Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

Member discussion regarding the methods, varieties and merits of growing tomatoes.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old April 15, 2018   #1
gryffin
Tomatovillian™
 
gryffin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 226
Default Raised Beds and Rotation (do you or don’t you)

Hi-

I’m currently gardening in raised beds and want to maximize space for tomatoes. Do any of you use the same beds for tomatoes year after year? If so, do you do any special treatment to keep them growing strong and keep disease under control?

I’m trying to figure out how to best use my existing space and how much space I can use for tomatoes if I eventually expand to more beds.

Thanks!
gryffin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 15, 2018   #2
eyegrotom
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: ca
Posts: 205
Default

Hi I am in my 3rd year with my raised beds. What I do is take out about 10% of the soil and add back in a mix of compost and steer. So far I have not had any problems. Mike
eyegrotom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 15, 2018   #3
Goodloe
Tomatovillian™
 
Goodloe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Steens, MS 8a
Posts: 222
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyegrotom View Post
Hi I am in my 3rd year with my raised beds. What I do is take out about 10% of the soil and add back in a mix of compost and steer. So far I have not had any problems. Mike
Steer? Like a castrated bull? Hmm...sounds expensive...and stinky. Probably does wonders for your "beef"steak tomatoes, tho...

Jon
__________________


~Jon~ Downheah, Mississippi
Goodloe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 15, 2018   #4
Nan_PA_6b
Tomatovillian™
 
Nan_PA_6b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,498
Default

I have only a small area with sunlight, so I kinda haveta grow in the same place each year. Last fall I went around the neighborhood the night before trash pickup and collected leaf bags. Some of them are full of stuff I don't want (plants with seed heads attached, e.g.) but most are good leaves. I have a pile of grass clippings/leaves/pine needles that I and my neighbor contribute to all year. This year I'm digging deep into it, piling the mostly composted matter onto the garden with the leaves.

Nan
Nan_PA_6b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 15, 2018   #5
brownrexx
Tomatovillian™
 
brownrexx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 1,021
Default

I don't use raised beds and I rotate my tomato location every 2-3 years. One thing that you can do to benefit your tomatoes is to remove all plant debris from the raised beds each year so that you are not leaving any more disease spores on the soil than you can help.
brownrexx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 15, 2018   #6
TexasTomat0
Tomatovillian™
 
TexasTomat0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Central Texas - Zone 8A
Posts: 195
Default

I’m on my second year in the same raised beds growing tomatoes. I got a bad case of early blight last year so I will see how well this works.

I re amended the beds heavily with compost, fresh peat moss and some alfalfa pellets mixed in.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
TexasTomat0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 15, 2018   #7
Goodloe
Tomatovillian™
 
Goodloe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Steens, MS 8a
Posts: 222
Default

I guess that my tomato patch is not technically "raised". The space has 9 planting holes roughly the size and depth of a 5-gal bucket, with a 24"x5' cage staked down on top... 3 tomato plants around the outside of each cage. The roots grow into the "hole".

In the late fall, after I've pulled the plants and cages, I dig out each hole...throw in some leaves, wood chips, small dead tree limbs, etc, and fill it back in...cover with a layer of leaves and wait for Spring.

Around the 1st of March, I dig em out again...fluff/mix it up, add some manure and put it back in the hole, and get ready to plant again. This is my 3rd year using this process. So far, so good.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20180331_114727.jpg (598.5 KB, 139 views)
__________________


~Jon~ Downheah, Mississippi
Goodloe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 15, 2018   #8
bower
Tomatovillian™
 
bower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 5,819
Default

What people do in raised beds seems the same as in containers - add back roughly 1/3 fresh compost or as much as needed to replace nutrients. Unless you have soil borne diseases or some serious pest infestations, adding enrichments seems to work well in place of rotation. That is as long as you remove all of the tomato plant waste from the past year. Small roots don't seem to matter, and worms eat them up pretty quick.
I even used last year's tomato container soil, little roots and all, to make up a potting mix for my seedlings this year, and had no problems with it.
I do think rotation is really important on the farm scale, at least in part because it isn't practical to remove all the plant residues and much easier to till them in. But on the garden scale, we can give a small patch lots of attention when space is scarce.

I replanted a raised bed of garlic last season on the same principle - left it fallow for awhile after all plant material was removed, and then turned in lots of new compost before planting - and they did as well as other garlic beds and no worse for pest or disease etc. I think it's safer to rotate, especially with crops like alliums, but if you don't have much space then care of the soil can be a workaround.
bower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 15, 2018   #9
amideutch
Tomatovillian™
 
amideutch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Germany 49°26"N 07°36"E
Posts: 4,987
Default

Here is a link to a post I made about my raised bed where I worked (retired last year) and how I prepared it at the end of the growing season. It was no till and I used for it seven years.

Ami

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...ight=surrogate
__________________
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways,
totally worn out, shouting ‘...Holy Crap .....What a ride!'
amideutch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18, 2018   #10
peebee
Tomatovillian™
 
peebee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 1,559
Default

I've planted in the same raised beds for 20 years now. I've found that planting a cover crop in the fall helps a lot, after noticing that the tomatoes were not doing so well after a few years. Think of it as sort of a booster shot for the ground. Oh, and among other things, I've replaced some of the soil as others have mentioned, dug in lots of compost and manure, etc. But the cover crops gave pretty amazing results.
peebee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18, 2018   #11
b54red
Tomatovillian™
 
b54red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alabama
Posts: 6,515
Default

I have been planting in the same raised beds for over 35 years. Some years are better than others but I don't rotate too much from year to year because the tomatoes do best in the beds that have the most sunlight. By the middle of summer all but a couple of my beds will usually have tomatoes planted in them because I stagger plant from March through July. Over the years I have added a multitude of manures, various composts and fertilizers. Over the last ten years I have consistently added cotton seed meal, a bit of chicken manure and my own compost every time I prep the beds for planting. I now use the well balanced Texas Tomato Food and the other Urban Farms fertilizers along with some Miracle Grow throughout the year and my production seems to be holding up despite the over use of the same ground. I do not dig out part of my beds each year and replace the soil but rather add in some peat, bark fines, and compost to replace the small amount that is needed to keep the beds full each year. I hope this continues to work out at least well enough for me to have some decent production without making any major changes to the beds. I worry that I may be lacking in some trace elements but as long as this keeps working I don't plan on making any major changes to my routine maintenance of my raised beds.

Bill
b54red is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18, 2018   #12
shelleybean
Tomatovillian™
 
shelleybean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 2,624
Default

I grow in 6 raised beds. I use a 3 year rotation. 2 bed for legumes, 2 beds for nightshade, 2 beds for cucurbits. Each year I add a 3 inch layer of compost and mix it in with the older soil before planting. In the fall, I do my best to remove any old plant material at clean up time. I had fusarium issues at my old house. I've been growing here since 2012 with no fusarium, so far. Hope I didn't just jinx myself!
__________________
Michele
shelleybean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18, 2018   #13
ako1974
Tomatovillian™
 
ako1974's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 109
Default

My beds are sort of raised and I rotate every year in an effort to tamp down diseases. Nothing is in the same bed two years in a row, I stretch it to three if I can. I amend each bed with grass clippings, leaves, and compost each year.
__________________
Arne
Zone 6A, Northern NJ
ako1974 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18, 2018   #14
GoDawgs
Tomatovillian™
 
GoDawgs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Georgia, 8a/7b
Posts: 344
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shelleybean View Post
I grow in 6 raised beds. I use a 3 year rotation. 2 bed for legumes, 2 beds for nightshade, 2 beds for cucurbits. Each year I add a 3 inch layer of compost and mix it in with the older soil before planting.
I do the same 3 year rotation of those three families plus alliums in my beds too. There are sixteen 4x18 beds and they get mulched during the year from a huge pile of leaves raked in the fall. Of course, the beds near a big pecan tree are rather self-mulching in the fall.


However, there was/is some kind of wilt in the soil that affects only the tomatoes so for the past four years we've been growing them in 15 gallon pots next to the house but this year I'm also going to plant a few in the garden again "just to see".
GoDawgs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18, 2018   #15
brownrexx
Tomatovillian™
 
brownrexx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 1,021
Default

There are 2 reasons for rotating crops. One is because different crops deplete different nutrients from the soil and you can counteract that by amending the beds but the other reason is because of disease pathogens or insects becoming prevalent in the soil.

Amending the soil will not kill pathogens in the soil so removing all tomato plant debris will help but if you have plant diseases which can live in the soil, you may eventually see an increase in those diseases by not rotating.
brownrexx is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:18 AM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2017 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★