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Tomato Tuesday 2016

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  yolos on 4/11/2016, 10:17 pm

Landarch - do you put them in water for awhile or just put them in moist potting soil.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/20/2016, 10:42 am

@yolos wrote:Landarch - do you put them in water for awhile or just put them in moist potting soil.
I think he mentioned on another thread that he soaks them in a root stimulator before potting.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/20/2016, 10:49 am

I tried to actually get this posted on Tuesday, but yesterday blew by pretty fast for me.

My tomatoes are just about ready to go in their beds and containers...  I think these are my best yet.  A nice variety of Celebrity, Early Girl, BushSteak, SuperSauce, Sweet 100, and Paul Robeson (a Russian heirloom, similar to Black Krim).


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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/20/2016, 11:08 am

Oh - and here's my story about a couple of plants I experimented with this winter, starting in early January.  I wanted to see what it would take to grow tomatoes indoors over the winter, so I built a light cage to fit in the tub of our second bathroom, and started one Roma plant and one BushSteak plant.

Long story short, it takes a lot to grow tomatoes indoors.  A lot of electricity, that is.

It would have gone better if I had purchased a lot more lights, and gone with the highest wattage I could get.  (Similar to what Ray from the Voodoo Gardening channel on YouTube recommends.)

Anyway, these poor plants started out great, but when they got big enough to go in their grow bags (that's another part of my experiment), everything went to heck.  One of the higher-wattage LED grow lights I purchased to test performed very poorly.  The Roma did not survive.

This one, the BushSteak plant, did survive, but just barely.  When it finally got warm enough to set it outside during the day, this is what it looked like:


Once it got out into sunlight, it started coming back to life...




Then, I found a recipe for "Shannon's Homemade Monster Tomato Fertilizer" and decided to let my guinea pig test that, too.  Turns out, it's pretty good stuff!   Looks like I'm going to get an early tomato or two this year.


Here's Shannon's recipe.  (At the moment that site is down.  If it doesn't recover soon, I'll just post the recipe here.)

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  landarch on 4/20/2016, 11:36 am

Once I clip the plant, I take the cutting and dip the cut end in water, then dip in the rooting compound (a really fine powder, a wet cutting helps the powder stick).


Prior to that I make sure I have a tray will seed starting mix...use a pencil for a hole as deep as the tray to get the seedling as deep as possible. 


I insert the seedling and tap the side of the tray to settle the soil around the stem...then water the tray and let water soak up from the bottom...keeping the mix fairly moist.


I just checked the other day and roots are growing big time along the stem right at soil level. 

My only concern is that I took two cutting types...1) entire main stem with a central leader...basically snipped off doubles of existing containers, 2) side stems with no leader...may have to wait for a leader to spring from the crotch of an existing leaf...which may take a while.

That said, last year during the summer I was able to break off a sucker and stick it right one of my SFG beds and was picking tomatoes before the end of the season.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  Windmere on 4/20/2016, 1:34 pm

I was just perusing the different threads today.  Kate, you tomatoes look great and thanks for sharing your experience with "winter tomatoes."  Also, thanks Landarch for your experiences. 

Well, I thought I'd show you all where I am with my tomatoes.  They are all in their "big boy" pots and are ready to get into their boxes.



There's another tray that I couldn't get in the shot.  I'm hoping for lots of tomatoes this year!   cheers

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/21/2016, 11:00 am

Looking good, Windmere - a toast to your tomatoes and a heavy yield!  

Interesting way of extending your yield, landarch.  If I can find any more space for another tomato plant or two, I'll give that a try.

Oh - and the site I provided the link to for "Shannon's Homemade Monster Tomato Fertilizer" appears to be permanently gone.  So here's the recipe I got from there:

2-3 dozen crushed egg shells (I rinse them, bake them in the oven, and grind them in a coffee mill)
2 cups bone meal
1/2 cup epsom salt
1200 mg crushed asperin (I get the un-coated kind; coffee mill works pretty well for that, too)

To apply, I take about 1/8 cup and sprinkle it over 1 sq. ft. or one grow bag or one bucket container, every couple of weeks.

The results I got from my guinea pig were encouraging enough that I think I'll be using this on all my tomato plants.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  landarch on 4/21/2016, 1:56 pm

Kate, let us know how long the shopping "grow" bags last...it could be a lower cost alternative to the pricey ones found in garden centers. 

I have a friend in the nursery business who just took delivery of an entire shipping container of grow bags (70,000) of various sizes.  Hoping I can get some for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant wholesale.

I get cheap plastic grow bags from a local guy on Craigslist for $1ea...they are basically like a small contractor trash bag with a series of small holes in the bottom and sides.  That reminds me I need additional vermiculate and peat to mix with compost for grow bags this summer. 

I think my wife has some old fabric shopping bags with ripped handles...I need to find and adopt them as well.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  Mimi2 on 4/21/2016, 9:51 pm

@CitizenKate wrote:Looking good, Windmere - a toast to your tomatoes and a heavy yield!  

Interesting way of extending your yield, landarch.  If I can find any more space for another tomato plant or two, I'll give that a try.

Oh - and the site I provided the link to for "Shannon's Homemade Monster Tomato Fertilizer" appears to be permanently gone.  So here's the recipe I got from there:

2-3 dozen crushed egg shells (I rinse them, bake them in the oven, and grind them in a coffee mill)
2 cups bone meal
1/2 cup epsom salt
1200 mg crushed asperin (I get the un-coated kind; coffee mill works pretty well for that, too)

To apply, I take about 1/8 cup and sprinkle it over 1 sq. ft. or one grow bag or one bucket container, every couple of weeks.

The results I got from my guinea pig were encouraging enough that I think I'll be using this on all my tomato plants.
Thanks for sharing. I may try the recipe too. Not sure we eat enough eggs though...

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  reynajrainwater on 4/21/2016, 10:45 pm

It always amazes me how different the growing seasons are throughout the country. Some areas are just getting their plants in. Here in Phoenix we are 2 months into the growing season. 
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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/21/2016, 11:01 pm

@landarch wrote:Kate, let us know how long the shopping "grow" bags last...it could be a lower cost alternative to the pricey ones found in garden centers.
Will do. I chose this over the solid plastic bags because I am under the impression that a more porous container will provide more oxygen to the roots, keep the plant from becoming root-bound, and promote a healthier plant.

I had problems growing some indeterminate tomatoes in my sub-irrigating buckets because (I think) they were getting too root-bound. Most determinates do great in them, but I will probably try to modify a few of them with more holes in the inner bucket to allow more air in to the plant's roots.

I don't remember how much I paid for the Walmart bags, but I think they're, like, a buck apiece, maybe two.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/21/2016, 11:02 pm

@Mimi2 wrote:
Thanks for sharing. I may try the recipe too. Not sure we eat enough eggs though...
Maybe you can substitute some of the egg shells with lime, or some other calcium-rich ingredient.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/21/2016, 11:04 pm

@reynajrainwater wrote:It always amazes me how different the growing seasons are throughout the country. Some areas are just getting their plants in. Here in Phoenix we are 2 months into the growing season.
It amazes me, too.  I can't imagine having tomatoes out in February.  lots o

Your tomatoes are beautiful. love the idea

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  sanderson on 4/22/2016, 3:38 am

Powdered milk for calcium?

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/25/2016, 11:11 am

@CitizenKate wrote:
@landarch wrote:Kate, let us know how long the shopping "grow" bags last...it could be a lower cost alternative to the pricey ones found in garden centers.
Will do.  I chose this over the solid plastic bags because I am under the impression that a more porous container will provide more oxygen to the roots, keep the plant from becoming root-bound, and promote a healthier plant.

...

I don't remember how much I paid for the Walmart bags, but I think they're, like, a buck apiece, maybe two.
Correction - I checked again, last time I was there, and they're just $0.50 each. At that price, I'd be thrilled if they just last one season. But I'm going to try to re-use them next year if they hold up that long.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  landarch on 4/25/2016, 2:19 pm

reynajrainwater - Green Zebras?

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/25/2016, 10:01 pm

Love the idea! Have not used grow bags, but will need some extra space for veggies! Are they greenies, Kate? I have some greens in this year...how do you tell when they are ripe? thinking

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 4/25/2016, 10:57 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Love the idea!  Have not used grow bags, but will need some extra space for veggies!  Are they greenies, Kate?  I have some greens in this year...how do you tell when they are ripe? thinking
Do you mean, are they the "greenie" shopping bags, or do you mean, am I growing greens in them? The ones I'm using are just the blue Walmart shopping bags that are made of recycled soda bottles.

I am planting some kale in some of them, since I ended up with more of them than I have room for in my boxes.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  Mimi2 on 4/26/2016, 12:54 am

Here are my tomato seedlings seedlings Ottawa. They will be ready to brave the weather is 4 weeks. It is minus 2 tonight. 

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  reynajrainwater on 4/27/2016, 1:45 am

@landarch wrote:reynajrainwater - Green Zebras?
Red Lightning

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/3/2016, 4:54 pm

Coming along slow and steady.  Should be ready for mid to end of month planting out using Mel's 'lay me down' method:
CC

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/3/2016, 9:03 pm

Lay me down? Elaborate, please. Missed that! thinking

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  countrynaturals on 5/3/2016, 9:25 pm

A few weeks ago, I bought a grab bag of tomato seeds on Listia. The seller gave me the following info, but wasn't sure what I would get. Since I have NEVER been successful growing tomatoes outside in this location, I decided to try these, hoping maybe one variety might survive our hot summers. They all sprouted beautifully, and got transplanted today, since it's Tomato Tuesday. Here's her description of the possibilities, but she only describes the fruit -- not the plant -- so I won't know for sure what I have for a few more weeks, unless someone here can tell from the pics. 

If it's...

a dwarf, and the fruit is yellow, it's Amber Colored aka Yantarnyi.

A favorite Russian heirloom from an Ukrainian family living near River Don.
Large, bushy, semi-determinant, plant that produces an abundant crop of 2-inch amber-colored globes.
Very good sweet flavors with just enough acid balance to enhance the taste.
You will LOVE this tomato.

a dwarf, with pink fruit, it's an African Togo
75 day Indeterminate. The African Togo is a rare heirloom from the Togolese Republic in West Africa.
The African Togo produces loads of pink ruffled fruit. These tomatoes are 1-1/2 inches wide, slightly larger than a large cherry tomato.
They have a cute little 'nubbin' on the blossom end.
These are like nothing you've ever seen before.

not a dwarf, with yellow/amber fruit, it's Azochka.
Azochka is a truly delightful yellow beefsteak tomato that matures so early it will be one of the first varieties to ripen in your garden.
Beautifully smooth, lemon/yellow fruit weighs about 1/2 pound and is very flavorful, rich but pleasantly sweet with a delicious hint of citrus.
Heirloom variety from Russia.

not a dwarf, with fuzzy foliage and med, orange fruit, it's An Angora Orange
Beautiful blemish-free golden yellow tennis ball sized toms. Abundant harvest and produced right thru to frost.
Mid-season regular leaf with "angora" frosted foliage was grown both in a container and in the ground.
Excellent taste.

not a dwarf, with fruit with stripes, it's a Sweet Solano, the only striped one I grew this year.
Yum! This sweetie starts out as a yellow fruit with green stripes & matures to a deep orange with yellow stripes.
A big producer of firm 2-4 oz. fruit that is tropical & sweet. Mutant of ‘Yellow Boar’/ ‘Yellow Stripe’.
Oooh yeah, these are going to be some good eatin’!


The seed mix is RANDOM, so you may NOT get all 5 varieties,

There was the least amount of Amber, Azochka, and Togo,and the most of Angora, and Sweet Solano, in the mix.

This one has fuzzy leaves.


This one has fern-like leaves.



This one has wider, sort of fluted leaves.



Tomorrow I'll see what I have left and try to find another variety.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/3/2016, 9:55 pm

Fun? You should get tomatoes, it's a grab bag?!

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

Post  CitizenKate on 5/3/2016, 11:08 pm

I've been tempted to try one of those "assortment" deals and just enjoy the surprises.  How fun!  Hope you'll keep posting photos of your grab-bag, Suz, you have a lot of interesting varieties, there.

This year, I managed to get my tomatoes all planted before May 1, which I think is a record early date for me.  Last year, I didn't get them all in until around May 15, so I'm way ahead of last year!

This year, I'm trying three different growing methods for my tomatoes.  For the last few years, I have just grown them in these sub-irrigating containers on our (rapidly disintegrating) patio, and will probably continue growing at least a few this way, because they've done really well most years.

This is where my Celebrities are, along with a BushSteak, a Bush Early Girl, and an extra Sweet 100 I had.

Another method I discovered on Facebook (featured in YouTube videos from "Larry in Brainerd, Minnesota") was these sub-irrigated grow bags.  Larry just swears by these things because they are more breathable than solid plastic buckets, and plants do better in them because they don't get root-bound.  I decided to give a few of them a try.  So far, they're pretty simple and the plants do seem to be doing well in them, but the real test is when the summer gets hot and the fruit starts to ripen...

There are a couple of Sweet 100 cherry tomato plants, a Mighty Sweet cherry tomato, and a BushSteak (bushy version of a beefsteak tomato).  It is getting quite... bushy.

As for the yard, just imagine mulch everywhere instead of the moonscape that actually appears there, because that's what it's going to look like by sometime next month.  Can't really do much until the foundation repair work gets done.  What a Face

And here are the tomatoes I planted in our SFG, also for the first time this year.  These are all indeterminates.  Next to them is our tail-waggin', slurpy-kissin', snuggly-huggin' killer dog, Nigel, promising not to dig up the garden beds again this year.  Yeah, right...

I have some Paul Robeson Russian heirlooms, a couple of Early Girls, and a couple of SuperSauces.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday 2016

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