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Growing season TOO long?

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Growing season TOO long?

Post  elliephant on 6/7/2010, 10:33 am

I don't know what to do with my tomatoes! At first I was excited at how early I was getting tomatoes and how beautiful my plants were through the Spring. A few weeks ago I visited family in NC and brought them a huge bowl full of tomatoes.

Then I came back from vacation (had a friend watering) to find that my trellis had broken from the weight and my 2x8 with 6 tomato plants along the back totally overgrown.

I had a 6 foot trellis and most of the plants had reached the top of that a month ago. What do I do with my tomato jungle now?

Next year I will spread them out more (plant early crops in the squares between and then let them lie during the summer), but I'll still have 10 foot vines by the start of summer! Anyone with more experience have words of wisdom for growing tomatoes in an area where the season basically lasts all year (we have a couple of weeks in Jan when it could freeze). It seems like a good thing, but the plants just get SO big and so do the bugs

I grew up in a hot climate, but there it would get so hot (over 105 most days) that the plants would fry and stop producing. We don't usually get out of the 90s here and that is affecting my peppers, but not my tomatoes (my pepper plants are 4-5 feet tall and produce sporadically as we get a cool spell).

This is my first year in the area and my first successful garden, so I'm really scrambling to figure it out. Should I pull up the overgrown tomato plants? Do you think I could start new ones in 90 degree weather?

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Re: Growing season TOO long?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/7/2010, 11:56 am

Last year on the top of my trellis, I put a horizontal stake connecting it to the next trellis over. So the plant went 6' up and then 6' over. I had to support it and train it a bit with twine, but it worked suprisingly well.
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Re: Growing season TOO long?

Post  chocolatepop on 6/7/2010, 1:00 pm

@Squat_Johnson wrote:Last year on the top of my trellis, I put a horizontal stake connecting it to the next trellis over. So the plant went 6' up and then 6' over. I had to support it and train it a bit with twine, but it worked suprisingly well.

this is what I did up 5ft, over 6ft.
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Re: Growing season TOO long?

Post  elliephant on 6/22/2010, 12:22 pm

Well, I ended up pulling out my tomato vines last night. Have a terrible leaf footed bug infestation and wasn't getting any tomatos anyway. Not sure if I can get anything to grow in this heat right now, so I might just have to hold on until September and enjoy a fall/winter garden.

[quote]Once the decision to have a fall garden has been reached, a gardener must take action--drastic action. One must pull out some of those plants that have been nurtured from "babies" in the spring to monsters now. This takes courage and faith! It is recommend that all plants, weeds included, be removed except okra, cherry tomatoes and pole beans if the foliage is healthy. Large-fruited tomatoes may have some small ones still hanging on, but unless you have at least 20-25 good-sized fruit, pull them out--make green tomato relish or chow-chow. If you recall, the largest, best tomatoes you had this spring were the first ones produced. The tomato plant has gotten old, diseased, and damaged by insects; it will never produce an abundance again. Besides, it is too large to be manageable as far as insect and disease populations are concerned. Pull the old plants up and discard them. Give them to the garbage man. Don't try to compost insect and disease-ridden plants--spider mites don't compost! [/quote]

Feeling better after reading this from [url=http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/fallgarden/fallgrowing.html]http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/fallgarden/fallgrowing.html[/url].

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Re: Growing season TOO long?

Post  junequilt on 6/22/2010, 5:02 pm

I always go through agonies about pulling plants that are still alive but need to make way for next season's starts. One of the worst is pansies. They overwinter here and look stunning in the spring! Just about the time they're at their peak, you have to pull them if you want to get summer annuals established before the really nasty, humid heat sets in.

DH is even worse about it than I am. He always wants to bring stuff inside to keep it alive over the winter. I think we managed that once with a pepper plant, but it died soon after we moved it back outdoors.
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