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determinate tomatoes

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determinate tomatoes

Post  jbh29 on 5/1/2011, 7:11 pm

I just read a few posts about determinate tomatoes (bush variety) and it sounds like they are not really preferred for SFG due to how much space they take up. I've got 4 heirloom Marglobe seedlings I've started. I didn't know about determinate vs indeterminate when I started the seeds.

So, now I think I'm just going to scrap those. (I have 6 inderminates also) But I first wanted to hear if anyone out there likes growing determinate toms. I guess I'm looking for the other side of the story.
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  quiltbea on 5/1/2011, 8:02 pm

I put in 3 Oregon Spring determinates last spring because they are ultra early. I put 3 in 4 blocks across and circled them with the cheap wire cages.


Taken last May 12th after they'd been in the ground for over 3 weeks since the Oregon Springs can be transplanted outdoors up to a month before last frost date. Note of interest re: O Springs: But cold weather does slow down their growth. They don't die from the cold, but they stop growing til it warms up a bit.

Last Oct 3rd when they were reblossoming, but it was too late in the season for any toms to grow to any size before frost hit.

My toms did fine 3 across, because they didn't interfere with the Swiss chard and parsnips that were grown on their other side.

I'd hate to toss them. If it were me, I'd have to keep them, even if it was to put each one in its own 12" plant pot with a wire cage for support.
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  jbh29 on 5/1/2011, 10:45 pm

Great pics, quiltbea. Oh, what to do, what to do... I'll have to try at least one in a container... maybe I'll put one in the corner of a bed (saw that suggestion in a past post about these bushy things...). I do have a hard time with the idea of throwing them out. Yet if I do it now, they are only 2 inches tall. It won't hurt as bad as if I wait ... poor babies...No is it their fault they are determinate?
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  shannon1 on 5/2/2011, 1:40 am

I grow both because they produce at different times and it staggers my harvest. They don't contune to produce all season like vineing types. I'd just keep them and see what happens. Who knows you may even like them better?
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/2/2011, 3:33 am

jbh29 wrote:I just read a few posts about determinate tomatoes (bush variety) and it sounds like they are not really preferred for SFG due to how much space they take up. I've got 4 heirloom Marglobe seedlings I've started. I didn't know about determinate vs indeterminate when I started the seeds.

So, now I think I'm just going to scrap those. (I have 6 inderminates also) But I first wanted to hear if anyone out there likes growing determinate toms. I guess I'm looking for the other side of the story.
jbh29 also wrote:I'll have to try at least one in a container... maybe I'll put one in the corner of a bed (saw that suggestion in a past post about these bushy things...). I do have a hard time with the idea of throwing them out. Yet if I do it now, they are only 2 inches tall. It won't hurt as bad as if I wait ... poor babies...No is it their fault they are determinate?
If you have the room and a couple of containers, try them, you may like them. My personal container preference is a 5 gal bucket, with drain holes in the bottom and several more near the bottom edge of the side too. I do not have enough North sides to my table tops to allow me to place many tomatoes in SFG beds (cukes, vining zucchini, various vining beans take up all those squares) so into containers they go. Did you know that determinates (bushy) tend to have a big flush of fruit all at the same time, while indeterminates (viney) may be slower to produce their first tomatoes, but will produce until frost? Good reason to have both types.
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  shannon1 on 5/2/2011, 5:19 am

5 gal. buckets are great and one can get them for free Wink just ask at your food store deli counter and/or a resteraunt you go to frequently.
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/2/2011, 8:35 am

Also, no one said you absolutely had to grow determinates in MM. You could put them elsewhere as not to take up so much space. Containers is a great idea.
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  elliephant on 5/2/2011, 9:11 am

I put 4 determinate plants (Rio Grande) in cages in a 2x8 bed and they are doing so much better than any of my indeterminates. I pulled all my plants by June last year due to the pests, disease, and heat (not setting fruit) anyway, so I think I'm going to plant more determinates next year.

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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  jbh29 on 5/2/2011, 11:54 am

I love it! There is always another side to every story. I will give them a try and I think I'll try 5 gal. buckets. I'll see what I can find. (I feel better already, not throwing out any babies.)

Our soil here is pure sand... if I planted them in the ground, I wonder how they would do. Maybe mix some compost into the hole? I may try that too with a couple. I suppose the name of the game is "give it a try"!
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/2/2011, 12:38 pm

When I am mixing up MM I plan to make enough extra to fill buckets and pots that are equivalent in size to a 5 gallon bucket. I live in Washington State and am forever trying to just get some kind of Tomato to ripen up. Last year, a chilly summer that seldom got above 65 degrees, gave me a new favorite tomato. Siltz (70-75 days, D, parthenocarpic) is a determinant. In my Garden they came one to three at a time instead of all at once.

I grow indeterminants in the SFG and train them up a trellis that doubles as a support for plastic sheeting that can serve as a large cloche while they are still small. In the red-ripe (or orange in the case of Persimmons, 80 days, I, heirloom) Siltz was a clear winner in a chilly summer.

I make a row of black buckets and planters at the edge of my garden for determinant plants. This year I have kept 2 Siltz (D). There are 4 determinant Beaver Lodge Plums (55 days, D) that I hope to be able to sauce. Their Black pots will set on the edge of my deck since they are described as compact plants that want to creep rather than grow tall, perfect for a hanging container....we shall see. Because short season is more important to me than I or D, I have started Legend (68 days, D, parthenocarpic). Three of my 4 cherry tomatoes are determinant.

At the end of the season I dump the buckets of MM into gardens that have settled, add a layer of compost and stir it up for next season. The pots are kept empty for winter and refilled in Spring after the mix is treated to a spring feeding of Lovejoy (2 parts alfalfa meal or pellets, 1 part homegrown compost and 1 part bagged manure). The Tomato pots are as much a part of my garden plan as the boxes.
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  Blackrose on 5/2/2011, 12:40 pm

jbh29 wrote:I suppose the name of the game is "give it a try"!

Exactly!! What could you lose by trying to plant those tomatoes somewhere else?

I thought I would throw out one more idea of what you can plant those babies in:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t4285-self-watering-rubbermaid-container
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  Old Hippie on 5/2/2011, 1:12 pm

I feel like I have been stabbed through the heart!! Throw away a baby plant???????? How could you??????? For shame! affraid It is not his/her fault it is a determinate. They have value too and a right to live.

I am so happy these others have helped you see the error of your ways. Hopefully, you will be forgiven for even entertaining such a thought. May these baby plants produce so heavily that you will be over run with an abundance of fruit. cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry (I know these are cherries but we don't have a tomato smiley)

Containers my friend. Free five gallon buckets are great. I use Mel's Mix in mine not garden soil.

Gwynn
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  jbh29 on 5/2/2011, 8:36 pm

Old Hippie wrote:I feel like I have been stabbed through the heart!! Throw away a baby plant???????? How could you??????? For shame! affraid It is not his/her fault it is a determinate. They have value too and a right to live.

I am so happy these others have helped you see the error of your ways. Hopefully, you will be forgiven for even entertaining such a thought. May these baby plants produce so heavily that you will be over run with an abundance of fruit. cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry (I know these are cherries but we don't have a tomato smiley)

Containers my friend. Free five gallon buckets are great. I use Mel's Mix in mine not garden soil.

Gwynn

Oh, I know! I felt horrible thinking it! They are 2 -3 inches tall, in little 2 inch pots. They are perfect! (I felt sick pulling out the extra sprouts from my vermiculite dish! Sad )

I've been getting so many great tips on this forum this spring, I just knew there would be some answers for me for these determinates too. cheers
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determinate tomatoes

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/2/2011, 8:40 pm

Gee, I'm doing it all wrong. Here I thought I had to build another bed for the plethora of tomato sprouts! Shoot, there's that space along the south fence that could use another 2'x10' bed, Totally Tomatoes! Woo Hoo, Yeah!

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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  GreenBlueberry on 5/2/2011, 8:43 pm

I went overboard with my seedlings too, and didn't want to throw them away, so I messaged my friends, and they took pretty much all of them! Can't wait to see their pictures of my babies.
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  jbh29 on 5/2/2011, 8:46 pm

Blackrose wrote:Exactly!! What could you lose by trying to plant those tomatoes somewhere else?

I thought I would throw out one more idea of what you can plant those babies in:
[url=http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t4285-self-watering-rubbermaid-container
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t4285-self-watering-rubbermaid-container[/quote[/url]]

Very interesting.... I'll have to do more reading about this one.
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  elliephant on 5/2/2011, 9:28 pm

[quote="jbh29"]
Blackrose wrote:Exactly!! What could you lose by trying to plant those tomatoes somewhere else?

I thought I would throw out one more idea of what you can plant those babies in:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t4285-self-watering-rubbermaid-container[/quote]

Very interesting.... I'll have to do more reading about this one.

If you're interested in that, you might be interest in this variation.

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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  shannon1 on 5/3/2011, 12:54 am

Old Hippie wrote:I feel like I have been stabbed through the heart!! Throw away a baby plant???????? How could you??????? For shame! affraid It is not his/her fault it is a determinate. They have value too and a right to live.

I am so happy these others have helped you see the error of your ways. Hopefully, you will be forgiven for even entertaining such a thought. May these baby plants produce so heavily that you will be over run with an abundance of fruit. cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry (I know these are cherries but we don't have a tomato smiley)

Containers my friend. Free five gallon buckets are great. I use Mel's Mix in mine not garden soil.

Gwynn

Gwen you always make me laugh.

If doing 5gal. buckets or other big containers I fill the bottem with just compost and the top 6" with MM it is much more thrifty that way.
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  Miss M on 5/3/2011, 1:45 pm

jbh29 wrote:Our soil here is pure sand... if I planted them in the ground, I wonder how they would do. Maybe mix some compost into the hole? I may try that too with a couple. I suppose the name of the game is "give it a try"!
You could try... but I had trouble growing tomatoes in sandy soil (not even pure sand). Even when I amended it. I don't think it was able to hold onto enough water. No My tomatoes were pitiful! I think containers are the way to go!

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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  walshevak on 5/3/2011, 2:48 pm

My son's house is built on practically pure sand too. You water and 5 min later the meter registers dry. And that was after amending with peat and compost. He got some tomatos last year but had extreamly high water bills. We did self wicking beds this year and are getting a bumper crop of greens. The real test will come later in the season with the tomatos.

Kay

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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  jbh29 on 5/4/2011, 4:31 pm

I think I'll put them in buckets this year. I would like to try and make one of the self wicking containers, but realisticly, I don't think I'll be able to get to it. It would be a great comparison, though. Hmmm, I might, even as I'm sitting here, be talking myself into making one anyway... Boy, I'm glutton for punishment! Rolling Eyes
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Re: determinate tomatoes

Post  sherryeo on 5/4/2011, 10:20 pm

Old Hippie said:



I feel like I have been stabbed through the heart!! Throw away a baby plant???????? How could you??????? For shame! affraid It is not his/her fault it is a determinate. They have value too and a right to live.

I am so happy these others have helped you see the error of your ways. Hopefully, you will be forgiven for even entertaining such a thought.


Oh, the humanity!!! Such a terrible waste of a life! Too bad Gwynn can't get dramatic sometimes, hmmm? Tee hee. I guess the old adage "they're just seeds" goes out the window once they've become "viable" seedlings. OMG, Gwynn, that is the most hilarious thing I've read in a while!
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