Different way to plant tomatoes

sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)July 18, 2013

This morning I was on the Compost & Soil forum. There was a post about planting directly into a bag of commercial compost/manure and a video called Black Kow video. Very interesting. My daughter has Bermuda grass and would like to grow tomatoes, but cannot because of the Bermuda, and this seems a simple solution. I put the bag on cardboard and I think it would help.

Went to Lowe's, bought a bag of Greene County manure/compost for $1.34 and two tomato plants (which were beautiful) Big Boy and Park's Whopper. Instructions say to make about 15 holes in the back of the bag, turn bag over, then make two x's and peel back the plastic. I put 1 Tablespoon of Epsom salts in each hole and stirred it up, then put in the tomatoes. Instructions said to use water soluble fert in the tomato hole so I used fish emulsion, 1 Tab/gallon. I did reinforce the sides of the planting hole with strapping tape.

You are supposed to support these two toms with one cage in the middle, but I just know it's going to take two big wire cages.

So we shall see. I was just saying I wish I had more tomatoes to can this year. Hope it works. I'll try to transfer the link below, and hope that works.
Sunny
http://blackkow.com/_html/plantingtomatoes.htm

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helenh(z6 SW MO)

It is fun to try new things. Keep us posted on your progress. I am out of the experimenting mood because of no rain. Give me a nice slow rain and I'll be in the mood. If I were to plant something it might be lettuce in the shade for fall. I have looked for Black Kow before and didn't find it here.

It is too hot to suit me. I was just out a few minutes to look over the garden and now I feel like I need another shower.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 7:37PM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Sooo -- if this goes well, I can show you a photo of the day I planted these two hybrid toms and today's photo. They have done remarkably well and with all our rain, I have only had to water them once.

Good experiment. I have three small toms on one plant and blooms on the other. It would be a good way to have plants for a person with very little space to grow. I can't see a downside yet to this method.

I'll let you know --
Sunny

PS Looks like just today's photo is there, but at least I got something to you!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 9:20PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Congratulations on posting a photo. Isn't that your first?

Your plants made good progress for the short time since you started the experiment. Black Cow is more expensive. You didn't pay very much for your manure.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 9:32PM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Yes, it is my first since the changeover (what-ever-it-was) and I can't use my old photoplace, Photobucket -- Had some help with this -- I think Christie wrote something, as well as Claire. I sure appreciate it! (And feeling Smart today, so tried it)

It's a win-win situation -- 1. tomatoes for me 2. fun to experiment with this 3. dumping old bag of compost into the veg garden in the fall (wondering if the toms have rooted through the 15 or so holes in the bottom of the bag?) -- not necessarily in that order. Fun for me comes FIRST. Toms second.
Sunny

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 10:15PM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Looks like this was successful -- I've picked some nice toms from these two plants. If my daughter wants to grow vegetables next season it would be a dandy way to do so with her Burmuda grass problem.

I'll bet there are some large roots that have gone through the bag on the bottom. Will be interesting.
Sunny

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 9:44AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Thanks for the update. I think your daughter would enjoy growing a few tomatoes.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 12:05PM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Oh, and now I'm thinking -- how about a bag dedicated to 8 okra plants (Lee variety-small plants); a bag for 10 bush beans; 4 eggplants, one zuchinni or patty pan squash -- lettuces, mesclen, etc. It would be like the French Intensive gardening practice -- very, very enriched soil to begin with. I just fertilized these tomatoes once, when I planted them. And you'd have the bag to dump into your flower beds when the vegs were finished. Besides, these toms never seemed to dry out like the raised beds do, eventually.

I'm thinking also you could spray the part of the bags that show with dark green paint made for plastics, then do all the hole punching and x-cutting, then plant as usual. And they would even look good. Hmmmmm --
Sunny

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 12:33PM
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rockwhisperer(6a)

Hello everyone, this is Ilene in NE Oklahoma. I haven't been on any forums for awhile but I read this thread and had to comment.

I did this (sorta) with Lazy Housewife beans. I'm trying to post a picture but I understand there's a new learning curve associated with picture posting and I haven't found instructions yet, so I'm winging it and hope it takes.

What I used was an empty chicken-feed bag that I turned inside-out so the printing was on the inside. I didn't punch any holes because it's open-ended and stitched together and I figured it would drain enough that way. I put wood chips in the bottom and my regular garden soil on top, which is compost-amended. The reason I wanted to try it is that I have trouble starting fall beans and I thought these would be something I could use to start the plants under the carport, where it's shady, and then dolly it out to along the fence somewhere when the weather cools and it starts needing to climb. It seems to be working as well as the in-ground beans that I planted, it's climbing well and has started producing. I, too, have Bermuda and also Bindweed. It seems to me like the bag lying flat on the ground would just encourage both to grow up through or over and down through as I had that happen when I covered my flower beds with several layers (8 to 12) of newspaper and then wood chips, but it's all worth a try. I haven't had any weeds to speak of in my chicken feed bag except for some nutsedge that I was able to just pull out.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 2:59PM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Wow -- your beans look good. I'm so glad you posted and sent the photo, as that's another way to use "portable" planting. And it's pretty good looking!

I had never heard of Lazy Housewife beans -- will have to do some research. I have chain link in the back, so it would be a good climbing area. I usually grow Italian-type beans for pole beans and they get so tall. Maybe this type is not so vigorous.

Thanks for posting and the photo. Hope to *talk* with you again --
Sunny

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 9:43AM
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rockwhisperer(6a)

Thanks, Sunny!

Lazy Housewife is an heirloom snap bean, my favorite. The beans grow in twos and threes, sometimes fours, hence the name. Very tender, usually stringless, they stay moist and meaty longer than some snap beans do. They like to climb so usually I plant them at the bottom of an arch made out of a wire stock panel. I think if I do this next year I'll put the bag(s) against my garden fence, which is a couple of feet taller than the one in the picture, which was taken several weeks ago. They're all over the fence now. This picture is kind of misleading because there are more beans planted in the raised bed on the other side of the fence and the yellow flowers beyond that are sunchoke flowers. I'd say the ones planted in the raised bed might be doing a little better than the ones in the bag, but the soil in the raised beds is probably amended more than that in the bag.

Come next spring, I'm thinking about planting peas this way. They germinate better in warmth and then will tolerate lots of cold once they've come up. I could plant them while they're in the garage and then dolly them out to the garden, wherever, once the plants are up. I grow Tall Telephone, the yield is better from the climbers than from bush peas.

Looking forward to getting to know all of you. --Ilene

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 1:46PM
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rockwhisperer(6a)

Thanks, Sunny!

Lazy Housewife is an heirloom snap bean, my favorite. The beans grow in twos and threes, sometimes fours, hence the name. Very tender, usually stringless, they stay moist and meaty longer than some snap beans do. They like to climb so usually I plant them at the bottom of an arch made out of a wire stock panel. I think if I do this next year I'll put the bag(s) against my garden fence, which is a couple of feet taller than the one in the picture, which was taken several weeks ago. They're all over the fence now. This picture is kind of misleading because there are more beans planted in the raised bed on the other side of the fence and the yellow flowers beyond that are sunchoke flowers. I'd say the ones planted in the raised bed might be doing a little better than the ones in the bag, but the soil in the raised beds is probably amended more than that in the bag.

Come next spring, I'm thinking about planting peas this way. They germinate better in warmth and then will tolerate lots of cold once they've come up. I could plant them while they're in the garage and then dolly them out to the garden, wherever, once the plants are up. I grow Tall Telephone, the yield is better from the climbers than from bush peas.

Looking forward to getting to know all of you. --Ilene

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 2:51PM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Ilene - What a great post. I made notes all over the place, and am very interested in heirloom vegetables, particularly, and harvesting their seeds, eventually. Good start this year on the heirloom tomato crop. I will love growing Lazy Housewife, and will think of you. What a great idea -- to germinate in your bag in the garage. I've done that with peas in a zip lock bag, so I can DO that!! lol

And I took notes on your drying information, as well. I must admit to being a Mad Scientist-Research Nut type, (as Helen will attest - lol) and I'm willing to try most everything.
Thank you.
Sunny

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 10:32PM
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rockwhisperer(6a)

Yeah, I like to try everything too. Some things don't work for me as well as it seems to work for others, eventually I find my "groove". Heh.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 6:37AM
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