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How to do bush tomatoes SFG style

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How to do bush tomatoes SFG style

Post  tkdtara84 on 3/29/2011, 5:57 pm

Maybe I'm just not getting it straight, but from what I understand from the book, if you plant det. tomatoes, they need 3 sq. feet per plant. Is that right?

I have two 4x8 boxes and one 4x4 for strawberries. I honestly hate to take up so much space for just one tomato plant. If I plant two tomatoes plus three peppers (red and green bells plus jalapenos), which is what I'd like to do, then I barely have room for anything else. When I read that, I intended to do everything else in my boxes and just set out a couple of tomato plants into existing soil.

I would grow a vine variety (and still may), but I really want romas to make and can some spaghetti sauce, and those are not trellisable. Maybe I'm underestimating what a SFG can produce (I grew up in the country with a huge yard and a row garden, and we moved into town), but I would like to have enough green beans to can and enough regular produce to eat during the summer.

What do you all do with bush tomatoes?

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Re: How to do bush tomatoes SFG style

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/29/2011, 7:03 pm

I hate to break it to you, but bush (determinate) tomatoes actually take 9 sq ft (3 ft x 3 ft)

There are good paste type tomatoes that are indeterminates. An example is the Gilbertie that Camprn grows. She had vines that were 10 feet tall.

I grow determinate tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets of Mel's Mix, one per bucket. Then I use cages. I can't justify that much room in my SFG for one tomato plant.

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Re: How to do bush tomatoes SFG style

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/29/2011, 7:16 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:snip.....I grow determinate tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets of Mel's Mix, one per bucket. Then I use cages. I can't justify that much room in my SFG for one tomato plant.
+1

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Re: How to do bush tomatoes SFG style

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 3/29/2011, 7:17 pm

Hi,
An other way to deal with unruly tomatoes is to stick them in a corner. That way the foliage can lap over the edges of your box onto the path. When I do that, I allow each plant a 2 foot square space. An other trick is to plant quick maturing plants near the edges of your tomato location. You will harvest the smaller plants before your tomatoes take over the world. Hope that helps with some of your big plant problems. Nothing beats a sun warmed tomato and cheese sandwich.

Patty in Yorktown

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Re: How to do bush tomatoes SFG style

Post  middlemamma on 3/29/2011, 7:25 pm

@Patty from Yorktown wrote:Nothing beats a sun warmed tomato and cheese sandwich.
OMG I can't wait! Except no cheese for me...just salt, pepper, tomato, bread and Miracle Whip.

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Re: How to do bush tomatoes SFG style

Post  tkdtara84 on 3/29/2011, 7:58 pm

Thanks. I actually meant 9 sq ft...I was thinking 3x3 and said the wrong thing. I like the 5 gallon bucket idea. We have a lot of those from doing drywall recently. They would even be portable until they had to be caged. I just can't stomach the idea of losing all that space in my box for one tomato plant.

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Re: How to do bush tomatoes SFG style

Post  acara on 3/29/2011, 8:05 pm

This will probably make no sense, but determinates take up a lot more space for me than indeterminates.

I can prune/train the indet's but can't prune the others, so they end up taking more space.

I've got a Sebring tomato going right now (got to love "helpful" folks who know you grow tomatoes & just want to "help out", by bringing you "a tomato plant" Mad ) that is giving me fits. I can put three trimmed indet's in the same footprint this is taking up ...... and it''s triggering my OCD button about once/day.

Thank god I transplanted to a bowl .... dang thing would ruin my whole SFG-mojo

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Re: How to do bush tomatoes SFG style

Post  Goosegirl on 3/29/2011, 9:50 pm

@acara wrote:This will probably make no sense, but determinates take up a lot more space for me than indeterminates.

I can prune/train the indet's but can't prune the others, so they end up taking more space.

I've got a Sebring tomato going right now (got to love "helpful" folks who know you grow tomatoes & just want to "help out", by bringing you "a tomato plant" Mad ) that is giving me fits. I can put three trimmed indet's in the same footprint this is taking up ...... and it''s triggering my OCD button about once/day.

Thank god I transplanted to a bowl .... dang thing would ruin my whole SFG-mojo

I completely understand! Before I discovered SFG I had already ordered my seeds for the year. I had settled on determinates so that I would have more of a harvest all at once for saucing. Then I picked up the book one day.......needless to say, I am NOT giving up that much space in my SFG! I have a few determinates sprouting indoors, but I went back to the inde's for most of my 'maters!

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Re: How to do bush tomatoes SFG style

Post  MasonGarden on 3/29/2011, 10:10 pm

Another newbie here with some basic tomato questions. Shocked What does "determinate or indeterminate" refer to and how does it impact which tomato types to choose? Also, I picked up several packs of seeds hoping to get a variety of tomatoes good for salads, salsa, sauce and sandwiches. Would these work?

- Matt's Wild Cherry Tomato (open pollinated) - High Mowing Organic Seeds
- Yellow Pear Cherry Tomato (heirloom) - High Mowing Organic Seeds
- Cherokee Purple Tomato (heirloom) - High Mowing Organic Seeds
- San Marzano Paste Tomato (open pollinated) - High Mowing Organic Seeds
- Crimson Beefsteak Tomato - Grow Organic

Many thanks!

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Re: How to do bush tomatoes SFG style

Post  quiltbea on 3/29/2011, 11:02 pm

I know the Matt's, Cherokee, and San Marzano are indetermintes, at least mine are.

Indeterminate's grow all season long and produce fruits over several weeks. They are vining and can grow very tall. Once they start producing, they'll produce all season long until frost. I remember this way: The word is longer, the vine is longer, it produces longer.

Determinate's are a bush tomato and don't vine tall like the others and their crop matures all about the same time so you can have a harvest of most of your tomatoes at once. Then they stop producing.

Actually, last year I did not remove my old Oregon Spring determinates when they were done and was surprised to find they started with new blossoms and new green fruits again at the end of the season. If I was living further south, (I'm in the wilds of Maine) I'd have had two different harvests, one in early summer and one in late fall.

Here's a couple of Oregon Springs last Oct 2nd starting again with blossoms and fruits.

Grow your vining indeterminates staked, up a trellis, or onto a string upwards. They take less room in your raised beds.

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Re: How to do bush tomatoes SFG style

Post  MasonGarden on 3/29/2011, 11:07 pm

Thanks Quiltbea! Easy to remember clue for which is which. I'll keep that in mind when figuring out what will actually make it into the ground. thanks Beautiful tomato plants by the way!

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Re: How to do bush tomatoes SFG style

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