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Old December 8, 2012   #46
z_willus_d
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Default The G, B and U of the past three weeks

It's been over three weeks from my last progress post, so I thought I'd report the G/B/U

The Good- As You can see from my first four pics, I've got fruit ranging from pebble to golf ball sized advancing on two or three of my six indoor dwarf plants. The Perth's Pride (2nd pic) were the first to show bloom and quickly express fruit, vibration assisted of course. A couple weeks later the Yukon berries popped on scene. The Perth plants seem to be doing by far the best, and one has already stretched upwards of three and a half feet tall. I'll have to start topping soon as the light can only be raised so far.

The Bad- Not long after my last post, I noticed some leaves starting to wilt and then more and more. I suspected a mildew, fungus or the like, so sprayed a dilute "Green cure" solution. The next morning most of the wilting leaves had dried up and turned black, and many more branches showed symptoms. I've since lost a number of branches, and I additionally sprayed a dose of Actinovate and just today Agri-Fos. You can see what I'm dealing with in the pics. The Perth's is least affected, but it too is succumbing. Note the new growth (see close-up pic #7) where the fresh sprouts are tipping off black and dead. I'm open to any ideas on how to address this. BTW, I've dealt with all this before (last season). Unfortunately, I never did get a grapple on it.

The Ugly- While blindly filling up the Perth's container today (2 gallons at a time), I suddenly realized a bulging of the InnTainer sides. I'd been checking the level-checker tube, but no liquid was rising and so I figured the Tainer was just very very dry. Turns out the grommet had somehow become clogged and I had filled my Tainer full over half way up or more. The only way I could think to remedy this, before suffocating any more roots than I'd already had was to get on my hands and knees and siphon the overfill out. I used an old washer hose (full of gunk) and sad to admit swallowed several gulping sips of Dwarf leechate in the process. Oh, the sacrifices one makes...

--naysen
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Last edited by z_willus_d; December 8, 2012 at 02:40 PM. Reason: Adding pics
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Old December 8, 2012   #47
Heritage
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Naysen,

Thanks for posting! It is encouraging to see your fruit set - I hope you can get the disease under control. My container grown Rosella Purple plants (unheated greenhouse) are showing similar symptoms to your dwarfs so I am using Daconil with yet undetermined results. (I still haven't diagnosed my RP's disease but I suspect Botrytis Gray Mold.)

"Dwarf leechate" is a great name - maybe a future tomato wine.

Steve
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Old December 9, 2012   #48
rwsacto
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Naysen,

I believe Ray recommends one of these for removing water from Earthtainers:



Battery operated liquid transfer pump.
Available at Amazon.
Mine works great.

Rick
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Old December 9, 2012   #49
z_willus_d
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Steve, thanks for posting. I grew RP in last year's Winter "indoor" (garage) attempt. It behaved similar to the Perth's pride with respect to disease, although I believe its growth pattern more stocky and dwarfish. I bought a 25-pack of the yellow sticky traps and have laid down a dozen atop the InnTainer soil. To date, I've found no gnats, white/fruit flies or the like, but it only took a night for thousands tiny thrip like (not quite though) buggies to get trapped. I'm not sure what I'm looking at, or if they'd be harmful. It's possible they're just the early stages of something more nasty. I'm thinking about trying a neem oil top-soil soak, or the like. So far, I'm not seeing anything pop out of the blossoms on vibration, as was the case outdoors last summer with the trips. I hope you get your Rosella plants moving in the right direction. They really do produce great tasting, if few, beefsteak tomatoes.

Rick, thanks for the pointer. I don't plan on getting myself into any more scenarios where I'd need to siphon up any Dwarf leachate, save perhaps the off-chance I take up Steve's idea and ferment up some tomato wine. That said, it never hurts to be prepared, so for the right price...

--naysen
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Old December 9, 2012   #50
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Naysen,

The new tomatoes look great! Put some Daconil into a clean Windex bottle and spray the plants sparingly. This should help control the fungal issues. Stop spraying a month before fruit ripens, as a safety measure.

Raybo
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Old December 9, 2012   #51
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Naysen, those look great. How many of them are grafted? Can you tell any difference between grafted and ungrafted yet. Hope the fungal issue is controllable. That will be fun for you to be eating fresh tomatoes this winter.

Marla
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Old December 10, 2012   #52
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Hi Ray, yeah I know Daconil is the gold standard, but these being indoor plants with close quarters (nearby closet doors, bedroom walls and baby playing), I've tried to avoid all but the most organic countermeasures. My sprayer (Solo) while being really great at what it does also tends to push out quite an energetic stream when engaged. If I can find a sprayer that doesn't break on me after a couple squeezes, I'll probably give it a try in a very controlled manner.

Hi Marla, the un-grafted varieties have the benefit of getting direct southern exposure sunlight (on the sunny days) but the impairment of having to overnight in the garage where temperatures get far cooler and there are more bugs, etc. They don't seem to have exhibited any fungal issues yet, but they remain much smaller, stockier and with reduced sized leaves. They're about a fifth of the plant of their grafted indoor peers, and no tomatoes as of yet (the blooms just drop before spreading open). I don't know how much of this to attribute to the grafting vs. the more ideal indoor conditions. I'm hoping to get some harvest from both set.

I'll let you all know when/if I do.

Thanks,
Naysen
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Old December 10, 2012   #53
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http://www.horticulturesource.com/ac...8ddda3c6bb6eee Got me the solo directional works like a charm.
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Old December 10, 2012   #54
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Hello from NJ
I was planting marigolds alongside of my tomatoes because gnats do not like them (gnats eat roots as you know probably). I mulched the entire plants into the soil. I wonder if making tea with marigold and watering infected plant would help. Other way to deal with gnats is to water somewhat dry soil (top 2 inches where the gnats are) with mixture of 1 part peroxide (regular 3%) with 4 parts water. It does not harm the plant. I used it on my infected home plants and saved them from the gnats. I hope it is not gnats and something less invasive or just deficiency of calcium or something like that. Good luck.
Ella
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Old December 10, 2012   #55
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Kurt, yes, that's the same one I have. It's great (but too powerful for indoors).

I just finished spraying a dilute mixture of Daconil. So, I've now tried Green cure followed by Actinovate followed by Agri-Fos followed by the Daconil (all at about one week intervals). If this doesn't do the trick, I have to think I have some other kind of systemic issue, perhaps related to the grafting of normal RS and dwarf scion. I leave a fan blowing on the plants when the lights are running in the day. I have it on a lower setting for a gentle breeze.

-n
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Old December 10, 2012   #56
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Hi Ella, I may have gnats or the like, but I don't believe they are the source of what appears to be a bad foliar issue affecting my indoor grafted dwarf plants. I'd want to be careful about introducing foreign substances, even highly diluted, to the InnTainer system, as there is no drainage so what goes in must stay until the plant/system consumes it.

I've heard a lot about the ameliorating effects of Marigolds through the years. I've always wondered if nematodes of the bad persuasion are ill disposed to it, what about the good guys? I'd hate to harm the ecosystem in that sense, but I'm not sure it really works out that way. Sometime, I'll have to try an A-B experiment to test their effect on a tomato bed.

Thanks for the help.
-naysen
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Old December 15, 2012   #57
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Thanks for posting all of this Naysen - very interesting to me as I'm planning on doing some grafting myself this season (for the first time). I'm doing a trial run now with surplus seeds just to see if I can get a good graft through the healing and hardening stage. I'm in the process of setting up my healing chamber now and I can't seen to get the humity above 80%.

I've sprayed everything down with water, have an open pan of water and a 8 oz dixie cup full of damp soil in my covered plastic bin with the interior kept at 80 degrees. I just jury-rigged a "fogger" into the box using a nebulizer (used by respiratory patients to inhale medications) with the water mist output directed through a flexi-straw through a small hole drilled into the side of the box. So far, I haven't been able to get past 80%......

I was wondering if you actually measured the humidity in your chamber with some sort of guage and, if so, did you actually get it into the 85-95% range? If you did, what's your technique?

Thanks!
Anne
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Old December 16, 2012   #58
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naysen, concerning your disease problems. Are you getting any air exchange in the room your growing the plants? What is the humidity running in the grow room? Plants are looking good otherwise. Ami
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Old December 16, 2012   #59
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Hi Anne, I'm glad to hear you're jumping on the grafting bandwagon; it's great fun and can be quite fulfilling when it works. I've gotta tell you, I didn't take any special precautions regarding the humidification of the hospital patients during their stay -- no spray holes, sponges, or nebulizers.

I didn't think to drop a hygrometer into the bin, but that would have probably been wise to measure and track. I tended to spray everything down, walls, plants and all (using a dilute seaweed extract water solution), once in the morning and once at night. Maybe I would have had better success if I had kept the plants more humidified. I didn't bother about not opening the lid, but I did try and keep them well isolated from direct light. Some of the plants that didn't make it developed mold or fungus from the over-saturation of water in the environment; but they were probably going to die anyway.

It's good that you're giving the process a practice run now before the big-time. Marla (Mlm1) was my instructor for grafting, so you can probably PM her for more detailed answers.

Good Luck!

Ami- It had occurred to me the humidity might be high in the room, which is why I tend to open the bedroom door from time to time. I haven't been opening the large bedroom window to the outside (gas bills are already too high), but that would probably help. I just checked the meter, and its reading 59-60% currently. I'll monitor the min/max from here. I think 60-70% is ideal, right?

Thanks,
Naysen
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Old December 16, 2012   #60
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Here are some pictures of the vines I snapped today about an hour ago. First three show the Yukon Quest, Iditarod, and Perth's pride respectively. You can see the disease or fungal condition persists, though I've had a better hold on it since spraying a couple times with a dilute solution of Daconil.

I actually counted 15 green tomatoes of various sizes on the larger Perth's... and more on the way. It reached within 4" of the light, and I've got the light fixture pulled up as high as I can take it in the rack. I'll have to start snipping some tips soon -- pains me but I have to. If I could get all those green tomatoes to turn color, that would really put a smile on my face.

That last pic shows the little buggers that are collecting in droves on my yellow sticky traps. I'm not sure what they are or what they portend.
-naysen
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