, I get too wrapped up in the details of the process.  It would benefit most of us to take a more childlike approach to life.   


 

pizzapan