Growing in sandy florida soil

EcopalMarch 8, 2011

O.K. I ran out of organic fertilizer and I have decided to plant the remaining tomatoes in the ordinary soil of my yard. Here in Florida the soil is very sandy and not exactly ideal for tomatoes. Nevertheless the plants seem to be doing alright. At least they are growing. But what should I expect? Even with bad soil I should still get a few good tomatoes right? P.S their heirloom and cherry tomatoes.

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If you are far enough south to have sandy soil, I doubt you will get tomatoes to set fruit beyond May due to the heat and humidity. I couldn't get fruit to set even in May where I am. All I got was blossom drop.

Where are you in Florida?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 12:49AM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

You will more than likely have problems with nematodes if you try growing them in the ground. I would use containers (no smaller than 5 gallon) and a light fluffy soil-less mix.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 1:15AM
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Been there done that :) No, you don't want to plant them in the native sandy soil. Sandy soil in Florida has poor fertility and, worse, nematodes. Put them in a large pot as taz6122 suggested. If you put them in regular sandy soil with no amendments or fertilizers you can get expect them die slowly and get a number of disease and insect issues. It is possible that you may get a few fruit, but unlikely. If you are willing to lose the plants and just want to experiment, when you are ready to pull them up, check the roots out. The knobby things on the roots are nematode damage.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 9:25AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

IF your soil isn't already infested with nematodes you might get some fruit for a year or two provided to fertilize them weekly with a liquid fertilizer like GM. I'm not advocating this long-term as eventually the nematodes will find that area once you've started planting maters there, this is just advice for the here and now since you've stated you've already done this. All the other things that have been stated about container growing is good advice, and as stated earlier unless you're in north Florida fruit set will be done by the end of May, maybe June as night temps rise above 75F, unless you want to grow the currant tomatoes, which are very small.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 7:43AM
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In 85 I tried growing Floramerica in ground in Miami. The first year did well, then each year went down hill from there.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 12:12PM
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