Tomatoes in 2014

psient(9b)February 8, 2014


I have deleted the text from my original post as this represented an adulteration of this forum (i.e., a double posting).

My thread in 'Growing Tomatoes' went through some exaggeration regarding the use of chemical pesticides. Several shallow and childish diminutions of my original intent to garner thoughts from others on topics related to my gardening. In particular my suffering from extreme whitefly and aphid infestations!

However, thanks to the persistence of those who are in consideration of open-mindedness and do not overly obsess concerning topics they are sensitive to, the thread will survive I think. I reposted here (the exact same information) as I believed those of us in SoCal are separable from areas that frost repeatedly and persistently on the same seasonal schedule. The experience of these areas as to planting times, pest problems, soils, and fertilizers are of course different. These differences are occasionally marginal but, for instance, in the case of planting schedules more likely to be extreme.

As we know, our area can be experiencing 80 degrees when the states immediately west of us will be in severe freezing (below 20 degrees at night). Such is the case this December in my area. The week of the 9th will move from the mid 60s to the mid 80s by Wed.

I spoke with Adrianne at Johnny's seeds yesterday. She said her weather was in the minus Fahrenheit during the nighttime. That of course is the extreme opposite side of our great nation. Still I mention it to underline the importance of talking with folk locally.

AS a result of the weather I have decided to set-out my tomato seedlings the week of the 14th. I am currently in the process of hardening them off. My garden and strategy for tomatoes can be found on the 'Growing Tomatoes' forum as noted below in mrclint's posting. If you decide to review the specifics of my gardening strategy there one note:

Please forgive the (until recently) muted hostility that occurred due to my inabilities in dealing with whitefly explosions during the hotter periods of summer. I do not wish to revisit this issue here. I will entertain your views there within the constraints of openmindedness.

One last reference to the Growing Tomato thread; recently a contributor to the thread pointed out that I might have luck modifying my raised beds to induce cooler temperatures. I won't labor through the specifics of what I've been doing as I've written, that's all posted for others to view on the above-mentioned forum.

I will however begin talking about what is currently in the works.

I will continue this thought in my next post.

Happy Gardening it's gonna be spring soon.


This post was edited by psient on Wed, Feb 12, 14 at 9:25

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Looks like this was double posted on the tomato forum.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:08PM
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Yes. I'm sorry I'll revamp the posting. I forgot that this isn't kosher. My apologies!


    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 9:06AM
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I purchased the stuff to make soil blocks from Johnny's recently and have been spending some time creating the appropriate seeding soil mix for them. I screened a commercial potting soil from Home Depot down to 1/4" and then saturated it with fish emulsion mix. This turned out to be adequate although it would be better if the average particulate size was a little smaller and the material was more homogeneous.

That aside, talking with Adrienne gave me the following insights into the process. Much of our discussion centered around tomatoes:

1) We could not construct an adequate strategy for labeling the individual blocks resulting from using the 20 mini blocker. I suggested food dye but that's an unknown.

2) Using the row trays to start tomatoes is more efficacious than the mini blocker. You remove the seedlings by the cotyledons, uprooting them at less than a week and transferring them to the larger 2 inch soil blocks.

3) Starting Alliums from seeds will be best if the seedlings have a lot of downward area to send roots. Thus, tray starting isn't preferred. Rather 6" peat pots that are well seeded. The subsequent creation of a 'ball' of roots and seedlings can be deconstructed at transplanting. Apparently the plants will not suffer from the handling and breakage of the 'ball'.

4) Johnny's Seeds has a formula for making your own soil blocker mix.

I will try to find a way to post pictures of what I've done so far with the seeding strategy. I am not a photographer so any suggestions as to improving what I upload will be appreciated.



    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 9:37AM
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