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Finally got tomatoes planted

Posted by jrslick KS/5 (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 28, 14 at 15:56

Better late than never! As with most of my pictures, they are at night. I finally got to plant my tomatoes (about 4 weeks late), on purpose, I started them 2 weeks later than usual. The next 2 weeks were due to my inability to get everything prepped in a timely manner.

I transplanted 300 plants into black plastic with two runs of drip tape in each bed. The plants are planted in a double row fashion, 2 feet between plants in row and about 15 to 20 inches between rows (should be more like 18 to 24, but it is hard to make that happen). I will be staking and weaving them soon. My idea is to get the posts in a row or two at a time to save my arms from driving all the posts in one day, we will see if I can make that happen.

How are things growing for you?

This post was edited by jrslick on Mon, Apr 28, 14 at 16:03


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

Well considering it's inside a green house type of building, then yes, it should still be even more OK from that!

Though I do have to admit, if I actually was fully depending on my veggies growing, there were many times when I didn't get something in as soon as I could have for a faster production.


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

i've still got some tomatoes to plant inside but most have been planted last week. Most potatoes are planted but not all. i've got 120' of ginger beds to plant in a hoophouse and more seeds to get started. still not overwhelmed but getting there.


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

Getting this first planting of tomatoes in has been very overwhelming and stressful. Until school is out, May 22nd, I only get the weekend and afterschool to work. Only problem is since the last two weekends of March, I have had other things to do either one of both days of the weekend. I have been literally piecing this spring garden season together with 1 hour here, 45 minutes there, 2 hours here. Water all the plants in 30 minutes, you get the idea. The only work time I had was spring break when I built the entire high tunnel. Our local market starts this weekend, but I am not going. I don't have anything to sell and we have to be out of town the next two weekends for graduations. It has been a crazy spring. Looks like I will be hitting the end of May/early June markets with a full head of steam!

I only have 3 more tunnels to fill and then everything starts going outside. We already have lots outside, direct seeded, but transplants will start going outside. I have almost all the plastic mulch down and beds formed for my movable buildings. I just need to move them and transplant the Zucchini and little Cucumbers in two weeks. They are coming up now in the seedling trays. Then work on cleaning out and prepping the last high tunnel for peppers. One of those jobs that never got done last winter.

Jay


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

So, first the bad news:

It has been a very wet and cold April here.
My nightshades in the greenhouse are only at the second true leaf stage.
I lost 100 pepper plants to mice that snuck in under the greenhouse baseboard (again!). They chewed the tops off of all the seedlings. I closed off the holes and mined the whole greenhouse with traps.

The good news:
Kale, beets and chard are growing very well in the high tunnels. Although it's held down in the 30s here every day, it gets up to 60-70 degrees in the tunnels. I should be ready for market in a few weeks.


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

I have deliberately waited and am glad I did, knowing the level of storms we're having this week. Jay, you're lucky to get out when you do. Because of all the snow days, we're going into June!! First time in my too long career. Winter was so bad, we lost all peaches, a lot of herbs, mint, and possibly most, if not all, of the blackberries. However, it looks like a bumper crop for the rest of the trees and all the bushes like blueberries, currants, and gooseberries. Grapes were probably damaged as well.


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

Everything has been growing good despite the cold temperatures. One mistake I made was only laying one line of drip tape under the double rows of tomatoes. Hopefully it won't hurt them to much I don't know how I can fix it now. The varieties I ended up growing in the high tunnel are Polbig, Primo Red and Taxi. The taxi plants already have tiny fruits on them. Definitely need to get them staked but I'm waiting on more stakes to come. The Zucchini and Tomatoes were planted about the March 30th. The Lettuce and Kale were planted about a week before that.

 photo HT4-29_zps77562fef.jpg

 photo HT4-29jpg1_zps9d87ea28.jpg

 photo HighTunnel4-29jpg4_zpseeb3b485.jpg

 photo YellowPear4-29_zpsee5e85e0.jpg

This post was edited by TomatoesAndThings on Tue, Apr 29, 14 at 14:38


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

Planted two rows of melons and a row of squash outside a few days ago.

 photo HighTunnel5_zpsd70f0c01.jpg

 photo RowCovers4-29_zps057e8bcf.jpg


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

Brook: You have had a rough winter. I am kinda glad I waited too. Sorry to hear about your losses. All last week it was blowing hard out of the south and south west. Now we are on the other side of the storm and it is blowing hard out of the north and northwest 20-45mph. I am glad I got the plastic tightened up on the high tunnel.

Tomatoandthings: Where are you from? Your stuff looks nice. Your lettuce looks ready to harvest.

What spacing do you have for your drip tape under your tomatoes? How far apart are they? you could pull up one end of the plastic and start pushing the drip tape under the plastic and let it sit on top of the ground and under the mulch. it would be hard, but it would probably work. We have Polbig and Taxi growing too. Both are very early and nice tomatoes. I did plant and transplanted 2 full beds of the Polbigs. I hope that pays off with getting things planted late.

What are the clear plastic squares in your aisles?


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

I finished fixing my snow-smashed high tunnel and got my tomatoes planted on the 19th of this month. I had to buy plants this year, so it's mostly Big Beef with a few Jet Star. I am trying a couple Red Brandymaster as well. I planted at 3' spacing and put cattle gates up for support.


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

I'm from Maryland. It's been a pretty chilly spring so far but there were some nice days this past week. Now it's down to 50 again with the wind blowing hard. The drip tape spacing is one foot and the tomatoes are two feet apart. There is about 2 and a half feet between the rows. I thought about just making a slit all the way down the row and laying more tape but I might just create a big mess. I really hope I can get tomatoes by June 15th. I planted the Polbig and Taxi because you said they were good early tomatoes. Hoping to get the the lettuce on the plastic sold within the next week and filling the space with more tomatoes or something else. The clear plastic squares in the aisles were being used in between the plants to release heat at night when it was cold. I pulled them out and still haven't picked them all up yet.


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

This is the first season for my hoophouse, and as I'm finding out, I need to build up the soil in there quite a bit. Its apparently a low enough spot that after heavy rains I get an inch or two of water standing in the path for days. The beds are up out of the standing water a bit, but all my tomatoes have had cold wet feet for weeks. I planted them too early, but I just wanted to give it a try. I left about 10 plants in containers along side the ones in-ground, and they are doing far better. They are all blooming now. My outside planting will go in anytime after this weekend and when the soil dries enough. Lots of heirloom tomatoes, and I'll be seeding in some beans and squash soon. My chard , lettuce, and coles are doing fantastic, but those are just for the family. I made room in the hoop house by moving a few dozen chards into the front flower bed, figured I could use some more color out there. Outside onions and leeks are doing well, and the favas I'm trying this spring are going gangbusters. I feel like a few days off of work will get me over the hump.

Phil


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

From the postins it seem that Jrslick, Cole and T&T are staking the tunnel tomatoes, thereby only utilizing half of the benefit of the overhead framework. I guess if you are dedicated to determinate varieties your decisions are with merit but I question some choices-- like Taxi, a golf ball sized yellow tomato. Do you have a market for them?

I much prefer to use the framework to support my tomato plants. String is cheap and provides many advantages over stakes and cages. I have close to 800 tomato plants in 2 structures, all Indt. varieties with excellent market potential and all supported by stringline. Sure, I'm behind schedule in my GH tomato crop too this year but some should be ripening in a few weeks.


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

I hope to be able to grow much more weight in tomatoes than my frame will support, but then again that's not saying much :) Top rail isn't that strong in the first place, and mine already got smashed once by snow. I pieced together the old pipes.

Taxi was tennis ball sized for me, and sold well because they are so early. Coupled with an orange and a red, they make an attractive display. I grew Orange Blossom as my orange. jrslick said he likes BHN-871 better. I still haven't found an early red slicer that I really like. Big Beef is worth the extra week or two it takes to ripen.


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

Good questions: For me, Taxi is much larger than a golf ball, it is baseball size or larger. Some are smaller, but I sell just about every single one, regardless of size. They produce early and are a good match for the other early red ones. I have found that older customers like the smaller yellow ones and they will buy them even if there are larger ones available. I also plant BHN 871, a larger orange/yellow one.

Where I live, I am bothered by wind and tornadoes. I have had one tunnel get pulled up in the middle on one side, due to wind. Luckily I was outside and saw it happen and was able to grab and hang on to it and push it back in the ground and called for backup. If I had tomatoes tied to the frame, they would have either been damaged or pulled out of the ground. Maybe that isn't a good reason, but I would prefer to loose the structure and maybe keep a slightly damaged crop than lose the entire structure and crop.

I plant 5 plantings of determinate tomatoes inside and outside in a year. My customers are wanting large slicing tomatoes all year long and the indeterminates were always disappointing me. They give me a good early crop, but the size keep getting smaller as the year goes along. Also we grow for winter markets, so we need to clear out the building in August to prep for the winter season. Determinates fit that production schedule.

This is my 3rd year of going mainly only with determinates and I have been very happy. We are actually increasing production by several hundred plants again this year.

Jay


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

Lot of nice stuff. Good job Jay, hang in there.

Nature is not being very nice out here. Not for a spring garden. Very strong dry winds all week. I just imagine tomato and pepper blossoms being incinerated, I am sure some are whipped to death, killing future yields and other such things. Usually the last of these wind events is over by now. Oh, well.

My best round of leeks for the year is done and January planted dixondale onions are almost ready, Blackberries are having a bad year , so there goes motivation to go to market. I think I'll be chopping and freezing and giving most the onions away since they are not storage onions.

My garden isn't going to be market material this year, going to can more and freeze more and barter and look for small sales options, consignments, other CSA's etc. Maybe hit a market with any bumper crops and that's it. That's actually feeling like a relief for lots of reasons.


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

  • Posted by kelise Western Oregon (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 30, 14 at 13:30

My tomatoes are looking great. The early stuff on each side of them will be gone by the next couple markets. I use the basket weave also. I've been feeling sympathy for you growers back east with the crazy non-spring.


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

It has been crazy. We can't settle on a temperature. It is all or nothing. We have been as high as 89 degrees and as cold as 24 degrees, those were with in 1 day of each other. I know others are having it worse than we are, but even the big farmers are feeling the pinch. I am thankful for a protected growing environments that we have, but stuff is getting planted outside very soon, regardless.

Jay


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

Those protected environments in these pictures are looking pretty nice about now, but would be too hot as a wind block and get blown away if opened with the wind storm we are having.


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

I removed the plastic from the tops of my end walls above the doors. I much prefer it that way; it's perfect for hot and windy days.


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

Of course now, I have to go to the zoning board to get a variance for my hoop house. Apparently some pvc pipe and clear plastic that will only be up for a few months is a "structure". Maybe I'll try bribing the board with some of the fresh produce that's in there.


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

Out here by us they told us as long as we do not cement in the PVC's they would consider it a temporary structure, if it were to be cemented in then it would be a permanent structure. No need for cement I just pounded the PVC's into the ground, the city has not given me any troubles yet. Of course every area is different.


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RE: Finally got tomatoes planted

Had another frost advisory last night. I hope this is the last one for the season. It didn't get as cold as expected, but who is willing to take a chance. There was some frost on the plastic and on the truck windows. Highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s all next week.

This post was edited by jrslick on Fri, May 2, 14 at 15:06


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