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Too late to plant tomato transplants in Atlanta area?

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Too late to plant tomato transplants in Atlanta area?

Post  Uprooted on 6/27/2011, 10:52 pm

I have some very unhappy tomato plants in self-watering type planting containers (planted in Mel's mix). I'm tempted to ditch them and start over with a couple of small SFG beds in the same place. Not sure what the problem is, and not especially interested in researching/trying to fix it Yes, just call me lazy! Laughing (I've had tomatoes in them in the past, could be they've harbored a fungus).

At any rate, is there any chance of tomato plants transplanted this late thriving and producing before the end of the season? I know it will get super hot which can slow them down, then the days start getting short before it really cools off.

Uprooted

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Re: Too late to plant tomato transplants in Atlanta area?

Post  stripesmom on 6/28/2011, 12:23 pm

I'm in Iowa and I just transplanted a Cherokee purple in a pot yesterday. I had accidentally missed this when pruning the side shoots and it was about 10 inches long. I put it in a container of water to grow roots, which it did. I figure it will or it won't produce tomatoes, but, it can't hurt to try. Most of the garden centers around here are selling plants on clearance now. I'd go ahead if I were you and see what you get. You never know unless you try.

I kind of think your right about the fungal infection. I've read you should sanitize your pots after use, as well as your scissors if you use those to prune with.

Also, shade helps during the hottest part of the day. I do that myself when it's over 90.

stripesmom

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Re: Too late to plant tomato transplants in Atlanta area?

Post  Uprooted on 6/29/2011, 8:45 am

Thanks, stripesmom.

Uprooted

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To late to plant tomatos

Post  GloriaG on 6/29/2011, 5:30 pm

Hi Uprooted,

I have very limited space for SFG's so I grow all my tomatoes in self watering containers to conserve space in the SFG's I do have.

Last year I had 814 grape tomatoes from one container, this year so far I've had 114 regular tomatoes from 3 containers. (It's hot here in TX so I won't get any more till fall.) I've got 4 containers for fall tomatoes, that will go in end of July or
beginning of August. Last year, we picked our last tomatoes for new
years eve.

Only thing is you have to use a different potting mix (70% peat, 20% coarse vermiculite and 10% perlite) in self-watering containers. MM is super fantastic for SFG's, but in a self-watering container it holds too much water and the roots drown.

Good luck!

GloriaG

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Re: Too late to plant tomato transplants in Atlanta area?

Post  stripesmom on 6/29/2011, 5:39 pm

GloriaG, thanks for posting that about the water containers and a different mix. I was going to try that next year. It makes a lot of sense.

stripesmom

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To late to plant tomatos

Post  GloriaG on 6/29/2011, 5:47 pm

You're welcome stripesmom,

I like the self-watering containers as an addition to my SFG's. I just find that I need to treat them a little differently. They need dolomite lime in the peat because it's so acid and some organic fertilizer. I don't have any trouble with them as long as they don't get too dry in the heat.

GloriaG

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Re: Too late to plant tomato transplants in Atlanta area?

Post  Uprooted on 6/29/2011, 9:38 pm

So Gloria, are you saying no compost at all and then add the lime (what
proportion?) and by organic fertilizer do you mean a liquid fertilizer?
Oh -- and thanks! Very Happy

Uprooted

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Tomatoes, Self-Watering containers, and MM

Post  Cincinnati on 6/29/2011, 10:57 pm

@GloriaG wrote:...I like the self-watering containers as an addition to my SFG's. I just find that I need to treat them a little differently. They need dolomite lime in the peat because it's so acid and some organic fertilizer. I don't have any trouble with them as long as they don't get too dry in the heat.

Are you using MM in the Self-watering container?

I added a full pound of dolomite to the "Potting mix" in 6 Earthboxes in which I planted tomatoes. Out of a total of 12 tomato plants, 9 had problems with blossom end rot or other disease. I was on my second year on the potting mix in most of those boxes. In two of them, I used Miracle Grow potting mix (new, fresh fill this season). I thought the soil was possibly contaminated. I am considering replacing the soil with MM and using the Earthboxes again in the fall. I was planning on adding a couple of generous shovel fulls of lime and blending it into the MM.

I'm also planting my first SQFT garden this fall. should I use lime in my MM? How much?

Do you have your MM analyzed? Our local County Extension office offers a soil analysis for $7 or $8 per soil sample. I was wondering if I should have at least a pH test as well as calcium content.

To answer your first question, it depends on how hot your weather is this time of year. My tomatoes in lower Alabama have stopped producing mostly because the night temps are too high.

Cincinnati

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To late to plant tomatos

Post  GloriaG on 6/29/2011, 11:28 pm

Hi Cincinnati,

No, I don't use MM in my self-watering containers. I use 80% peat, 20% coarse vermiculite and 10% perlite. I mix in 1 pound of dolomite lime for each box. I also add 3-cups of organic fertilizer (7-7-7 or 10-10-10) in a strip near the top. (I make sure the fertilizer is as far away from the plants as possible.) To prevent blossom end rot - I put 1 teaspoon calcium nitrate in the water for each box weekly - two or three times.

The only other thing I do is keep water in the well so that they don't dry out. It's really hard to re-hydrate them if they get too dry. My experience is that growing vegetables in self-watering containers is more like growing semi-hydroponically than SFG. There is a different type of water movement in the soil since they need to wick from the bottom.

GloriaG

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Re: Too late to plant tomato transplants in Atlanta area?

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