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181 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1612963 17-Aug-2016 08:04
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timmmay:

 

I grow in a greenhouse in Wellington, reasonably humid and very warm in summer. First year I had trouble with pests, green shield beetles. Second year I was a bit more active with my spraying (copper won't do anything for pests) but the key difference was I kept them really well fed with hydroponic type fertilizer and they resisted the bugs heaps better. I can tell you the pest sprays I use if you like, definitely not organic but tomatoes with appropriate sprays is better than organic nothing.

 

I grow in 100L growing containers. Water in the bottom, platform, then soil mixture. Water works its way up through capillary action, soil's covered to prevent water loss. Works very very well. I'm still growing capsicum and jalepenos now, through winter, getting about 10 - 20 red jalepenos a week and maybe one capsicum. Tomato would still be going but they got too big and dense and I got sick of them and cut them down.

 

 

Yes, what sprays do you use? And do you also use a copper spray as well as the bug spray? I'm not bothered about not organic - easy enough to wash everything off before eating - a small price to pay for the great taste.

 

100L containers sound huge, is there a reason for so big? How many plants per container? Do they have holes in the bottom to allow water to drain? What do you use as the 'platform'? How full do you fill up with soil mix?

 

Thanks in advance!




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1612965 17-Aug-2016 08:08
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ockel:

 

I use hanging baskets - the tomatoes essentially grow upside down with the plant hanging a hole in the base of the planter.  They hang around the verandah and get plenty of sun.  If you buy upside planter bags from Bunnings or Mitre10 then expect them to last a season - the UV will degrade the bag and they'll get brittle.  

 

Most years I use tumbling style varietals - two plants per basket/bucket.  Prolific flowering and fruiting.  I'm still getting tomatoes from last Xmas's crop although I have to ripen them indoors rather than on the vine.  

 

With hanging baskets or buckets any excess moisture drains away so the soil cant get overly wet but I do have to make sure that they get watered daily (and sometimes twice daily in summer) to prevent the plant from drying out.  Minimal pests, minimal problems etc.  

 

 

This sounds interesting! I've heard about people growing them upside down. You wouldn't happen to have any pics showing how they're planted / hanging would you? I can't quite visualise from your description.

 

When you say 'tumbling style varietals', what particular ones have you had good success with?

 

Thanks in advance!




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1612966 17-Aug-2016 08:10
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Jase2985:

 

No help to you but i grow mine in a greenhouse and its humid as in there. Gets watered every 3 days for 30 minutes. ive never had an issue with what you have mentioned though. My cheery tomato plants were about 5m tall (i grew them to the roof then sideways across the top of the green house, and my standard tomatoes were about 4m tall (same deal).

 

I get about about 30kg's of tomatoes off 6 regular plants and 4 cherry plants.

 

 

Do you grow them in the ground or in containers? Anything in particular you do with the soil?


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  Reply # 1612967 17-Aug-2016 08:11
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mattyb:

 

 

 

Yes, what sprays do you use? And do you also use a copper spray as well as the bug spray? I'm not bothered about not organic - easy enough to wash everything off before eating - a small price to pay for the great taste.

 

100L containers sound huge, is there a reason for so big? How many plants per container? Do they have holes in the bottom to allow water to drain? What do you use as the 'platform'? How full do you fill up with soil mix?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

I'll check sprays for you tonight. Copper I use occasionally. Those shield bugs and aphids are my biggest problems, but healthy well fed plants resist them well.

 

100L is big enough to grow two HUGE tomato, jalepeno, or capsicum plants - just. One per box works better. It's partitioned 50L water (with hydroponic fertilizer) / 50L soil. It's an exceptionally low maintenance, high productivity way to grow vegetables - a home made version of the Earthbox. I meant to write up a tutorial about it some time, but I'm a bit busy right now. This and this look similar, but I only did a quick search.





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181 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1612968 17-Aug-2016 08:24
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timmmay:

 

JayADee: For tomatoes, don't plant them in the same place two years in a row (same as potatoes) don't plant them where you grew spuds last year, plant them in a warm, sunny spot (this year I grew mine on the East side of a tin fence) but also where they can get a breeze and also as mentioned up thread, water at the base.

 

I plant tomatoes in the same containers each year, they seem to get better each year. However I do add compost, blood & bone, some slow release fertilizer, and I water them in their containers from the roots using a weak hydroponic solution.

 

 

Interested in your watering scheme. Do you sit the containers in a tray or something so they draw from the base? What do you use as the 'weak hydroponic solution' - is this a homemade brew?

 

Also, from your photos it shows the containers are wrapped with black plastic(?) - I assume this is to prevent moisture loss? Or for some other reason?

 

 

 

Fantastic advice in this forum as always!!!

 

 


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1612969 17-Aug-2016 08:25
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Been growing Campari Tomatoes the last two years - what a lovely sweet tomato. My first year out of 6 plants I made 7 litres of soup concentrate using 50% of the harvest, the rest of the harvest I just used in salads and gave away. They are very prolific growers.

 

I have built 3 metal tube frames 2mtr tall x 0.5mtr wide attached to a wooden fence to support 2" woven fencing wire. The growing area gets most of the summer days sun from mid morning till dusk. Each frame has one plant either side. I use normal tomato fertiliser and water their bases in the morning before the sun hits them and if it has been a very hot Tauranga day I will lightly water them in the evening.

 

This year my whole vegi garden including the tomato area has been rejuvenated by dug-in mustard & lupin seed and then sheep poo. With the whole area are being left fellow over winter till after the frosts have gone (labour weekend hopefully).

 

So hopefully I have a bumper crop of everything.





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  Reply # 1612984 17-Aug-2016 09:01
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Not being a fan of tomatoes (except in Heinz ketchup) I've never tried.

 

Friends have good luck with Grow Bags, if you can get those here in NZ.






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  Reply # 1613016 17-Aug-2016 09:11
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Tomatoes are gross feeders, they remove nutrients from the soil at a phenomenal rate. They also use a lot of water. It is important to water the tomatoes when not in direct sunlight but at the height of the dry season it maybe necessary to water twice daily. The best way

 

to water is a soil level and to use straw over the soil to try and maintain moisture. As for feeding the tomatoes, feeding is required at least fortnightly.

 

Adequate light around the plants is also important therefor minimizing the number of "branches" on the plants is good and spreading the branches along string lines helps airflow and light. Remove laterals as they a=start to sprout as these take nutrients and limit fruit formation and size.





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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 Mac user, Windows curser, Chrome OS desired.

 

The great divide is the lies from both sides.

 

 


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  Reply # 1613019 17-Aug-2016 09:20
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A few tips for growing tomatoes: -

 

Try and prevent infestation by regularly checking and taking prompt action at the first sign of  trouble.  Once infested the plant is under distress, it will attract more and more pests and problems snowball.  It's a bit like when someone says something stupid in the media.  Everyone piles in until they get fired or die.

 

Soil Disease:

 

Grow each tomato plant in a big bag of tomato compost.  Make hole in the bottom for drainage and sit each bag on a layer of coarse gravel (not pumice).  At the end of the season, empty onto a garden, under a fruit tree - anywhere you don't grow toms or spuds.  Next year buy new bags.  This precludes any soil disease establishing.

 

Watering: As noted water the soil not the leaves.  Don't over-water.

 

Pruning:

 

Pinch out your laterals. They don't fruit well and it's just more habitat to attract pests (this doesn't apply to super toms).

 

As the tomato plant gets taller it starts to shed it's lower leaves.  These dying leaves are a beachhead for pests and diseases. Pinch them off and remove them to the rubbish or compost. 

 

Sprays: This all depends on your views around spraying. 

 

Fungus can be controlled by copper-hydroxy-chloride and by Bravo.  Copper is/was acceptable for use on certified organic properties. Bravo is not, but it's very very effective.  I use Bravo (not approved for organics) twice prior to fruit formation and copper regularly after. 

 

I also use an insecticide once or twice prior to the flowers opening. 

 

If you are happy to go for it, then you can buy tomato spray blends which are formulated to deal to the most common tomato pests and diseases.

 

Alternative control: If you don't like chemical sprays, then there are alternatives - heaps of info online.

 

e.g.: -

 

Growing your tomatoes in a cloche made of fine mesh excludes flying insects (carriers of disease).  A moat of some kind excludes crawling insects (carriers of disease). This makes a huge difference to plant health.

 

Aphids can be dealt to with soapy water.

 

Mineral oil (e.g. conqueror), garlic, chilli, neem-oil or nettle based sprays help control some pests and diseases  

 

Yellow attracts whitefly, so don't have yellow stuff near your tomatoes. You can get traps which are sticky yellow plastic with a light behind, place these away from your tomatoes.

 

You can even buy predator insects (e.g. ladybird larvae) but this commits you to a no spray policy.

 

Spraying: -

 

As general rule if the plant has flowers on it then spray at dusk, after the bees have stopped flying. 

 

Spray leaves from above and below and spray the stalks.

 

Use a wetting agent - tomato stalks and the underside of leaves can be hairy, and this makes it hard for any spray to reach the surface to get at pests.

 

 

 

 





Mike

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  Reply # 1613128 17-Aug-2016 11:27
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mattyb:

 

 

 

Interested in your watering scheme. Do you sit the containers in a tray or something so they draw from the base? What do you use as the 'weak hydroponic solution' - is this a homemade brew?

 

Also, from your photos it shows the containers are wrapped with black plastic(?) - I assume this is to prevent moisture loss? Or for some other reason?

 

 

Please have a look at the links in my last post. Basically it's a closed system, semi hydroponic, with the soil really just a medium to move nutrients around and hold the plants up. I use a commercial hydroponic mix, power bud and power grow, but because I have soil, compost, etc I use it at around half strength.

 

I made the grow boxes myself out of a plastic systema box from the warehouse, plastic sheeting, 80 - 100mm PVC downpipe, zip ties, netting, and duct tape. They're a bit ugly but work superbly. The black plastic prevents light entering the water, which reduces things growing in it - I can see on the ones I didn't do this with there's much more green stuff growing in the water, so I'll clean it out some time.





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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1613137 17-Aug-2016 11:39
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mattyb:

 

ockel:

 

I use hanging baskets - the tomatoes essentially grow upside down with the plant hanging a hole in the base of the planter.  They hang around the verandah and get plenty of sun.  If you buy upside planter bags from Bunnings or Mitre10 then expect them to last a season - the UV will degrade the bag and they'll get brittle.  

 

Most years I use tumbling style varietals - two plants per basket/bucket.  Prolific flowering and fruiting.  I'm still getting tomatoes from last Xmas's crop although I have to ripen them indoors rather than on the vine.  

 

With hanging baskets or buckets any excess moisture drains away so the soil cant get overly wet but I do have to make sure that they get watered daily (and sometimes twice daily in summer) to prevent the plant from drying out.  Minimal pests, minimal problems etc.  

 

 

This sounds interesting! I've heard about people growing them upside down. You wouldn't happen to have any pics showing how they're planted / hanging would you? I can't quite visualise from your description.

 

When you say 'tumbling style varietals', what particular ones have you had good success with?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

I followed the instructions here:  http://atasteoftheearth.blogspot.co.nz/2008/05/making-upside-down-tomato-buckets.html  It shows each step so you can get a better idea than trying to visualise from the photos.  There are plenty of examples of different styles and baskets or buckets.  I had used plastic planters from Bunnings in the past but not that visually appealing.  

 

I've had good success with red tumblers and tumbling toms.  


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  Reply # 1613144 17-Aug-2016 11:58
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We tried growing tomatoes upside down was terrible. They just rotted. 


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  Reply # 1613197 17-Aug-2016 12:52
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networkn:

We tried growing tomatoes upside down was terrible. They just rotted. 



You are not supposed to grow them with the roots outside and the leaves under ground. :p




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 Mac user, Windows curser, Chrome OS desired.

 

The great divide is the lies from both sides.

 

 


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  Reply # 1613201 17-Aug-2016 12:55
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MikeB4:
networkn:

 

We tried growing tomatoes upside down was terrible. They just rotted. 

 



You are not supposed to grow them with the roots outside and the leaves under ground. :p

 

 

 

Doh! I thought those tomatoes were hella skinny, looked more like carrots!

 

 


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  Reply # 1613247 17-Aug-2016 14:19
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networkn:

MikeB4:
networkn:


We tried growing tomatoes upside down was terrible. They just rotted. 




You are not supposed to grow them with the roots outside and the leaves under ground. :p


 


Doh! I thought those tomatoes were hella skinny, looked more like carrots!


 



Were they hard and crunchy? Probably were carrots. ;)

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