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

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Old June 17, 2018   #1
AlittleSalt
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Default A Fall Container Garden - Ideas?

The fall garden is going to be in containers, so this is the place to put this thread.

The Summer solstice is next Thursday June 21, and it's already time for me to think about a fall garden. I planted 12 tomato plants in 5 gallon buckets in spring, so I know they can and do grow well in them. How well? 3.5' or 42" (106cm) spacing is too close together, and rows 4.5' or 55" (1.3716m) apart is too close. I know that I could have trimmed the plants, but I needed to see how well they could grow in containers. Besides, my wife likes seeing huge tomato plants, and I like making my wife happy.

It's time for me to think about spacing. The garden is 14' x 17' (4.2672m x 5.1816m) There are 4 rows, so the tomato plants can be planted in rows farthest apart - that makes it much easier to plan out. The way they are planted now has 5 tomato plants in the 14' rows. I want to space them farther apart growing 4 tomato plants per 14' row. That means spacing is basically 55" apart or 4.5' (1.3716m). All of that adds up to growing 8 tomato plants in total which are plenty of tomatoes for a family of 11 (That includes the neighbors). Those 8 tomato plants will take up two of the four rows.

For now, I need to figure out which varieties of tomatoes to start seeds for. I would like to start the tomato seeds on the summer solstice (Thursday June 21) outside in dappled shade. I have done this several times before. The tomato seedlings grow up in the conditions they will be planted in as I start moving the solo cup stage tomato plants more into the full sun as time goes by.

If any of you are interested, I would like your ideas and thoughts on tomato varieties. At least 4 varieties have to be cherry tomatoes and I don't want to grow Sungold.

Limiting factors: 85+ DTM varieties may not have time before first frost in November.
It needs to be seeds I already have. I don't want to type the varieties I have because it would take about 3 days to type them all

1. Porter
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

That covers tomatoes. Now, what to grow in the remaining 2 rows. I have read many times about greens tasting better when grown in fall, but what else? Ideas and thoughts are welcome

I am fully into container gardening. It took this spring (My first container growing experience) to see it and understand it more. I have a lot of learning to do, and doing it is the only way to experience it. I am not afraid of failing, but I would rather grow successfully.

Tomorrow, Monday June 18, I'm supposed to get a package containing 12.5 lbs. 4-18-38 / 15.5-0-0 Calcium Nitrate / Magnesium Sulfate mix. That's what I'll be using to water the fall garden.
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Last edited by AlittleSalt; June 17, 2018 at 01:03 PM. Reason: More info
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
AlittleSalt
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41 views, and no replies. Let's see what I did wrong.

The second paragraph - there's some of what sounds like bragging going on.

I know that a lot of people trim their plants a lot with great results - I might have offended those.

The fact that my wife likes seeing huge tomato plants and I love her could have upset others - I guess?

The third paragraph - Maybe I shouldn't compare Imperial measurements to metric?

The rest of what I wrote was supposed to be inspiring, and yet no replies.

I tried.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
Al@NC
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I can't speak for others but me myself I have never had 2 seasons for growing (I'm so envious though!) so I automatically thought others from Texas/Florida/California would have much more to contribute from experience!


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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
HudsonValley
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I've never grown a Fall garden in Texas, but if I did, I would probably pick a bright red heart-shaped cherry tomato like Gardener's Sweetheart or something visually interesting but sweet like Isis Candy Cherry. I'd also want something bright orange, like Jaune Flamme, because it practically glows in late summer and fall sunlight (well, it does that here in the Northeast). I'd probably also grow a pink tomato, but it would be hard to choose just one! And what about cucumbers? Here, I grow cukes on tomato cages stuck into mounds -- kinda similar to containers, I would think. And a container full of giant red mustard or chard would be beautiful.


Now I'm wishing I had two seasons for gardening...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
SueCT
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Sorry, Salt, but I have never had a fall garden, and my climate is so different, so I really don't know where to start. The best I can do is to say, I did try late planted Zucchini last year becuase I haven't been able to grow it for years due to squash vine borers and I did have some limited success, in that I got several squash before the weather changed. I did think about this and wondered if you were interested in growing fruit. I have 2 blueberry bushes that survive in pots even through our cold winters, and you might be able to grow other berries as well. I have some red currents that I bet would give you a crop in large containers. You might be able to get some items like that started in the fall. Herbs are another idea. Rosemary can make a beautiful shrub in your zone. For tomatoes, Sophies Choice and Azoychka come to mind because of size as well as being fairly early.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
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Thank you. The only thing I have ever grown in a fall garden is tomatoes. I did try squash, but with little results.

Al, they are two short seasons.

HudsonValley, I left that part out about growing in my neck of the woods in Texas on purpose. I write to inspire people to write about their experiences where they are.

What this thread is to convey - is that I now believe in a container growing system. To get your thoughts and opinions means that I am inspiring you to be you.

My thread starting post meant that - I guess I worded it wrong?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
AlittleSalt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueCT View Post
Sorry, Salt, but I have never had a fall garden, and my climate is so different, so I really don't know where to start. The best I can do is to say, I did try late planted Zucchini last year becuase I haven't been able to grow it for years due to squash vine borers and I did have some limited success, in that I got several squash before the weather changed. I did think about this and wondered if you were interested in growing fruit. I have 2 blueberry bushes that survive in pots even through our cold winters, and you might be able to grow other berries as well. I have some red currents that I bet would give you a crop in large containers. You might be able to get some items like that started in the fall. Herbs are another idea. Rosemary can make a beautiful shrub in your zone. For tomatoes, Sophies Choice and Azoychka come to mind because of size as well as being fairly early.
Sue, I will reply tomorrow - I just looked up at the clock and it's almost 1am, and young grandchildren will be waking up the roosters.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
efisakov
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Hi, Robert,
I would recommend:
Carbon Copy
Black cherry
KARMA pink
Blush
Fuego Verde
Elgin Pink
Mat-Su Express


Besides tomatoes: Okra, bush beans, zucchini, Cucumbers, Arugula Astro, Tatsoi (end of summer), Cilantro, other greens.

Great idea to have a second season starting now. I once started cucumbers first week of July and got plenty before cold weather got them. Were picking them in September. It was nice.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
Worth1
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Snow peas in the fall let the soil rest.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #10
Gerardo
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Thanksgiving tomatoes rock. Cosmonaut Volkov and other semidets are the way to go.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #11
Rajun Gardener
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What tomatoes are you growing now? You can start some suckers and be ahead of the game if you like those varieties.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #12
oakley
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Thanksgiving tomatoes rock! I so agree.

Good idea starting some suckers. You have some good looking plants already.

I started my Fall tray, 36 cell 1010. I'll just take the strongest 9 or 10 to take forward.
Four micros, four dwarfs and two or three container/patio cherries. Totally different than
Texas as you will have probably 6 more weeks than me. But smaller dwarfs I can grow in
2 gallon bags and micros in one gallon...then easily pop inside if I get a cold night or two
in October.
I also started some hearty greens that will be fine for a month in the 1010 tray. I'll start some
peas, beans and cukes early August.

It wasn't clear how many 5 gallons you have for other crops. Good calendars on-line that list
what does best and when for the Fall in your area...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #13
agee12
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If you can get your hands on some Tasmanian Chocolate seeds, that would be my recommendation.

You may not get too many responses that are specific to containers but you may get input from b54red and Gardeneer when they see this thread.

Here are previous threads you may want to check out, the one you started on Fall gardening back in 2016 is a pretty good one:
http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=41643
http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=47615
http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=42274
http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=45569
http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=45720
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #14
Dewayne mater
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The fall season is tricky. Large tomatoes are generally not worth it in my experience. The problem is that when we start getting cool nights, the quality of the fruit begins to suffer. By suffer I mean it becomes mealy and tasteless. So, my focus has always been on what works that is smaller. I don't have a great list for you, but, the proven winners for me are:

Black and brown boar - the cold doesn't seem to affect them!
black cherry and sun gold.

I think any cherry would work and I would also consider the saladette size tomatoes. The first one that comes to mind is Stupice (stew peak ah) 55 days to ripe.
I would also specifically look for cold weather tomatoes.
It won't be cold when you start, but, at money time, when they are ripe, the nights will be in the 30s and 40s. Cold slows down ripening quite a bit. When I first started with fall gardens, I was getting nice fruit set of tomatoes that got to size, but were green when freezes started and even if you bring them inside, leave them hanging from the vine to ripen, the texture is mealy, the taste bland. So, in short, you want smaller, fast ripening tomatoes that like the cold. Good luck!

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #15
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Sorry, Salt. I don't do a Fall garden. I can't offer any experience, but peas, pattypan squash, cabbage/broccoli/cauliflower... but at only one per bucket to me it is a waste of space. I would skip them to plant something that produces subsequent harvesting. lettuce or greens, radishes, beets and swiss chard are always a short season crop.
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