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2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

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2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  yolos on 4/2/2013, 9:35 pm

My tomatoes have not been planted yet because of the recent cold weather here in the south. I had planned to transplant my tomato seedlings 2 to 3 weeks ago. My seedlings are getting hugh.



I have run out of room under my lights. These are tomatoes that I put on a wagon and roll them outside when it is warm enough. The high on Thursday is supposed to be 48* but it is supposed to warm up at night after Thursday. I am going to try to plant the tomatoes out this weekend. What about you all? Have you planted your tomatoes outside yet?

My 2013 Tomato Wagon.



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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  nosmok on 4/2/2013, 9:45 pm

Holding out for warmer weather like you!

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  jazzycat on 4/2/2013, 10:17 pm

Your plants are looking good yolos! Mine are big, but they aren't that tall. What kind of containers are those? 1 gallon pots? (Mine are mostly in dixie cups.)

I was thinking of planting this weekend, but I still have to build the beds and turn the containers into self-watering. I have help coming down tomorrow. I've got most of the soil components, just need the wood, irrigation system (which he will design) and his brain and hands. Twisted Evil Cool

Like you, I was running out of room under my lights. Fortunately, I took 30+ plants today over to the other person I'm doing this with, so I have some breathing room. Still. The ones I have seriously need transplanting. They are growing like CRAZY! I'm sooooo very glad I did not built my beds yet, because otherwise I would have planted them a few weeks ago, and they would have all died when it went to down into the 30s. I'm still kinda worried, but I'm also worried about leaving them in these smaller containers! I suppose I could go ahead and transplant some of the larger plants into the 5 gallon containers, and bring them in if it gets too cold at night. hmmmm... I hadn't thought of that...

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Probably going to finally plant outside this weekend

Post  Windmere on 4/2/2013, 10:18 pm

Well, it does indeed look like we Middle South residents will finally get some good weather from here on out. Yolos, I am jealous of your beautiful tomatoes. I began mine WAY too late, so mine are still quite small. I am going to take the plunge and plant this weekend. Hope all goes well for you!

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  yolos on 4/2/2013, 10:27 pm

@jazzycat wrote:Your plants are looking good yolos! Mine are big, but they aren't that tall. What kind of containers are those? 1 gallon pots? (Mine are mostly in dixie cups.)

I have all different sizes of pots because I staggered my planting of seeds. I am not sure about the gallons for the largest ones. They are 10 inches tall and 9 inches in diameter. A couple of years ago I bought some hardy hibiscus and they were in those bigger containers.

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  bnoles on 4/2/2013, 10:31 pm

love your 'matters yolos, they look awesome. I rolled the dice last Friday and planted everything including my 'matters. So far so good Cool

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  yolos on 4/2/2013, 10:44 pm

bnoles - are you covering your tomatoes at night. Your temps are a degree or two colder than mine so I am curious how they are reacting being outside on the cold nights. I thought we would have problems with tomatoes if the night temps dipped below 55*.

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  bnoles on 4/3/2013, 7:43 am

No.... not covering them at night or anything and they are doing just fine. I really think that unless we have frost, they will fare well or at least that has always been what I have observed.

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  jazzycat on 4/3/2013, 10:50 am

So I went and looked at the last frost dates for Savannah over the last 20 years, and there have been numerous times when the temperature went below 32 degrees in April, and a couple in late April. Since we've been having whacky weather this year, this information means a difficult decision on whether to go ahead and transplant the tomato plants this weekend, or whether to wait another couple of weeks. It isn't as bad for inland GA as it is in the coastal regions.

How many of you follow the advice in the Farmer's Almanac on planting guidelines? Just curious.

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I have worries as well

Post  Windmere on 4/3/2013, 11:32 am

Jazzycat, a friend of ours brought us a wheel barrow to borrow. She admired my seedlings and asked me when I planned on putting them in the ground. I told her that I planned on doing it soon, at the very least within a week. She then told me that in the recent past it snowed twice in April. My bubble was burst and I began to worry about my plans. Mind you that, unlike me, she is a Georgia native.

I think what I'm going to do is plant only veggies that like/tolerate cooler weather. Lettuce and carrots immediately come to mind. I'm going to "wait and see" with plants like tomatoes and bell peppers. At this point, I don't mind putting them in the sun during the day and bringing them in when a chilly night comes along. It's a bit laborious, but I feel better safe than sorry.

study

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  jazzycat on 4/3/2013, 12:20 pm

Windmere, I agree. I have been raising tomatoes from seed, but I have other things that I can plant in the ground once I get everything prepped this weekend. And because I've given 30+ of the plants to my co-conspirator, I have less to worry about. However, I will go ahead and make up a small amount of mix and transplant them up into bigger containers. The larger ones going in 5 gallon containers can go in those, and in case of lower temps I can bring them in and put them somewhere. I would hate to lose them, after all that work!

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  Signey on 4/4/2013, 11:10 pm

wow yolos, those are beautiful 'maters! I am waiting for the warmer weather, my last frost is April 15th, and like others, with the weather being so crazy, I will just wait.
May the climate gods smile on our little gardens!
Signey

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  yolos on 4/5/2013, 8:01 am

Thanks signey - looking at the 10 day forcast for my area, the night time low does not drop below 50* beginning on Sunday. So I am going to plant as many as I have room for on Sunday. According to one weather site, I am almost guaranteed that I will not get frost after April 17. So I am pretty close to being confident enough to plant on Sunday. If we get a freak cold front come through, I can always cover for a nite.

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  yolos on 4/9/2013, 8:45 pm

I finally planted 8 of my 12 varieties of tomatoes on Sunday. This is my oldest born. Look how pretty the box (2' x 2") looks newly made and how dark and beautiful the MM looks. Sure was nice to plant in the loose soil rather than taking a pic axe to the clay like I usually have to do (before SFG). Once the MM settles, I plan to plant a flower or basil in the corners and put some mulch on top of the soil.




I had to put some shade cloth over them temporarily because it got hot so fast the tomatoes were drooping.



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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  bnoles on 4/9/2013, 9:19 pm

Hi yolos.... those 2X2 boxes look fantastic. This weather jumping from winter straight into summer sure presents challenges and you have addressed the problem quite well with those hoops.

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Beautiful work yolos

Post  Windmere on 4/9/2013, 9:25 pm

All I can say is, "Wow!" You did beautiful work Yolos. Not having a take a pic axe to clay is the whole reason I'm doing SFG. I hope that when I finally get my boxes assembled, that my set up is even 1/4 a good as yours.

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  jazzycat on 4/9/2013, 10:13 pm

Awesome! I'll bet the tomatoes are HAPPY to get in the ground! Very Happy

My large bed is almost complete, and most of the self watering 5 gallon buckets as well. YAY! And... what a relief!

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  yolos on 4/16/2013, 10:06 pm

Okay, it is Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South. So where are pictures of your tomatoes.

I attempted to plant out the rest of my tomato varieties this last weekend. On Friday I built a new 2' x 8' bed for them. On Saturday I leveled the ground, and on Sunday I was going to mix the MM and plant. But it rained all day Sunday so I will have to wait till the coming weekend.

Here is my new bed just waiting for the MM and tomatoes and an EMT trellis:


On Saturday I leveled the ground and in a 5' by 10' area I harvested these rocks. If I had tried to till this area instead of making a raised bed, I would have hit everyone of the rocks and pulled my shoulders out of their sockets.


Here is an updated picture of the tomatoes I planted last weekend. Most of them are thriving but a few are just barely growing. Time will tell.

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  Pepper on 4/16/2013, 11:57 pm

Dang those boxes are looking GREAT with all them 'maters. Like the newest box too looks double deep.

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  yolos on 4/17/2013, 12:26 am

Thanks pepper. All of my previous boxes have been 10" (9-1/2) high. The last tomato box I made (in the previous picture) was two 5-1/2 boards so it is 11". I got these boards for free so I either had to make it 5-1/2" or double stacked for 11". I put about 2" of purchased top soil in the bottom and then will be adding 9" of MM.

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  jazzycat on 4/17/2013, 12:35 am

Nice job! Your tomato plants look great yolos!

Here are pictures of mine, which were planted a couple of days ago. My bed is 3x12, with 20 of the squares dedicated to indeterminate tomatoes, all variegated, striped varieties. When I planted them, I did remove some bottom leaves and plant the stalks down into the mix as deep as possible. This is the day after planting. (I have to put the grids back on. We took them off to add the mulch.) The bed is self-watering, so hopefully I won't have to worry about consistent watering and overwatering, etc. I'm hoping it will take care of itself, as long as the reservoirs remain full (or mostly full). We'll see how well it works, but so far, so good. What a Face





These are from earlier tonight. I added the tulle because something was digging in the bed.








Here is the culprit, Kira Cat. She obviously thinks this is HER bed because I keep finding her sleeping on the edge there. I think I'm going to build a small one just for her, so maybe she'll stay out of this one.




Here are the self-watering containers. I've been collecting pickle buckets and icing buckets from the grocery store. They just save them for me now. We just made up several extra ones for Michael to take back to some people in North Carolina, with some plants, of course. Very Happy






I'm donating these for Earth Day. There is a group of people here trying to start a "food revolution" to show people it isn't that hard to grow some food for yourself. For Earth Day they will have someone there to talk about composting, and growing organically, etc., and we're hoping we can get people to start planting edible plants, trees and shrubs everywhere, for anyone to eat. Like, instead of ornamental plants in parks, have some blueberry bushes or orange trees, things like that.






I feel pretty good about it. This is my first time really trying to grow food. I've attempted it before, but only with a couple of plants in containers, and I had absolutely NO IDEA what I was doing, or anything about the importance of soil, etc. Not that I know what I'm doing now, but since I got the ASFGB and a couple others on growing vertically, and joining this forum, and watching some videos on youtube (growing your greens, etc.) and the Back to Eden film, I feel like I at least have some knowledge. And I grew all of these plants from seed, by myself. I'm pretty proud of that. I just hope they continue to flourish and do well. I think now that they are outside, in their individual homes, the true test will come. So far it's been fairly easy. Now that they're outside, I have all the pests and diseases and humidity, etc., to worry about and deal with. I just hope I can continue to learn and grow. And the people here, on this forum, have been a HUGE help to me. So THANK YOU! You guys (and gals, of course) ROCK!

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  jazzycat on 4/17/2013, 12:40 am

yolos, those cages. Can you keep adding layers to the top as they grow? Those are interesting. Did you make them yourself?

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  yolos on 4/17/2013, 9:11 am

@jazzycat wrote:yolos, those cages. Can you keep adding layers to the top as they grow? Those are interesting. Did you make them yourself?

Those cages are called Texas Tomato Cages. There are three layers to each cage and they fold up flat for storage. The cage has a diameter of 2' (which is way too big). I used to be an on again off again row gardener. Every year my tomato plants eventually died of some disease. I did a lot of research and decided to buy these cages. They are expensive and not at all practical for square foot gardening. In my newest bed I am going to string the tomatoes to make better use of the space.

jazzycat - you have a lot of very pretty tomatoes. I love your self watering bed. Let us know whether the wicking up into the MM works properly.

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  jazzycat on 4/17/2013, 2:34 pm

yolos, so far it's working. I bought a moisture meter, so I can check easier than using my finger. Because I'm new at this, I don't really know how the soil should feel, so it made more sense to have a meter. I did water the other squares today, because I planted seeds in most of them. When I went to water, I noticed some leaves popping up through the mulch. So YAY! Very Happy

My fiance' went back to NC and he's building some up there also. We will keep you posted on how well they work.

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

Post  yolos on 5/28/2013, 11:04 pm

Tomato Update here in Brooks, Ga.

The first 8 tomtoes I planted (4/9/13) are already infected with disease. I did everything I was supposed to do. Spaced far enough apart so they get air (4 ft apart), cut the bottom leaves/branches off so bacteria would not splash up, watered from below, rotated, new MM, etc. etc. I still have disease. This makes 4 years in a row that my tomatoes got hit. Last year it was blight, this year (according to the county extension office) they are infected with Bacterial Spot and Bacterial Speck.
Instructions from the extension agency are to cut off the infected leaves/branches.
Sterilize the cutting instrument everytime a cut is made in 10% clorox/water.
Organic treatment - Basic Copper Sulfate, or High Yield copper Fungicide, or Bonide liquid copper fungicide, or Bonide Copper Fungicide Dust, or Dragon Copper Fungicide. I used the Bonide Copper Funicide because I had some left over from last year.
So the bottom 2 - 3 feet of each of the first 8 tomatoes planted are now devoid of foilage.


BUT I anticipated this and I built a second bed about 25 feet away from the first tomatoes and planted them on 4/27/13. There were a few disease spots in this bed also. But I think I got to these in time to hopefully have a normal crop.


After I found out about the current diseased plants, I went about 75 feet away from the other tomatoes and planted some (on 5/19/13) in pots in a third bed.


AND Because I was a former Girl Scout and my motto is "Be Prepared", I planted a fourth bed about 175 feet away.


I am going to go broke buying enough copper fungicide to keep these maters from getting sick.

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Re: 2013 Tomato Tuesday in the Middle South

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