Author Topic: Tomato Growing Project  (Read 19904 times)

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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.   :'(


Offline 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

Offline 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. 


Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #150 on: June 26, 2010, 12:08:32 PM »
I just got flowers couple days ago, atleast you have tomatoes growing. I think its because of the fertilizer I was using. I want a liquid one for the tomaotes. The other reason I don't think they are growing that great is because of the crappy weather here, its sunny one second then the next theres a flood warning in the area.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 12:12:01 PM by BrickStoneOven »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #151 on: June 26, 2010, 12:17:21 PM »
I just got flowers couple days ago, atleast you have tomatoes growing. I think its because of the fertilizer I was using. I want a liquid one for the tomaotes. The other reason I don't think they are growing that great is because of the crappy weather here, its sunny one second then the next theres a flood warning in the area.

Dude  I feel the same as you . :-D  Those 3 tiny tomatoes are from the plant I got from Lowes.  The damn thing stopped fruiting.  I've since stop pruning the dang thing.  2 days ago, it was crazy windy at night here at its the end of June!!  come on... Albuquerque weather is crazy from moment to moment.  At least it does get very hot here during the day.  Well we have 3 months of sunny weather left so I'm keeping my fingers cross the smallish plants take off soon. 

For next season, I'm going to plant early with a good compost.  Put them in the ground with the same and use some of that Neptune's Harvest magic fertilizer.  That would be funny if I got GIANT tomatoes.  :-D :-D :-D

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #152 on: June 26, 2010, 12:37:40 PM »
Do you think the fertilizer I am using for the basil and other herbs would work well with the tomatoes. The fertilizer I got for the tomatoes is chicken crap... mixed with other stuff and I don't like using it. It looks like little gray rock chips, they don't seem to be working that great but the fish fertilizer is working great on my herbs.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #153 on: June 26, 2010, 12:42:47 PM »
Do you think the fertilizer I am using for the basil and other herbs would work well with the tomatoes. The fertilizer I got for the tomatoes is chicken crap... mixed with other stuff and I don't like using it. It looks like little gray rock chips, they don't seem to be working that great but the fish fertilizer is working great on my herbs.

oh yes!  Apparently anything fish or marinewise is good for all plants.  I would use that on your tomatoes.  Reminds of hearing about how native americans grow corn back in the day.  They would place a whole fish in the ground and seed a corn kernel. 

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #154 on: June 26, 2010, 12:48:22 PM »
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
I had four of those little nasties on my Italian Parsley the other day. I kicked them all off, but allowed them to live. Haven't seen them since.
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #155 on: June 26, 2010, 12:53:48 PM »
This is the stuff.

Offline Randy

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #156 on: June 26, 2010, 03:34:20 PM »
Don't prune until after the first bloom on indeterminate tomato plants.  Determinate plants, you prune only after the tomatoes are set and you want it to finish out.

How much to prune on indeterminate plants?  This year I am taking off everything below the first bloom to keep the ground clear under the plant.  I must say it looks cleaner and is easy to weed.  Less place for snakes to hide.  Killed a cotton mouth sunning in the garden a few weeks back.

I did not sucker above the first bloom to prevent sunburn here in the South.  Next year I think I will maybe prune every other sucker and see what happens.

Offline norma427

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #157 on: June 26, 2010, 04:50:06 PM »
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.

BrickStoneOven,

This is what I use for the tomatoes and other vegetables. http://www.espoma.com/p_consumer/tones_garden.html  You can get the same name product just for tomatoes, but I find this one is all purpose.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #158 on: June 26, 2010, 04:56:58 PM »
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

Bob,

That Caterpillar sure was large.  :-D  Nice you let it transform into a butterfly.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #159 on: June 26, 2010, 05:06:18 PM »
Tran,

You are doing well with growing your first tomato plants.  It takes awhile to get good at knowing what to do. I still am always searching for what is best.  Last year some of my tomato plants died, due to the blight.   :(  In our area we have good soil, and the days are warm and the nights aren't cold.  This also helps.  I spread some mulch to keep the weeds down and also help to keep the soil moist.

Norma
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