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Tomato day...
Old 05-14-2016, 06:51 AM   #1
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Tomato day...

It isn't that tomatoes are the greatest thing since pockets - it is what they represent to me: Summer. I know my late father in law lived for that first 'Florida sweet corn' and ultimately the much later local harvest but, while I love that first buttery ear as much as anyone it is the tomato that owns me. Balsamic vinegar, oil, sliced mozzarella and some really red ripe beefsteak slices ...heaven. Based on the number of tomato cages I see at big box store I'm not alone in my addiction. Come on admit it! There's nothing like those garden fresh tomatoes. A few weeks ago I was in one of those gourmet supermarkets and I saw some red grape tomatoes. I bought and tasted: cardboard! We can put a man on the moon and we can't get a decent tomato in the supermarket? The purveyors of that crap should be flogged and jailed!

I started them from seeds under a grow light weeks ago, maybe too early as some are a bit leggy but it won't matter. The summer sun will cause an explosion in growth. There is a pile of bags of potting soil siting next to the green house and another pile of pots sitting under the deck. Today they will come together and some time in June I'll expect to harvest my first sungold. An orange sweet cherry that I'm just crazy about. There will be plenty of Amish paste and beefsteaks will go in the garden.

There is some trouble in paradise and it is called the zeka virus. The Mrs is apparently like truffles to mosquitos - five minutes in the garden will result in just as many bites. The little buggers will zoom around me to get to her. While I understand that it generally will result in flu like symptoms the disease is still pretty scary. Babies with small heads OMG just horrible. Even though we are decades past the baby stage I'm sure she's thinking if it can cause deformities what else can it do? So it looks like weeding is on me, at least for now.

So I'm sitting out on my deck, listening to the bits chirping away planning my day.. First I've got to harvest some lettuce. Did I ever tell you about my lettuce...


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Old 05-14-2016, 07:15 AM   #2
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I'll plant my tomatoes next week. I always get more than we need, but it's fun to share with neighbors.

Now if I could only convince DH that the zeka mosquitos would bite me if I was weeding the garden, but leave me alone when I'm running/hiking/kayaking...
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Old 05-14-2016, 11:00 AM   #3
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Haven't had much luck with growing tomatoes in the Texas heat. Miss those Indiana maters...
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Old 05-14-2016, 11:37 AM   #4
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We're about 2 weeks out from ripe tomatoes here in San Diego. Our plants are bigger and more robust than previous years... in fact our garden, in general is going gangbusters. We had pesto, made from garden basil, last night. And there are two cucumbers on our counter - first of the season.
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Old 05-14-2016, 12:42 PM   #5
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We planted last week. I can't wait till the 4th. Only have Earthboxs to grow in so two tomatoes, basil, oregano, thai basil, parsley, and a leftover rosemary(thing is big).

Eating fresh maters in the garden with a saltshaker in hand, something I learned from my father. It always makes me smile.
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Old 05-14-2016, 12:44 PM   #6
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My Rodeo tomatoes are doing well this year. It's great to bite into a freshly picked fruit and enjoy what a tomato is supposed to taste like, isn't it?
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Old 05-14-2016, 12:59 PM   #7
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Just finished planting tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, green beans, basil, cilantro, rosemary, and oregano in our garden today. Can't wait until we see some results! Wish we could plant earlier here in PA, but it is what it is.


Enjoying life!
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Old 05-14-2016, 01:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
... There's nothing like those garden fresh tomatoes...
I may have my first taste this year, after several miserable attempts over the years. Hope I do not jinx it.

One of the things we did wrong was that my wife likes to spray water on her plants to "keep them cool" in the hot southwest weather. Then, I found out that it is a big no-no to wet a tomato plant.

I should fertilize my plants soon with a high-phosphorus fertilizer. So many little green fruits!
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Tomatoes
Old 05-14-2016, 01:30 PM   #9
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Tomatoes

I get smart and bought 2 one gallon plants,instead of those 4 inch pots. I have a Celebrity and an Early Girl. I just got the first tomato off the celebrity, but have been picking tomatoes from the early girl for a few weeks.
Fortunately we live in a temperate climate that is conducive to growing crops year round.
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Old 05-14-2016, 02:01 PM   #10
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I started them from seeds under a grow light weeks ago, maybe too early as some are a bit leggy but it won't matter.
Ray, try lowering your lights so they are only 1 - 2 inches above the plants, adjusting as often as needed. That will produce less leggy plants. I hang my lights on S-hooks using chain to raise or lower.

And when you plant them in the ground, plant them deeply (up to 2/3 of the plant underground), nipping off any branches under the ground. That causes the plants to grow plenty of roots.

My earliest tomatoes should be getting ripe soon, can't wait.
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Old 05-14-2016, 02:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
I may have my first taste this year, after several miserable attempts over the years. Hope I do not jinx it.

One of the things we did wrong was that my wife likes to spray water on her plants to "keep them cool" in the hot southwest weather. Then, I found out that it is a big no-no to wet a tomato plant.

I should fertilize my plants soon with a high-phosphorus fertilizer. So many little green fruits!
We're in a different part of the country but around here in the heat we get "blossom end rot". I found a little prevention goes far. Don't know if that's an issue where you are. I just remember watching the first tomato of the year rot as it ripened. Took forever that year to get the first tomatoes.
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Tomato day...
Old 05-15-2016, 04:47 AM   #12
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Tomato day...

See post below....
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Tomato day...
Old 05-15-2016, 05:02 AM   #13
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Tomato day...

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Ray, try lowering your lights so they are only 1 - 2 inches above the plants, adjusting as often as needed. That will produce less leggy plants. I hang my lights on S-hooks using chain to raise or lower.

And when you plant them in the ground, plant them deeply (up to 2/3 of the plant underground), nipping off any branches under the ground. That causes the plants to grow plenty of roots.

My earliest tomatoes should be getting ripe soon, can't wait.
Thanks because I planted multiple varieties I had uneven growth this year..

My son and daughter helped me fill 10 large pots that I line my front walk with; they will get sun from 10AM until dark. It was a beautiful sunny day.. rare this spring. There were thunderstorms in the forecast so I only planted 2 red cherry and 2 sun golds. I was busy doing yard work until 1 when I decided I had enough sun and went to read a little on my deck. Fell asleep, (yeah when your body clock wakes you at 530AM you tend to nap (yes I am my father) the wind blew up! the temperature dropped and I woke up - took the cushions in the house and two minutes later like a mini tornado. Those tomatoes took a beating but I think they will make it... Weather permitting I'll try to sneak some more in today...

47 degrees out there...
Dam will summer ever come...


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Old 05-15-2016, 11:39 AM   #14
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I got mine in late and it's been pretty cool so they are a bit behind. I have a root knot nematode problem so they are all nematode resistant varieties which all seem to be growing okay.
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:33 PM   #15
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I should have a handful of cherry tomatoes, just in time for us to go away. The house sitter will get them if they keep them watered. I grow in pots at the entrance to the barn so i can start early and get only a half of day of AZ sun.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:08 PM   #16
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We just had two nights of frost. I was too eager and planted a few veggies, including tomatoes, two weeks ago. They survived but look pretty sad. It looks like it may start to get warmer this week.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:38 PM   #17
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Haven't had much luck with growing tomatoes in the Texas heat. Miss those Indiana maters...
Seriously? I had great luck growing tomatoes in central Texas. Tomatoes love heat and sunshine, and don't do well in cool climates or shade. They were cultivated as a food crop in Mexico originally - next door to Texas.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:42 PM   #18
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Seriously? I had great luck growing tomatoes in central Texas.
Same here. I grow a decent crop every year.

Sure, the spring plants burn up in the summer, but you can plant again in August and have a second crop in the fall.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:51 PM   #19
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Same here. I grow a decent crop every year.

Sure, the spring plants burn up in the summer, but you can plant again in August and have a second crop in the fall.
Right - you can't expect the plants to last over the summer. But that spring and early summer harvest is just awesome.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:46 AM   #20
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I have 8 Big Boys in already. Supposed to wait til May 15 here, but couldn't wait. Put them in in late April. Planted them on their sides with tips sticking out, to get more rooting. They have a brown leaf die off thing that happens to them every year around August, but they have enough green leaves to keep producing tomatoes until around October, I think. Taste great. Something chews at the lower tomatoes, but the upper ones are safe (knock on wood). I churn dead oak leaves into the soil every Fall, for some added carbon. Also toss in lots of used coffee grounds. And add a little 5-10-5 granules maybe.
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