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I'm startin' a tomato garden

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by circles, May 5, 2019.

  1. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Strat-Talker

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    Mayo nasty ... BarfL.gif imwo ...

    I'm not Italian, but there are good Italian bakery goods in my region...

    Fresh sliced tomato on good Italian bread, some quality extra virgin olive oil and a few slivers of sharp provolone. Lightly toast.

    Gets no better than that. Bonus points for a plum tomato.
     
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  2. DancesWithWeasels

    DancesWithWeasels Where there's a weasel there's a way Strat-Talk Supporter

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    That's my problem too-- deficient soil. My little house was built over a lot that was used as construction debris dump when neighboring houses were built. From 6" to 18" down is a layer of broken limestone, bricks, pipe debris, nails, wire, etc. All mixed into heavy Indiana clay. Digging post holes in that is great phun. Over the years the surface soil has largely been tapped-out by trees. The trees are mostly gone now, but so is much of the nutrients.

    I've been steadily trying to build up plots with manure from a local stable, composted leaves from neighbors, and purchased compost and topsoil. It never seems to go far toward replenishment. One year I had the bad luck to get a truckload of herbicide-contaminated compost. I learned a lot about the tenacity of some broadleaf herbicides in that incident. :(
     
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  3. circles

    circles Grand Inquistor Strat-Talk Supporter

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    We have a great little stand/tent thing that opens up seasonally here in West Seattle, down by Target. You know the place. Bought grapes, a pepper, strawberries, and even picked up a tomato plant there today!

    uhuh.PNG
     
  4. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Strat-Talker

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    Why I said it is a science. There could be compounds that are toxic to plants you'd never know were there - organic or otherwise. To know for sure you need to get the soil scientifically analyzed. No easy task itself - I looked into it.

    Working compost and other organic matter into the soil takes time. There is something key we are both missing. upload_2019-5-5_22-44-50.gif

    I'm in an early 1950's Levittown style development, with a lot of "red shale" rocks 12" - 24" down. Do not know for sure if that is the actual name of the rock - it is a local given name.
     
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  5. DancesWithWeasels

    DancesWithWeasels Where there's a weasel there's a way Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I love places like that. We have a local farmer's market that meets on early Saturdays where one can get some really fine produce for reasonable prices. They often have onions and bell peppers that make grocery store stuff look like junk. Wish I knew how they grow such nice stuff. But these days I'm trying to persuade my thumb to do the fingerpicking rhythm thing, which takes precedence over turning green.
     
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  6. ukoldgit

    ukoldgit Senior Stratmaster

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    Like you I am planting Brandywine and Ailsa Craig (100 year old Scottish variety), Money Maker and an F1 Rosada should be interesting as I have not grown any of them before.
     
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  7. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Ailsa Craig are good, Moneymaker are bland, but they grow like weeds. I used to water mine with the run off from the Koi pond filters... rocket fuel for tomatoes.
     
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  8. Monkeyboy

    Monkeyboy Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    yep, I have no time for picking worms off plants.
     
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  9. Monkeyboy

    Monkeyboy Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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  10. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I also grow tomatoes in the summer in my yard
    Mine just are a littttttle bit different
     
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  11. Uncle Jimmy

    Uncle Jimmy Senior Stratmaster

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    Try some Cherokee Purple tomatoes! Oxhearts are good too.

    We've been here 20 years in August and have been composting the entire time. We compost everything from the kitchen (no meat or seasoning, as that brings the critters) grass clippings etc. Every spring I scrape off the top layer of not-yet decomposed stuff, and work the compost into the garden beds. After all these years the soil is really rich and soft- no mean feat when you live at the beach. Every couple of years I add a little peat moss in to help aerate and loosen up the soil. Really important for young roots not to have a tough time spreading out. We grow lettuce- red leaf and boston, arugula, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, LOTS of tomatoes, "Ghost" eggplants, a lot of herbs that we harvest and dry every so often during the season so we have them all winter. Couple of rosebushes and a blueberry bush that we gave up protecting and is now a bird feeder. Gardening keeps me sane.
     
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  12. StillAlive&Well

    StillAlive&Well Senior Stratmaster

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    :thumb::thumb::thumb:
    The only way to make that better is to eat it while standing naked in the swimming pool.
     
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  13. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Senior Stratmaster

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    Compost?
    Makes black dirt.
    It’s easy - just no animal meat or fish scraps or bones.
    Coffee grounds, eggshells, fallen leaves, veggie scraps etc. Lots of info available.
     
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  14. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    There isn't anything more tasty than a garden fresh tomato...
     
  15. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

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    Good luck with the garden! I’ve done some veggie gardening over the years. Home grown veggies are always better that store bought produce, especially tomatoes!

    This summer I’m being lazy, and only growing herbs along with two Mammoth Jalapeño plants that overwintered. Tomatoes are pretty tough to grow here in the deep gulf coast region. I waited way to late to even try this year. They can’t handle the extreme mid summer heat here well at all, so it’s best to start really early and try to get a crop set before the dog days (weeks) of summer set in.

    Tomatoes like plenty of food, consistent watering, and plenty of sun, but they don’t like extreme heat. When temps quit dropping below 80-85 at night tomatoes will stop blooming, and even drop blooms.

    Self watering containers work really well for tomatoes. Some of the best yields I’ve ever gotten were in ground tomatoes, raised a bit above the clay soil with a large unglazed terra cotta pot (with the drainage hole plugged) buried beside it. Kept the clay pot filled with water and the plants really thrived. When I pulled them out at the end if the season the roots were hugging the clay pots tightly!
     
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  16. ukoldgit

    ukoldgit Senior Stratmaster

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    Add to that used tea bags without the bags, supper rich soil.
     
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  17. JurnyWannaBe

    JurnyWannaBe Strat-Talker

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    Change the Dukes to Hellmann's and we'll talk :)
     
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  18. JurnyWannaBe

    JurnyWannaBe Strat-Talker

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    ^^^ Amen :D
     
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  19. circles

    circles Grand Inquistor Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I'll never be self sufficient, but it's great to have the available resources to exercise some control over my food. I was even thinking of squeezing in a small plot of wheat. We'll see.

    pics!
     
  20. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

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    Adding organic material regularly will improve any soil. I once decided to lay out some beds in my heavy gumbo clay yard. I didn’t want to import yards of materials and til it in as I had done in the past so I just laid out the bed design with a garden hose. I then cut out the edge with a shovel and tossed the soil and grass into the “bed” area. I then put several layers of newspaper down followed by 4-5 inches of mulch, basically making an “unimproved” bed that looked nice, but was just mulch, newspaper, St Augustine grass, and very heavy clay.

    I planned to come back later and move the mulch back and amend the soil in individual holes as I planted new stuff. I ended up leaving one section for a couple of years without planting anything. When I finally decided to do something with it, I pulled back the mulch to find gorgeous, fluffy, black soil with loads of earthworms at least a foot or more deep.

    A few years after this, hurricane Ike took out the fence the bed was at the base of. The fence company’s power auger crapped out after the first post hole, and they had to switch to a manual post hole digger! I was concerned because they had quoted the price with 4ft deep post holes (lots of other companies dug much shallower post holes) and I was afraid that they would get to the heavy clay and try to skimp on the hole depth.

    When I noticed they were digging manually, I went out to see what was going on and to apologize for the heavy clay. The guy digging said “It’s not that bad!” and as I looked into the deep hole, it was no longer the slick, grey, stinky, heavy clay it once was.

    This works to improve any soil. It will help sandy soils as well, helping them to hold moisture, just as it helps loosen clay soils so that they drain better.
     
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