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

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Old April 10, 2017   #61
Nan_PA_6b
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NewWestGardener, I'm so sorry about your farm! No chance the cropduster's insurance can compensate you? I know that won't make it all right, but there would be some justice in it.

Nan
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Old April 11, 2017   #62
NewWestGardener
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Thanks for the words of sympathy, Nan!

As it turns out, my brother-in-law is the corporate lawyer for the cranberry farm, go figure! I give him fresh tomatoes every year. So I asked him if he could represent us to sue his client, and defend his client at the same time, making sure I win!

No, not worth the time to pursue any compensation, we don't have any insurance. A retired farmer offered his land for me to grow this year, at an entirely different location. So we will be okay.

In the meantime, I am still going back to the island farm to grow winter squashes, which wasn't affected by the spray last year. Winter squashes produce well and keep well, very good for the food bank, and a lot less labor!

Have a great gardening year!


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Originally Posted by Nan_PA_6b View Post
NewWestGardener, I'm so sorry about your farm! No chance the cropduster's insurance can compensate you? I know that won't make it all right, but there would be some justice in it.

Nan
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Old April 19, 2017   #63
49tandc
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Too much water killed my tomatoes in dutch buckets. I put plastic over the shade cloth and all is better this year. Ends and sides have only shade cloth. Plants are much happier and producing.

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Old April 24, 2017   #64
Jonnyhat
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allium leaf miners are evil

more water, less frequently under lights is amazing... and in ground

cabbage loopers are a beast, kill those white moths with buckshot.

NEEM NEEM NEEM

was that a hikou?
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Old April 24, 2017   #65
maxjohnson
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I learned I probably should only buy wicking containers from now on just for the sake of convenience.
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Old April 25, 2017   #66
shule1
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I learned at least the following things (I'm going to include stuff I learned this year, so far, too):

* Squash bugs like more than squash (although they seem to prefer squash)
* Even a ridiculously large tomato cage can be too small (and pulled down by the plant after being overgrown)
* Tomatoes seem to like growing by our sidewalk.
* Empty tea bags are nice for keeping seeds separate while I zap 15 or so varieties at the same time, in a jar of water.
* White, plastic knives or spoons with an industrial Sharpie (Sharpie Pro) *might* work well for labeling my plants. (I used ice pop sticks with a regular Sharpie last year; the sticks broke easily and I had to re-write the labels on part-way through the season.)
* Smaller tomatoes on average seem to taste better in our soil
* I like Matina and Thessaloniki a lot
* Sawing trees down with a small saw can be a lot easier than it sounds (some small saws are a *lot* more effective than some big saws)
* Acidic tomatoes are hard to come by (especially when you have high-potassium soil)
* Peat moss can help a garden a lot (especially if the soil is too alkaline or doesn't have enough organic matter)
* There's some environmental discussion about peat moss going on, and not everyone approves of using it (but some people do). Apparently, people are worried about too much carbon dioxide getting loose from the peat bogs, and they're also worried about the ecosystems there being disturbed. The arguments on both sides of the discussion are pretty interesting (although somehow I doubt a lot of people read much into the arguments for peat moss, unfortunately, from what I can tell, so far).
* Eating tomatoes significantly reduces your blood levels of mercury for a while, or some such (even just eating processed ketchup).
* Growing peppers in moving totes is the way to go. It works decently for tomatoes, too, but it's really awesome with peppers (even if you have two plants per tote).
* You can start seeds in an unheated greenhouse, in Idaho (including in March, although I'm trying it in April this year), instead of starting them indoors.
* Small greenhouses *need* air from outside. It's not optional based on the temperature. You can get away with closing the vents for a while, but the plants and seeds probably won't grow at all during that time (and may even be hurt).
* Pests seem to stay away from plants that are watered with an oscillating sprinkler, as well as plants that are showered with a shower nozzle on a hose—although I will note that later in the season, spider mites still go for the watermelon (but it does deter them for a good while). It seemed to deter aphids and whiteflies all season. The only pests I remember on our main body of tomatoes were a couple slugs (with over a hundred tomato plants), which was really cool. I'm not recommending this for areas that aren't arid or semi-arid (due to the risk of fungal diseases). We just had a bit of anthracnose and some kind of mold later in the season (no plant deaths)—well, Punta Banda looked sick (I'm sure due to being overwatered), but no other plants seemed to catch whatever was ailing it, even though I left it there for a long time, and the plants were crowded.
* Crowded tomato plants have advantages (like cats will leave them alone), but they definitely need lots of sun if you're going to grow them that way.
* Watermelon can be ribbed, and have a sweet rind (I don't just mean less rind, but the whole, entire rind down to the skin can be sweet)—well, I don't know that more than one watermelon like this has ever been grown, but it happened!
* Duct tape doesn't fix everything
* I didn't notice any particular lack of heat-tolerance (with regard to fruit set) when I watered as I mentioned above instead of just watering at the base of each plant as I did in 2015. That's not to say there was no heat-intolerance, but it wasn't as noticeable, if present. I'm thinking a lot of the benefit is having a wider area of the ground watered such that the roots are willing to grow into those areas of ground. (So, it's not all about the wetting of the foliage—which probably won't help in all gardens.)

I learned lots of other stuff, too, but I've got to go.
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