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Hello from the Mitten!

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Hello from the Mitten!

Post  jendear on 1/13/2015, 9:29 pm

I'm new here. Had my first serious garden last year and this year I'm going to try SFG to maximize my yield (and my fun).

I've been trying to find info on how closely I can plant tomato plants but the search function hasn't been very helpful. One per square foot seems a bit overly optimistic.

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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

Post  camprn on 1/13/2015, 9:48 pm

For me, after several seasons of trial and error, I plant both determinate and indeterminate tomatoes one plant every other square. The reason for this is that the root systems become huge and the tomato plants are very heavy feeders to make all the wonderful fruit.

glad you\'re here to the SFG Forum!

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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

Post  mschaef on 1/13/2015, 10:01 pm

For me, I tend to plant 1 tomato plant in the middle of four square. My plants tend to get very big because I don't continually pure them like I should. Welcome to the forum!

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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

Post  yolos on 1/13/2015, 11:11 pm

I tried planting them one per square.  But in order to do this you have to be vigilant in pruning to one stem and removing the suckers.  Most of us are not able to take the time or effort to do this.  I tried it one year and gave up pruning to one stem and they were way overcrowded.  We live in an area that gets early blight every year.  So I have started spacing mine out to try to allow them to have more air circulation.  Last year I tried 1 every four squares and that was just about the right spacing for me with not pruning.  But they still got early blight. We have a long growing season and I grow indeterminate tomato plants that get huge if they can remain healthy. So this year I am going to try 1 every 6 squares (I have a lot of space and decided this year I would like to have fewer but healthier tomato plants).  I realize this is a waste of space, but to each his own.

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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

Post  Kelejan on 1/13/2015, 11:53 pm

glad you\'re herejendear.

If you use the search square in the top left hand of this page, you will find heaps of information.  But it is much more fun to ask your questions here. rock on

P.S. is Mitten a form of Michigen?

I am from the West in Canada so I would not be familiar with the term.

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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

Post  sanderson on 1/14/2015, 1:46 am

The Mitten State. Is that because of the winter cold?

Jendear, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here If you want to try SFG, please read All New Square Foot Gardening, 1st or 2nd Edition, by Mel Bartholomew. It is a valuable tool. You can see that everyone has a different tomato spacing, often based on their past experience. You might start with 1 per 2 squares.

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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

Post  jendear on 1/14/2015, 6:20 am

Thanks for all the tips!

Yes - the Mitten is Michigan (at least the lower peninsula) as it looks like, well, a mitten.

I tried using the search function but I was bombarded with tomato posts in general and couldn't find any specific to my question (I realize it's rather basic).

I have a copy of SFG 2nd edition.

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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/14/2015, 9:35 am

Hi Jendear.  Welcome from north of Atlanta, GA.

Like Yolos, I tried 1/square last year,  I ended up with a big tangled mess since I wasn't consistent with my pruning.  I'll do 1 in every 2 squares this year & see how it goes.  I'll also try to be better about my pruning.

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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

Post  Windmere on 1/14/2015, 12:07 pm

Hi Jendear,

Welcome to the forum!  I live 20 miles south of Atlanta in Fayetteville. For me, I plant two tomatoes per 4x4.  One each in the two rear corner squares (the tallest things in the box, this way they do not block the sun of the other shorter plants).  My tomatoes also become monstrous and their root systems sometimes extend out as much as three feet or more (based on what I see when I uproot them after first frost).  The tomato varieties I like are all indeterminate.

I plant mine using the "lay down" or "trenching" method (which involves putting the tomatoes to be transplanted on their side for a day in full sun... their tips extend upward to seek out the sun, and then I plant them horizontally with just tips peeking out).

This is what mine look the day I put them on their sides:




This is a root system of a tomato after uprooting:



You'll find that we all have different ways of working with tomatoes... I posted to above to show you one of your options.


Last edited by Windmere on 1/14/2015, 12:08 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

Post  sanderson on 1/14/2015, 12:45 pm

@jendear wrote:I have a copy of SFG 2nd edition.

The All New SFG?


Windmere, Nice demonstration photos.

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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

Post  jendear on 1/14/2015, 8:08 pm

Yes - "All New"

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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

Post  walshevak on 1/14/2015, 8:36 pm

I use 5 gal buckets for my tomatoes.  I can set 4 buckets against the side of a cattle panel arch and get good growth if I keep up with the pruning.  I also set 1 at each end of the arch side and had a great jungle without much pruning.  

Kay



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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/15/2015, 8:55 am

THAT'S an interesting idea, Kay...  I like that.  May have to try that myself this year.  Seems a lot easier than having to prune & tie & support like last year...

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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

Post  Windmere on 1/15/2015, 10:33 am

@walshevak wrote:I use 5 gal buckets for my tomatoes.  I can set 4 buckets against the side of a cattle panel arch and get good growth if I keep up with the pruning.  I also set 1 at each end of the arch side and had a great jungle without much pruning.  

Kay


What a beautiful idea for a summer arbor!  Thank you for posting shots of your work.

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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

Post  sanderson on 1/15/2015, 5:07 pm

+1

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Re: Hello from the Mitten!

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