Author Topic: Tomato Growing Project  (Read 22062 times)

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Offline sear

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #125 on: June 11, 2010, 06:27:07 PM »
Thanks!, i have not given them much fertilizer. around 2 watering worth
they were started in coco coir


Offline sear

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #126 on: June 11, 2010, 06:39:34 PM »
quote author=Tranman link=topic=10762.msg100179#msg100179 date=1275623800]
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. 

what kind of light bulb ?




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,

whats temp swing like there ?

Things I've learn so far...


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. 

i divided mine as well, i dont think this is an 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. 

you can bring them out side, just dont put in the ground yet.

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. 

they will grow fine with less, mine was on maybe 12hrs a day  about 120 watts. also you may be over watering


[/quote]

Offline Randy

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #127 on: June 11, 2010, 07:32:45 PM »
Here is a picture of a couple of mine on poles.  The bottom of the stem is about 3/4" thick and they are about 4-5 feet tall.

Randy

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #128 on: June 13, 2010, 12:39:57 AM »
Wow Randy Nice looking Plants!

Sear,

The lights are just regular pepper size bulbs mounting under the cabinets.  See pic below.  Not meant for growing, but was just convenient.

Since I live in Albuquerque, it's considered high desert.  It gets very cool to cold at night.  Even in late April, i believe the temps were dropping to 50 and occassionally a bit below.  We had a very windy past couple of days.  I think it was strong enough to break one of my small tomato plants. :(

On dividing plants.  Probably wasn't an issue for you b/c you used good compost or fertilizer.  dummy me, I bought some potting soil from Lowes (which is basically garbage) and then mixed it with our local soil, which is more garbage.  Splitting the plants and then transplanting them deeper into garbage soil definitely stunted their growth.  I could see the difference between the same species of tomatoes that weren't transplanted.  I know better for next year.

Our weather was so iffy in April, I decided to not chance it by taking it outside and forgetting it.  Weather in Albuquerque can fluctuate really fast in an instant.  We occassionally have rains while it is sunny.  I even saw it hail around here briefly in late Feb while it was sunny out.  hard to believe but true. 

My main issue which I am now sure of is lack of good nutrients for them.  I'm not sure it was overwater although you could be right.  Tomato plants and others thrive in hydroponics systems where it is in water basically 100% of the time.  As long as their is nutrients and (sun)light plants will keep growing.  I was just making the point that having light on all the time won't hurt them either. 

Tran

Offline cranky

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #129 on: June 14, 2010, 09:05:13 AM »
There is a product called Wall O Water, and a similar one called Season Starter that is useful to get tomato plants growing vigorously early before the temperatures outside are warm enough.  It is a heavy plastic film ring that is filled with water from the top in upright ribs.   You put it over a 5 gallon bucket and fill the upright tubes with a hose.  Once filled it stands up on its own, most of the time.  Sometimes they can collpase and kill a plant.  This is preventable by using skinny stakes of bamboo or something else to give additional support.  The small tomato, cucumber, pepper, melon plant is planted inside the water ring.  Sunlight makes the plant grow and heats the water.  At night the warm (hot) water gives off heat and keeps the plant warm.  I use black fabric on the ground, and some years put down some bubble wrap I pick up here and there from shipping boxes.  Sit the water wall on top of this two weeks before planting and it literally pours heat into the ground.  The trick is to get the ground warmed up and retain the heat.  The bubble wrap provides dead air space for insulation.  It lets the heat in and helps keep it in.  The black draws heat and the water wall is a heat sink.

The water walls can be set up in two configurations, one with a wide open top and the other like a teepee.
The teepee really traps heat during the day and it gets real hot inside, kind of like a car with windows closed.  Got to be careful.  The open top does not trap so much heat, but the warm water helps at night. These are ideal for places like New Mexico where it is sunny and nights are cold.  After the plants get going you remove them or the hot walls will burn the leaves if they touch them..

Offline sear

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #130 on: June 14, 2010, 09:59:58 AM »

Sear,

The lights are just regular pepper size bulbs mounting under the cabinets.  See pic below.  Not meant for growing, but was just convenient.

gotcha, i dont think that light will help at all. you may want to try a couple CFLs (6500k) next time


On dividing plants.  Probably wasn't an issue for you b/c you used good compost or fertilizer.  dummy me, I bought some potting soil from Lowes (which is basically garbage) and then mixed it with our local soil, which is more garbage.  Splitting the plants and then transplanting them deeper into garbage soil definitely stunted their growth.  I could see the difference between the same species of tomatoes that weren't transplanted.  I know better for next year.


i used no fertilizer, just coco coir (ground coconut shells/ husks) its considered a hydroponic medium



Tomato plants and others thrive in hydroponics systems where it is in water basically 100% of the time. 

actually the better hydro systems the roots get more air than water (ebb&flow/aero). over watering chokes the roots

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #131 on: June 14, 2010, 10:17:57 AM »
Thx Sear. I'm a quick learner but will have to wait for next season to implement what I learned this year.

No fertilizer at all? Surely your plants aren't surviving just on water,
sun, and coco coir?

Are you doing hydro/aero or will you be growing the tomatoes the traditional way?
« Last Edit: June 14, 2010, 10:19:31 AM by Tranman »

Offline sear

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #132 on: June 14, 2010, 11:24:50 AM »
Thx Sear. I'm a quick learner but will have to wait for next season to implement what I learned this year.

No fertilizer at all? Surely your plants aren't surviving just on water,
sun, and coco coir?

Are you doing hydro/aero or will you be growing the tomatoes the traditional way?

i have given them some nutrients but not untill 2 weeks after i split them up.

ive got a couple in 100% coco , the rest is a mix of coco and regular potting soil.
last year i tried to put some in the ground and they turned out like @#@.

im trying puting a couple in the ground again in different spots and i have at least 12 in various size pots.
i just need to rig up some watering system and get some stakes.
ive got some bug spray and disease prevention spray for this year because blight killed everything last year

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #133 on: June 19, 2010, 06:40:26 PM »
I just read much of this post for my edification and absolutely am super excited to see so many people going full bore with the tomato growing madness.....I LOVE IT!  :)

Great stuff for sure. This is what it is all about.

After years of growing Genovese, Sweet, Globe and Thai basil, I finally got some Neapolitan seeds and started some plants from seed seven weeks ago. I have five of this variety growing in 5 gallon paint buckets in my "backyard". Due to my narrow inner-city rowhome backyard and positioning, the plants only get about 5 hours of direct sunlight per day, but they seem to be doing well.

Today was the first time I had to seriously pinch some growth off to avoid flowering and induce a bushier, wider habit. The Neapolitan basil is quite interesting in flavor, having a very noticeable licorice, or anise, flavor and a bit of pepperiness. Definitely different than the Sweet basil I normally eat off the bush or with some EVOO and mootz. I think I prefer the Sweet for regular use, but the Neapolitan definitely retains more flavor while cooking on top of a pizza. The leaves on the Neapolitan basil are also quite large, as seen in the following pics I took of the 7 week old Italians in my back yard.
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell


Offline sear

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #134 on: June 25, 2010, 10:47:22 AM »
Thats some massive Basil Pizzablogger !

my plants are about double the size now.

The "siberian" tomato plant that promised ripe tomatos by june has delivered !
granted they are on the small side, but they are tasty  :)

i have some pics ill post when i get around to it

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #135 on: June 25, 2010, 08:18:38 PM »
There are these little green and yellow bugs all over my parsley, does anyone know what these are. Is it bad? If you look really quick they look like sesame seeds. I looked closer and they had legs, I touched one and it moving around. The picture is off my Iphone so sorry for the bad quality

Offline cranky

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #136 on: June 26, 2010, 12:11:26 AM »
There are these little green and yellow bugs all over my parsley, does anyone know what these are. Is it bad? If you look really quick they look like sesame seeds. I looked closer and they had legs, I touched one and it moving around. The picture is off my Iphone so sorry for the bad quality

How do they taste?

I have year round parsley for the kitchen where I live in the northwest.  Never saw those yellow critters.  If I had them I would be tempted to sprinkle some cayenne pepper on my greens and torch their little whiskers.  Maybe make up a spray of water and just a a touch of vegetable oil and dissolved cayenne and let em have it.  If that did not work I would make up a soap spray using some dish soap and water.  If that did not work I'd mix the two.  Could be that they are hatched out eggs of something that got laid there do when they hatch they will have a ready salad bar.   Whatever they are I think it is a long shot that they are your friends or friends of your plants.     

Whatever they are I'll bet they eat a lot less than the rabbit that was in my garden a couple of nights ago that went to bunny heaven.  I don't think a 12 guage would be effective on the bugs though.

 

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #137 on: June 26, 2010, 08:42:11 AM »
To tell you the truth the parsley doesn't look like its getting eaten. I tasted one and it tasted fine. I think I'm just going to cut/wash them. I'll dry them out and use it as dry parsley flakes. When I checked this morning almost all of them were gone like they went home to sleep... :-D.

Offline Randy

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #138 on: June 26, 2010, 08:56:58 AM »
There are these little green and yellow bugs all over my parsley, does anyone know what these are. Is it bad? If you look really quick they look like sesame seeds. I looked closer and they had legs, I touched one and it moving around. The picture is off my Iphone so sorry for the bad quality

In all likely hood they are aphids.

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #139 on: June 26, 2010, 09:09:27 AM »
Yup thats what they are, I just looked them up and they look exactly like aphids. Thanks for the help.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #140 on: June 26, 2010, 09:11:53 AM »
2 questions for you tomato growing experts.

Will pruning a very young (small) tomato plant help it or hurt it?  My thinking is that cutting the tips off the stems on the lower branches will allow more of the resources for growing the plant larger.

My concern is that pruning at a young age will shock the plant and slow it's growth.  I noticed that transplanted cause this same sort of hibernation mode.  I know that's not the right term, but my brain isn't working at the momemt.


Also the one plant I bought from Lowes when it was about 5" is now 12" or so.  I have pruned that one a few weeks back and I've also noticed some flowers just dropping off.  Not sure if this is related to pruning or not.   There are 3 small tomato fruits towards the bottom of the plant that are slowly getting bigger, BUT iv'e notice that with most of the flowers on the upper branches, most of them are just dropping off.
At first I thought something was eating them but no.  Why is that?  Is it b/c I pruned and now the plant is in a growing mode rather than a fruiting mode?

Or is it a lack of fertilizer issue?  Please help as I want to get tomatoes this year.  My plants are so small looking and sad and not happy like everyone else's I'm sure.   :'(

Online norma427

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #141 on: June 26, 2010, 09:38:11 AM »
Jackie Tran,

I am not an expert at gardening, but I did take some of the lower branches off my tomato plants.  They seem to be doing fine.  Do you have warmer weather were you live?  My tomato plants have really grown since the weather is hotter in my area. I do fertilize mine.

These are a few picture how my different San Marzano tomatoes and some of the other tomato plants are doing.  Something is eating at my one basil plant.

Norma
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Offline Bob1

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #142 on: June 26, 2010, 09:51:10 AM »
brickstone,
I am not that informed on pesticides and I do not really like the idea of them.  If the natural pepper that Cranky recommended does not work you may want to research another route.  My local nursery sells live lady bugs in a plastic container. They said if you have aphids they will stay until they are gone.  No idea on price.

I had a Caterpillar eating my parsley before I planted it.  My daughter and I let it cocoon and hatched a nice butterfly.  It was killing me, he ate stalk after stalk until he finally cocooned.  I will post a few pics later.

Tran,
Mmarston had posted some pruning posts earlier in the thread.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10762.40.html
 I find it hard to keep up with the "suckers".  They are always starting up somewhere.
Being new to gardening I thought I would mention another technique.  If you let your seedlings get to big in the first pot the routes can become root bound.  That means they are growing in a circle and can later choke the root ball.  A common practice is to take a razor knife and make a couple of perpendicular cots so they will grow out.

Offline Bob1

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #143 on: June 26, 2010, 09:55:43 AM »
Norma,
Your plants look good.  I have a lot of tomatoes but none are that big yet.  The cuccumbers really took off and two are about 9" long now, but not quite ready.

Bob

Online norma427

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #144 on: June 26, 2010, 10:01:27 AM »
Bob,

Thanks for saying the tomato plants look good.  I did add sterilized manure to the soil, before I starting planting all the plants and I do fertilize them every other week.  It is an organic fertilizer.

Sounds like your garden is doing well, too.  I didnít plant any cucumbers, but wish I had.

Norma 
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #145 on: June 26, 2010, 10:34:22 AM »
Norma what fertilizer are you using for the tomatoes, I don't like the one that I got. I was going to go see if Home Depot or a farm had some White Cosmo's for sale. I don't wanna spray the plants with anything so I am going to go the LB route.

Offline Bob1

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #146 on: June 26, 2010, 11:01:21 AM »
Hey guys,
Here is an internet shot of the Caterpillar that I had.  He ate three stalks of parsley.  I thought I would share it with him, my daughter and I then let it transform.  I guess I am getting soft in my old age.  The other two shots are from me.

Bob

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #147 on: June 26, 2010, 11:16:19 AM »
Holy crap that thing is huge. I am using this fertilizer for my herbs can I use it for my tomatoes to, its the first one the 2-4-1 Fish. http://www.neptunesharvest.com/

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #148 on: June 26, 2010, 11:51:52 AM »
Holy crap that thing is huge. I am using this fertilizer for my herbs can I use it for my tomatoes to, its the first one the 2-4-1 Fish. http://www.neptunesharvest.com/

thanks for posting that.  I think I'll order some for the remainder of this season and for next year.

Bob - those are the instructions I read and followed for pruning of the bigger tomato plant.  I notice there were 3 small tomatoes before pruning.  It has been 2-3 weeks now with no new tomatoes.  Flowers are dropping off.  My suspicion is that there is not enough fertilizer in the soil and the pruning has force the plant into a growing phase rather than a fruiting phase. 

My plants are smallish b/c I failed to use a good compost.  By the time I found out about using compost, I had already planted the seedlings into the ground.  I mixed 50/50 potting soil from Lowe's and the local soil.  I later was told by a lady at the nursery that potting soil is worthless and the soil I have around here is too basic.  She sold me some Fox Farms Marine Cuisine extended release fertilizer and a bag of compost.   Since the plants were already in the ground and I didn't want to dig them up, I put compost on the topsoil and put sprinkled fertilizer on top. 

The little tomato seedlings have been growing but slowly.  I tink they are just starting to take off.  They get watered 2x per day.  Today I took a small rod and pushed a hole next to the plant towards the root and delivered via a straw some of the fertilzer towards the root.  Hopefully it will help them grow better.  I'm learning a lot this year already and hopefully will have it worked out for next year.   At the rate they are growing though, I'm afraid I won't have tomatoes to eat this season.  :'(

Norma - your plants and tomatoes look great.  Unfortunately my SM are the weakest of the bunch.  I just did many things wrong this year.   My marglobes, amish paste, and alpaka's are the biggest but they are still very small for this time in the year.  Especially since you are already getting fruit. 

Here are some pics of my sad plants.  :'(


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #149 on: June 26, 2010, 11:58:08 AM »
Here's a pic of the chinese water spinach I'm growing with compost and the marine cuisine fertilizer. It's doing much better than my tomato plants. 

Here's a pic of the one big tomato plant I have.  When I bought it from lowes 6 wks ago, it was about 1/2 the size.  It now has 3 small fruits but stop fruiting after I pruned it.  I've stopped pruning it for now and will just let it go.