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Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

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Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  acara on Sun May 06, 2012 8:54 pm

Finally got some time to get the SFG boxes going.

Nowhere near my usually ambitious planting ... but it's a start.

This seasons planting (4 x 4 box only, so far)...

Tomato; Sweet 100's (x4), back row
Tomato; Phoenix hybrid (x2), LHS, row 2/3
Tomato; Cherokee Purple (x4) Center 4 squares
Bell Peppers; Yellow(1), Orange(1), Green(2), Red(2) for the balance.

Nothing glamourous, but mama (and hopefully, baby) like the grape/spoon varieties, mama likes her peppers, the Phoenix will set/fruit in high temps ...and I still get my favorite ... the black tom's.

I rehabbed the "frankenstein box". It's a little more low-tech, but should still handle my local high winds. Still using the automatic drip irrigation from previous seasons. I'm also pleased to report that my boxes/equipment & Mel's mix are no worse for the wear, after the 18 months of neglect Very Happy

Link to pics HERE
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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  boffer on Sun May 06, 2012 9:03 pm

Welcome back! Glad to hear that mama and baby are doing well. Did you ever get beyond your aversion to sunshine?

I might get some tomatoes this year for a change, and am sure to need some hand holding from an expert! Wink
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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  RoOsTeR on Sun May 06, 2012 9:24 pm

One bed's better than none and it looks great
I especially like the automatic drip stystem Very Happy

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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  acara on Sun May 06, 2012 9:32 pm

@boffer wrote: Did you ever get beyond your aversion to sunshine?


Unknown ... but I'm staying covered up, just in case. No I'll effects from being out yesterday/today though .... errr, yet tongue
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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  walshevak on Mon May 07, 2012 9:32 am

So glad to see the tomato guru back. Need update pic of Connor as well.

Kay

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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  elliephant on Mon May 07, 2012 9:44 am

I see you are using 4 gph drip irrigation. How long/often do you run it?

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Wait a minute!

Post  KelliK on Mon May 07, 2012 10:06 am

You can put 1 tomato in 1 square?! Please tell me yes, so I can double my tomato love...
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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  littlesapphire on Mon May 07, 2012 10:09 am

KelliK, you certainly CAN put 1 tomato in 1 square. Just make sure of two things:

1: The tomato variety is indeterminate (vining type)
2: You trellis it so it grows up instead of along the ground

Acara, good luck with your garden! Tomatoes are the best veggie for busy people Smile
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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  elliephant on Mon May 07, 2012 10:12 am

@littlesapphire wrote:KelliK, you certainly CAN put 1 tomato in 1 square. Just make sure of two things:

1: The tomato variety is indeterminate (vining type)
2: You trellis it so it grows up instead of along the ground

Acara, good luck with your garden! Tomatoes are the best veggie for busy people Smile

I would add

3: You keep on top of the pruning.

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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  CarolinaGirl on Mon May 07, 2012 10:25 am

@elliephant wrote:
@littlesapphire wrote:KelliK, you certainly CAN put 1 tomato in 1 square. Just make sure of two things:

1: The tomato variety is indeterminate (vining type)
2: You trellis it so it grows up instead of along the ground

Acara, good luck with your garden! Tomatoes are the best veggie for busy people Smile

I would add

3: You keep on top of the pruning.

Ditto #3, super important!! I literally am out there almost daily pruning off suckers and trying to keep the sweet 100 cherry from going crazy and sometimes I still feel like it's gonna take over everything lol. Next year... it gets two spots lol.
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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  kbb964 on Mon May 07, 2012 11:10 am

Please tell me about the Epsom salts?

I have an ready supply having an injury prone athlete and an old man who thinks he is a teenager, in the house.
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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  elliephant on Mon May 07, 2012 11:45 am

Inspired by your return, I went out and did some major pruning of my tomatoes and cukes! I'd totally forgotten how you'd inspired me to do so last year.

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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  acara on Mon May 07, 2012 12:28 pm

@elliephant wrote:I see you are using 4 gph drip irrigation. How long/often do you run it?

30 min ..

1x/daily (6AM) < 85-F

2x/daily (6AM, 4PM) >85-F
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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  acara on Mon May 07, 2012 12:31 pm

@elliephant wrote:Inspired by your return, I went out and did some major pruning of my tomatoes and cukes! I'd totally forgotten how you'd inspired me to do so last year.



LOL ... a handful a day keeps the diseases away !!! At least for toms Very Happy






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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  acara on Mon May 07, 2012 1:00 pm

@kbb964 wrote:Please tell me about the Epsom salts?

I have an ready supply having an injury prone athlete and an old man who thinks he is a teenager, in the house.

It's just magnesium sulphate.

if you believe the hype Very Happy , it's a catalyst to allow the plant to access/utilize calcium in the substrate (soil).

Theory is ... even if you add calcium, the plants may not be able to use it (either due to plant type type, age or pH).

Calcium deficinecy is believed to be the primary cause of blossum end rot (BER).

So in addition to adding calcium, aging the substrate (some forms of calcium take a long time to break down and aren't immediately available to plants) and keeping the watering constant; I add the Epsom Salt to keep the calciim available to the plant & minimize/prevent BER on my tomatoes.
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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  acara on Mon May 07, 2012 1:10 pm

@walshevak wrote:So glad to see the tomato guru back. Need update pic of Connor as well.

Kay



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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  FamilyGardening on Mon May 07, 2012 3:09 pm

where do you put the Epsom salts?...in the hole when planting? or above ground around the tom?

thanks

rose
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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  acara on Mon May 07, 2012 3:21 pm

@FamilyGardening wrote:where do you put the Epsom salts?...in the hole when planting? or above ground around the tom?

thanks

rose

Yes Very Happy

I actually put a teaspoon in when I put the tom's in the ground/box and them wait until the plant blossoms.

After that, I put 1 tbsp/foot of plant height, around the base, about every 2 weeks.

Thers also a "legend" that if you dissolve Epsom in warm water & spray it on the tomatos while they are developing, it will thicken the skin and prevent cracking. Personally, I've never been able to validate that one & don't consider it "gospel"....just my $.02

I''ll vouch for the "less BER with Epsom" rumor though Very Happy
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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  givvmistamps on Mon May 07, 2012 3:56 pm

Hi Acara, I'm the new Coastal & Tropical South host. I see you're an experienced gardener with an absolutely adorable little guy there to keep you busy. I look forward to watching your tomatoes as they grow! I think I'll use the epsom salts on my tomatoes to see how it works. Can you use it with any other crops?
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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

Post  acara on Mon May 07, 2012 6:08 pm

The whole "Epsom salt thing" is "folklore" at best ... but the prevant rumor is that it is pretty close to fact for peppers and toms.

My OPINION is that because toms and peppers use so much calcium while bearing produce, it never hurts. However, if you read enough garden journals, you'll eventually see a case where excessive Epsom is reported to have "burned" a crop.
I've allso heard it has benefits when added to roses ... but again, garden-voodoo.

I can't say I've ever seen anyone report "burning" tom's/peppers, so I consider it safe on those two. However, I've gardened mostly in the Southeast, where our "dirt" sucks, and adding almost anything to it is an improvement Razz

When in doubt, have a soil test run and then use the Epsom if your pH, magnesium and sulfur are all in tolerance/range ...thats the safe bet.
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Re: Knocked off the cobwebs & fired it up

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