greenqueen

Forum Replies Created

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • in reply to: Tomato ties #1023
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    I am loving the new velcro tomato ties. They come in a roll and you cut off a piece and fasten it around you plant. The beauty of this is that when you plant grows, it is easy to adjust the size or move the tie up to a new location. The ties are also reusable for season to season.

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
    in reply to: Tons of leaves, no fruit #1020
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    Although you are in Florida, this spring the weather has been pretty chilly. Tomato blossoms won’t set fruit if the temperatures are too cool. generally the night time temperatures must be above 55, preferably 60 degrees and daytime temperatures not over 90, preferably 80 degrees. Happy Chicken is right about the pollination however if you think this is the problem, you can help nature along by shaking or vibrating the blossoms to help release the pollen. Do this in the middle of the day (11-2) for best results.

    in reply to: planting tomatoes in clay soil #1012
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    I took the advice from Lily Rose and Happy Chicken, dug out as much clay as possible, added peat and gypsum and planted her garden. This is what part of it looked like when I finished. I also dig soil samples from various parts in her yard. We made a visit to the local extension office and got soil sample kits and some wonderful advice from a master gardener. She suggested piling up oak leaves to decompose and after harvesting the tomatoes, mix in the partially decomposed oak leaves to further lighten up the soil.

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
    in reply to: Lubbers! How to I get rid of them? #1011
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    One of my gardening buddies told me to use Spinosad and although the label does not say it is good for eradicating lubbers, I tried it and they appear to be gone! The big proof will be weather or not the huge grasshoppers appear. I will keep you posted.

    in reply to: Should you "prune tomatoes"? #1010
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    If you prune tomatoes correctly, you will get maximum yield and large tomatoes. Your plant will still produce if you don’t prune, but it will sprawl all over the place. Look for the suckers , that is where an additional branch shoots out between two branches. Remove all suckers below the first clusters of tomatoes. As I harvest tomatoes, I prune the leaves below the growing tomatoes. Do not prune leaves above the tomato because you will cause sun scald.

    in reply to: Fertilizers for tomatoes #1009
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    Tomatoes are heavy feeders and need a steady diet of water and nutrients. I use Espoma Tomato Tone because I am an organic gardener. I start side dressing when tomatoes have formed and then repeat every 2-3 weeks. Dig a small trench around  each plant 4-5 inches from the stem and add 2-3 tablespoons per plant. Do not get any fertilizer on the stem or leaves. Cover the fertilizer with 1-2 inches of soil and water.

    in reply to: drip irrigation #993
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    I bought it and the package said it was made of recycled tires but I love your idea. I have 3 rain barrels next to my raised beds and I can’t believe I never thought of trying drip irrigation from rain barrels.

    in reply to: Organic Soil Innoculants #963
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    I used Dr. Earth for a bean innoculant. Every kind of bean I have planted seemed to wither and die. I didn’t know beans were so susceptible to disease. I followed the directions and mixed the Dr. Earth with milk and planted the beans. Well, I had beautiful purple, green and white beans! I noticed that you can use it to improve soil for all vegetables and I am all about feed the soil and your plants will thrive. So I think I will try it for the rest of the garden.

    in reply to: Looking for the Perfect Salsa Tomato #962
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    So you want a tomato that is meaty, not too juicy and loaded with flavor. I say Celebrity and Better Boy for hybrids and my all time favorite heirloom, Cherokee Purple. A mix of these would make for great salsa, the flesh of the Cherokee purple is dark rich purplish red. I made salsa with these last year although it was the fresh not canned kind. Yum

    in reply to: White Moldy Looking Stuff on Underside of Leaves #961
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    I certainly hope I am wrong but this could be late blight (underside of the leaves) and if it is the spores definitely could have spread to the rest of your crop. I would  tell the store. This is the same disease that caused the great potato famine in Ireland. (It overwinters in potato or tomato debris.) Get a fungicide and carefully follow the directions to spray your garden. I am assuming you have already destroyed the offending plant. If you see even a hint of the mold, destroy the plant. This is not a disease that can be cured, only prevented. Even if it is not late blight, if I couldn’t identify a fungus, I would destroy the plant. Some fungal diseases are manageable like powdery mildew. For that, I just pick off the leaves and apply and fungicide.

    in reply to: Heirloom Tomatoes #835
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    Heirloom tomatoes are old traditional varieties as opposed to hybrids which and the offspring of combining 2 different tomatoes. They are open pollinated and you can save the seeds and get the same tomato which is not true of hybrids. Some heirlooms are over 400 years old although a heirloom could be as simple a tomato with a history of its own in production before 1950. Heirlooms adapt to specific ecosystems so if you want to grow some, check to see which varieties perform best in your area. The reason they have become so popular today is because they taste so much better than the common hybrids which are bred for packing and shipping.

    in reply to: Container gardening #834
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    The obvious answer is old buckets and tubs. Just make sure to drill or poke drainage holes in whatever you use. I planted a tiny garden including tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme and rosemary in an old wheelbarrow. It already had holes in it. I have also planted in a wine crate, an old sink, a picnic basket,  an old dresser drawer and  stacked up old tires (I painted them funky colors). Use you imagination. If it will hold dirt, it is a possible planter.

    in reply to: drip irrigation #833
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    Try a soaker hose first. Made of recycled tires, they have tiny holes all over the entire length of the hose. Simply connect them to a water source  and lay them along your tomato plants. They work best when placed directly on top of the soil and are laid flat. You can mulch over them but it is not necessary.

    in reply to: Bug army on the stems of my tomatoes #832
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    Blasting them off with water is actually a good way to start and may work. If not, try an insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. read the directions on the product and follow carefully. Organic controls like pyrethrum (made from mum flowers!) can also be effective. Many beneficial insects love aphids so don’t use any broad spectrum insecticide or your kill off the friends.

    in reply to: Where to plant tomatoes? #818
    greenqueen
    greenqueen
    Participant

    I have always planted my tomatoes in raised beds. Tomatoes love loose, fertile soil with lots of organic matter. My husband built my raised beds with scrap lumber (untreated is always best although I have one bed built with old railroad ties.) They vary ns length however the width should be no wider than you can to the reach from either side to tend the plants. Mine are 3 1/3 to 4 1/2 feet wide. i have one that is 5 feet wide and that is a bit too much. I put multiple layers of newspapers on the bottom and then began to fill them with soil and all sorts of organic amendments. I make my own compost. Every year I top dress plants with more compost, mulch with oak leaves and at the end of the season, turn all into the soil. Below are some pictures of my collection of raised beds.

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)