Vegetables and Fruits forum: Tomatoes

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Views: 31, Replies: 87 » Jump to the end
Imagebitbit
Jun 11, 2011 1:40 PM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
Thanks for all the info. I'll have to formulate a fungus attack plan for next year's crop.
Imagestormyla
Jun 12, 2011 10:22 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Bit, Do you belong to Tomatoville? It's a free site and has a great forum for heirlooms. The most authoritative poster and heirloom tomato book author Carolyn Male, is a very frequent poster there as well as on DG. She is the most wonderfully helpful person.

Here is her book and the Tomatoville site.

http://www.amazon.com/Smith-Hawken-Heirloom-Tomatoes-America...

http://www.tomatoville.com/

Imagebitbit
Jun 12, 2011 10:23 AM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
No, I've never heard of it. Heading over there now...
Imagesallyg
Jul 7, 2011 8:42 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
Hey gals-
I now know of three examples of tomatos in a pot doing very poorly. Anything come to mind- why tomatos would suffer greatly when flowers can be grown in a pot?
Wide open question I know...
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagebitbit
Jul 7, 2011 9:01 PM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
My biggest problem with growing any food crop in containers is water/heat stress. Here it gets so hot in the summer that a container, even a fairly large one, will almost certainly dry out every day. Even with daily watering, that cycle of wet-dry-wet-dry is really hard on the plant. And it can't put its roots down to where the water is constant like a plant in the ground can.

Right now I'm growing some tomatoes in containers in a shady area - they are right under a mature pine tree, so the light they get is dappled and filtered. I also made sure they had plenty of root space, just one plant per 18 gallon tub. They don't wilt every afternoon like the container tomatoes I've grown in the past, but they may start to as the plants get bigger - more leaf area means more water loss every day.
Imagesallyg
Jul 7, 2011 9:10 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
THanks bit, that does sound likely. 18 gal sounds like BIG. My aunts I saw on tuesday must have been 3 gal at the most.
I think we often fail to understand what a huge effort it is for a plant to make fruit.
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagebitbit
Jul 7, 2011 9:14 PM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
Yeah, I should've mentioned that my container tomatoes haven't ripened any fruit yet, but are all at the flower or tiny green fruit stage. They got a late start on the season after I had disease problems with my main tomato crop. Gardening is always an experiment for me...
Imagesallyg
Jul 7, 2011 9:29 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
Gardening is always an experiment for me...
Me too and I've been messing with it for over twenty years Blinking
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagestormyla
Jul 8, 2011 8:17 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
I actually have ripe tomatoes in my pots that I have to pick today. A few of my tomatoes right now should be moved into larger pots. I've already picked a few ripe ones. It is very important to water them extremely well and on very hot days, to water them twice daily.

People in the south sit the pots in deep trays. I read of one gal who keeps all of her potted tomatoes in those large aluminum turkey roasting pans. They put a couple of short lengths of rope from the pot to the water in the pans to act as wicks so that the plants never really get the chance to dry out.

This is where that bucket gardening is really such a good idea. it's the same principle, never letting the plants get stressed.
Imagestormyla
Jul 14, 2011 5:21 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Here's what I was able to pick yesterday.

Thumb of 2011-07-14/stormyla/9f4b61
Imagebitbit
Jul 15, 2011 12:41 PM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
Interesting article on where the tomatoes in the grocery store come from: http://www.npr.org/2011/06/28/137371975/how-industrial-farmi...

Glad we all have our homegrown maters to enjoy instead!
Imagebitbit
Jul 15, 2011 12:51 PM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
What are everyone's favorite tomato sauce-like recipes? My paste tomatoes are coming in full-swing now, so I need to get cooking. I made a good one with lots of herbs and eggplant the other day, but I'm always looking to branch out.

Also, is there anything I can add to a tomato sauce to make it less acid? My husband loves the stuff, but it bothers his stomach to eat too much. I try to always mix low-acid veggies in with the tomatoes, but that only goes so far.
Imagestormyla
Jul 15, 2011 12:51 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
I've got a bad case of BER on one heirloom plant. Got to go lookup how to treat that again.
Imagestormyla
Jul 15, 2011 12:52 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Some folks add sugar for the acid, but I hate the taste of sugar in the sauce.
Imagebitbit
Jul 15, 2011 12:59 PM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
BER is caused by insufficient calcium getting to the fruits. If your soil is deficient in calcium, adding it (crushed eggshells work well, I've heard) will fix the problem. But it can also be caused by temperature or water fluctuations keeping the plant from taking up the calcium effectively, in which case adding more won't help, you need to address whatever else is stressing the plant.

Usually I just pull off the fruits as soon as I notice BER so the plant will put its energy into other, healthier fruits. It tends to go away on its own for me, but I know my soil isn't calcium-deprived.
Imagebitbit
Jul 15, 2011 1:01 PM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
Yeah, I wouldn't want to add a lot of sugar either. Kinda goes against my better judgment of wanting to eat healthier garden-fresh foods. I wonder if there's some sugar-rich fruits/veggies I could add that would have a similar effect without affecting the taste too much...
Imagestormyla
Jul 15, 2011 1:10 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Some people say just a tablespoon or two will do the trick, but I'm a real purist when it comes to tomato sauce.

Bit, Yes I think the BER is due to water stress and feel very lucky that only 1 plant has it. It's been so darned dry here. I need to put a pan under that pot.
Imagebitbit
Jul 22, 2011 12:20 PM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
Well, even after making sauce (froze nearly a gallon of it) and salsa, I still had tomatoes to spare. So here was last night's project:

Thumb of 2011-07-22/bitbit/f99f4b

I tried to get a good one of the three colors, but the light in my kitchen is awful...
Thumb of 2011-07-22/bitbit/2f4455

I'm amazed at the turnaround these plants made after being so sickly all spring. This is the first time I've been overrun with tomatoes and I'm quite happy about it Lovey dubby
Imagestormyla
Jul 22, 2011 12:50 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
That's great Bit!!! Good job! You'll be enjoying those all winter! Big Grin
Imagesallyg
Jul 22, 2011 11:43 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
ya done real good!
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon

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