Starting of a new Season

jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)April 12, 2012

I thought I would share a few pictures. I transplanted tomatoes on March 19th into two of our high tunnels. Here they are on that day.

These pictures were taken on April 6th. They are growing very fast.

I still need to sucker and remove lower leaves, I am just too busy.

Here are the Cherry Tomatoes on March 19th

Probably first tomatoes by Mid to late May. They are starting to bloom now.

Jay

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druid180

Nice pics!!! Wish I had that kind of setup. I have 2-2'x10' raised beds and part of the side of my house to try and grow 'maters'...not ideal...but all I have :(

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 3:05PM
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KCKook

Jay,

I'm very interested to hear your responses because I grow at my friend's farm & they also have a hoophouse.
Your setup is amazing btw - I wish ours was as tidy. lol

Did you grow them last year in the hoophouse? How did you deal with the excessive heat we had?

It was so very very humid & hot in ours last summer that tomatoes stopped setting in late July. We opened up the ends & put a cover over the top but with the reallllly hot temps it obviously wasn't enough. We had over 100 plants & major problems with sun scald.

This year we have 3 huge fans that will definitely help in the HH, but I'm tempted to just plant my tomatoes in the upper garden. I'll just have to get it tilled and cleared & get a water source there.

Planting in the raised beds of the HH would definitely be easier!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 2:08AM
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mewhee

Hi Jay -

Thx a bunch for sharing. Really admire your set-up and the way you've organized the layout. Out of curiosity, what % of your production is devoted to tomatoes and which varieties are your best sellers at your farmer's markets mentioned in earlier posts?

Hope you'll keep us posted with updates as the season progresses ;-)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 10:36AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

KCKook-

Good question. We pulled up the sides, opened the ends up and opened the vents at the top of the endwalls. We had lots of tomatoes most of the year, but we did eventually start to run out. They just didn't set. However, the "Heat Set" varieties did do better, Florida 91 for example continued to set fruit despite the heat. SO maybe an idea would be to plant some of these to get through the hot times.

Also, planting so early really gets your fruit set and growing before it gets really hot. Also, I don't have lots of problem with sunscald as I don't remove lots of leaves. I do remove all lower leaves up to first bloom and all suckers up to that point too. Then I only remove things that get in my way.

I have been growing tomatoes in high tunnels for the last 5 or 6 years. Here are some pictures from last year.

Here was a later planting of tomatoes in a movable tunnel.
They were planted around July 4th and produced until Thanksgiving.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 10:50AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I devote 1.5 of my stationary tunnels to early tomatoes. 200 big tomatoes and 60 cherries. Then I use the other 4.5 for other crops. This year one is for peppers, the other one is early greens and onions. Then the movable tunnels are for carrots, greens, cucumbers, onions, zucchini and tomatoes. I am trying something different this year. I am planting 4 succession plantings of tomatoes. The first one is the largest and the remaining will be about 80 to 100 plants. I am doing all of these in high tunnels to keep the size of my tomatoes up this year.

Jay

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 11:00AM
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garf_gw

My season in Miami is almost over. Nothing much can help me here.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 7:50PM
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