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Old February 9, 2017   #31
Barb_FL
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Plants look great Mark. What you do is amazing!

I have several Matsu-plants. In Root Pouches and EarthBoxes. I think they like the Root Pouch better. I have lots of flowers and some fruit set.
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Old February 10, 2017   #32
AKmark
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Originally Posted by PureHarvest View Post
Mark, now that u are going two plants per bag, will you basically double your plant population? Or do you plan on eliminating some rows or changing in row spacing?
What percent increase in total yield are you shooting for?
I wonder how much more you will have to up your nutrient volume or watering.
Lastly, have you ever trailed grafting?
I will not double my plant number, but will increase it by 60 percent or so. Not all of my rows can have two plants per bag because of row spacing, this is because of the position of my heaters, which will fry plants, so they must be in an aisle. I will keep the same amount of rows I think.
I hope to more than double my yield though, by means of added plants and better management of the GH's.
I will certainly be watering more often, and will use more nutrients because of that.
I have not really tried grafting, but have looked at it. I am wanting to try some rootstock from cold tolerant varieties. I am not sure how grafting will affect my yields in the GH, I guess I could try some. I just wonder how much time I will spend doing it, and the returns for the effort, we don't have as much disease as the South, so I am not pressured to move ahead so much. Any thoughts?

BVV, I will have 300-500 per GH, depending on the size, I could put more in them, but I am leery to over crowd them, I just can't do the HG recommendations.
Yes, I do stagger the tomatoes. In the spring, most of my GH's are full of flowers, so I have to move tomatoes in as flowers move out. All Gh's are full of produce by June, I fill the last couple with cuttings that are nice, and already have small tomatoes on them. Good luck with Mat-Su, I hope the taste works out for you like it has for us in the GH's.

Barb, let me know how those work out for you in terms of producing early and taste. Good luck

Karen, I would love to trial those for you in the GH and outside. I am sure they would do awesome in the GH, I could even track the yield for you. If they do well outside up here you could grow them anywhere reasonable. Growing tomatoes outside up here is challenging, not all varieties work that great, even during our nicest summers. Cold ground, cool nights, sometimes lots of misty, rainy, miserable days too. LOL I will swap some seeds with you when you are ready.
Thanks ya-all LOL
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Old February 11, 2017   #33
PureHarvest
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Mark, my thoughts on grafting are that I don't know lol.
I think that all of the big guys growing in bag culture or Dutch buckets are all using grafts. I read all the time about yield increases. Wondering if I can get a yield bump.
I agree with your concern about the time and investment. I think it would be one of those things where you have a reliable grafting outfit that can knock it out for u for a cheap.
I don't have to fight a lot of disease pressure in the tunnel either, but my hope is a yield increase is achieved and covers the graft cost plus more profit.
I also am wondering if one graft can be pinched to two leaders, eliminating the need for two plants per bag. This was my grafters hypothesis.
I am going to send seeds for a good handful of my varieties to my grafter. It'll end up being 20% of my total bags having grafts. Will try 2 grafted per bag and one grafted that is pinched to two leaders per bag. Then of course my regular plants two per bag in the rest of the Gh.
The grafter charges about $2 per plant.

Last edited by PureHarvest; February 11, 2017 at 08:45 AM.
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Old February 11, 2017   #34
BigVanVader
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If you can control everything like Mark does I doubt the time investment would be worth it. If I had a real greenhouses instead of coldframes I wouldnt bother. Heirlooms seem to do fine if you can keep them from getting wet and control temps etc and Mark is already killing it.
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Old February 11, 2017   #35
Ricky Shaw
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I'd think a lot of diseases that take down plants in hotter climates don't affect Mark in Alaska, the stronger health aspect of rootstocks might not be of huge benifit. Pests and mold, I hear him mention those a lot. Would be interesting to know from a production standpoint. A big hurdle could be cost, not much grafting competition in Alaska probably.
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Old February 11, 2017   #36
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Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
If you can control everything like Mark does I doubt the time investment would be worth it. If I had a real greenhouses instead of coldframes I wouldnt bother. Heirlooms seem to do fine if you can keep them from getting wet and control temps etc and Mark is already killing it.
All the big guys I see pictures of that are doing precision controlled environment are all using grafts.
The limited data I can find implies a 0-50 yield increase with grafts. I wanna test that side by side to get my own first hand data and satisfy my curiosity.
As far as time, I really wouldn't have time invested, as I'd be paying a professional grafter. In fact, I'd save time because now I don't have to raise my seedlings. Yes I have to pay the grafter, but I am freed up for 6 weeks to work on other stuff. If there is then a yield bump over a standard plant that is significantly above the graft cost, that would be the goal. Plus some disease tolerance increase would be like getting insurance.
I already figure I have at least one dollar per plant in cost with labor raising my own non-grafted seedlings. Paying another dollar to get a grafted plant done for me by an experienced grafter seems negligible.
If I get 25 lbs per plant on 450 non grafted plants, and see just a 10% yield gain with grafts, that's another 1,125 lbs of fruit.
At $2.60 per pound, that's another $2,925 in revenue for spending an extra $450.

Last edited by PureHarvest; February 11, 2017 at 01:24 PM.
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Old February 12, 2017   #37
AKmark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PureHarvest View Post
All the big guys I see pictures of that are doing precision controlled environment are all using grafts.
The limited data I can find implies a 0-50 yield increase with grafts. I wanna test that side by side to get my own first hand data and satisfy my curiosity.
As far as time, I really wouldn't have time invested, as I'd be paying a professional grafter. In fact, I'd save time because now I don't have to raise my seedlings. Yes I have to pay the grafter, but I am freed up for 6 weeks to work on other stuff. If there is then a yield bump over a standard plant that is significantly above the graft cost, that would be the goal. Plus some disease tolerance increase would be like getting insurance.
I already figure I have at least one dollar per plant in cost with labor raising my own non-grafted seedlings. Paying another dollar to get a grafted plant done for me by an experienced grafter seems negligible.
If I get 25 lbs per plant on 450 non grafted plants, and see just a 10% yield gain with grafts, that's another 1,125 lbs of fruit.
At $2.60 per pound, that's another $2,925 in revenue for spending an extra $450.

I had a Rep come by, I believe Mighty Mato. They sold grafts, and had pics of side by side showing yields on Momotaro, the graft had much more fruit, and was Maxifort I think. I guess I should try some, nothing else to do right now anyway, 0 outside again.
I have been wanting to see if cold tolerance is passed along too on root stock from cold tolerant varieties, so I think I am going to trial some.
Who sells good root stock?
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Old February 13, 2017   #38
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I would think Bill (b54 red) would be a good one to ask for that.
Johnny Seeds definitely has the product, but I don't know how their pricing compares.
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Old February 17, 2017   #39
AKmark
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Default Time to plant

These are out of here in a couple of days, going to the GH early. I have to start more trays and juggle other plants, so it is time, let the season begin. YAY! These will be in 5 gallon bags within a week.
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Old February 17, 2017   #40
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Nice Mark! Excited to see your progress this season.
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Old February 17, 2017   #41
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I must say I admire your growing abilities and I enjoy your threads. That is a beautiful healthy group of seedlings. You make it look easy, I know it isn't. It takes Takes skill, add in an Alaska climate and it elevates what you accomplish to incredible.
I'm a fan and if I ever get to Alaska I would love to meet you and see your greenhouses in person.
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Old February 17, 2017   #42
Gerardo
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Beautiful plants as always, envelope in transit.
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Old February 17, 2017   #43
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They are a gorgeous sight. They ought to be very happy when they get put into the greenhouse.
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Old February 18, 2017   #44
AKmark
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Thanks tomato fanatics. I hope some will find some useful info in the thread somewhere along the line.
They are still getting 1200ppm, pH is 6.5. I will change ferts next week in the GH, we will slowly bump up the nutrients. They will soon be getting 1700ppm and pH will be 6.2, then the rapid growth will begin.
We have been warming up the GH, putting in injectors, water lines, cleaning tanks, hauling in frozen pro mix today to thaw, we are ready to get-er done.

Karen, you are welcome to stop in anytime, a visit to Alaska would be a good vacation too. I actually know a grower from your area who stops by sometimes.

Gerado, I am excited to try Ordoriko. I have grown Momotaro several times, I really like it.

Good luck everyone, the season has began.
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Old February 18, 2017   #45
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Cool, it's similar to Momotaro, although to my taste buds better. Each truss goes on auto-pilot and sets 3-5 practically flawless orbs, nice pink, versatile, and tasty.

Everyone in my household demands it be grown, and even though I'm offering Brandywine and its progeny, or whatever else I consider to be really good, inevitably they'll ask when will the Odorikos be ready. Their loyalty was engendered from a lone plant grown late in the summer with tons of sun + water restriction.

It'll dig the Alaska sun, and with chef Mark's ppm diet I've no doubt it'll live up to its full potential.

Had my first Mat-Su Xp this am, felt like Lois saying "me likey breadsticks."

https://youtu.be/Y7hPFjIkqPE

Last edited by Gerardo; February 18, 2017 at 08:09 PM.
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