taras49(6)October 11, 2013

I just pulled my tomato plants for the season. Can anyone tell from my pictures if my roots are deep enough. If so, I'll do the same next year but if not; I'll make some improvements. The crop was OK but if I can make it better next year that would be great.

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Roots will be different depending on soil,moisture and a bunch of other things. You should give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done and go again with what worked for you. I would be happy to have a reasonable crop year after year instead of boom to bust from one year to the next. IMO,the gardener that consistantly has good results does so more because of thier ability to "read" the plant's needs day to day. If there was a ricipe on soil,moisture and feeding,we could all do well but it just doesn't work like that.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 1:16PM
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Yea, I few years ago I was told that my roots weren't deep enough so I adjusted the density of the soil. I'm still having a little trouble regulating the water but I am getting better. Obviously I'm a novice; 4th year as a "farmer". Thanks for the advice

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 1:37PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

If you are in NYC can I assume that you are growing your plants in containers, and if so,what is the size of the containers and what is the mix,

Or are you one of the lucky ones in the citywith access to a roof top garden where some have raised beds,

Can' t answer your question without knowing where and how you're growing your plants,(smile)


    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 6:34PM
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We do have some dirt in NYC! I have a small (large by NY standards) garden in my back yard. I have a 9'X9' raised garden bed. I plant 6 tomato plants. This year for the first time I added peat moss to the Home Depot top soil that I filled my garden bed with 4 years ago.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 6:58PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

How deep is your raised bed? That is,what is the depth of the Home Depot "dirt"?

When I see someone saying NYC, which I know well, I'm not thinking private homes with backyards such as one might find in Brooklyn, or Queens,or whatever, I'm thinking Manhatten.(smile)


    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 10:06PM
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Did you mix the HD stuff and the peat moss in with the natural soil?

How deep did you dig? The deeper the better!

I was in the same boat about 6 years ago. My soil was horrible!
I've been amending and adding organic matter (mostly
grass clippings) this whole time. Now I can finally stick a
spading fork into the ground without having to stand on
it with both feet.

It takes a while, but improving your soil is one of the best
(if not the best) way to increase your crop.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:25PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I also planted my tomatoes in raised bed. The beds are just about 12" high but the ground under neath used to be garden patch(not very well conditioned ).

I pulled them and examined the root system. Most did not go very deep or spread too far and were contained in about 2 sqr-ft area. There were few long lateral roots. If the roots find enough moisture and nutrients in 12" depth, have no interest to go down. This is why I have come to believe that wide spacing tomato plants is mostly to accommodate the top and their roots do not require that much room.
Growing in container is a different game.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 2:55AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Back in the 20's and 30's many of the basic traits of tomatoes was studied and here's a favorite link of mine having to do with root structures.

Scroll down until you come to TOMATO.

I think one of the most imporrtant concepts is that if you direct seed tomatoes, as some commercial farmers in warm weather areas do, same for some home growers, you get a tap root structure.

But if you sow seeds and transplant the seedlings just once you get the desired fibrous root structure shown in the pictures, which is far superior b'c the additional rootlets can take up more water and nutrients than can a taproot structure.


Here is a link that might be useful: Root Structure

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 9:00AM
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I have not pulled mine out yet but couple years back I gave someone plants that I have planted about 4 weeks earlier so I had to dig it up middle June I thought it would be easy deal... oh my... that thing was huge!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 12:08PM
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