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Greetings from San Diego 10a

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Greetings from San Diego 10a

Post  SDMike on 10/30/2013, 9:59 am

Hello Everybody!!  My name is Mike and I am brand new to SFG.  I much like many have transplanted to CA in fall of 2010.  I originally hail from NJ where in the spring / summer months I had a thriving garden that produced from June - September where all I had to do was dig in the ground and toss a potting mix over the top few inches and Bam, garden!

Lets fast forward to where I am now.  Since spring '11 I have had nothing but failure in the garden, all of which is attributed to me.  My most recent non-success was this past summer season, I thought I knew it all and was going to grow inside an inexpensive green house I ordered off the web...  Well lets say mother nature laughed at my lack of ventilation and before I realized it the temps were way into the 90's-100's daily and as a result I grew some nice green tomato leaves.  I did manage to get maybe 20 tomato's off the plants before it got too hot in the GH and I also did get some peppers.

I realized way to late what my problem was - too much heat in the GH - so now that it is cooling off a bit and can manage airflow in the house (And partially stubborn) I am attempting to grow my winter crop in the GH.

Thank you for reading, I accept all types of constructive criticism and am always open to hearing your opinions and what has/has not worked for you in the past.  I wish you all a great day filled with abundance!!

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Re: Greetings from San Diego 10a

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/30/2013, 4:34 pm

Re growing tomatoes in the summer in a greenhouse, it sounds like you were worried about either pests or lack of heat/humidity(wind blowing the moisture out of your plants?), or both? If pests, maybe some simple summer-weight row cover could work as well as or better than a greenhouse? And if lack of heat or humidity, I can only convey my delight at finding my tomatoes growing very well in the largely rainless cool of Southern Oregon this fall. For a plant that supposedly thrives in the heat, they did extremely well here even when the temperatures were into the 40's and mid to high 30's. Better than they did in our weeks of 100 degree heat in the summer, actually. Same with my peppers. Dormant most of the summer, the cool fall had them setting lots of peppers.

I wonder at using a greenhouse to grow tomatoes in that generally very nice San Diego weather, but I suppose you must have had your reasons. I could definitely see you being better off without it, though.
Marc Iverson

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Re: Greetings from San Diego 10a

Post  SDMike on 10/30/2013, 4:54 pm

Thank you for your info Marc!  Actually the green house debacle was for a few reasons.  The first is I thought I knew better and would be able to circulate enough fresh air that the temps inside would be close to what is outside and I was wrong!  I think I just tossed all logic out the window with that decision.  You are also correct I thought I could keep the bugs and pests out but that also failed once the white flies got in.

I did however plant a shoot/sucker of one tomato and put in the flower bed I made outside, the plant is looking great and even has a tomato and blossoms, only problem now is the box is too close to the actual house so it gets mostly shade.

I do currently have a small bed that has sat empty all season that I have been tossing the my left over compost tea in.  I also added about 2 inches of compost and worked into the ground then planted bush beans, red onions and carrots about 2 weeks before I researched SFG and those seem to be doing just fine outside.

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Re: Greetings from San Diego 10a

Post  camprn on 10/30/2013, 6:12 pm

I have a farmer friend who transplants his tomato plant starts into a greenhouse, then as the warmer weather arrives he rolls up the poly sides for good ventilation and bees. The best of both worlds. He did have to visually inspect the plants and hand pick horn worms.


41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau



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Re: Greetings from San Diego 10a

Post  SDMike on 10/31/2013, 2:50 pm

Thanks Camprn, I am going to give the green house I have until the spring season rolls around then I believe I am going to use it as your friend does.  I think because I am so sensitive to the colder weather I automatically think the plants are too and need shelter every night!

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Re: Greetings from San Diego 10a

Post  Triciasgarden on 10/31/2013, 10:00 pm

Welcome to the forum SDMike!  How about hanging some aluminum foil on the house behind the tomato plants.  It would reflect some extra light to your plants since there is so much shade for them right now.  I don't know what your temps are but I think you would be safe in them not getting too much extra heat from the foil.

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Re: Greetings from San Diego 10a

Post  No_Such_Reality on 11/1/2013, 12:48 pm

Welcome Mike, come over to the SoCal Regional thread.

As a cold weather transplant to OC, the first thing I had to do was forget everything I knew about growing in the North.

I'll recommend two books, "Pat Welsh's Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month"

and "52 Weeks in the California Garden" by Smaus.  

Both were gardening writers for the papers and fairly successful.  It'll provide good insight in to the seasonal timing we have.  Coming from the north, your biggest challenge is you'll probably planting 2 months too late.

September and October are the boom times here. My turnips I planted at the end of September when I built my new SFG boxes are ready for harvest. My green beans are almost ready too.


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Re: Greetings from San Diego 10a

Post  Lindacol on 11/1/2013, 4:46 pm

Welcome Mike. I am in the Inland Empire area, zone 9b. Many years ago I lived in Ramona and Jamul so am familiar with San Diego county. How far inland are you? I know the temperature can change as much as 20 degrees between Ramona and the beach in the Del Mar area, so there are lots of micro climates in between.

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Re: Greetings from San Diego 10a

Post  Goosegirl on 12/28/2013, 3:47 pm

Mike - I had the opposite problem as you in moving from inland CA to SD. Timing was DEFINITELY the issue for me, as I wanted to start my seedlings in Jan, but tomatoes could not be safely put outside until JUNE!!! I got myself one of those Month-By-Month planting books for my area and it has helped tremendously. Take No_Such_Reality's advice and find the one for your area!


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