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If you had to teach a Newbee one thing about growing tomatoes

posted by: sumilea2008 on 02.13.2008 at 03:37 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

If you had to teach a Newbee (like myself) one thing about growing tomatoes What would it be? Thanks in advance.



This is a good general purpose starter thread. Tomato growing for dummies.
clipped on: 05.04.2009 at 11:14 am    last updated on: 05.04.2009 at 11:15 am

Earls Hole Method of Growing Tomatoes

posted by: earl on 01.15.2007 at 03:02 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

Earls Hole Method of Growing Tomatoes

Items from Walmart type garden center, 40 lb. bags of Composted Peat Humus, 40 lb. bags of Composted Cow Manure, Epson Salt and Bonemeal and Espoma Tomato-tone 4-7-10 fertilizer or equivalent .

In raised beds, after tilling, I dig good sized holes about 2 feet across, scattering the soil around the hole. Then to each hole I add bag of the peat humus, 1/4 bag of the manure, then I scatter about the hole a handful each of Epson salts, Bonemeal and Espoma. Then I use a spade fork to mix the formula VERY well some inches beyond the depth and width of the original hole. If plants are indeterminate they should be planted at least 4 feet apart.

I then, using my hands, I make a hole in the center of this mixture and plant the seedlings. If seedlings are tall I strip off the leaves except for the top few inches, and lay it at an angle or on its side in the hole and cover up to the leaves. Then I form a 4 inch deep water holding basin [a crater] about 1 1/2 feet across and around the plant, then mulch the plants and bed with straw or grass clippings, then water. Last I spread a handful of granular fertilizer such as Espoma Tomato-tone 4-7-10 on top of the mulch around the plants so it will leach into soil over time and feed the outer roots for they grow wide and deep. I use concrete wire cages 18-20 inches across and anchor them with rebar driven deep next to the cage. When I have to water, if I dont get rain in 7-10 days, I stick an open ended hose at the base of the plants and give them a couple gallons.

Never over water. The plants leaves will tell you theyre thirsty by drooping a bit. As the plants grow, to help prevent leaf disease, trim any branches that droop and touch the mulch.

During late summer if I think they need it I'll give each plant a couple gallons of fish emulsion or what ever liquid type I have. And if you have leaf problems, get started early using Daconil as soon as you plant, even saturate the mulch around the base as well as top and bottom of leaves.

I can't say this is the best way to do it, but it works for me.



clipped on: 05.01.2009 at 11:00 am    last updated on: 05.01.2009 at 11:00 am

RE: can I plant them out yet? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: anney on 04.22.2009 at 07:00 am in Growing Tomatoes Forum

FWIW, there are at least three recommended indicators of when hardened-off tomato plants will thrive being planted out. First, night temps need to be at 50 or above, daytime temps higher than that, and soil temps at a couple of inches deep need to be stable at about 60 degrees (a simple probe meat thermometer can test it for you). The soil temps are a result of warmer air temps and the soil warming effects of sunlight plus minimal heat loss during lower night temps.

In other words, we need to pay attention to temps not only for the upper part of the plant but for the root system, too.

Eventually, these parameters become second nature to take into account, though in the beginning they may seem to be a lot to keep in mind. There is an integrated process for it all! I think of it as a minimum of 50, night; 60, soil; and 70, air. Soil is the middle number.


Good advice for planting out.
clipped on: 04.22.2009 at 04:41 pm    last updated on: 04.22.2009 at 04:46 pm