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Hello Again

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:13 pm

Hello All........

Sorry I've been away for so long. I had some things to take care of but I'm back.

Now that gardening season is almost here, I'm getting pretty pumped up about it.

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Re: Hello Again

Post  sfg4uKim on Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:16 pm

HEY! Welcome back!

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Re: Hello Again

Post  rrsmith60 on Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:21 pm

Welcome back "Too Tall"....

I think we're all getting pumped up. Maybee to soon, I was out putzzing in my SFG boxes this afternoon and it started snowing. Two day ago it was 64.

Go figure....

Happy Gardening
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Re: Hello Again

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:36 pm

Thanks Kim and rrsmith. It does feel great to be back.

Today when I was redoing my compost bin, it was cold and breezy enough to wear a hooded coat.

I was at two garden expos in the past week and I really got the spring fever now.
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Re: Hello Again

Post  RoOsTeR on Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:18 pm

What's up TTT Glad to see ya back around! I like your new avatar, but miss that big red tomato Very Happy

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Re: Hello Again

Post  Furbalsmom on Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:19 pm

Nice to see you again TTT
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Re: Hello Again

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:48 pm



My avatar is my inspiration for this year. It's what made me "tomato crazy" I guess. That was in my local newspaper last August.
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Re: Hello Again

Post  shannon1 on Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:22 pm

back, love the avatar it is insparing
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Re: Hello Again

Post  gwennifer on Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:54 am

Oh hey there TooTall! I'd been wondering what had happened to you and if you'd be back once it was time to start growing those tomatoes of yours.

Still tending to the compost I see. Any of it ready to sift and add to the garden yet?
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Re: Hello Again

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:35 pm

Thanks Shannon!

Hey Gwen.....the compost pile is still where I left it last November. I'm sure the stuff on the bottom is done but I've put too much other stuff on top and now I just gotta wait till everything's done.

I haven't even built my boxes yet. I'm still tossing around a couple of ideas but I'm leaning towards a "Modified SFG". Basically it'll be two boxes 5ft wide, 10ft long, and 12 inches high filled with Mel's Mix. I'm going to skip using the grids. If I do all tomatoes, then that's the way I'm going to grow them. If I decide to do other veggies, then I'll probably have the two tomato boxes and a separate box(with grids) for the other veggies.
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Re: Hello Again

Post  rrsmith60 on Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:25 am

Hi TooTall,

I’ll likely get blasted by others here in the forum, but I don’t use grids either. When I started SFGardening, I used the grids, but after a few years I found I preferred not to. I have lots of boxes and none of them use a grid. Now with that said, this is the way I choose to do it and believe it’s very important for those new to gardening to follow Mel’s advice.

All my boxes have hardware cloth bottoms (mole deterrent) and they're set on weed blocking cloth. I don’t have any 6” deep boxes. I do have some 8”, but most are 12”. However, I only use about 6-8” of Mel’s mix in the boxes, which is on top of a topsoil/humus/compost mixture (less expensive).

I once made a 5’x12’ box, but found it too wide for my needs, I’ve since (last season) reduced it down to 3’x12’ and find it much easier to handle. If you do go with a 5’ wide box, you might want to make a stepping board that fits across the 5’ width. I made mine s about 10-12” wide. You can then move the steeping board on the box to get to the middle when you plant and are working the bed.

Good luck.
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Re: Hello Again

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:35 am

I would assume that as long as you use Mel's Mix in a raised bed, you could call it square foot gardening. Grids are just optional. Although, the grids DO sort of force you to plant in squares and not traditional rows.

If I do make my beds 5ft wide, I'm going to plant each row of tomatoes 1 ft in from the opposite sides. That'll give the tomatoes 3 feet of space between the rows. Something like this....



It's going to be expensive but I'm doing 2 of these beds. That'll give me 16 tomatoes. I'll probably plant some basil in the beds too.
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Re: Hello Again

Post  rrsmith60 on Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:34 am

Hi TooTall, -- what a fine drawing!

In your proposed bed you’re growing 8 tomatoes in a 50 sqf area. If you’re growing in-determinate (ID) varieties you’re allowing 6-1/4/sgf per plant which is much more then you really need. Mel says 1/sqf in his ANSFG book. I raise my ID Heirlooms, figuring 1/sqf. per plant. They’re planted (4) at the back of my 4x4 boxes and they grow to a wood frame trellis. With this design, I never have to reach into the box more than 2 feet. Planting this way also allows for the front 12 sqf to be available for other plants like eggplant, peppers or basil. If all you’re growing are ID tomatoes (with a bit of basil and marigolds) you might consider "two boxes", 2-1/2’ x 10’ x12” deep. You could still plant at least 8 ID tomatoes per box and have plenty of room and save a ton of dough. Mel’s mix isn’t cheep..

Also, looking at the proposed garden lay-out; have you thought about how you’ll manage the back (or inside) portion of your tomatoes? Sorry for raining on your parade a bit, but I made the same mistake in my first big beds. I never make any boxes that are more than 2 feet to the center (i.e. 4”).

Either way, its gardening and that puts us where we should be…
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Re: Hello Again

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:20 am

Hey Ron,

This is still in the planning stages so nothing's really set in stone. I have a source of hemlock boards lined up from a local lumber mill. I have my compost cooking as we speak(it's a pile about 100 cubic feet). I even have my brother-in-law lined up to help me build my boxes. I'm always open to suggestions though. Cool

From what I know, you can easily grow a tomato in a small space as long as you prune it to one stem. My goal is to be able to do that but just in case I get a little lazy with pruning and forget to do it or just don't want to do it, then there's room for that sort of thing.

There's going to be space (around 3 feet) behind the box for me to be able to walk around to tend to the tomatoes on the back edge of the box. I'm assuming that I can comfortably reach into it 2 1/2 feet from the back but maybe I should measure it just to be sure.

Now you have me thinking that I could shorten up the width and go longer. Give more space between each plant.

When I was at Lowes last night, I walked past their selection of veggie seeds and the wheels in my mind were turning.

Thanks for some ideas Ron.
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Re: Hello Again

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