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TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
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reply to stev32k

Re: Tomato planting time

Whereas your tomato plants have already grown significantly... for us it is just about time for planting. We had frost up until last week.

Sometime in September or October is when the frost will hit again.

Growing season here is very short.

said by stev32k:

BTW - those shots are from my cell phone. I think they are pretty good for a cell phone camera.

Where modern cell phone cameras fail is in low-light situations, since they have such a small lens and sensor which can't capture much light.

In bright light they actually do very well considering the size of the camera.


stev32k
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Mobile, AL
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We have about 9-1/2 or 10 month growing season here. Only had two days last winter below freezing and that was at night and the low was 30 F.

The down side is the bugs. We already have a bumper crop of ticks, fleas, mole crickets, and leaf footed bugs.



Koil
Premium
join:2002-09-10
Irmo, SC
kudos:2
reply to TheMG

said by TheMG:

said by stev32k:

BTW - those shots are from my cell phone. I think they are pretty good for a cell phone camera.

Where modern cell phone cameras fail is in low-light situations, since they have such a small lens and sensor which can't capture much light.

In bright light they actually do very well considering the size of the camera.

Yep...how about you test this theory by getting some shots of the produce inside and out?? I'd like to see the biggies from your haul, if they're still around.
--
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.- Edward Everett Hale

My Blog - Raising Connor


stev32k
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Mobile, AL
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1 recommendation

Here ya go. Picked these this morning and took the picture just a minute ago. The two badly cracked ones are from the Goliath Hybrid that I won't grow next year.




The picture is certainly not what you can get from a DSLR (I have a Nikon D200), but the camera & lens does not weigh a ton and you can carry it around in your pocket. (The bluish background does indeed have a dimpled surface - that's not noise)


Koil
Premium
join:2002-09-10
Irmo, SC
kudos:2

Yeah, I have a Pentax K-100 that, in the daylight, takes the most beautiful shots you've ever seen or could ask for...but take away some of that light, and they degrade quickly.

Anyway, thanks!



stev32k
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Mobile, AL
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reply to stev32k

Just for fun I took another with the flash on. It looks a little better, but still a lot of noise.



decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1
reply to stev32k

Dude, i like this idea!



JAAulde
Web Developer
Premium,MVM
join:2001-05-09
Williamsport, MD
kudos:3
reply to stev32k

I LOVE the idea, so I made one to give it a try. (Pics are before the plant went in.)


stev32k
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Mobile, AL
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A couple of tips

As the plants grow and you add height to the PVC support your life will be much easier if all the PVC pipe is cut exactly the same length. The horizontal length is set by the first cross piece. So if all the pieces are cut the same the frame will go together like tinker toys it they are different lengths you will have a problem.

Another tip is to plan for guy ropes to support the frame and keep it from blowing over in the wind as it gets taller. There are couple of things you can do - tie a good stout (say 1" dia) rope around the container about 2/3 of the way to the top. The container is tapered so as the rope rises it will get tighter. Then tie the guy ropes (smaller ropes - about 50 lb poly or nylon) to the rung of the support with a double half hitch and the other end to the rope around the container with slip or taut knot.

This year I tied the guy ropes off the container handles (see the pictures above) and hope the handles don't break.

One plant is now 7'4" tall and the other is exactly 6'. Both were planted 3 months ago so the growth rate is between 20" and 29" per month. That will give you some idea of how tall you can expect the plants to grow - depending on how long your growing season lasts.




One last comment. Up until last month I was using Miracle Grow Tomato Plant food. I was not real happy with the tomatoes I was getting so I started using plan ole 13-13-13 fertilizer and the results are better. I'm adding 1/2 of a 10 oz tin can of triple 13 once per week and mixing it in the top dirt a little. The tomatoes that are getting ripe now are twice as large as I was getting before. The two in this picture are going to be over 1 lb each. Previously the largest was 11 oz and it looks like the cracking problem I was having is going away (but it may be too early to tell for sure).



jmikeh
Premium
join:2001-07-15
Tulsa, OK
reply to stev32k

Re: Tomato planting time

Forgive me if I have missed it in this thread. How are you combating the varmints? I can imagine how inviting those huge tomatoes look to the wild ones out there.
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"Welcome to the party, pal"



stev32k
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1 recommendation

said by jmikeh:

Forgive me if I have missed it in this thread. How are you combating the varmints? I can imagine how inviting those huge tomatoes look to the wild ones out there.

The "varmints" around here are fungus, mold, insects, birds, and squirrels. Fungus and mold cannot be eliminated, but can be controlled by making sure the plants (mostly) dry out every day. The Insects can be controlled by various means including insecticides or physical barriers like cheese cloth.

The birds are the hardest to control and for ten years the only way I've found to defeat them is to not let the tomatoes turn red on the vine. I have started to harvest them when they turn a pale orange and find that does not effect the taste or flavor. It does prevent some excessive cracking and splitting and keeps the birds from pecking any ripe tomatoes and the squirrels don't seem to be interested in green ones.

I even called the county extension agent and asked if he knew of any way way to keep the birds and squirrels from eating my tomatoes. He said the most effective means he had found was 1/2 oz of #8 shot. I strongly considered that option, but my wife would not go along.