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 Post subject: First tomato 2010
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:52 am 
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 4:01 am
Posts: 7
Location: Wake County NC
My first tomato of the year is just about ready for picking; an Early Girl if i'm not mistaking. This is also one of the deck tomato's while the ones in the ground are nowhere near ready for picking. In fact it was puzzling that this one plant was so much more hardy than the rest of the plants that came in the six pack of seedings. But when i transplanted i used several different soils. The other thing the effects the crop i'm sure is the amount of sun. My deck is in the sun at this time of year from 9AM until 8PM. This one plant that has a a bumper crop of tomato's on it is shaded some in the AM ( not in the direct sun light ) but cooks in the sun from 10:30 or so until 8PM. The plant is a shorty ( maybe 24 inches tall from the deck to the top of the plant ) it has about 15 or 20 nice size tomato's and she wants to be watered twice a day or her leaves go limp. ( that only happened once for about 10 minutes ) But here's the thing that may be making all the difference: the PH which is 5.25 while the other plants are like 6.75. The ones that are more alkaline are taller and have fewer tomato's.


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 Post subject: Re: First tomato 2010
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:35 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:01 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Branson MO/Zone6
That should be a tasty treat!

Your information about ph got me thinking. Most of my tomatoes are planted in 5 gallon buckets using commercial soil. I have such a problem with fusarium wilt and so little space to rotate plantings, I found that the bucket method works best for me.

My ph is between 5.0 and 5.5, so I guess it's OK. I don't know if there is a way to raise the ph during the growing season or not. Most web discussions involve changing the ph of existing soil over time by adding lime, etc. several months before planting.


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 Post subject: Re: First tomato 2010
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 4:01 am
Posts: 7
Location: Wake County NC
mikestuff wrote:
That should be a tasty treat!

Your information about ph got me thinking. Most of my tomatoes are planted in 5 gallon buckets using commercial soil. I have such a problem with fusarium wilt and so little space to rotate plantings, I found that the bucket method works best for me.

My ph is between 5.0 and 5.5, so I guess it's OK. I don't know if there is a way to raise the ph during the growing season or not. Most web discussions involve changing the ph of existing soil over time by adding lime, etc. several months before planting.


Ya know Mike, in Jersey my plants were in the ground and i never ever thought about ph. In Connecticut i also planted in the back yard soil and never checked the ph. In both of those states the tomato's were the best looking and tasting tomato's i ever ate. In Florida i had a good experience with growing in the ground in northern FL but a horrible experience in southern FL. Again i never checked ph. But here in NC everyone told me to condition the soil before planting. After my bad experience with critters a few days after planting in the ground i transplanted everything to pots of miracle grow soil and moved everything to the deck. The first two years were miracle grow plants and the crops were mostly healthy and tasty but towards the end of the season the leaves started curling. That's when i read about a ph of 7 being ideal for tomato's. So this year i purchased a ph meter and mixed my soil from the yard top soil and miracle grow and got close to 7 but already it's changing. This one plant is planted in soil that i carried down in my car in a 5 gallon bucket from CT. i also have basil, parsley, oregano, and garlic in the CT soil. The garlic loves it, the basil is doing so so but the parsley and oregano don't like it very much.
i'm not sure about fussing with the ph now but i have so many plants that i might just experiment some and let you know what happens.

Tomorrow i will pick the one red tomato and give it my first tomato test: eat it like a peach: right off the tree. ( Since i lost all of my peaches this year it will have a whole new meaning )


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 Post subject: Re: First tomato 2010
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:01 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Branson MO/Zone6
I have a couple more Bush Big Boys that I'm going to transplant to see if I can get some later season tomatoes.

I have an outdoor worm bin and I tested the castings for ph and it came up at 6.5. I'm going to mix about a third castings to two-thirds commercial to see how that works out. I want to see the difference between the mixed soil results and the pure commercial results.


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 Post subject: Re: First tomato 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 948
Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
Good work there! I'm still a few weeks off, I tried starting the tomatoes and peppers in my GH this winter and found the seedlings weren't very happy with the cold nights. I guess I'll fall back to starting those inside (many other things started well in the GH though).

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 Post subject: Re: First tomato 2010
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:50 pm
Posts: 57
Location: SE Michigan
pH may indeed be a factor. Interesting.... But you said you used different soils for the very same six-pack of early tomatoes. Are the others in the ground, while this one is in a pot on the deck? Are the others in the ground in different environments?

Soil temp may also be involved.... I'm more used to the north, but even in Wake Co NC, the soil temp in a pot on a sunny deck is going to be warmer than for plants planted in the ground.

Keep us posted. Very interesting!

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To find your roots, get your hands in soil. To live fully in the present, imagine your garden and make it happen. To see all of reality, spend some time sitting quietly in the garden.... Then get your hands back in the dirt.


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 Post subject: Re: First tomato 2010
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:02 pm
Posts: 1630
Location: PNW
That looks so good! I haven't even planted my tomatoes yet since it has been so wet and cool. I won't get many ripe ones this year.


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 Post subject: Re: First tomato 2010
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:59 am 
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 4:01 am
Posts: 7
Location: Wake County NC
It's been about a month since i last posted and maybe this should be a whole new post.

This year my garden story is nothing as i might have expected. Reading over my own posts and the replies about ph, soil, soil temp, etc are very helpful. There are so many factors to consider and as i make changes and take both mental and written notes i think about those famous gardeners who were also scientists who took copious notes...i wonder what the yield might be if i too took copious notes? Today i plan on buying a couple of note pads and even though the plants are adult now and producing, i still do experiments and find what seems to be very important information about what makes them healthy and happy and what makes them limpy and whimpy.

One of the experiments had to do with taking what appeared to be a sick tomato plant and transplanting it in a fairly large ( relatively speaking ) garden patch that i prepared in the spring. This sickly plant ( pretty sure that i have pictures of the day i moved her there ) seemed to heal herself when isolated. This week i picked her first tomato and so far it is the best tasting one this year.

This past week-end i isolated another tomato into a hole next to the shed that gets lots of sun light. i dug a hole 3X the size of the pot. i put compost pile dirt in the bottom of the hole filled it with water, let it drain then bake in the sun all day, then transplanted at night, filled the rest of the hole with more compost material and soaked the spot. Four days later she is looking better but not out of the woods yet.


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