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General discussion regarding the techniques and methods used to successfully grow tomato plants in containers.

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Old January 16, 2017   #46
Down_South
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I learned prevention is easier than healing.

I learned that when planting fall tomatoes (zone 8b), put your seedlings in the grown August 1st and no later than August 15th. Also, pick a variety that matures quicker.

I learned to replace a GFCI when my T5 lights were tripping the circuit.

I discovered my HomeDeot bill was too high.

I learned a sun shade in zone 8b can be a good thing.
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Old January 25, 2017   #47
Nan_PA_6b
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weaselbean View Post
Sometimes its just as hard to give tomatoes away as to sell them.
Food Banks welcome every bit of produce.

An 8' deer fence with a 6" in-ground trench fence kept out deer & groundhogs.

I am tomato-taste impaired. I really can't taste some of the stuff in tomatoes. I shared a slice with my mother & she said it was flavorful & all I tasted was bland.

You can put a slice of red tomato in the freezer, thaw it, and eat it cooked (with basil & Parmesan, e.g.), just as good as fresh.

You can put slices of green (just blushing) tomato in the freezer, thaw them, and eat them fried green, just as good as fresh.

There is a purpose for Yellow Pear tomatoes: they are EXCELLENT dehydrated.

Sometimes you get a crossed seed in your seed packets, so you don't always get what you bargained for.

If you start tomato seedlings too early, you end up with monsters in your basement.

While there is some evidence that says eggshells don't help, all 3 of us planted eggshells with our plants and got virtually no BER.

I can't pot up every seed that germinates and try to grow them all (I did this). I must learn to cull.

Pay attention when putting in the plant labels; having to repeatedly explain "this plant is either a Big Beef or a Black Krim because I mixed up the labels" gets old quick.

When I'm holding a big bowlful of tomatoes I just harvested, I feel rich.

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Old February 6, 2017   #48
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Never try to help young seedlings to be free by removing seed-shell with fingers. Cotyledons might break.
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Old February 12, 2017   #49
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in Chicago - determinates outperform indeterminates in a 18 gallon container gutter system significantly. No doubt fabric aerated pots are superior to plastic containers.
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Old February 12, 2017   #50
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Spend the time to watch how much direct sun the backyard gets, even if it looks mostly open. Surprisingly, after I plotted sun paths, I discovered I get enough direct sun to grow only 2-3 sun-loving plants (tomatoes/peppers/beans/squash/cukes) in the whole yard. On the bright side , I've got tons of room for greens. Sigh. And I hope I will still have community garden space to grow all the plants I'm starting.
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Old February 21, 2017   #51
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I grew Dwarf Orange Cream and Kangaroo Paw Green last year. Before the season was over I also bought Kangaroo Paw Brown and got Rozella as a freebie. I had never grown a dwarf tomato before last season. Now I will grow them every season from now on.

Also, I bought a Sungold tomato plant last year, and trimmed a couple of suckers and put them in water bottles until nice roots formed, and started new plants that way.

Bad stuff happened too. I injured my right hand at the wrong time-and my garden went to ...well it was a failure. So, I guess I learned that it sucks trying plant stuff with one hand.
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I am glad that there's always something new to learn whether it's in the garden or elsewhere-I think I keel over from boredom if there weren't.

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Old February 21, 2017   #52
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I learned that DE is my very best friend when fighting thrips. That single stem prunned plants out perform bushy plants in production and fruit quality. That my 6 year old son is a better helper than anyone else i ever worked with.......period and better company too.
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Old February 23, 2017   #53
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This just in, check woodchips for mites before mulching containers with it.
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Old February 27, 2017   #54
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Learned
Wet peppers dont amount to much
Dont forget the french marigolds and sweet alyssum

Small heated hoop makes indoor outdoor transition a breeze.
Greens are really delicious, until the good stuff comes in.
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Old February 27, 2017   #55
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I didn't grow tomatoes in the Fall, but last spring I learned that I don't like growing lots of small tomato varieties (cherry, currant and plum). I grew loads of tomatoes, but harvesting them kinda sucks.

Also, I learned that growing mostly hybrids is ZZZZzzzZZZZZZzzzzz.....I did this last Spring because I wanted to see how many pounds of tomatoes I could grow in my small space. I got sick of harvesting them after a couple of hundred pounds and just let them rot in the yard. This Spring I'm doing almost all heirlooms. I know it's probably best to do more of an even mix of OP and F1...maybe next season.

THIS year, I've learned to graft. Like....I'm pretty darn good at it now. Been in the 2017 grafting thread with Bill, BVV and others and learned a lot. I'm stoked. I'm going to do a side by side comparison with grafted and ungrafted plants of the same variety. Hoping to see at least a noticeable difference if not something very substantial. If the grafted ones do what I hope they will, I'll probably do all grafted plants going forward. It's such a cool thing.
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Old February 27, 2017   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heirloomtomaguy View Post
I learned that DE is my very best friend when fighting thrips. That single stem prunned plants out perform bushy plants in production and fruit quality. That my 6 year old son is a better helper than anyone else i ever worked with.......period and better company too.
I learned I planted too many tomatoes too close together!. I'm going to try the single stem method this time HTG. And heavy pruning if I can figure out how to do it right. Also hoping my 2 year old granddaughter will be bigger helper this year. She was great moral support this summer! . She loves to hang by me and dig in the soil.. Jimbo
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Old February 27, 2017   #57
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Purchased compost could have herbicides in it. Damaged plants have fern-like leaves.
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Old February 28, 2017   #58
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Purchased compost could have herbicides in it. Damaged plants have fern-like leaves.
Yes I have learned it the hard way, although I changed my mind since about a specific brand I used, and putting the fault over fertilizing with chicken manure compost pellets or something in it.
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Old April 10, 2017   #59
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Can't really trust anyone with you soil, mulch or fert. If you do not know the linage then it is a crap shoot. Trust no one!
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Old April 10, 2017   #60
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Watch out what your neighbors are doing!

All my 500 tomato plants were burned to death, from a helicopter spray at the cranberry field next door in early August, when my plants were just loaded with developing fruit!

All my work and time, from seeding, weeding, transplanting, fertilizing, pruning, to hand watering (well and rain water), were all gone with the wind. We could have harvested hundreds of pounds of fresh tomatoes for the charity they were destined for. To get to the farm, in a beautiful small island, I need to get on a small 4-car ferry to cross the river, and every time, I had to endure the embarrassment of having to back my car into the ferry super slowly and hesitantly, while others watch in disbelief on how someone can not manage an easy task like driving in reverse, I was so afraid of hitting anything or run my car off the ramp into the water. Those were weekly trips during growing season.

That also kills my plan to try to keep bees there...

Last edited by NewWestGardener; April 10, 2017 at 10:12 PM.
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