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Indeterminate tomatoes in buckets experiment

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Re: Indeterminate tomatoes in buckets experiment

Post  Coelli on 6/16/2013, 1:39 am

Sorry guys! :DOkay, no pictures at the moment but:

I have been harvesting tomatoes like crazy and most of my plants are at the top or higher than the 6' support. I have stopped pruning them for now and am letting them grow as many suckers as they want.

The strategy of just tying the main stem back to the PVC supports works great IF there is no fruit on the vines. As the fruit grows, especially with the beefsteak varieties, the weight of the fruit will start to weigh everything down and pull the main stem down. I had to create slings for some of the fruit and stems that are attached to the top cross support. Next season when I convert all the buckets to self watering I will add at least 2 or 3 cross members to each support using tees. So in other words right now they look like this:

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But I will add cross supports (using T's) so they're like this:

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That should give more places for the twine to anchor securely. There are other ways to do it, but I think that might be the easiest.

The tomatoes in the SWC have less cat facing than the others. Most of my plants are suffering from curled leaves which I think had mostly to do with the severe pruning. I will not try to string them using a single string again, as I broke off the top of two plants that way. Too risky if you're clumsy Smile
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Re: Indeterminate tomatoes in buckets experiment

Post  GWN on 6/16/2013, 10:38 am

I inadvertantly CUT the top of one of my best tomatoes this year and so am working at the "let the sucker take over" technique.  I am so afraid I am going to absent mindedly cut that one off, since I am out there cutting suckers every day.
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Re: Indeterminate tomatoes in buckets experiment

Post  Coelli on 6/17/2013, 7:57 pm

@GWN wrote:I inadvertantly CUT the top of one of my best tomatoes this year and so am working at the "let the sucker take over" technique.  I am so afraid I am going to absent mindedly cut that one off, since I am out there cutting suckers every day.

One of mine had a sucker so it recovered very nicely, but the other did not, and that was the end of my Red Grape. It just proceeded to set and ripen the rest of its fruit and I'll be pulling it pretty soon.

As an added bonus I realized I can do peas and beans in these too!
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Re: Indeterminate tomatoes in buckets experiment

Post  LittleGardener on 6/20/2013, 11:36 pm

@Coelli wrote:I just planted 9 of my tomatoes in buckets and here's what we're trying this year:



Each bucket has two 6' pipes zip-tied to the inside with 3 zip ties on each side, then two elbows at the top and a 10" piece between them. we made all of them in less than 30 minutes. One tip is to get the zip ties closed loosely in place, then slide the pipe down into the loops, then tighten. If anyone's not clear on the construction I can take pictures when I make the last 3. Smile
Goody, we've got the piping; and together with your pictured T-cross pieces, & Top-elbows they provide two Smile of the 3 supports needed. Thanks so much for these suggestions. Have you harvested any juice-dripping tasty Wink Tomatoes yet?
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Re: Indeterminate tomatoes in buckets experiment

Post  GWN on 6/20/2013, 11:46 pm

Coelli
I am growing many things in buckets this year and have become acutely aware of the loss of nutrients. I got a huge load of 2 year old manure mixed with chips that have all composted for 2 years.
The stuff is incredibly nutrient rich... and I filled my 5 gallon buckets with it and planted my plants
Only problem is whenever I water them.... all this incredibly rich brown stuff comes out the holes in the bottom, I have become very aware of how much over watering wastes.

So have have now gathered them on a large plastic sheet and put lots of wood chips between the buckets to soak up the nutrients. I have become much more conservative with my watering now, I try to water ONLY until the water begins to pour out the holes at the bottom
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Re: Indeterminate tomatoes in buckets experiment

Post  LittleGardener on 6/21/2013, 12:50 am

@GWN wrote:Coelli
I am growing many things in buckets this year and have become acutely aware of the loss of nutrients, from a huge load of manure mixed with chips that have all composted for 2 years. Only problem is all this incredibly rich brown stuff comes out the holes in the bottom, I have become very aware of how much over watering wastes.

So have have now gathered them on a large plastic sheet and put lots of wood chips between the buckets to soak up the nutrients.  I try to water ONLY until the water begins to pour out the holes at the bottom
Our containers are already on plastic sheets, so how about we line them all up in a tray like set-up, to better recycle all this rich brown 'gold' Smile Would this work you think? - I also stop watering when I see it leave the bottom.
Also,
since our present demand needs much more compost than currently available, I've decided not to fret about what quality plants are growing in, so long as I use Compost-tea liberally...
Re using Compost-tea, here's a nonfood success story: One of our prize hydrangea's was setting fewer buds past few years, & the leaves increasingly yellowed sickly/deformed/ghastly awful Sad Clearly it cried for help, so I poured Compost-tea (could see blueberries still floating in it, lol) right into the ground; about a gallon each time, times 3 waterings... After a mere month, oh boy what a difference! cheers 99% of the leaves are now a healthy dark green, and there are over 30 Blossom clusters cheers on this 4 foot bush developing... with 2 of them opening
with Cream+Pink-centers similar to: http://www.daytonnursery.com/Encyclopedia/Images/Hydrangea%20Invincibelle%20Spirit%20SM.jpg (except ours are about her hand size). PRAISE God. What speechless splendor He continually so richly blesses bear hug us with.

question: How many holes did you put in your container bottoms, & their size? - I have 6 in each about less than 1/4-1/2 inch, is this good?
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Re: Indeterminate tomatoes in buckets experiment

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/31/2013, 4:32 am

Any more updates forthcoming?
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