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Tomato Questions

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Tomato Questions

Post  shargets healthy on 6/12/2017, 5:45 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm new and not sure if I am posting this in the right spot. 

1.  I would like to know how to go about using Epsom salts for my tomatoes.  Do I put the Epsom salts right in the dirt or do I mix it with water and if so what ratio?

2.  Would it be alright to plant nasturtiums at the base of my tomatoes.  I know that nasturtiums can attract aphids.  Not sure if that is a good thing as it would keep them off of tomatoes or if it would encourage them.  Any thoughts?


Many thanks in advance.
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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/12/2017, 7:22 pm

@shargets healthy wrote:Hi everyone,
I'm new and not sure if I am posting this in the right spot. 

1.  I would like to know how to go about using Epsom salts for my tomatoes.  Do I put the Epsom salts right in the dirt or do I mix it with water and if so what ratio?

2.  Would it be alright to plant nasturtiums at the base of my tomatoes.  I know that nasturtiums can attract aphids.  Not sure if that is a good thing as it would keep them off of tomatoes or if it would encourage them.  Any thoughts?


Many thanks in advance.
Hi shargets!  Welcome!  And yes, this is the right spot!  I have not used Epsom salts in my SFG, but when I typed "epsom" in the upper left hand white SEARCH box, there were quite a few threads on this practice.  I think honestly, the way I understand it, unless there is a deficiency it does no good.  

On the nasturtium question, are you doing Square Foot Gardening?  If so, do not do that.  Nasturtiums are vining, vigorous flowers, beautiful, edible plant, but I think the square would be over crowded and you would be inviting the pest to the front door.  Interestingly, I had my nasturtiums near my milkweed last year, and the aphids much prefer the milkweed....grrrr.  

glad you\'re here

Tell us more about you, your garden, experience, etc!!  We like info, oh, and pictures...

What say others?
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Thank you

Post  shargets healthy on 6/13/2017, 10:09 am

Thanks so much for your response!  Yes, I kind of thought that it might not be a good idea to put the nasturtiums right in with the tomatoes.  Yes, they are in boxes. 

I had not thought to use the search function about Epsom salts.  Thanks for the tip.

Shar
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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  trolleydriver on 6/13/2017, 10:19 am

I plant nasturtiums in an outside corner square and let them flow over the sides.

Below are photos from last summer in the corner of my 2x4 table top bed.

I also changed to "tomatoe" to "tomato" in the title of this thread.  Very Happy





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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 6/13/2017, 3:34 pm

I grow dwarf and semi-trailing (mainly Empress of India) nasturtiums, rather than trailiers  or climbers. I tried putting some in with my ground cherry plants, but they got too shaded and really didn't do as well as my other nasturtiums.
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Lovely

Post  shargets healthy on 6/14/2017, 10:28 am

@trolleydriver wrote:I plant nasturtiums in an outside corner square and let them flow over the sides.

Below are photos from last summer in the corner of my 2x4 table top bed.

I also changed to "tomatoe" to "tomato" in the title of this thread.  Very Happy

Thanks for changing my typo Trolleydriver!!! I think I was going to type tomatoes and changed my mind.  LOL  I saw it after the fact but didn't know if I could change it.  Very Happy

Your table top boxes look great.  What do you put on the bottom, plywood?  What type of a life span do they have?
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Curios.

Post  RoOsTeR on 6/14/2017, 2:20 pm

Epsom salt. Why needed?

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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  camprn on 6/15/2017, 12:16 pm

If you have made your Mel's mix with the variety of quality composts as recommended there should be no reason for adding garden soil supplements, in this case Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to your growing mixture.

If you are wanting to avoid blossom end rot (often a result of inconsistent watering) keep your watering steady and only when needed.

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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  Turan on 6/15/2017, 2:04 pm

I know lots of people use Epsom salts as a preventive and cure-all for tomatoes. It dissolves easily in water and thus is quickly available if needed and does not build up in the soil. That latter means if it is not changing the soil balance and thus is not doing harm. It is probably way over used.

I use it because I noticed suspicious interveinal yellowing and lesions. I did a soil test through a local ag company and among the results were very high calcium and potassium, both of which tie up the magnesium and make it unavailable to the plants.

Here is a good article on all this https://garden.org/learn/articles/view/68/

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Thank you

Post  shargets healthy on 6/16/2017, 9:53 am

Thank you to everyone for their responses.
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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  SwampTroll on 8/14/2017, 12:58 pm

My Indigo Kumquat tomato is behaving very strangely.  Despite it getting plenty of water the lower leaves are turning yellow and dying, while the upper leaves look perfectly fine and the tomatoes continue to ripen nicely.

I've checked and yet to see any type of pest that may be responsible.

This plant is in a pot outside of my SFG and the other  tomatoes around it (Tiny Toms) do not seem to be affected.

Any idea what could be causing this?
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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/14/2017, 1:36 pm

I had that once twice.  Mine was tomato-pith-necrosis. My photos and a link on pg 3 of this thread:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t19843p50-new-england-august-2015
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My first SFG tomato to begin to turn!

Post  brianj555 on 10/13/2017, 6:50 pm

What are your opinions on when to pick tomatoes?
My first tomato has broken red  cheers .  Is it ready to pick or do you guys leave them on longer?  Google says it won't get sweeter staying on the vine.  I trust y'all. GOOGLE not so much.
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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  trolleydriver on 10/13/2017, 7:14 pm

@brianj555 wrote:What are your opinions on when to pick tomatoes?
My first tomato has broken red  cheers .  Is it ready to pick or do you guys leave them on longer?  Google says it won't get sweeter staying on the vine.  I trust y'all. GOOGLE not so much.
That is a beautiful looking tomato.  I let them turn red before harvesting them. I think it is always best to let things ripen naturally on the plants. I do harvest green tomatoes at the end of the season when it gets too cold for them to ripen outside in my climate. Green tomatoes will ripen indoors but they can also be used in various recipes (salsas, fried green tomatoes, etc.). My suggestion is be patient and let that tomato ripen outdoors unless you fear it may be damaged by critters. As you know, not all tomatoes are red when they have fully developed ... some varieties are yellow, some almost black, etc.

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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  Scorpio Rising on 10/13/2017, 7:38 pm

Patience, Brian!  Let that mater get red, do you know, is it a red variety?
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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  brianj555 on 10/13/2017, 7:42 pm

Thanks TD.  I am concerned about critters. I do have some minor leaf footed issues and a pretty good amount of armyworms ( at least that's what I think they are) dark colored with yellow striped sides.). I sprayed BT yesterday after the rain, but I'm not sure my mixture is strong enough and I understand it takes a few days to work.  I have made several applications now, and it most def helped with the leaf rollers, but the armyworms don't really seemed to have surfaced until after I started the bt applications.  That's why I'm wondering if my mixture is strong enough? ( one capfull per 32 oz of water). I have lost probably five smaller green tomaotes to them already.  4 of the times I found them halfway sticking out eating their way in.
What do you think?
How much of a difference in taste do you find if you leave them on until they ripen ?  Just curious.
Also, I have been told that a green tomato stays green.  It would be good to know if that's not accurate.
I picked a couple big green ones before nate just in case I had a total loss.  I decided to go ahead and pickle them since I thought they would stay green.  I fry green tomatoes (store bought). All the time. So I thought I would try pickling them.
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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  Scorpio Rising on 10/13/2017, 7:47 pm

You could always try slipping a knee high stocking over the mater to deter the pests?  Twisty tie at stem.
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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  brianj555 on 10/13/2017, 7:50 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Patience, Brian!  Let that mater get red, do you know, is it a red variety?
Yes.  It is a heatwave 2.  I have read that they aren't the best tasting hybrid, but they are very heat tollerant and I'm sure they are better than store bought.  I had absolutely no clue about what to buy in July when I planted.
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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  brianj555 on 10/13/2017, 7:58 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:You could always try slipping a knee high stocking over the mater to deter the pests?  Twisty tie at stem.
Great idea!  Should I wait until one breaks red before putting that over it?
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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  donnainzone5 on 10/13/2017, 8:27 pm

So far, at least, I've had good luck ripening green tomatoes indoors.  

I ate several (small ones) recently, and they were delicious!  In past years, the ones that ripened without rotting were equally good.
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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  brianj555 on 10/13/2017, 10:32 pm

@donnainzone5 wrote:So far, at least, I've had good luck ripening green tomatoes indoors.  

I ate several (small ones) recently, and they were delicious!  In past years, the ones that ripened without rotting were equally good.
What is your process for ripening them?  Do you just leave them at room temperature? Covered?  Windowsill? 
You said when they don't rot?  Why would they rot?
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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  yolos on 10/14/2017, 12:20 am

I have learned (but don't know if it is true) that you can pick the tomatoes that have just begun to turn color and allow them to ripen on the counter and they will taste just as good as a tomato that has fully ripened on the vine.  I harvest all my tomatoes just after they begin to change color because they will either split or get damaged by pests if I leave them on the vine until fully ripe.
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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  sanderson on 10/14/2017, 3:20 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:You could always try slipping a knee high stocking over the mater to deter the pests?  Twisty tie at stem.
Good idea if there aren't too many beautiful blushers. Knee high or calf high nylons. Or, a large enough square of bridal tulle tied together at the top.

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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  donnainzone5 on 10/14/2017, 11:27 am

Brian,

You wrote:

You said when they don't rot?  Why would they rot?

I've had just a few that rotted.  I don't know why.  So far this year, ripening indoors has been slow, but I noticed some signs of progress yesterday.
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Re: Tomato Questions

Post  brianj555 on 10/14/2017, 12:27 pm

@yolos wrote:I have learned (but don't know if it is true) that you can pick the tomatoes that have just begun to turn color and allow them to ripen on the counter and they will taste just as good as a tomato that has fully ripened on the vine.  I harvest all my tomatoes just after they begin to change color because they will either split or get damaged by pests if I leave them on the vine until fully ripe.
This is what I'm thinking of doing too.  Not because I don't want to let them ripen on the vine, but due to tobacco worms ( which for now at least seem to be somewhat under control) Army worms ( which are not under control) and some leaf footed bugs and their nymphs that have seemed to return.  I have also read what you are saying about the tomatoes taste and sweetness not getting improved enough vs. the risk by letting hem fully ripen on the vine.  It just doesn't seem that the BT is doing a lot to combat the armyworms.  I applied BT again 2 days ago, so by tomorrow night (if it doesn't rain) I should be able to see less armyworms if it is going to work on them.  Maybe I need to increase the ratio of BT to water a little???!
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