It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Tomato Triangle Experiment

page: 1
3
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 19 2008 @ 01:33 PM
link   
Okay, so after my last round of planting, and learning so much from all the replies, recommended books, the net, and TV shows, I've decided to try an entirely new approach, starting with tomatoes, entirely designed with efficiency, budget, protection, companion planting, and ease of use in mind.

I call this the Tomato Triangle.



I've got 9 plants, 3 "celebrity" tomato seedlings, 3 sweet basil, 3 fox rosemary.

  • The Bed - To minimize the amount of weeds, erosion, and grass, while increasing drainage, soil retention, and protection against pests, I will this time use porous lawn dividers, like bricks or cement, to create a triangular frame a foot or so deep that I will fill with a combination of compost, starter soil, expanded shale, and our own native clay. The end result should be a soil line a good 4-6 inches above that of the rest of the ground. I've decided on the triangular shape for its space-efficiency. In the center will be 3-walls of a metal cage, attached together for strong, central support. The metal will attract static electricity, which repels pests and increases nitrogen. I will prime it white, so as to minimize the amount of heat absorbed from the sun, while increasing the amount of reflectivity onto the leaves.

  • Sun - We get gentle sunlight in the morning and noontime, but afternoon sun is extremely harsh and hot. The facing of the triangle is to allow 2 of the three tomato plants full exposure to the gentle sunlight and then be shaded in the afternoon, while the afternoon plant is shaded until midday when it faces the harshest sun. In this way, we'll see which survives best, but either way, all three plants should receive enough sunlight to satisfy their needs.

  • Watering - Plant leaves should stay dry, it's the roots that need the water, not the leaves. Wet leaves encourage diseases, and much water is wasted in the transition from air to soil. Especially with a broadcast sprinkler. I've decided to recycle some 2-liter bottles, and instead make my own efficient watering bottle. Wet soil will have a high enough surface tension to keep water from flowing through the holes; dry soil will let the water through. The water itself goes straight to the root systems, keeping the water dry. I cut the bottom off of the two-liter bottle, then invert it and use it to cap the bottle. This traps evaporating water throughout the day and lets it collect and drip down the "nubs" that previous acted as a tripod for the bottle. In this way, the water usage remains very efficient, the plant never goes thirsty, and disease is further discouraged. Here is an example of the watering bottle.



  • The Plants - I'm using "Celebrity" tomatoes which are prolific and hardy against heat and disease, but their flavor is typically as bland as a grocery-store tomato. To fix this, I'm planting companions Basil and Rosemary in the same bed, which should help out considerably with the flavor, as well as keep away pests, and encourage bees to fertilize the tomato blooms.

  • The garden - I'm going to try this approach with everything else in the garden that isn't already well-established (like the accidental pumpkins). The use of triangular beds should allow me several luxuries. One is that they can be shaped efficiently to any pattern, spaced as far apart as needed, I don't have to worry about mulching the ground around them, nor do I have to worry about the spread of grass outside of the beds. It also makes crop rotation very easy, as I can let the fallow land between the beds alone till next year, when I simply flip each triangle to an unused area. Between them, I will use sew a combination of hairy vetch and clover to condition the soil this summer.



    Of course, this is an experiment, by an amateur gardener, so I might have overlooked something dreadfully important. I would love to hear any comments, questions, suggestions, and especially warnings or things I might not have considered.

    [edit on 5/19/2008 by thelibra]




  • posted on May, 19 2008 @ 02:15 PM
    link   
    Brilliant idea with the bottles, I'm going to try something like that too. Thanks for the inspiration.



    posted on May, 19 2008 @ 02:18 PM
    link   
    I am growing as much as I can in a 10X10 space........my tomatoes are triangulated as it is easier to hook them together and keep them braced this way once they get bigger......

    I really LIKE where your thinking is going with this plan design and wish my stuff was NOT all in already for I would have followed suit.



    posted on May, 19 2008 @ 04:49 PM
    link   
    I live out in the so called" sticks" of Pennsylvania. A few years back an old gentleman told me to stake my tomatoes with unwound and then re- bent wire coat hangers, re bent into a stake. Then he said tie them up with old nylon stockings or pantie hose,( yup I feel teasing coming on), anyway I did this and got some really nice big red juicy tomato tasting tomatoes.
    I asked him what the secret was, he told me the electricity from the air is conducted in some way and the tomatoes benefit. I know you might be thinking Frankenstein or Edward Scissorhands but I never had such a beauty of a crop.



    posted on May, 19 2008 @ 05:44 PM
    link   
    Excellent thinking TheLibra.

    I especially like the addition of basil and rosemary to help with the taste of the Celebrity tomato.


    My experience with static electricity - 34 years in the high voltage bulk power biz - is that you have to be isolated from ground to build a charge.

    Think about when you stride across a carpeted floor in your mocassins - or shoes, but I'm guessing you don't wear shoes in the house - and touch an electrically grounded device, you'll get a good zap.
    If I'm remembering correctly it takes 2000 volts to jump 1/8"

    Walk across the floor barefoot and you're part of the ground network at ground potential (potential means voltage) and you won't get zapped when you contact a grounded device.

    Static electricity can easily damage some computer components when you're swapping a card for example.
    My own experience was touching a wireless mouse, getting zapped and destroying the mouses delicate circuitry.


    If you want your inner cage to develop a static electricity charge, isolate it from ground with some sort of insulation device.
    That should allow the wind to generate static electricity on the inner cage.

    Make no mistake, static electricity under the right conditions can kill.
    You shouldn't be able to generate enough static electricity to create a problem.
    It's a whole other story if you have your garden under or near a high voltage line . . . more on that in a sec.

    Short story here: the SoCal electric utility I worked for was partners in an EHV line construction project.
    EHV being AC, 500kv & up.
    The newly constructed line, conductors hung on insulators correctly etc. was nowhere near a power station or other EHV or HV (High Voltage - 230kv) line.
    The desert wind blew all night and when a construction lineman went up the tower and contacted the un-energized by the grid conductor he bled off a huge static electricity charge and was killed.

    The investigation showed that he didn't think proper grounding procedures were required since the new line wasn't connected to a potential source of voltage.


    All that for this; when I lived in Central California, there were 230kv towers in my backyard.
    The towers were there first and the houses should not have been built with the large back yards (1/2 acre) so close to the lines.
    I think the field from the 230kv power line, one of which was directly over the garden gave the garden a boost of some kind and we had some great gardens over the years.

    Along those same lines, along with working in high voltage areas and living in a high voltage field it was one of the healthiest times in my life.

    Granted, there are some who think EHV an HV lines cause health problems, but so far it's been shown to be nothing more than welfare for lawyers and not a problem for people.
    What no one notices in all this is, utility workers who spend their careers in a high voltage field die pretty much for the same reasons most folks do.

    Nuff said there, and I do want to hear how the static electricity application works.

    The water bottles are a clever idea as well.

    Along those lines I got my black soaker hoses in this morning and they're working well.
    Nice part is the weeds outside the garden will be deprived of water.

    More than likely your area is much like ours - N/W Arizona desert - and many local gardeners I talk to indicate tomatoes require shade during the hottest part of the day.
    Right now, the entire garden is in full shade by 3:00PM.
    It's up close to the house for that reason.

    I do plan to put some nursery cloth mesh shade up, but right now the garden is doing ok.

    Tomorrows garden project is making the tomato trellises alluded to in the earlier garden post.
    It's 102 degrees F right now and I gave up a couple hours back.

    Tomorrow, work in the cool and shaded garage/shop.

    A bit wordy, but when you're hiding out it pays to look busy....



    posted on May, 20 2008 @ 07:43 AM
    link   

    Design Tweaks



    So I had just finished dismantling the metal dog-training crate and re-assembling it into the triangular tomato cage, and pulled out the tape measure. The distance between the center of each "wall" to the center of the other two walls was far too short. Tomatoes need to be spaced about 2-3 feet apart. So I measured the length of each wall. 30"... 2 1/2 feet. Perfect!

    So instead of planting the tomatoes along the side of each wall, I will now be planting them at the corners, so I adjusted everything thusly:




    Changes:

  • The tomatoes at the corners will have their vines tied going off at a 30 degree angle from each other, down different walls of the triangle. In theory, the tomato plants will each meet in the center of the walls, given enough growth.

  • The watering bottles will now be inside the cage, at the corners, allowing them a more efficient spread of water, and also the cage and vines will shade the bottles, resulting in less evaporation.

  • Adjusted rosemary and basil positions now allow for more space between them, as well as allowing a more even distribution of their aromatic properties on the tomatoes.


    Okay then, so onwards... Replies!



    Originally posted by Swordbeast
    Brilliant idea with the bottles, I'm going to try something like that too. Thanks for the inspiration.


    Thanks man. Between composting and recycling, we kind of take a look at every piece of trash nowadays and try to figure out how to re-use it in some way (we're down to one "loose" trash bag a week now as far as stuff we really throw away). I always save containers, like coffee cans, etc, because I know I'll have a use for them later, but I couldn't figure out a use for 2-liter bottles till I saw one of those watering-bulbs at the store. It was like a fancy piece of blown glass all painted artsy and such, and you fill it with water and stick it in the ground. I thought, "that's brill," but didn't want to spend $15 a pop. That night, we finished off a 2-liter of ginger ale and I realized I could do the same thing with a 2-liter bottle, but it would need air holes to let the water through, and some way to reclaim condensation from evaporation. Hence, the watering bottle.


    Originally posted by theRiverGoddess
    I really LIKE where your thinking is going with this plan design and wish my stuff was NOT all in already for I would have followed suit.


    Well, the design changed again last night, but mostly just in placement of the veg (see top of this post). I'm keeping some video of the process, so hopefully by the time I'm done, I can post a youtube of the final result.



    Originally posted by Tomorrow
    Then he said tie them up with old nylon stockings or pantie hose,( yup I feel teasing coming on), anyway I did this and got some really nice big red juicy tomato tasting tomatoes.



    I certainly wouldn't tease you about that. Everything I've read so far agrees 100% that old nylons are the best thing in the world to tie vines to "stakes" with. What's funny is that I called my wife while I was at the store, to ask her if she had some old stockings or something I could use, and she said something like "Honey, I'm cool with you experimenting, but I don't think they'd fit you"



    Which, of course, prompted the explanation that, no, I wanted to tie up our tomato plants once they grew.


    Originally posted by Tomorrow
    I asked him what the secret was, he told me the electricity from the air is conducted in some way and the tomatoes benefit.


    Again, absolutely true. A metal stake attracts static electricity, which slugs and certain other pests cannot stand. It also attracts nitrogen out of the air for some reason, which your tomatoes can use to grow with.


    Originally posted by Desert Dawg
    I especially like the addition of basil and rosemary to help with the taste of the Celebrity tomato.


    I really hope it works. And if nothing else, I'll have fresh basil and rosemary to cook with, which, from what I understand, is about a million time better than the bottled McCormick's stuff.


    Originally posted by Desert Dawg
    ...you have to be isolated from ground to build a charge.


    This puzzled me and made sense at the same time, so I did a bit of looking around the net. What I found was this: the metal acts as a corona of sorts, and builds up a charge, even touching the ground, because it is of a more highly conductive, dissimilar material. However, the charge will only build up to a certain point, where the difference is then transfered to the ground. So what you have is basically a capacitor of sorts constantly discharging itself. Touching the ground, it shouldn't build enough of a charge to "shock" me before it discharges into the ground, but the charge it builds up before discharging is enough to deterr the likes of slugs and certain other pests, and attract nitrogen.



    Originally posted by Desert Dawg
    Along those lines I got my black soaker hoses in this morning and they're working well.
    Nice part is the weeds outside the garden will be deprived of water.


    I use the same philosophy on my box hedges and rose bushes and foundation. Because the sun is so harsh in the late afternoon, and the side of the house that faces the sun has had some foundation work, I have to keep it from drying out too much, so I put in some box-hedges and roses on that side a couple years back, and laid a soaker-hose in a loop. Keeps the foundation from drying out, shades it (and now the wall, keeping that side of the house from getting too hot).


    Originally posted by Desert Dawg
    More than likely your area is much like ours - N/W Arizona desert - and many local gardeners I talk to indicate tomatoes require shade during the hottest part of the day.


    What I'm hoping is that the design tweaks I made last night will actually keep the tomatoes from being damaged by full sun in the late afternoon, without building a shade for them. If it turns out I just -have- to shade them, then I'll probably put a scarecrow in front of it. But the wind we get here is so strong, it'd just blow a nursery cloth away.


    Originally posted by Desert Dawg
    It's 102 degrees F right now and I gave up a couple hours back.

    Tomorrow, work in the cool and shaded garage/shop.


    It was HOT yesterday. I spent the heat of the day in the garage, dismantling an old dog-training crate, and re-buiding it into the tomato cage and painting it with white primer. By then, it was around 5pm and cool enough to dig the hole, but I ran out of time, and wasn't able to actually plant anything yet. I'm doing that today, so I should have a finished product to show off by tomorrow. I hope.



    [edit on 5/20/2008 by thelibra]



  • posted on May, 20 2008 @ 09:25 AM
    link   
    This out of the box thinking about veggie gardens is great.
    Gave you a star.

    A couple of things you could do to increase the static charge would be to set the static cage up on some bricks.
    Or, if the right shape is easily found, some granite or other very solid type rocks.

    If you know someone who works in the field at a power company you may be able to get some genuine electric insulators.
    Most times, when the crews replace an insulator string on the higher voltage lines - 66kv and up - they toss the insulator string in the trash or the salvage pile.
    Disassembling the strings for the individual units is done by pulling a cotter pin - split pin in the UK - then removing the pivot pin.
    Easily done.

    Entire insulator strings are replaced when the insulator has flashed over due to dirt and rain, lightning or many other causes.
    The insulators are carbon tracked which makes them worthless for high voltage use, but very usable for a low voltage static generator device.

    I would advise against using an insulating device if your garden is within the field of a high voltage line.
    AC HV lines and EHV lines are usually identified by their large towers and long insulator strings.
    Approximately 6' insulators are used on 230kv with much longer ones on 500kv and up.



    posted on May, 20 2008 @ 09:31 AM
    link   
    if you are growing tomatoes - plant a few marigolds amongst them as the bugs hate them and will stay away. also grow peppers nearby as they grow well together.



    posted on May, 20 2008 @ 09:35 AM
    link   
    Just remember that herbs like dry well drained soil. Don't over water or they will not grow good. Its a good idea to plant Rosemary close to tomatoes but tomatoes like well watered soil unlike herbs.

    As the above poster mentioned it is a good idea to grow peppers with tomatoes because they grow well under the same conditions. I like to grow chili peppers and make stringers when I collect enough.


    [edit on 20-5-2008 by Digital_Reality]



    posted on May, 20 2008 @ 09:46 AM
    link   
    JustyC and Digital Reality, do you find that the tomatoes pick up a bit of pepper heat/flavor when planted next to each other?

    I've heard they do and to that end am growing some peppers next to a Lemon Boy and also next to a Cherry Tomato.



    posted on May, 20 2008 @ 10:10 AM
    link   
    reply to post by Desert Dawg
     


    Yes they do. The amount depends on how close they are grown together and what kind of peppers you grow.

    Mints tend to make the flavor of hot peppers stronger also. Carrots,peppers and tomatoes are friends in the garden and I like to grow them together. Watch out for mint because it can be aggressive and it tends to take over.



    posted on May, 20 2008 @ 10:31 AM
    link   

    Originally posted by Desert Dawg
    A couple of things you could do to increase the static charge would be to set the static cage up on some bricks.


    Yeah, I was trying to think how I could get away with something like that. I've got a few bricks with holes in them. A couple of those, broken up to reveal the curved interior of the hole, strategically placed upward, should provide a slight insulating layer while still providing a groove to keep the cage in place.

    What I'm primarily concerned about, at least early on, is wind. We get powerful winds here that can pick up a trash can and throw it across the yard. An unsecured cage with some baby tomato plants tenuously tied to it might catch a norther and rip my work right out of the ground.



    Originally posted by Desert Dawg
    I would advise against using an insulating device if your garden is within the field of a high voltage line.


    Well, we have a cable line in the ground about 10 feet from the cage to the east, and an electric line in the ground probably within 30 feet to the south, and an above-ground line probably about 20-30 feet diagonally upward from the cage to the east,

    Is that within the field?



    Originally posted by justyc
    if you are growing tomatoes - plant a few marigolds amongst them as the bugs hate them and will stay away. also grow peppers nearby as they grow well together.


    I've got 5 marigolds planted in roughly a square at the edges of my overall garden. one at each corner, and one in the middle on the side closest the house.

    I also bought some bell peppers, but had been planning on planting them in a different planter. However,


    Originally posted by Digital_Reality
    Just remember that herbs like dry well drained soil. Don't over water or they will not grow good. Its a good idea to plant Rosemary close to tomatoes but tomatoes like well watered soil unlike herbs.

    As the above poster mentioned it is a good idea to grow peppers with tomatoes because they grow well under the same conditions.


    Now I can't help but wonder if I should instead of planting basil and rosemary in the same triangle as the tomatoes, maybe plant peppers instead. With the current cage I have, a tomato/pepper combination will mean the tomatoes are spaced 2.5 feet apart, but the peppers will be within 18" of each other, and each plant will be within barely over a foot from any other plant. At first I thought this might be a problem, but then I saw this thread on companion planting:



    IOW, tomatoes and peppers should be planted close enough for the leaves to touch when maturing. The same would presumably apply to companion plantings as long as there is enough distance - as in feet - between a marigold and something that won't tolerate marigolds within ten feet, for example. Biointensive is supposed to conserve water use, reduce erosion and create healthier soil - which is one of the stated goals of Ecology Action.


    So it looks like this tweak may now work... Here's the new layout:

    New Tweak





    Okay, so on the advice of my peers, the following changes to the design:

  • Instead of planting rosemary and basil in the triangle, instead, I'll plant bell peppers as a companion to the tomatoes. They should, in theory, all be far enough apart from one another to grow properly, while being close enough to benefit from one another.

  • The basil and rosemary, for now, can go in flower pots which can be placed nearby and just casually watered whenever I refill the tomato/pepper watering bottles. In this way, the tomatoes and peppers keep nice moist soil, while the herbs keep nice dry soil.

  • One marigold is within 2 feet of the nearest tomato, the other marigold is within 6 feet of the nearest tomato plant. This radius should completely envelop the triangle.

  • A new part to the plan: for the moment, I'll keep my herbs in flowerpots, but eventually, I'll build a very short brick wall around my garden (about 2-3 bricks high), obviously leaving space to get the wheelbarrow through to, and alternate herbs and marigolds within it. In this way, I can have a thriving, healthy herb garden that provides a whole area effect of protection around the actual vegetable garden.



  • posted on May, 20 2008 @ 11:09 AM
    link   
    reply to post by thelibra
     


    I loving growing herbs

    Another thing to look out for is try to avoid the pots with the reservoir in the bottom that holds water. These are not good for herbs because herbs do not like wet feet. If you already bought some drill holes in the bottoms to allow good drainage when watering.



    posted on May, 20 2008 @ 11:28 AM
    link   
    you should plant a few more marigolds if you can (and plant them at the front if you are troubled by slugs).

    ideally you should plant 3 basils for every tomato plant (basil is good as a fly & mozzie deterrent).

    a couple of carrots mixed in will help the soil to air and water.

    try putting some mint or nasturtiums in a pot nearby also (don't plant them in there or they will take over somewhat)

    asparagus can also deter some of the causes of root problems that tomatoes can suffer from

    borage, chives, garlic and lemon balm are also good companions for tomatoes.

    btw - if you want, i have an amazing recipe for tomato and orange soup (sounds strange but is sooooo nice) or just tomato and basil soup as your growing it also....



    posted on May, 20 2008 @ 11:45 AM
    link   
    thelibra you are on the right track!



    I like to grow a salsa garden every year. I grow about 5 kinds of peppers and 3 kinds of tomatoes with some onions and mint. The rabbits tend to go for my salsa garden over the other sections so its always a battle.

    Salsa can be preserved and used for 101 different recipes. Its not just useful for dipping chips into. One of my fav recipes consist of simply making fresh salsa and pouring it over skinless boneless chicken breasts and baking in the oven covered. Serve with rice. YUMMY!


    Your salsa garden will also yield great spaghetti sauce ingredients too if you have some basil,oregano and parsley growing in a herb box.

    I make it a point to not buy spaghetti sauce or to buy salsa because these are the easiest things to make from the garden. Preservative free spaghetti sauce is a different sauce all together.



    posted on May, 20 2008 @ 02:51 PM
    link   
    reply to post by thelibra
     


    "Originally posted by Desert Dawg
    I would advise against using an insulating device if your garden is within the field of a high voltage line."


    "Well, we have a cable line in the ground about 10 feet from the cage to the east, and an electric line in the ground probably within 30 feet to the south, and an above-ground line probably about 20-30 feet diagonally upward from the cage to the east,

    Is that within the field?"


    No.

    Your above ground line is probably a 12kv or 16kv distribution level line.
    You should see a transformer on some of the poles with this line.
    Conductor count on a distribution line can be 2-3-4 depending on how the station transformers are connected.

    The below ground lines may be secondary voltage for household use.
    120v to 240v in most cases.
    As well as being telephone or TV cables.

    The high voltage lines I was talking about would be on very large towers - also called pylons on the east coast - with three conductors.
    Be aware the conductors can be "bundled" for extra capacity, but there are always three of them - for 3 phase power

    Key to identifying bundled conductors is a pair of conductors will be supported on the same insulator system.
    In some cases, more than two conductors per phase, but they will also be on the same insulator sytem.

    Each conductor or set of conductors must be insulated from each other and ground (the tower in most cases.)

    Many times you'll see a pair of lighter gage conductors above the three phase powerline conductors . . . called skylines.
    Several purposes for these, but one of the main ones is a place for lightning to strike and hopefully not hit the line conductors proper.
    You'll see the skylines grounded at each tower.


    We get heavy winds as well.
    Hurricane force winds are somewhat common - 63 mph & up, but they only make the local papers.


    Fwiw, there are a couple of 1000kv (one million volts) DC lines here in the west.
    One running from the Pacific Northwest to the San Fernando valley and another one bringing power in from east of Southern California.

    These have two double bundled conductors, positive and negative.

    Far as I know they don't have any particular impact on people or plants.

    DC circuits don't generate a field except at times of energization and de-energization.



    Thanks JustyC, Digital Reality and



    posted on May, 22 2008 @ 07:54 AM
    link   
    Well, after several grueling days of working in the yard on this, here is the latest result.







    The water bottles are working exactly as planned, though it took a long time to get them to stay filled last night (being as the soil was so dry), this morning, the water level had dropped completely. So I refilled them and they stayed full after a very brief period of continously filling them, meaning the soil has, at least in theory, reached optimal water saturation without a drop getting on the leaves.

    The cage is a taken apart and reassembled dog training crate, the handles on the side will come in handy when I need to pull the cage up at a later time. As of the time of the photos, I didn't have time to raise up the cage onto the bricks, but it is resting on a good 2-3inches of recycled paper mulch, so it's got some pretty good insulation from the ground, and should build up a nice static charge.

    The tomatoes and bell peppers plants were bought at the store as my own seeds did not germinate the first season of the year, due to several newbie mistakes on my part that I won't go into right now. On the advice of those more skilled than me, I snipped off all but the topmost leaves of the tomatoes and peppers, and planted them deep enough that only the top part of the stalk would poke out above the mulch-line. Supposedly this forces the tomatoes and peppers to grow stronger, heartier stalks and last longer through the season. Of course, as the plants were between 1 and 2-feet each, this meant I had to dig the hole 3-feet deep in clay, because I had to give them some downward room with the conditioned soil I put in there. The plants themselves should be spaced, in theory, perfectly for companion planting. The tomatoes are roughly 3 feet apart (each cage wall is about 2.5ft long), with a pepper plant about a foot and a half away from the tomatoes on either side, and from each other (if my math is right). As I've heard the proper distance for companion planting is when adult plants leaves are touching, I'm hoping I gauged the distance correctly.

    The soil I filled it with is a mixture of starter soil, broken up clay, and expanded shale. I've had good luck with this mixture to date, the shale keeps the clay broken up and continues to separate it over time, allowing the plants access to the rich nutrients once the starter soil has lost its potency, as well as allowing the roots somewhere to go, and the drainage to work properly. I'd have used my own compost in the mix, but my greedy frickin' pumpkin plant has completely overrun my "finished" compost piles (it started as a curious little sprout coming out of my compost heap a while back).



    Anyway, only time will tell now if my tomato triangle experiment will bear any fruit, or if I just spent the last week on another series of mistakes to add to the list. I'll take more photos as time goes on, to show what progress, if any, is made by my hopeful veg.



    posted on May, 22 2008 @ 10:14 AM
    link   
    Now that it's too late to save you some digging.



    "Horizontal planting of tomato plants is an effective way to make plants stronger, especially leggy ones. Roots will form along the buried portion of the stem, giving better growth and less chance of plant injury from a too-weak stem. Do not remove the containers if they are peat or paper pots, but open or tear off one side to allow roots to get a good start. If non-biodegradable containers are used, knock the plants out of the pots before transplanting, and loosen the roots somewhat."

    Quoted from: ag.arizona.edu...

    An excellent source.



    Especially important to tear the bottom of the peat pot off.
    Just stuff the torn-off piece into the garden soil and let it deteriorate there.

    I didn't do it to a few of my purchased, potted plants, but luckily they did ok.
    Some of the plants I'd started in small peat pots failed.
    Probably because I didn't tear off the bottoms of them.

    Great pics.
    Pics always make the posts a little more interesting.


    Good recycling of the dog cages.

    We had a few when we moved with our three doxies, but only brought one.
    Did buy some plastic dog kennels - we have two cats also - and the kennels are collecting dust in the garage.

    Removed five of my growing fast Sweetie Cherry Tomatoes in a big container, re-potted them in a big pot and gave them to a friend.
    She doesn't have a 'green thumb' - her words, not mine - but I think she'll be pleased.
    They just need watering and they'll take off for her.
    Planted in straight Miracle-Gro so they won't need much for a while.

    She plans to pass 2-3 of them along to neighbors and with 2 or so left she should do well.

    She will have to hang the pot though.
    The bunny rabbits - Cottontails - come right through the chain link fence and help themselves to the goodies.
    The fat and retired dog that lives there gave up chasing bunnies long ago.

    Not so with my three doxies and one wanna-bee Chihuahua.
    Not seen a bunny in my yard since we moved here.

    Darned pups act like they own the place or sumpthin'.



    posted on May, 22 2008 @ 10:29 AM
    link   
    oh - i forgot to mention .....

    you will notice as the tomato plant grows that new leaves will appear at the bottom of each branch (where the branches come off the main stem), - pinch these new shoots off so they don't grow. you will get much better growth by doing this.



    posted on May, 22 2008 @ 09:49 PM
    link   
    Hadn't heard about the wire cages having any thing to do with static electricity......

    We've used cages we made out of reinforcing wire ( like the kind that is buried in concrete to strengthen it)......it's not galvanized and will rust sooner than the 'store bought' tomato cages, but is heavier and much taller. Seems to work better for the taller, indeterminate varieties.

    We 'stake' these with metal fence posts that are driven into the ground. ( After trial and error over the years, we've found that these will keep the cages from being blown over in a summer thunder storm.)

    I believe Desert Dawg mentioned the wire cages burning his tomato plants in 100 degree plus weather.....We've not really had that problem, as the plants usually get big enough to shade the cage to some extent by mid July or so....the photo below is from last summer.....the tomato patch got some early shade but was in full sun from mid morning on.

    The inset shows a close up of the wire .....



    (The peppers at the end of the tomato row were jalapenos, but we did not notice any 'heat' in the tomatoes.....)

    I have used pantyhose for tying up the vines in the past.....they give a bit and are not as likely to cut into the stems as cord or twine would.....I have since given up those horrid things and now just trim a few limbs off the privet hedge (it grows rampant here) and criss cross them through the cages to support the tomato branches.





    [edit on 22-5-2008 by frayed1]



    new topics

    top topics



     
    3
    <<   2 >>

    log in

    join