Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old July 5, 2017   #16
PureHarvest
Tomatovillian™
 
PureHarvest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,121
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PureHarvest View Post
Ate my first tomato last night. Crnkovic Yugslavian. It was phenomenal.
The plants look terrible and the fruit are smaller than they are supposed to be but it tasted fantastic.

My Indian Stripe (regular leaf) look awesome. Full, big fruit, uniform fruit set, and the plants are some of my most compact. And the ripening ones look unreal, to me anyway.
Here's one I picked the other night. Not ready to eat yet though.

Attachment 74683
Update: IS RL taste was just "good". A pinch of salt really brought out the flavor to the point it was impossible to not eat the whole thing.
Curious how the taste will progress over the season. I've already noticed a difference in taste of any given variety from different plants in the tunnel (started the same time, grown the same way).
PureHarvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5, 2017   #17
Nematode
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 1,523
Default

Lookin' good PH.
How do your "inside" and outside temps compare when the sun is out?
Nematode is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5, 2017   #18
PureHarvest
Tomatovillian™
 
PureHarvest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,121
Default

No difference. In fact, it feels a pinch less intense inside, perhaps because the plastic has UV inhibiting properties.
We are really getting lucky with most days under 90 so far this year. Had a few low 90's last week, and started to see some splitting on some varieties. Picking earlier, but they even start on some green ones just starting to blush.
I'm really thinking now that the grow bag system is only meant for controlled environments (or northern areas) where heat can be kept down below the upper 80's at all times. I guess you could counter this with varieties that don't have this problem, but I still think it would happen if we hit heat indexes over 100 for 3 days or more in a row like we did last July and then again in August. Hasn't happened yet, but typically does here. I'm not sure shade cloth would solve the problem either when it's 98 with 75% humidity. It's sort of like why the deep south can't grow summer tomatoes. Only difference is that we don't get it all summer long. It comes and goes, but when it does it hits your marketable yield.
My original plan, and leaning heavy towards it again, was to heat the house early spring. Transplant into bags March 1st and start harvesting mid-May. Then find out how long they go till the heat comes on. Have a second set of seedlings ready to install in late July maybe? Harvest them from late September to Thanksgiving. Added together, they would be the same yield as a season long crop, but more work because of the in and out of the old and new plants. But doable.
I'd be curious to see how plants would do in this same style (single stem in a tunnel on drip feed), but in the ground where the roots can be kept cooler. I use white grow bags, so I don't know how much cooler I can make the roots. Maybe bury the bags in the ground? Ugh, thats a lot of holes to dig or auger.

Last edited by PureHarvest; July 5, 2017 at 11:54 AM.
PureHarvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5, 2017   #19
Randall
Tomatovillian™
 
Randall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: 6a
Posts: 389
Default

I don't know how I missed this thread but everything looks great, PureHarvest!
Randall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6, 2017   #20
Ricky Shaw
Tomatovillian™
 
Ricky Shaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Zone 6a Denver North Metro
Posts: 1,852
Default

With just enough media, and feeding just enough ferts, the bags are models of efficiency in smaller sizes, but so unforgiving. Finicky and frustrating, the 4-7 gallon bags have taught me as much about container growing in the last month than the 15-20 gallons did all of last year. Growing 2-3 stem in the 10gal poly in white is very promising, a little hotter than the fabrics in the 10gal, but less water. Fine by me, the poly is cheaper.

I'm so small scale a lot does not apply to growers, but the info you and they give back, is the wellspring of nearly all my garden thinking. Good thread, and keep posting.
Ricky Shaw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old July 6, 2017   #21
zipcode
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Romania/Germany , z 4-6
Posts: 792
Default

Plants look great. What's the production per plant? (last year)
Also, how was the the taste of that Yellow brandywine?
zipcode is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6, 2017   #22
Salsacharley
Tomatovillian™
 
Salsacharley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,482
Default

Really great looking setup. You are right about Red Jazz stem thickness and vigor. Mine are late in the ground but kickin it.
Salsacharley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6, 2017   #23
Nematode
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 1,523
Default

PH, what exactly are you struggling with?
Not sure of your feed schedule, but less media requires smaller more frequent irrigations. Small bags are less forgiving, but manageable with automation.
Nematode is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6, 2017   #24
PureHarvest
Tomatovillian™
 
PureHarvest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,121
Default

Let me try to hit all the replies here.

The Platfoot Brandywine was excellent. Plant is stingy with production though, and many of truss 2 and 3 flowers have aborted during some high temps.

Red Jazz has turned into a major disappointment. Blossom end rot on fruit while they are still 1-2" diameter to beat the band. I'm getting zero BER on the other 17 or so varieties I'm growing. That and they are staying small, like 2-3" diameter when ripe. Thought they'd be big like Orange Jazz (which by the way are absolute monsters. I think some are approaching 2lbs. Plants are loaded up with green fruit too. Right on BigVan!)
I will be tasting my first Red Jazz today though (strain #3 and #1), and my co-workers grab those first to inspect out of the boxes I'm bringing to work. That's the first they pick up and ohh and ahh over.

Last years production on the overall operation was poor. 2 very big heat waves split a lot of fruit. Stink bugs and worms destroyed at least half my crop. I did not fruit thin and the plants did not support the loads and the new growth went spindly like a #2 pencil. 2 heat waves with heat indexes above 100 hurt everything too.
Mixing up 200 gallon fert tanks was a pain, and I think my meter was off and it was possible that things were not mixing properly (even though i did one ingredient at a time and used a circulating pump to mix). Basically, my plants never seemed quite right. Also possible that my EC was too strong for heirlooms (was using the hybrid rates). I am using the heirloom rate chart this year on the 4-18-38 with dramatically better results. Much lower EC.

This year, with screens blocking the outside world, I have no bug damage. Do have aphids for the first time ever. I think they came in from the grafted plants, since they were produced off-site at someone else's greenhouse. That, or more likely, the one Bonnie cabbage plant i brought into the tunnel to help my daughter grow that the school gives away to all the kids for the scholarship contest for biggest cabbage..
I spray soap every week now. Lady bugs were a waste of time. Green lace wing larvae didn't work either (did not spray them after release). Thought about parasitic wasps. Tired of spending money though and soap is cheap. Just gotta keep doing it.

I am thinning fruit to 4-5 when they are about 1" diameter. Went with injectors, so no more mixing up tanks and sumping to the bags.

Production is way up and better this year. Splitting is a concern, but not too bad right now and not on every variety like last year. Mostly on Brandy Boy and some BW Sudduth, and a few Cherokee Purple and IS. I may have overstated the splitting in yesterday's post. Just really worried that if we go above 90+ at some point it's gonna rear its ugly head with gusto.

I am automated, and have 3 injectors. One for 4-18-38+Epsom, one for Calnitrate, and one for Potassium hydroxide (pH UP). I have a mixing chamber after the ferts, and one after the KOH so I can have piece of mind that the solution is mixed thoroughly before it passes by the inline EC/pH meter.
I have my four rows broken down into 3 zones. Each zone runs for 15 minutes in the morning, with the first zone starting at 7am. So, each bag is getting about .8 gallons for the 15 minutes, or 102 ounces. So that's 50 ounces per plant.
When I get home from work around 4:45, I run it again for 5-7 minutes depending on conditions. That gives each plant around another 25 ounces.
The hydro-garden manual says 40-50 ounces per plant per day, but this is for temperature controlled environments. I have more heat and wind than what they are assuming at that rate. This is why I do a second run.
I'd like to do the second run closer to noon or 1 pm, but my control box won't let me change the duration from the original 15 minutes. I need a more advanced control box and am going to get one.
So, I am trying to start the day with full moisture, but I'm thinking 4:45-5 pm is too late for the afternoon top-off. I'm thinking mid day around noon-2 would be better.
Last year I did small waterings starting at 7 and then every couple hours throughout the day. It was not good. The bags never got fully hydrated and the plant usage against the heat and air stayed too far ahead of that cycle. I even tried doing a little more in the morning and at noon, but it still seemed like not enough.
So, this year, I wanted to start the day fully hydrated. That, and a production researcher/fert salesman I met over the winter suggested full water once in the morning with a top off around noon.
I believe Mark does it this way too (only topping off a second time if it s really hot).

So, if I can keep the bags from getting to a point where they are a little too dry during the day, maybe I can avoid the splitting altogether?

I have picked aver 60 pounds on the season, starting about June 26th. Last 4-5 days I'm getting about 20 lbs/day from 132 plants. And I haven't even gotten any of about 10 of my varieties yet.
When my grafted plants, which are a couple weeks younger/behind, kick in, I will have about 175 plants producing.

Thanks everyone for taking interest! More pictures to come soon.

Last edited by PureHarvest; July 6, 2017 at 12:56 PM.
PureHarvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 7, 2017   #25
PureHarvest
Tomatovillian™
 
PureHarvest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,121
Default

So the handsdown winner on flavor so far this year is Mrs. Maxwell. It beat Brandywine Sudduth, Platfoot, Brandy Boy, IS, Orange Jazz, and Crnkovic Yugo, and Cosmo Volkov.
Still have yet to try Chef's Choice green, Mat-Su Express, Cherokee Green, and KBX.

Had OJ last night and liked it VERY much. Not as much as BWine Platfoot though. But production-wise, would easily dump Platfoot for OJ.

Here is OJ:

IMG_0736.JPG



Here is one of the flats that I delivered to a produce stand today. I am getting $25 per 10lb box. He is retailing for $3.99. He said he would actually rather have mostly half ripe with a handfull of ripe in each box. Said they would hold for him better that way. Also wanted mixed sizes like in the pic below, which is great for me with so many varieties making different diameters. Nice to not have to grade and find something to do with the 3-8 ounces fruits.
He is also going to buy all the strawberries I can deliver at $3/pound (for those that are familiar with my day-neutral berry trial).
Lastly, I am taking him my garlic too (for those familiar with my garlic trial). I'm putting a 1/2 pound in a netted bag with an attractive plastic card attached. I'm getting $5 and he's selling for $7-8 after he decides.

IMG_0730.JPG

Last edited by PureHarvest; July 7, 2017 at 03:31 PM.
PureHarvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8, 2017   #26
Ricky Shaw
Tomatovillian™
 
Ricky Shaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Zone 6a Denver North Metro
Posts: 1,852
Default

Very nice pH!

HTG has the white poly 7gal and 10gal bags for about 50 cents a bag on ebay. I picked up 50 of the 10's for $32 incl shipping and this is about half of what they charge on their actual website.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/GROW-BAGS-Bl...-/121070962341
Ricky Shaw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old July 8, 2017   #27
PureHarvest
Tomatovillian™
 
PureHarvest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,121
Default

Thanks for the heads up Ricky!
PureHarvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8, 2017   #28
PureHarvest
Tomatovillian™
 
PureHarvest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,121
Default

We've broken the 2lb barrier!

Orange Jazz is some plant for me.
Here are some shots of some small "pumpkins" I picked last night.

IMG_0746.JPG

IMG_0747.JPG

IMG_0748.JPG

IMG_0751.JPG
PureHarvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8, 2017   #29
Ricky Shaw
Tomatovillian™
 
Ricky Shaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Zone 6a Denver North Metro
Posts: 1,852
Default

They should have orbiting moons.
Ricky Shaw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old July 27, 2017   #30
BigVanVader
Tomatovillian™
 
BigVanVader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Posts: 2,667
Default

Same dude. It blew my mind last year. Some of them were so big the weight split the fruit against the support pole. Glad iit is doing the same for you. Fred hit a walk off homer with that one.
BigVanVader 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 11:58 AM.


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