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Gerardo August 1, 2019 06:15 PM

2019 garden, better living through chemistry
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I've been late to the game this year, as I waited out the initial insect waves of spring.

As you've grown tired of hearing, the last two years have been a losing battle with insects.

No more. Anted up and acquired products that remedied the situation (spinetoram, flonicamid [URL][/URL]) along with Neem/Karanja, and now I can have a crop.

I hedged and half of my plants are Granadero F1, BHN-1021, and Plum Regal F1, all with a tswv package.

The other half is plants I noticed could handle thrip burden and are strong flavor wise: Rosado De Aracena, Negro de Moratalla, Tyazheloves Sibiri, and Zaragozano de Utebo.

Anted up on the potting mix too, with Promix BX and 707 as the main mix ingredient, diluted out with high quality peat (FloraPeat), perlite, and clay balls.

Three plants share a medium concrete mixing tub, aprox 10 gal.

Amended with Organics Alive Amendment and/or Bu's Biodynamic Blend, Neem Seed Meal, Sea Bird Guano, and Alfalfa Meal.

They're also fertigated with Cal-Mag and Haifa products. And the final tiger in the tank is a foliar feeding with Neptune's Fish Emulsion and SeaGreen from Primordial Solutions.

So far so good, best plants I've grown yet. Sticking to the spray schedule has depleted the thrip population. I've only lost 3 out of close to 100 plants.
Before, the numbers were MUCH higher.

[I]chinenses [/I]are happy in the potting mix and with the fertigation regimen, lots of Carolina Reaper, Apocalypse Scorpion, 7pot choc, 7pot pink, 7potyellow, Tobago Seasoning, and a few others.

Mt. Magic and Green Tiger are on the way from Johnny's. And soon to follow will be SOTW, Terhune, Nicky Crain, Crnkovic Yugo, Dora, Daniel Burson, Mikhalych, Bear Creek, Malachite Box, Gary O'Sena, Indian Stripe.

Now that I can grow again, I'm going back to flavor.

Best of luck everyone in your personal gardens.

First two pics are of how they started, the others were snapped today.

In the background you'll see the future cuke tube being put together.

I really like the how the basil draws in all the pollinators.

Gerardo August 1, 2019 06:27 PM

Product trial, the plants liked it
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This is a good name.

Worth1 August 1, 2019 08:00 PM

Looks fantastic amigo.:yes::yes:

bower August 1, 2019 08:36 PM

Now that's a tomato garden! :yes:
I am in the same boat, driven out by pests, so I only have ten plants this year, I could not make the commitment to fight the tiny grievers with forty plants crammed in my greenhouse. So far pest issues are absent or well in hand, but I only started in July. My mini grow doesn't look a bit like your fine and feisty jungle though! 8-)

Gerardo August 1, 2019 08:58 PM

@Worth: Thank you Sir!

ddsack August 1, 2019 09:18 PM

Wow! The picture of health! Congratulations, it looks like you've got it figured out. :yes:

Gerardo August 1, 2019 11:06 PM

@bower: 10 plants is more than enough to keep you busy and with skin in the game. I hope this feisty bunch keeps on truckin.

Gerardo August 1, 2019 11:10 PM

@ddsack: Thanks! Not quite there yet, but I'm getting close. They do appear healthy and it seems with proper nutrition, fungal players have a harder time gaining a foothold. I'm about to switch to a slightly different nutrient profile as per the Haifa diagrams, I have a feeling they'll like it.

I'm going to use the same juice for cucumbers, they'll probably like it too.

Barb_FL August 2, 2019 12:19 AM

They look great. What is your spraying regimen? How often?

Are your bug problems in SD or Mexico?

I know my season lasted much longer than usual (still had lots of tomatoes through most of July) and the bugs were much worse - even spider mites which I never had, the leaf footed bugs, etc.

I used that Fish ★★★★ before too; The local hydro store has vendor days; great for trying samples.

Gerardo August 2, 2019 10:39 AM

@BarbFL: I've been hitting them often. Neem/Karanja about once every 10-15 days, this is the main defense.

Spinetoram once a month is the projection, I've used it 3 times. I'm going to skip this month as the yellow sticky cards indicate all is well.

And flonicamid I've used once, at 3-4 weeks after planting to coincide with flowering. It gives you a 28 day window free of thrips, aphids and whiteflies. I doused everything in my garden, and I mean everything. I'll use it again when I plant out my fall plants. The directions say no more than twice a season.

I love grabbing samples from the hydro store, that Fish s%$# smells awful, but the plants really love it.

Glad to hear you had a long season. Insects are moving, and I've no doubt I'll be seeing new ones too. Lots and lots of those large crane flies here.

And I almost forgot, here is Tijuana, weather wise equivalent to inland San Diego, so hot and dry most of the time.

nancyruhl August 3, 2019 10:18 PM

Great to see your garden growing so well. I have been wondering.

Gerardo August 4, 2019 03:15 PM

[QUOTE=nancyruhl;743051]Great to see your garden growing so well. I have been wondering.[/QUOTE]

Thanks Nancy!

Gerardo August 4, 2019 03:31 PM

procured two more items yesterday
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Drove down Saturday AM to the Ag supply stores.

As per the Haifa literature on nutrition requirements for tomato, and taking into account what the stores had in stock, I went for the Multi npK for the fruit maturity stage.

Also acquired a 300 L (55kg) bag of Florapeat.

EU product. Reminds me of the BioBizz Coco Mix, silky smooth, absolutely no twigs.

I find the Promix BX to contain more twigs/stems than the Florapeat, so if it's around, go for it.

Prices you might ask:

32 USD for the 25 kg Multi npK, and 30 USD for the Florapeat.

Products from Israel (Haifa) and Norway (Yara) are feeding my Mexican garden.

Barb_FL August 4, 2019 04:13 PM

Thanks for sharing what you are doing. ETA - That must be a HUGE bag of Multi-NPK; what a great price too.

I'm surprised it is so buggy where you are since it looks like you are growing on a deck.

Are you now growing in Tijuana or San Diego? Are the seasons the same?

I don't notice any twigs in ProMix BX - I get it at the hydro store in the 3.8 Cu ft bag.

That said, on the last Vendor Day, I bought 3 bags of Happy Frog, 2 bags of Coco Loco, and got a 3 cubic bag of KO KO Bop for free.

Potting mix is really $$$$ where I live so I might as well go with the good stuff.

Have you ever tried the coco peat slabs for tomatoes? something like this


Gerardo August 5, 2019 05:16 PM

@Barb Yes indeed it is a large bag, as was the 50 lbs of Haifa MKP, and the Yara CalciNit (around 16 USD for 25 kg) and the

MagSulfate (same), and the bag of Micros. I figure I can create small fertigation kits for Xmas, insuring everyone has happy plants.

Still enough left over for a season or two or three.

The npK goes into solution quickly. Impressed with Haifa products.

I'm on the Mexican side of the border. Same seasons, just an imaginary line dividing urban sprawl.

I hear you on the potting mix. I tend to get the open bags, King's Mix, 707, ProMix. It ends up being about 40-50% by volume, as I

dilute it out with the Florapeat, perlite, and the veg compost+. Either way, it ends up being quality mix and the plants like it.

When my back starts to give out I'll switch to the slabs, maybe even the Grodan ones, as this place I visit has them available.

I've yet to inquire on price.

How was the KOKOBop?

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