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bush tomatoes

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bush tomatoes

Post  annamagpie on 6/3/2012, 10:14 pm

According to the book, they take up 9 squares each. (btw, how do you take up 9 squares in a 4x4 garden? Wouldn't it make more sense if it was 8 squares?) Anyway, my question is...would it be HORRIBLE to have 4 bush type plants in one 4x4 bed instead of 2 per a 4x4 bed? Do they really get that big?

Thanks!
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Re: bush tomatoes

Post  happycamper on 6/3/2012, 10:55 pm

It really depends on the variety of the tomato plant. In my opinion the main reason for leaving space between determinate tomatoes is that they need air flow between the plants to prevent disease. I have planted 8 tomatoes in a 4'x8' bed before and it has worked out just fine. You can always trim a few branches here and there to keep them from getting over crowded if they get huge. My average tomato plant is 8-12 feet tall and at least 4 feet around. At four to a 4'x4' you should be fine.
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Re: bush tomatoes

Post  rowena___. on 6/4/2012, 11:17 am

i'm growing 12 tomato plants in 4X4 boxes, a mix of det. and indet. in each box. so far, they are all getting along well together. i'm using the florida weave to keep them contained.
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Patio tomatoes

Post  memart1 on 6/4/2012, 11:35 am

My SFG is only 2-1/2 ft x 26 ft and is against the front of my house. My trellises are the electrical conduit type with trellis netting attached, and they are as close to the house as we could get them. Most of my tomatoes are in back squares and can be tied to the trellises, but I do have three patio tomatoes that were planted in the front row of full squares. I have all the half squares in front of these and planted with french marigolds. Should I put cages over the patio tomatoes, or will they stay small.

This is a picture from last Week before I put them in, but it should give you an idea of what I have. Two of the patio tomatoes have small fruits already. I do have some of the wire cones that are sold for tomatoes.
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Re: bush tomatoes

Post  Turan on 6/4/2012, 12:05 pm

9 squares is 3X3. In the old SFG book that is what Mel recommends for zucchini and other bush squash. He says to put bush tomatoes by which he means determinates at 4 sqf, 2X2. I like that spacing for all the tomatoes, they have room to grow and not be pruned. I can reach in there to harvest. THere is good sun and air that way.

Bush tomatoes are also the Australian plant.
The Australian plant is a shrub and would easily need 9 squares

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Re: bush tomatoes

Post  rowena___. on 6/4/2012, 12:08 pm

i see that i wasn't very clear on what i'm doing. i have two SFG tomato boxes, 4'X4' each, and in each box there are 12 plants, in the outer squares. the inner four squares have companions--in one box i have basil and marigold and mint--in another box i have peanuts. so in two boxes i have a total of 24 tomato plants, but in my gardens i have a total of 30 tomato plants because i have 6 more that are not in SFG boxes.

if i remember later today, i'll post diagrams.

anyway, my point is that at no time have i ever given a tomato plant 9 squares. in fact, at no time do i give any single plant of any type more than one square. theoretically using my plant spacing i could put 16 tomatoes in each 4X4 box but i don't think in my location i could give the inner plants enough sunlight.
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Re: bush tomatoes

Post  RUTBUSTER on 6/4/2012, 12:32 pm

Rowena, I would like your's as well as anyone else's opinion on my tomatoes which I just planted. I built a 2'X8' box, and on the north side I planted Indeterminate tomatoes 1 per square with a 7' X 8' trellis. Then on the South side I planted 8 determinate tomatoes which I have string going to each plant and tied 6' high. My question is am I looking for trouble planting them this way?

Thanks for your response.
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Re: bush tomatoes

Post  rowena___. on 6/4/2012, 2:00 pm

so much depends on your climate and weather, the location within your property, whether or not the bug gods smile upon you. Smile if they begin to look crowded, you can thin them or prune them.
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Re: bush tomatoes

Post  quiltbea on 6/4/2012, 2:04 pm

I planted 3 Oregon Spring determinates in a 3 foot x 1 foot wide area in cages with a basil in the 4th square (on the left in this photo taken Oct 2, 2010) and they did just fine. They even, in late Sept, rebloomed and if my season was longer, I'd have had another crop to harvest. I planted Swiss chard and parsnips in the squares in front of them.



So bush tomatoes can do fine in a single square if they are a variety that grow approx 4' tall.


Last edited by quiltbea on 6/4/2012, 2:21 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : correct photo's date)
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Re: bush tomatoes

Post  RUTBUSTER on 6/4/2012, 2:48 pm

Thanks so much for the information Rowena and Quiltbea. My boxes are 30" above the ground and get lots of sun, so I am hoping they will do well. I will have to get some pictures of them and put them on here.

Thanks again
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Re: bush tomatoes

Post  annamagpie on 6/4/2012, 9:40 pm



For your input! I think i will put all four of my determinant (bush) tomatoes in one 4x4 square. It is very dry here, I don't anticipate a lot of moisture lurking in between (thanks for that input--I had no idea!) and now I know I can prune if I have to. This square foot forum is invaluable--thank you all!
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Re: bush tomatoes

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