SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Its Tomato Time !!!!!

2336 views
21 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 8:39 AM

Hi Lurch!

       luckily, we don't seem to have the problem the city does. Even one of our Museum Members who runs a B&B close by has problems. The Deer love to eat all the planted flowers downtown. Yup, We often see them just after dark on Meeting nites. Just chomping away. They've ruined the plantings at the front of the Museum more than once.

      Meanwhile, here at home, seven Quarts of those little Cherry tomatoes( I don't know the official Name) Me, In trouble with the landlady. Ate a quart and a half watching Television! I pop them like candy! I cannot digest POPCORN, so Tomatoes and Cherries are T.V. snacks for me! Any Berry too! Bananas are not safe around me either! Favorite Fruit though, STRAWBERRIES ! You Betchya!!

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by lurch on Monday, August 8, 2022 6:31 PM

Dasbeav and JohnyK thanks for the info. I will pass that on to mt wife. Perhaps next year she can do that and solve the problem. You guys are the best.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Monday, August 8, 2022 4:23 PM

Greg

Thank you for taking the time to offer some detailed advice, and for recapping some of which you mentioned above that apply specifically to my situation.

I've noted a few things we've done very wrong, that I might not have had I paid more careful attention to your posts above!!!

It sounds like you are saying there is more growing season left with the cooler weather, so I can make adjustments (short of repotting in bigger containers, which I will do next year) to see what happens.

Thanks again, Johnny!

It's only mid August. August is a great month for tomatoes. Warm days and cool nights. Tomato plants will continue to produce tomatoes until they are killed by frost. 

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Monday, August 8, 2022 4:18 PM

Yep, Marigolds work great for discourging Deer. They also invite pollinators. Deer are difficult pests to deal with. They are big and can tear up a garden in no time. You could try spreading deer repellent around the plants (not on them). Or, you could try an ultra-sonic device. I used to plant my tomatoes in a big cage (6'x6'x10')  to keep birds away from the tomatoes. 

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Monday, August 8, 2022 4:11 PM

Eleven quarts of tomatoes!!! That's great. Next year I'll need to try San Marzanos. Those are great for sauce. There is nothing like chili made with homegrown tomatoes. 

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    October 2016
  • From: .
Posted by DasBeav on Monday, August 8, 2022 12:53 PM

JohnnyK always like your tomato posts. Learn so much. I am going to try the hairy fetch because I cannot rotate my tomatoes(sunlight and Black Walnut tree issues) I already have some Red Clover that grows wild through half the garden. 

I am having a bumper crop of tomatoes(pure luck) this summer, but sadly planted some plants too close and suffered a little bottom rot. I have already frozen 11 quarts of diced Romas, San Marzanos, and a third type labeled Roma Paste?...They are not like any paste tomato I have seen. They are like a small pumpkin or round squash. I made a pot  of Chili last week and they are meaty with a lot of sweetness.

 Sooner Born...Buckeye Bred.

 

  • Member since
    October 2016
  • From: .
Posted by DasBeav on Monday, August 8, 2022 12:37 PM

lurch

My wife is growing tomatoes again this year with fair results. Biggest issue is this year the deer are reaching over the fence and eating the tops off the plants. Do you have any suggestions on stoping that?She is very upset over it . 

 

I am not the tomato expert like JohnnyK, but I always planted Marigolds at the end of my rows of tomatoes and peppers and never had problems with deer. This year I forgot and lo' and behold, the deer had snacks on the tops of the plants!

 Sooner Born...Buckeye Bred.

 

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by lurch on Monday, August 8, 2022 8:29 AM

My wife is growing tomatoes again this year with fair results. Biggest issue is this year the deer are reaching over the fence and eating the tops off the plants. Do you have any suggestions on stoping that?She is very upset over it . 

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, August 7, 2022 5:14 PM

Thank you for taking the time to offer some detailed advice, and for recapping some of which you mentioned above that apply specifically to my situation.

I've noted a few things we've done very wrong, that I might not have had I paid more careful attention to your posts above!!!

It sounds like you are saying there is more growing season left with the cooler weather, so I can make adjustments (short of repotting in bigger containers, which I will do next year) to see what happens.

Thanks again, Johnny!

-Greg

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Sunday, August 7, 2022 11:06 AM

I have never grown tomatoes in pots. From what I have read there are a few rules about planting tomatoes in containers:

1. Use large containers. Minimum size should be 5 gallons.

2. Plant the tomatoes deep and grow them in full sun.

3. Check the soil daily to see if it needs water. Don't let the soil dry out. Keep the soil evenly moist. Don't get the leaves wet.

4. Feed the plants about twice a month. I use Texas Tomato Food. It is available on Amazon. Do not use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. That will make the plant get really large at the expense of producing tomatoes.

5. Stake the plants so that they do not fall over.

 

Now that the temperatures have returned to normal my tomato plants are doing great. I have harvested about 30 tomatoes so far and my six plants  have about 20 tomatoes on each. The plants continue to produce flowers.

 

 

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, August 6, 2022 9:10 AM

I wish I would have known that (not letting tomatoes fully ripen on the vine) earlier.

And on a side note, I'm disappointed in our tomato season (keep in mind it was our first and we were mostly clueless, potted in too-small pots, poor watering habits, etc). Our Cherry tomatoes are fizzling out already. Very few of the blooms on our 2 tomato plants bore fruit. As a point of reference, it's looking like our full sized tomato plant (Burpee Big Boy) will likely yield 10-12 smallish sized tomatoes for the season. Is this normal?

Many of our friends are reporting an awful tomato growing season here in N IN. How are yours doing?

Thanks,

Greg (distant relative of Oliver Wendall Douglas)

-Greg

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Monday, August 1, 2022 4:37 PM

The weather has returned to normal temperatures, and my plants are pumping out tomatoes like mad. Last week I counted over 200 tomatoes on my six plants.

 

Tomato tip of the week. DO NOT pick your tomatoes when they are red and ripe. Pick them when they are PINK. The tomato on the left is pink. That is the time to pick a tomato. The one on the right was picked when it was pink and it turned red in about a week. 

Why would I do such a thing? 

1. Ripe red tomatoes send out a scent that attracts birds and animals which well poke holes in your tomatoes and bite big chunks out of them. The result, a ruined tomato.

2. Red tomatoes that are on the vine are more likely to crack than pink tomatoes.

3. When a pink tomato is removed from the plant, the plant starts making more tomatoes to make up for the missing tomato. Why is this? Tomato plants are obsessed with reproduction. More so than human teenagers. Tomato plants reproduce by producing seed pods that we call tomatoes. When a seed pod is removed before it is ripe, the plant grows more seed pods to make up for the missing one.

A tomato goes through many color changes. Green, blush (white), yellow, pink and finally red. A hormonal change takes place when a tomato turns blush. First it slowly stops increasing in size and it produes a hormone called ethylene. Ethylene forces the tomato to fully ripen.  The tomato does  not need to be on the vine for it to turn red. It is predisposed to turn red once it turns blush. It is easy to ripen a pink tomato. Just put it in a paper bag with an apple. Apples also produce ethylene which speeds up the ripening process of the tomato. 

Remember, keep fertilizing your plants with Texas Tomato Food (you can buy it on Amazon). TTF has a lot of calcium which prevents blossom end rot. Blossom end rot used to be a big problem for my plants until I stared using TTF. This year, zero blossom end rot. ALso, do not let the soil dry out in your tomato garden. Keep it evenly moist. Dry soil that is drenched with water will crack the skin of the tomatoes. Mulch around the plants.

 

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Thursday, June 23, 2022 9:44 AM

I'll be interested to see how that works for you.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 3:06 PM

Ok, Johnny, I think I shall try this.

If I go quiet, it would likely be because my wife saw me out there with the Sonicare ........and had me committed.

Our first cherry tomato (a Sugar Rush, if it's what it's supposed to be) is beginning to ripen, and we are pretty excited. This is both of our first year as farmers.  (having 2 potted tomato plants). Big Smile

-Greg

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 2:34 PM

Let's talk about pollination in tomato plants. Tomato flowers are self-pollinating. They have both male and female parts. All that needs to happen for fruit production is that the pollen needs to be released from the male parts onto the female parts. Wind can do this and so can bees. Both of these are hit and miss. A better solution is to use an electric toothbrush. The vibration of an electric toothbrush mimics the vibration of a bee's wings. Commecial tomato growers have been using this technique for years with great success. 

All you need to do is touch the vibrating toothbrush to the flower until it vibrates. This vibration will knock the pollen loose. This technique will easily double or triple your fruit production.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Saturday, June 18, 2022 12:06 PM

 

 

My tomato plants have been in the ground for three weeks and they have really grown. Nice big healthy plants.

The plants are producing a lot of flowers. However, the flowers are not turning into fruit because it is too damn hot!!!! Last week the day temperatures were in the 90's and the night temperatures were in the low 80's. The pollen in the flowers becomes nonviable when the day temperatures are above 85 and night temperatures are above 75. The forecast for this coming week has day temperatures in the upper 80's and low 90's for six days in a row. I am considering buying shade cloth to keep the plants cooler.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 8:02 PM

Yeah TB that's good eating.  Enjoy the tasty little treats.  A guy in my club, Southern Maryland Scale Modelers, is from New Braunfels.  Small world.  

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Monday, May 30, 2022 2:32 PM

Wpwar11;

        We have been getting those little, what I call Pearl Tomatoes(ToMahtoes?) for about two months now. I pop them just like candy, Durned sight healthier too!

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Thursday, May 26, 2022 9:01 PM

While we were stuck in Minot we planted some in our relocatable house and supported them with the wire cages.  We ended up with a table full and I took some in to my squadron for others to have.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Thursday, May 26, 2022 10:38 AM

My wife usually grows a few on our lower deck in raised planters.

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 5:23 PM

Nothing like a good tomato.  I used to live in Philadelphia and the job would send me to south Jersey often.  I loved stopping at some road side stand and buying  the local tomatoes.  Firm, perfectly ripe, and delicious.  You could eat them like apples.  A little salt and you had a real treat.

Thanks for sharing and good luck with your plants.  

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Its Tomato Time !!!!!
Posted by JohnnyK on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 4:01 PM

I have been planting tomatoes for 50 years. Last year I harvested over 300 tomatoes from six tomato plants. I'd like to share my tips and tricks for growing tomatoes.

I live in the Chicago area. It is possible to experience a killer frost all the way up to Memorial Day. I do not plant annuals or tomatos before Memorial Day. 

Gardening Safety: Make sure that your Tetanus booster is up to date. Tetanus can kill. Always wear gloves, leather shoes/boots and knee pads when gardening. It is not unlikely to find broken glass, nails, screws, wood, etc in garden soil.

Prepare your soil: Good soil will produce a good harvest. Poor soil will produce a poor harvest. Most people ignore preparing their soil prior to planting. This is understandable because it takes a lot of effort to prepare soil. Last year I did a "double dig" in my tomato garden. I hand dug the soil to a depth of two feet and added compost. This only needs to be done every five tears.

In the Fall I planted "Hairy Vetch" in my tomato soil as a Winter cover crop. This plant actually "fixes" nitrogen into the soil as it grows (up to 200 pounds of Nitrogen per acre). In the Spring I turn over The Hairy Vetch in the area where my tomato plants will be planted. Chicago tends to have a lot of clay in the soil. Clay is nonorganic and tomato plants will not grow in clay. Poor quality soil can be fixed by adding compost and organic dry fertilizer to the soil. I do not use a tiller when mixing my soil. Instead, I use a shovel. It is easy to over-till soil using a tiller. Over-tilled soil adds too much oxygen to the soil which kills anaerobic bacteria. The tiller also kills worms. Plus its easy to turn soil into a powder when using a tiller. Powerdered soil turns rock hard when it dries. Good soil is crumbly (see below).

  

 

Planting: Always buy your tomato plants from a reputable garden center. Big Box stores tend to let their plants dry out too much. Buy healthy plants. Ignore plants with yellow or brown leaves. I buy my plants in quart containers. Dig a big hole (see the picture above). Small holes result in poor results.

I also put a handful of Rock Phosphate (not super phosphate) in the bottom of the hole. Rock Phosphate promotes root growth. Big, health roots will produce big healthy tomato plants. 

Tomatoes are one of the few plants that like to be planted deep. I break off the lower leaves and bury half of the stem in the soil. Roots will grow out from the stem. Remove all "ties" and tags from the stem. It goes without saying to remove the plastic pot. I know a person that did not do that and complained about a poor tomato harvest.

I mix Miracle-Gro Garden Soil into my my soil in an effort to increase the organic contentant of the soil. I also add organic tomato fertilizer to the soil. Water the plants deeply. 

I also feed the newly planted plants with Mircle-Gro Quick Start. 

This is the newly planted garden. Hairy Vetch is between the tomato plants and acts like an organic mulch. The only thing left to do is the add mulch around the plants to prevent wet soil from splashing onto the leaves of the plants.

Temperature: Tomato plants shut down when the temperature gets below 55 degrees. Tomato plants stop producing flowers when the temperature gets above 95 degrees. 

Watering and Fetilizing: Okay everyone, wake up. This is important. NEVER GET THE LEAVES WET when watering the plants. I know that that sounds dumb considering that rain gets the leaves wet, but wet leaves produce fungus diseases. Instead, water the soil, not the plant. Also, don't splash wet soil onto the plants leaves when watering. I use a watering wand with a soaker setting. 

Tomatoes are big feeders and require fertilization. I use "Texas Tomato Food". This stuff has a lot of calcium which prevents "Blossom End Rot". Last year I only had about five tomatoes with Blossom end-rot. 

That's it! Have fun gardening.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS
FREE NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.