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New guy in Tampa area with newbie tomato question

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New guy in Tampa area with newbie tomato question

Post  jersh on 7/17/2011, 2:06 pm

Hello everyone, I just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself... My wife and I are planning to start our first SFG this fall, we're going to start with just one 4x4 box and then if we feel the need to expand we will add a 2nd next spring. We live just north of Tampa in Wesley Chapel.

I do have one tomato question... We're planning to grow some in the spring and I have a small flower bed along the east side of my house that I'm thinking about converting to a 1x6 SFG... Since this is along the east edge of our house it only gets morning sun, as soon as the sun is overhead in the afternoon it's shaded. Is this going to be a problem for tomatoes? If anything I'm thinking this might be a good thing to protect the maturing fruit from the harsh FL...

jersh

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Location : Wesley Chapel, FL Zone 9a

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Re: New guy in Tampa area with newbie tomato question

Post  boffer on 7/17/2011, 2:14 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum.

You're in luck. The forum member I consider to be the resident amateur tomato expert (acara) lives in Wesley Chapel too!

You might look at some of his posts for tomato growing advice in your climate. One thing I remember him saying is that his yard has several different micro-climates, so he moves stuff around to see where it grows best.

Have fun gardening the SFG way...

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Re: New guy in Tampa area with newbie tomato question

Post  westie42 on 7/17/2011, 2:31 pm

There is a gal Donna think she is near Tarpon Spr. who has nearly 100 videos covering her 3 years in SFG. She walks you thru 3 years of weekly visits and the development of her Square Foot Gardening. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3rN-cNhmVw When I lived at Palmetto about 25 years ago I could not garden for anything so good luck to you thanks to SFG many there are now succeeding abundantly and yes Acara is the man.

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Re: New guy in Tampa area with newbie tomato question

Post  Furbalsmom on 7/17/2011, 3:39 pm

Jersh

Very nice to have you join our group. Mel says to start small and a first SFG is an adventure. Here is wishing you the best garden ever.

Unfortunately, I cannot provide any advice regarding growing tomatoes in FL, as it is so very different than my cool, moist, coastal region where we pray that maybe this year we will have enough sun and heat to grow a few tomatoes, peppers and melons.

Hope Acara has some advice for you.

Again, Welcome and keep us posted on your progress.
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Re: New guy in Tampa area with newbie tomato question

Post  shannon1 on 7/18/2011, 1:40 am

Jersh,
So nice to have a new member in my region. I have grown toms on the eastern side of my house and they did fine. I think they liked the afternoon shade. There is no need to wait until spring we are lucky enough to have 2 tomato growing seasons and if you wanted you could plant seedings now. Right next to the house will be warmer come fall as well and I think you would have some nice toms before frost.
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Re: New guy in Tampa area with newbie tomato question

Post  FarmerValerie on 7/18/2011, 8:45 am

, You've gotten some very good advice already, and shannon is right you, like us in TX have some awesome growing pros, but the biggest con seems to be bugs, but we'll get to that later.

Let's see, for tomatoes, here is something thay may not be relevent this year for you, but you can bookmark it for later, it's on taking suckers from tomatoes and growing them.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7995-how-to-root-tomato-suckers?highlight=suckers
What are suckers and how to string your tomatoes?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJgA4n-sCE8
Keep in mind you can use containers for tomatoes, 5 gallon buckets work fine, and if you are near a Firehouse Subs you can get their pickel buckets for $2 and the $2 is given to the firefighters fund, so it's going to a good cause.

CindyLou puts her tomatoes in buckets and uses cattle pannel to cage them.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7170-need-advice-on-caging-plants-in-5-gallon-buckets-and-keeping-critters-out-of-them?highlight=5+gallon+buckets#64660

I'm sure you'll get even more help, I hope I gave you a good start, speaking of tomatoes, it's time to go water mine, be sure to jump in on the Tomato Tuesday threads, especially in your region, that's where you'll find more info on acara's toms.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7294-tomato-tuesday-coastal-tropical-south
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New guy in Tampa area with newbie tomato question

Post  sherryeo on 7/18/2011, 11:47 am

Hi Jersh,

Welcome to the forum!!! And welcome to the Coastal and Tropical South region of the forum. I'm also from the Coastal and Tropical South - living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

I hope you'll post often - there are many knowledgeable people on here who love to help with questions, problems and suggestions. They also love to share in successes and see what other sfgarderdeners are doing, so post pics when you can.

If you get the chance, vote for your new region - the Coastal and Tropical South - in the new poll being taken. You can see a banner running across the top of the page on the forum homepage that you can click to vote for your region. It's really just a way to see how many members each forum has.

You can post queries to your regional forum for problems that need more specific information dealing with your region's particular problems. I hope to see you around the forum! Very Happy
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Good timing ...

Post  acara on 7/18/2011, 4:03 pm

First of all, Welcome to the forum Very Happy

As this is my first day "back in the saddle" ... I'm just catching up on post, so sorry for the delayed response.

If you haven't grown veggies, especially tomatoes, in your yard before; I'd suggest either starting in 5 gal buckets in multiple locations (to see what spot works best), or build your first small SFG box on wheels and experiment with different locations.

I've found there are just too many variables down here in our area to allow you to determine "goodness" or "badness" of a planting spot, simply by compass point. Also, your "good spots" and "bad spots" vary by the Spring or Fall season and possibly by the variety your growing. Even silly things like proximity to reflective surfaces can mess you up down here.

My suggestion would be to to decide "what" you want to grow first, then when you want to grow it, then your desired level-of-effort (you can grow anything with enough $$$ and work .... just may be looking at a $20.00 tomato ..LOL). Once you decide on that, your decision on location will be much easier.

The good news is, you've got a little time, since most tomatoes don't set fruit well in temps above 90-degrees (but some do, if you've got "the itch" to do it now)...... so you don't have to rush out and plant this weekend or anything.

However, if you'd like to meet on some weekend to discuss, or have me help evaluating your possible SFG garden spots and or tomato choices; I'd be happy to help as my new schedule permits (we have a new baby in the house).
I'm about 2 miles West of I-75 and SR 54 intersection & I've met members for plant trades & stuff at the McDonalds right there by the exit off I-75.
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Re: New guy in Tampa

Post  1orangething on 7/18/2011, 10:08 pm

Welcome to SfG. Coastal & Tropical South gains another member. SFG Forum is a wonderful site.
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Re: New guy in Tampa area with newbie tomato question

Post  jersh on 7/18/2011, 10:33 pm

acara wrote:First of all, Welcome to the forum Very Happy

As this is my first day "back in the saddle" ... I'm just catching up on post, so sorry for the delayed response.

Wow, thanks for the great info and for your offer to lend suggestions on how to set up our garden! Congrats on the new baby as well. My wife and I are expecting our first child the first week of October.

Unfortunately we do not have a whole lot options for the location of our boxes, our back yard is quite small and we have some drainage issues that I'm trying to resolve with our builder/CDD. I have considered building my first box on wheels. I just need to find some castors that are large enough to at least somewhat easily roll through the yard. That would also give me the added benefit of being able to roll the entire thing into the garage when/if we get any freezing weather this winter. I'll keep you posted on my progress!

jersh

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