New to Vegetable Gardening - Tomato Questions
I searched the forum for answers but didn't find anything specific. I apologize if I missed it.
First off, I'm still a novice at gardening in general. I bought one Better Bush tomato plant and a tray of four Heirloom Marglobe seedlings. I'm so excited about them but I want to make sure I do this right. I have the Better Bush in a large pot of organic potting mix meant for edible plants (don't remember what brand it was). I mixed in a little fertilizer when I potted it and two weeks later it's looking wonderful. The heirlooms I just bought today. Here are my questions:
I understand the difference between heirloom and hybrid, and determinate vs indeterminate, which is why I wanted to try growing both kinds. I can't seem to find very clear information about determinate varieties. Something I read led me to believe that once there is a flower cluster, the plant will stop growing altogether. This can't be, can it? It's only about 8 inches tall but it already has a flower cluster and a couple of tiny tomatoes starting to grow. Any information on what to expect with a determinate variety, I would appreciate. (And be specific please, I'm really confused with everything I've read).
Here's my next question. I plan on planting the heirloom tomatoes in the garden and leave the hybrid in the pot on the patio. Both areas get lots of good sunlight. I have a decent size for a starter garden, about 5' by 8'. It's a raised bed made with decorative brick. I built it on top of some black weed blocker stuff that comes on a roll. I haven't filled it with soil yet and today I noticed something that might be a problem. I know how crucial drainage is, and the weed blocker holds water BAD. Do I need to take it out? I'm not worried about weeds so much but the bricks don't fit together very tight so a little bit of dirt will wash out from between them . I put it down and around the sides, with the edges folded under the top layer of bricks. It covers the whole bottom of the bed, which is about a foot tall. Is that tall enough that I won't need to worry about it when there's dirt in it? Or should I cut out the bottom and just leave some around the sides? I want to get it right before I fill it with soil and plants. I have no experience at all. Also, are there any places to get enough good soil to fill that that won't cost an arm and a leg?
One more question. My house faces the east so the back yard and patio where I do my gardening faces the west. In the summer it gets all that super hot evening sun. I tried gladiolas last year in the flower bed up against the house and they died off quickly once the weather got hot. They had barely even begun to flower. Being so close to that brick, they just baked until they died. Is there any kind of vegetable that would do well in a setting like that? The bed I was planning on putting the tomatoes in is off the edge of the patio away from the house. Will they withstand heat like we get here in Oklahoma? Or should they be someplace where they get a little shade that time of day? Again, as much as you can tell me, I would greatly appreciate. Thank you! - Jennifer