Planting tomatoes in the same spot. You will be shocked...

steve222August 16, 2010

I live near oceanside Ca. And I drive on the 5 freeway everyday, which is right on the coast. I can see the ocean while driving. On the ocean-side of the highway is acer's and acer's of tomatoes. I have watched for years and years tomatoe's being planted all year round in the same place.

Once the tomatoes are done producing they are harvested and the plants are ground down into the ground and they re- plant again. Starting the process all over again.

I was under the impression that you should not re plant in the same spot. How can they keep planting year after year after year in the same spot?

I have seen them truck in lots of white piles of (gypsum?) I am not sure what it is, but it stinks.. So can anyone tell me why we are told never to plant in the same spot? But they are breaking all the rules as this place does it year round.

Also, How can you plant tomatoes year round? I only live 10 minutes away from these tomatoes and I cant plant year round. So, anyone want to tackle this big question? Thanks in advance..

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There are many things in this world that you can do, but is better to not do.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 9:31AM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

It's not a "rule" ... just a sensible means to avoid a major disease problem. I'm sure they're planting varieties that are resistant to a number of diseases.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 10:07AM
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I replant in the same boxes every year. The tomatoes grow

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 10:42AM
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spiced_ham(z5 OH)

1) Southern California is a dry climate so foliage diseases are not as big a problem as they are back east.

2)They have the option to spray lots and fungicide.

3) They can plant disease resistant varieties to avoid the soil diseases that would build up with older varieties.

I suspect the stinky white stuff is chicken manure or similar. Gypsum doesn't have much of a scent.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 11:41AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Thousands of home gardeners don't or can't, because of space limitations, rotate crops. Most commercial growers here stopped the practice decades ago. And in many ways, the so called "rule" is based grossly outdated info.

Quality soil amending, quality compost additions, tilled in carbon residues such as organic mulches plus supplemental nitrogen sources (like the ammonium nitrate you smelled), between plantings and proper plant maintenance during the growing season makes regular crop rotation unnecessary.

You'll find many prior discussions here about 'crop rotation' and its need or lack thereof if you wish to browse through them.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 11:48AM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

Just wanted to address your last question, since I garden in southern California as well.

Yes, you can grow tomatoes year round here. I have had success in z10, where you are (sunset 23 or 24?) with OP tomatoes. Right now in z9 I have hybrids that have overwintered. Sungolds. Since the growers near you are commercial, chances are they grow hybrids, which from my experience, overwinter better. Also, as someone else pointed out, we don't have fungal or many foliage diseases here. One of the reasons to rotate is that some diseases would prevail, but we don't have them.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 12:51PM
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commercial growers can get by the usual problems with expensive but simple measures such as steam cleaning, they insert rods in the ground and force steam down into the soil and it kills all the bacteria etc so getting rid of disease.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 1:37PM
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They can also fumigate the soil, similar to tenting a house for termites. They can kill all weed seeds and pathogens. I would like to have that done on my property but can't find anyone who would do such a small area.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 5:28PM
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cirtes(U:10 - S:21)

That corridor in Orange County, up the 5 and 405 freeways has a lot of farms.

It has a real special climate; sunnier than the typical coastal valley and more temperate. Frost is very rare. I think it has something to do with how the Santa Ana mountains roll the air in some convection/advection system.

There is no reason you could not grow year round.

Check the GDD for the colder months and start new plants at the appropriate date in the fall. Choosing cold tollerant and short season varieties would help.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 10:30PM
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It does not surprise me at all.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 2:08AM
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