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Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/14/2010, 6:58 pm

massuese...... a female massager....... OH.....Hmmmm. Hubby does a good job.



I moved the tomato seedlings on the top ledge of the sfg grow beds
and the mice have left them alone.

Sorry--------posted wrong pic---have to get right img link




Last edited by CarolynPhillips on 9/14/2010, 7:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  Furbalsmom on 9/14/2010, 7:08 pm

Good to have Hubby around. Mine does a pretty good job too.
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/15/2010, 8:53 pm

somebody's just gonna have to slap me cause I aint giving up on the greenhouse
beds.
I told hubby I was goin to make raised beds for the tomato plants and I will gradually
put the concrete blocks around the beds.
bounce
thinking

so I worked most of the day on cutting into the commerical ground cover that was
two layers thick in places. then I had to till the soil in the bed areas because there
has been a greenhouse in that area for 4 years---on top of that---there was gravel
under the ground cover that compacted over the years.
Hauled in some bagged soil------etc............
Still working on it.

Rolling Eyes

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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  camprn on 9/15/2010, 9:18 pm

OK, I guess to be correct I should have typed, Massage Therapist. Anyone to help work out the kinks from all the hard labor of growing things to eat or sell. Very Happy
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  Old Hippie on 9/16/2010, 10:50 pm

Holy Moley! Do you grow tomatoes!!! I love your set up!

Guess we know who the resident tomato expert is!! I love growing tomatoes too and it is a bit of a challenge here in my zone 3b but I do it. Mine are not in a greenhouse, which I am quite proud of actually. Most people here say the only way to grow tomatoes in our zone is in a greenhouse and I quite like proving them wrong!

GK
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/16/2010, 11:24 pm

LOL old hippie. You just keep on Keeping ON. (Keep growing)
I wish I was an expert. I am still learning.

I tilled myself to death last night and today. I know the new SFG is
how not to dig into your existing soil----but when you don't have the money
to make a growing area above ground-----you have to dig into the existing soil
and amend it the best you can so it will grow something. Then I can gradually
keep amending it til it is right. Which should take a few years. In one of my older pics---
I had grown tomatoes in the ground in a greenhouse. I moved that greenhouse
closer to the other greenhouses. I was giving that soil a break for a few years---this year being year 2. Hoping I can get another greenhouse to put back where it use to be.
Then I can rotate tomato crops. (the soil in that area is great) .
Meanwhile------this soil is not even soil. It is a very hard Pan of Clay.
OH- Dear--what did I get my self into. After adding 3 inches of compost to the beds--I think I have ended up with 6 to 7 inch deep beds.
I still have to add some lime. I only have two beds tilled. The third bed has to be different. thinking affraid
The third bed area actually sits on top of an old ditch------did i mention this already?
The old ditch is about 1 1/2 to 2 feet deep and filled with fist size rocks that helped
detour rain water away from the greenhouses into the roadside ditch. I cannot till into the ground for my third bed. It has to be a built up bed---boxed in. Can you say
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ............................ thats a 3ft X64ft bed at least 6 inches deep. The bed will end up costing about $375 just to make it grow-able. But then????
Everytime I water the bed---lots of water is goin to drain into the rocks beneath.
there is some soil within the rocks but not much. What would you do???????
Build the bed in hopes that water is retained, or grow in pots in that area?

I know i haven't said everything thats on my mind tonight---but its bedtime....
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  Old Hippie on 9/17/2010, 12:38 am

[quote="CarolynPhillips"]I wish I was an expert. I am still learning.

One of the best things in life is to be able to continue learning!!

I tilled myself to death last night and today. I know the new SFG is
how not to dig into your existing soil----but when you don't have the money
to make a growing area above ground-----you have to dig into the existing soil
and amend it the best you can so it will grow something. Then I can gradually
keep amending it til it is right. Which should take a few years.


I did the same as you and made my SFG by working with existing soil. A very tight budget made buying everything completely out of the question. So I divided the existing garden plot into 6 4' square beds and have been amending it with my own compost. I did purchase some 8' 2x6's to make slightly raised beds.

The one area of my yard that would be a perfect location for gardening was also covered with gravel and used as a parking area by a previous owner. Then it was covered over by another owner with a skimpy layer of soil and seeded to grass but it is very badly done. There is no way I can dig that all out and SFG doesn't even recommend that. However, by next spring we hope to build a greenhouse there taking advantage of the south facing location of our garage wall. We can get all the windows we need for it from a Seniors housing project that is replacing all the old windows in the complex. Can you believe they were just going to haul the old ones to the landfill???????? I am so excited.

I still have to add some lime. I only have two beds tilled. The third bed has to be different. thinking affraid
The third bed area actually sits on top of an old ditch------did i mention this already?
The old ditch is about 1 1/2 to 2 feet deep and filled with fist size rocks that helped
detour rain water away from the greenhouses into the roadside ditch. I cannot till into the ground for my third bed. It has to be a built up bed---boxed in. Can you say
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ............................ thats a 3ft X64ft bed at least 6 inches deep. The bed will end up costing about $375 just to make it grow-able. But then????
Everytime I water the bed---lots of water is goin to drain into the rocks beneath.
there is some soil within the rocks but not much. What would you do???????
Build the bed in hopes that water is retained, or grow in pots in that area?


Because of the drainage issue you have, it sounds to me like your best bet might be to go back to the containers for this bed, at least for the time being. I think that is what I would do anyway. Best of luck. Wish I could come give you a hand strictly from a selfish point of view though, not because I want to really help you out but to pick your brain and learn as much as I could from you! LOL!

Take care and make sure to tip your massage therapist!

GK
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/17/2010, 9:40 pm

someone has suggested that if I build a grow bed framed with wood over the ditch---that I should keep the ground cover intact and put a thin layer of peat moss in the bottom of the bed so the water is sucked up by the peat moss and I wont have much drainage.....
hmmmmmmmmm. thinking study

Opinions?
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/21/2010, 5:41 pm

Ended up adding about 62 cu ft of soil (peat and compost) per long bed.
284 tomato plants ---planted
120 to go= maybe by Friday.
still have a few messes to clean up.
Some tiny bloom clusters are already visible but far from blooming. About 3 weeks out.

Leaf Miners have shown up. I pulled off all the leaves that were showing Miners. I am sure I missed a few---so will inspect them again later.
Sprayed the plants to keep away those tiny flies. They always want to BUG me in
the fall. (naturally)

First frost is 4 to 6 weeks away.


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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  Megan on 9/22/2010, 12:07 am

Leaf Miners...

I bought and planted a hollyhock from a local nursery this summer, and out of ALL the plants I have, apparently it is the only victim of leaf miners. I am 98% sure that is what it is, most of the leaves have little curlicue tracks on them where somebuggy has been busy. I am a bit bewildered that it's just this one plant that has the problem.... but if this hollyhock is a leafminer magnet, does that then make it a good thing to keep around as a trap plant, or should I just pull it? I just don't know. I've had bug problems with my other plants but no apparent leafminer damage.... (unless there's more than one kind of leaf miner damage?)
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  Old Hippie on 9/22/2010, 1:01 am

My daughter grows certain plants that actually attract specific pests. They are sort of sacrificial plants. I forget what pests the nasturtiums attract but she makes sure she plants them every year.

GK
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/22/2010, 8:40 am

I have no idea if hollyhocks are leaf miner magnets. I know leaf miners love tomato plants. Tomato plants are the only plants that I have seen the leaf miner attack around here. I never saw it on the hollyhocks. (i did away with the hollyhocks last year)

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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/22/2010, 11:08 pm

I bought my Untreated 2x8 x 10ft lumber and built my third bed.
The lumber was so cheap-- I was shocked.
They were $4.30 each----for 10 footers. (wishing I had lots of money)
The 8 footers were $5.?? at another place. Even if a person did not want 10 foot--It would pay to buy them anyway and just cut off the unwanted.

anyway----I have to purchase the rest of my soil (peat moss) tomorrow.
Already have the compost.

I need a day off.
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/23/2010, 2:35 pm

the grow bed
69 feet long

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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/23/2010, 2:47 pm

I cut the ground cover anyway. I folded it up and tacked it to the insides
of the 2x8s. There was more clay soil on top of the rocks than I remembered.
I put clay on the rocks to smooth the ground out before putting ground cover on it.
Which is also why this third bed is more sloped than the other two beds.





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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  Chopper on 9/23/2010, 5:06 pm

You wearing me out! You mentioned peat and compost. I am wondering if you are going to use vermiclulite or opted against it. Just curious. I love the vermiculite - makes things so fluffy. Smile

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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  boffer on 9/23/2010, 6:38 pm

I'm with you Chops, I'm getting tired just watching Carolyn's progress!
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/23/2010, 10:13 pm

believe me----I really want a day off. But that will come soon enough..... just a few more days.
I had to buy 5.5 compressed bales of peat moss. That is all the co-op had in stock.
Dang---they were heavy ---I had to drag them into the greenhouse. I can barely lift the 3.8 compressed bale----but not the 5.5
I wanted to use vermiculite----but I could not get it ordered in time ---before I planted.
But I can add the vermiculite just before I plant the spring crop. no biggy.
so for now-----this third bed is 50% peat and 50% compost. (total of 108 cu ft of soil)

Between the greenhouse beds for tomatoes and regular fall sfg beds that had to be built---and sown------I am tired. and it all had to be done NOW.

sawing logs
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  shinjite on 9/24/2010, 5:54 am

You said you folded the ground cover back over the 2x8 - do you just add you soil mix on top of your clay? If you have not planted the bed yet you might want to consider adding a cross brace at least every 10 feet. Otherwise, the sides of the boxes might bow out once the soil gets more moist and the tomatoes get heavier.
Can you post pics of your preparation please.
Please check your P.M. Carolyn.

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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/24/2010, 1:09 pm

I posted a new message but it did not post correctly----
It is lost somewhere.


I posted a pictures of the bed before I cut the ground cover and it shows a few braces in that picture. (needs a few more)
I posted a picture of the ground cover being tacked to the side of the 2x8.
I am adding new soil mix on top of the clay-rocky ground.

Most of my detailed pics of growing tomatoes and watering systems
were lost on previous computer in a home fire back in May. I can search to see
if I have any stored online.

I have watering system supplies---that I used on previous crops but have not
pulled them out for maintenance. They were homemade systems that were on
timers. Hoping to find time to set them up again---soon.
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/25/2010, 9:23 pm

I finished planting tomatoes---not through watering--fertilizing---cleaning up mess, etc...

But I have space for 20 more plants and nothing to put there. So actually I have a
3ft X 10 ft growing bed that is empty. 30 sq ft. But it is also on the very end where tall toms will shade the bed during late afternoon-evening.
Lettuce maybe. So many possibilities. Can't let it sit there unused.
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/26/2010, 9:06 pm

Finished watering and fertilizing.
Forgot I had to plant a few more toms. 3 Sweet Million and 4 Brandywine.
Ended up with a total of 391 tomato plants (each will have two vines )

Still have some cleaning up to do.
Now I have to Tie them all up. 782 twines. Should take me a week with
everything else I have to do.
Cool front coming through. 3 nights at 50 * F. It won't be at 50 for very long.



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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  Megan on 9/27/2010, 1:50 am

Wow. You go, Carolyn!!! happy banana
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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  shinjite on 9/28/2010, 10:38 pm

Do you only grow indeterminates Carolyn?
How much soil did all your beds take? I am sooo in awe of your energy and drive.

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Re: Tomato Produce Greenhouse SFG

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/28/2010, 11:46 pm

I am sore from head to toe. But it is a job that has to be completed-----getting the soil amended---planting the toms---and twining the toms-----and cleaning messes in between. (daylight til dark)
It won't be so bad once I finish the twining. Compared to the initial prep and planting-----the rest is easy. (1/3 of twining is done).
sawing logs


I thought I had mentioned how much soil I added to the beds.
Will post again.

the newest bed-----raised ---2x8s---actually 67 feet long = Took 108 cu ft of soil.
Half of it was Peat Moss and Half was compost.

Even when I grow in 4 or 5 gallon pots---I use half peat and half compost.

On the other two beds---that are 65 feet long, using existing soil (Clay) that had been under ground cover for 4 years-----I added 68 cu.ft of peat and compost.
(I promise---I will be adding more peat and vermiculite before next crop)

INDETERMINATES--- yes that is all I grow for produce production.
I grow the Big Beef= Hybrid cross of Big Boy and Beefsteak.
I grow Brandywine for my own personal satisfaction.

The only determinates that I really like are Better Bush Hybrid (prettiest tomato plant I ever grew) and Celebrity. Both are actually semi-determinate. Both will bare fruit til frost. Better Bush is very stalky--thick stalks--Bushy---dark green---Looks like a Tree--and grows up to 5 feet tall and that has a lot to do with how much sun verses shade that it gets. Full sun grows up to 4 feet. Definitely needs 3 sq ft of growing space.


I do not stick to strictly organic. I do both. I like to give the tomatoes a Bloom Booster liquid fertilizer. When I feed bloom booster to the Brandywine---I get some big tomatoes-----because it is a beefsteak type tomato---it produces Megablossoms= more than one bloom fused together.... which means more than one tomato fused together which means----BIG.
I have two favorite books on Tomatoes---
Giant Tomatoes by Marvin H. Meisner, M.D.
World Record Tomatoes by Charles H. Wilber

This is a Megablossom= more than two blossoms fused together---this was 4 fused blossoms on a Beefmaster.










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