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Tomato Tuesday 2015

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  boffer on 5/31/2015, 12:52 pm

yolos wrote:...But my actual accounting work is precise so that's probably what Boffer is referring to.



Precision, accuracy, and neatness.  Well...neatness was a priority when the actual 'books' were kept on paper!

(I think gardener watching is as much fun as garden watching!)
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  yolos on 6/2/2015, 6:23 pm

Gilbertie's are just starting to break color.  The first ones each season always have BER, but this year it looks like I won't have that problem on this first round of tomatoes.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  quiltbea on 6/2/2015, 8:51 pm

I had to patch my plastic greenhouse cover with duct tape where it was separating from the zippers.  It came out pretty well so I was able to use it to cover that bed with its 8 tiny toms and 2 peppers against the 42*F cold expected tonite. 
For the 3 tiny toms in pots, I used gal. milk jugs that I placed over them for cloches.  They should keep them warm enuf.  I know its not down to freezing, but I'd rather they be warmer so they don't slow down in growth.
In walking thru my Back 40 I found that one of my Better Boy tomatoes had a blossom showing on it already as did a Tiny Tim in the greenhouse bed.  Maybe I'll have a tomato before the Fourth of July this year if I'm lucky.  I don't usually.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  quiltbea on 6/3/2015, 7:58 pm

I paper-mulched my tomatoes today.  I should have done it as soon as I transplanted them out, but I didn't have any newspaper.  I wanted to protect the leaves from being splashed by soil-borne diseases but with all the rain we've just had (3 days and 3") I think I may be too late but just in case I can prevent some of the soil-borne probs I'm paper mulching.  I got some and used all I had but will get more to make a few more layers of paper to mulch.

Above: Here's a view of some in my covered bed.  I covered it up for the night with 40s temps hovering tonite.   Can you see the yellow blossoms on the plant in the center front?  Its a Totem mini and  its got its first blossoms.

Above:  Here's my Better Boy Tomatoes mulched the same way. I placed 3 Indeterminates across the 4-ft. width this time.  Those are Broccoli in front of the tomatoes.

Above:  Here's another Totem that's potted in the flower bed.  I put a gal. milk jug over it to cloche it for the night against the cooler 40s temps.  That's a yellow Copyright Iris in bloom.


Last edited by quiltbea on 6/3/2015, 8:01 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : To correct spelling errors. Duh.)
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  Goosegirl on 6/3/2015, 10:27 pm

I absolutely LOVE your paper mulch idea!  I think I will have to give it a try!  Out of my 24 original Tow Mater starts, seven survived to be planted outdoors - they are doing well so far, but a little extra attention can't hurt.  After my unfortunate seedling juggle I have those 7 tomatoes (varieties unknown, as I had each row labeled on the outside of my tray instead of individual pot markers) and 10 out of 14 original pepper seedlings - also mixed but only 2 possible varieties.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  quiltbea on 6/3/2015, 10:57 pm

Goosegirl......I'm sorry you don't know the names of your tomatoes.  Do you at least know if they are Determinates or Indeterminates so you know how tall a stake or cage they need?
I marked my popsicle sticks with pencil when I started my seeds and the water smudged some of them.  I could make out enough of the variety to know which it was when I potted-up, except on a few that were washed out completely.  Next year I'll write on the sticks with indelible ink (ballpoint pen).  I know that the sharpies also wash out when they get wet.  That happened to me the year before.

As for newspaper mulch, I'm sure with rains it'll start to disintegrate at some point but I plan to renew with more paper by then.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  Turan on 6/4/2015, 5:44 pm

Today was the first time I took out the electric toothbrush and buzzed the blooms. Looking forward to seeing some baby tomatoes out there!

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  Goosegirl on 6/4/2015, 9:37 pm

QB - they are all indeterminate so all are in-ground next to their proper trellises.  Hopefully most of them will be my romas, since making sauce is the main purpose of my tomato crop.  Peppers are going in-ground this weekend.  

Sharpie makes a laundry marker and an industrial marker, both of which do not run when wet.  We use the industrial ones at work to mark our sterilization packs which are run through a steam autoclave - they do NOT run!

Turan- congrats on blossoms needing the TB!
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/5/2015, 1:17 am

Turan wrote:Today was the first time I took out the electric toothbrush and buzzed the blooms. Looking forward to seeing some baby tomatoes out there!

I don't know how you do it successfully ... when I do it, it takes the skin right off the tomato vines.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  Turan on 6/5/2015, 2:03 am

Marc Iverson wrote:
Turan wrote:Today was the first time I took out the electric toothbrush and buzzed the blooms.  Looking forward to seeing some baby tomatoes out there!

I don't know how you do it successfully ... when I do it, it takes the skin right off the tomato vines.

I just touch the smooth back of the vibrating brush head to the flower stem and brush it along the petals, never the inner parts.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  quiltbea on 6/5/2015, 9:13 am

Goosegirl.....Thanks for the tip on Sharpies.  I've looked for laundry markers but can't find them.  I'll check at Staples for the other type for next season.
Good luck with your tomatoes.  At least you have some idea of what's what.

On pollinating your tomatoes, you just have to tap the blossoms with your fingers a couple times a day and they will self-pollinate.  No special tools needed.

I'm heading out for some Salvia plants.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  vortex on 6/5/2015, 9:58 am

If your tomatoes are caged, florida weaved, whatever you don't need to actually buzz them. Instead, just spank them.

Give the support a little vibration and it will help pollinate just fine. Any time I walk by my tomatoes I give their support a little shake. Works great, and you don't run the risk of harm to the flowers, stems, or branches.

If you have a buzzing type device already, you can use that on the support. Those vibrations make it to where they need to, no problem.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  Turan on 6/5/2015, 12:52 pm

I have not done careful trails comparing early pollination of tomatoes via tapping, shaking and buzzing the plants. However I think I see greater early tomato set since I started buzzing the blooms. Most years there is no early set until I have buzzed the blooms. I do know that buzzing stimulates the flower to send out a visible plume of pollen, something I have never seen from shaking or tapping. Later in the season it does not seem as important.
This also seems to work on the peppers.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  CitizenKate on 6/6/2015, 11:53 pm

vortex wrote:Give the support a little vibration and it will help pollinate just fine. Any time I walk by my tomatoes I give their support a little shake. Works great, and you don't run the risk of harm to the flowers, stems, or branches.

It works.  A co-worker and I were able to get new fruit to set on a tomato plant we had growing in a container and brought indoors after it got too cold.  We thought it was just about done for the season, but it was starting new blossoms.  He just tried gently shaking the trellis built into its container, and a week later, we had new tomatoes starting.  In November.  No insects involved, believe me.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  CitizenKate on 6/7/2015, 12:01 am

quiltbea wrote:I paper-mulched my tomatoes today.  I should have done it as soon as I transplanted them out, but I didn't have any newspaper.  I wanted to protect the leaves from being splashed by soil-borne diseases but with all the rain we've just had (3 days and 3") I think I may be too late but just in case I can prevent some of the soil-borne probs I'm paper mulching.  I got some and used all I had but will get more to make a few more layers of paper to mulch.


What a great idea!  I wonder if shredding the newspaper would make a good mulch, also?  More spreadable/moveable...  Or I'm also thinking paper bags, etc.

I'm trying to figure out what to mulch my containers with this year, and the grass clippings are just not working out because of all the rain we're getting.
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Tomato... Sunday?

Post  CitizenKate on 6/7/2015, 10:09 am

Finally got a day to goof off, so thought I'd post an update on the tomatoes I have growing on our (disintegrating and soon to be replaced) patio...

This was on 5/16, when I finally got them into the containers...


This morning, 6/7, with the morning sunshine smiling down on them.  We are finally getting some sunshine again - after 4 inches of rain since Tuesday.


Appears to me they are loving the Mel's Mix I gave them this year, and not missing all that fertilizer at all!
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  yolos on 6/7/2015, 10:26 am

Wow, you sure utilized your space very efficiently.  They look so nice.  I bet that will be a jungle in a few weeks.  Are they indeterminate or determinate or both.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  CitizenKate on 6/7/2015, 12:44 pm

Some of both, and yeah, they start getting pretty gnarly by around mid-July.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  quiltbea on 6/7/2015, 1:57 pm

C.Kate.....I thought I answered you earlier, but I guess I forgot to hit the "submit' key.  Anyway, I've tried the shredded newspaper and found it blew all over the place and was harder to contain.  With the sheets, you just have to place a bit of soil on each corner or a small rock to hold it in place.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/7/2015, 2:27 pm

Wow what an interesting-looking system!
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  CitizenKate on 6/7/2015, 4:33 pm

quiltbea wrote:C.Kate.....I thought I answered you earlier, but I guess I forgot to hit the "submit' key.  Anyway, I've tried the shredded newspaper and found it blew all over the place and was harder to contain.  With the sheets, you just have to place a bit of soil on each corner or a small rock to hold it in place.
Thanks for the info, quiltbea.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  CitizenKate on 6/7/2015, 4:44 pm

Marc Iverson wrote:Wow what an interesting-looking system!

It's an array of interconnected sub-irrigating ("self-watering") plant containers.  If you're interested in knowing more about them, I published an article about them a while back.  It includes instructions to make them.

http://twodawgs.hubpages.com/hub/Grow-Veggies-Anywhere-with-Self-watering-Containers
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/7/2015, 7:24 pm

Quite a project! I did something similar using PVC zip-tied to the sides of a self-watering 5-gallon container. There was also a tube going down to the reservoir. But your system is even better, and I like your trellises.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  CitizenKate on 6/7/2015, 8:10 pm

Thanks, Marc!  I made these so they could get a large plant through an entire day on the hottest day of the year.  Here in KS, that could be around 110 F or so, and it's amazing how fast they can dry up a container when it's that hot.  The other ones I tried only hold about 3 quarts of water in their reservoirs, and I came home from work at the end of the day to find tomato plants crashing.  These will hold 7 quarts, and can "borrow" water from other containers that don't use as much.  So far, these haven't let me down yet.
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2015

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/7/2015, 8:21 pm

We usually top out at a bit over 105, but rarely get to 110. We can, however, have three months of that stuff. My buckets often got watered twice a day. I love the idea of growing in buckets, and am doing it again this year, but the lack of insulation from surrounding soil makes things much more precarious. Still, it's a great way to maximize space.
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