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New to growing your own tomatoes? This is the forum to learn the successful techniques used by seasoned tomato growers. Questions are welcome, too.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #46
Cole_Robbie
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From what I read, you can use styrofoam, although perlite and vermiculite are superior at retaining air and water in the media. You might try looking for other alternatives, like a very coarse sand, or a small-sized, porous gravel.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #47
Mr. Frost
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Thanks Cole.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #48
Redbaron
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Thank you very much. Perlite or vermiculite isn't sold where I'm at. Can I use styrofoam instead?
I would use chopped fall leaves
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Old 1 Week Ago   #49
MissS
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I would use chopped fall leaves
Nice to see you posting Scott. Welcome back!

And, I agree with Redbaron. Chopped leaves are a much batter option than Styrofoam. Bark fines also work great. Many, many years ago, I too tried using Styrofoam with horrible results. Styrofoam does nothing to add any air to the soil. The soil just compacts around it. You need something that creates air pockets. Styrofoam just takes up space, never decays and pollutes your soil.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #50
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Chopped leaves? I haven't heard of that before. Fresh or dry leaves?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #51
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Sorry, I don't know what you mean by fall leaves, but I'll look it up. What size should they be? Should they be finely chopped or kinda big?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #52
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Would coco coir be a good addition if perlite is not available?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #53
Mr. Frost
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Sorry, I don't know what you mean by fall leaves, but I'll look it up. What size should they be? Should they be finely chopped or kinda big?
Well, I guess so. It's used a lot by a whole lot of gardeners for retaining moisture and lightening the mix.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #54
carolyn137
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I would use chopped fall leaves
I forgot to tell you that I'm also glad you are back posting as well.

And when I think Red Baron, I'm also thinking of the seeds I sent you and the variety was named Red Baron.

Do you remember that?

I've tried and tried to find out where I got those seeds from but I'm through trying to find out.

Carolyn
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Old 1 Week Ago   #55
MissS
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Sorry, I don't know what you mean by fall leaves, but I'll look it up. What size should they be? Should they be finely chopped or kinda big?
Fall leaves are dry brown leaves. I just rake them into a pile and run the lawn mower over them. I guess that they are about quarter size and smaller when I am done. I like them to be on the fine side.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #56
Redbaron
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Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
I forgot to tell you that I'm also glad you are back posting as well.

And when I think Red Baron, I'm also thinking of the seeds I sent you and the variety was named Red Baron.

Do you remember that?

I've tried and tried to find out where I got those seeds from but I'm through trying to find out.

Carolyn
Thanks Carolyn yep, three times I tried to get them to sprout! nada But one day maybe I'll find some again. This year I managed to maybe sprout an even older Rutgets, but that variety was a heart. Not good sprouters.

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Originally Posted by Mr. Frost View Post
Chopped leaves? I haven't heard of that before. Fresh or dry leaves?
Usually dry leaves that then are moistened as they become partly composted. It's easy enough. Just make a pile of leaves! Nature does the rest. Some people prefer the finer ones that filter down towards the bottom of the pile, others prefer a courser mix. If you make the pile in the same place every year you can even get good leaf mould from the very bottom! All of these are good mediums for starts.
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Last edited by Redbaron; 1 Week Ago at 11:37 AM.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #57
Mr. Frost
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Fall leaves are dry brown leaves. I just rake them into a pile and run the lawn mower over them. I guess that they are about quarter size and smaller when I am done. I like them to be on the fine side.
Thanks. The weather here is pretty much summer all the time. There's no Frost So if I plant indeterminate tomato's say Cherry tomatoes, they aren't gonna freeze. Does that mean they'll live forever?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #58
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Quote:
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Thanks. The weather here is pretty much summer all the time. There's no Frost So if I plant indeterminate tomato's say Cherry tomatoes, they aren't gonna freeze. Does that mean they'll live forever?
Technically, tomatoes are a perennial that are treated like an annual. If your frost free zone is anything like mine, there's plenty of insects and infective microbes to kill them off every year, but we have a 9 month season.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #59
Mr. Frost
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Wow. Well I don't think insects or microbes will be a problem. If they're like 3 years old, would their yield reduce?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #60
ginger2778
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Wow. Well I don't think insects or microbes will be a problem. If they're like 3 years old, would their yield reduce?
I wouldn't know, mine never live that long.
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