Author Topic: Gardening Question  (Read 443 times)

Offline LowRyter

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Gardening Question
« on: April 14, 2021, 03:29:17 PM »
I wonder how is the best way to plant tomatoes?

Should you plant them with blooms and tomatoes on them?   Or should you pick off the blooms and tomatoes first?

I've done it the first way and find that the plants are really stunted and it takes forever for them to get established.  I am going to try the second method.  I asked the local nursery guy and he said he'd leave the fruit on but I "could do what I want".  So much for his advice. 

I'd like to wait until it's a little warmer out too but if I wait much longer the best plants are picked over.  Looks like rain and cool for the 10 days, so perhaps I might get a better choice waiting. 

Anyway, I'm thinking I'll pick off the blooms and fruit before I plant them. 
John L 
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Offline Ncdan

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2021, 03:36:55 PM »
I wonder how is the best way to plant tomatoes?

Should you plant them with blooms and tomatoes on them?   Or should you pick off the blooms and tomatoes first?

I've done it the first way and find that the plants are really stunted and it takes forever for them to get established.  I am going to try the second method.  I asked the local nursery guy and he said he'd leave the fruit on but I "could do what I want".  So much for his advice. 

I'd like to wait until it's a little warmer out too but if I wait much longer the best plants are picked over.  Looks like rain and cool for the 10 days, so perhaps I might get a better choice waiting. 

Anyway, I'm thinking I'll pick off the blooms and fruit before I plant them.
We normally just go to Lowe’s and get what they have in stock. They have a guarantee to live.

Offline tpeever

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2021, 04:02:58 PM »
Most people transplant them into their gardens when they are 4 to 8 inches tall, long before there are any flowers or fruit on them. You will have more success transplanting at this age than when the plants are older. They reach transplantable size a couple of months after starting from seed. You have to make sure to transplant them after the last frost of the season. In eastern WA where I used to live, this was the end of May. Any earlier and you risk frost killing them but there are ways to protect them. Depending on the weather, transplanted tomatoes can just sit there for a while but they will eventually take off. Make sure to get varieties adapted to your area. Tomatoes generally don't like cool nighttime temperatures so can be a challenge to grow in areas with cool nights. There are varieties adapted to these conditions available though.
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Offline Mayor_of_BBQ

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2021, 04:09:17 PM »
go get the best plants you can, buy them now even if you arent going in the ground yet. I dont know the frost date in OK but here they say mother's day. I assume it's earlier there, prob around may first. I would pop off any fruit or blooms and let the plant establish more before it starts going into fruit production.

I put my plants in 5/1, even tho it's 'early' for here... I cover them with buckets overnight (rock on top in case of gusty wind) if the forecast calls for frost.
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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2021, 04:09:17 PM »

Offline Groover

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2021, 04:16:08 PM »
Once they set root, start cleaning them up. Get rid of the lower, bushy branches that just take energy from the plan, then keep doing that as they grow.
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Offline LowRyter

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2021, 04:17:43 PM »
Dan-  I'm done with my local Lowes.  Had good luck with them the first time.  The next year we planted from Lowes, someone must've changed the labels, half of them were different than the tags.  They were pepper and tomatoes, just not the right ones. 

Tpee- We usually have our last freeze by 1 April.  I usually plant mid April but I think it's still too cool.  I'd rather get them in the ground in early May when the nightly temp stays warmer.  Many of the plants sold here have blooms, some have fruit as well.  I could get "picked over" plants that have neither blooms nor fruit.  The problem, when they have fruit, they're really stunted and don't seem to put on more fruit until very late.

My thinking was to get them and take the fruit and flowers off them.   Perhaps it's best to get the "picked over" runt plants?

I wish the nursery guy would give me a little better advice. 
John L 
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Offline LowRyter

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2021, 04:19:21 PM »
go get the best plants you can, buy them now even if you arent going in the ground yet. I dont know the frost date in OK but here they say mother's day. I assume it's earlier there, prob around may first. I would pop off any fruit or blooms and let the plant establish more before it starts going into fruit production.

I put my plants in 5/1, even tho it's 'early' for here... I cover them with buckets overnight (rock on top in case of gusty wind) if the forecast calls for frost.

That was my plan, although I'm not sure I'll get them now.
John L 
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Offline LowRyter

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2021, 04:20:22 PM »
Once they set root, start cleaning them up. Get rid of the lower, bushy branches that just take energy from the plan, then keep doing that as they grow.

Yep, I prune the lower leaves.  So you pull off the flowers when you plant them?
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Offline geoff in almonte

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2021, 04:28:14 PM »
Here in the Great White North we dont (trans)plant anything until after the Victoria Day (May 24) weekend.  There is too much risk of frost.

I used to grow veggies, but not any more.

I hit the local farmer's markets where tomatoes, in season, are $10 for half a bushel.  They give cucs and zuchini away.   Pickling cucs are $20 per bushel.
Corn - I double the amount we need ($5/doz) and parboil/freeze the rest.  Beans are the same.

I can't grow them for that kind of money.  The cost of seedlings alone blows any 'savings' away.  Then there is the labour, weeding and de-bugging and harvesting.
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Offline delrod

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2021, 06:54:41 PM »
I'm gonna chime in here and tell how I usually do. Wait till all danger of frost is past. I don't want to wake up after bedtime and agonize whether or not to go cover plants. I don't buy plants early, usually by the time I get plants I'm competing with folks who are replacing frost bitten. Biggest thing I believe in is no matter how big the plant put at least two thirds of it in the ground either in a trench or hole. If a substantial piece breaks off stick it in the ground with or without rooting hormone. My wife is a believer in the root hormone,me not so much. I firmly believe tomatoes planted this way already have deep roots and are less susceptible to drying out. Don't water a tomato until it "tells" you it's thirsty
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Offline Groover

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2021, 07:12:11 PM »
I wouldn't pull the flowers. Just let the loaded branches grow, get rid of the rest as the plant fills out. Full sun.
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Offline LowRyter

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2021, 10:09:55 PM »
Seems like agreement to put them out when it's warm and to prune them.

No agreement to pull the blooms and fruit first.  I think I'm may try it this time based on past experience. 

Doug, I have an issue with watering, many of my tomatoes split.   That's due to drying out and over watering.  How do they "tell you" they're thirsty?
John L 
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Offline n3303j

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2021, 10:36:39 PM »
Father always dug the planting hole a bit deep, put in a scoop of cow manure, backfilled it a bit then planted the tomato.

Friend did similar except he threw a carp into the bottom of each hole instead of manure.

Both individuals produced excellent tomatoes.
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Offline Muzz

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2021, 02:57:04 AM »
Seems like agreement to put them out when it's warm and to prune them.

No agreement to pull the blooms and fruit first.  I think I'm may try it this time based on past experience. 

Doug, I have an issue with watering, many of my tomatoes split.   That's due to drying out and over watering.  How do they "tell you" they're thirsty?

If you are transplanting with flowers actually on them I would leave them on.  The experts down here in NZ basically say only prune the bottom leaves once the tomatoes are starting to head towards ripening.  I personally am with tpeever and plant them when they are about 8" tall.  Removing the laterals helps the fruiting no end.

My first tomatoes are planted when there is still a danger of frosts.  I do have stakes with a length of agphane stapled to them, and use another two stakes to make a box around each plant.  If frosts are predicted I will cover them.  I grow a older Fi hybrid called Angela.  With the most vigorous plants I let  grow a bit, cut them off with a sharp knife, leave them in a jar of water in a shady spot but with plenty of light.  They will form a root system in about a fortnight, and can then be planted out to become a later crop of tomatoes.  That's gotta be Guzzi content. :grin:
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Offline LowRyter

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2021, 12:12:26 PM »
If you are transplanting with flowers actually on them I would leave them on.  The experts down here in NZ basically say only prune the bottom leaves once the tomatoes are starting to head towards ripening.  I personally am with tpeever and plant them when they are about 8" tall.  Removing the laterals helps the fruiting no end.

My first tomatoes are planted when there is still a danger of frosts.  I do have stakes with a length of agphane stapled to them, and use another two stakes to make a box around each plant.  If frosts are predicted I will cover them.  I grow a older Fi hybrid called Angela.  With the most vigorous plants I let  grow a bit, cut them off with a sharp knife, leave them in a jar of water in a shady spot but with plenty of light.  They will form a root system in about a fortnight, and can then be planted out to become a later crop of tomatoes.  That's gotta be Guzzi content. :grin:

Typically the plants here are foot+ tall, with blooms and many times with small tomatoes.  I've typically got the ones with tomatoes thinking they were the most fertile.  What I've found that after I plant them, they are stunted and don't put on additional fruit until that crop has ripened.  I'm thinking the shock of transplanting and cool weather is too stressful particularly when they are bearing fruit. 

So, I'm probably going to pull off the flowers and fruit, or purchase smaller plants with no fruit and flowers on them.  Likely will do the former.  My thinking is that it will give the plant less stress to establish itself and expand it's root structure. 

So far as pruning, the thinking is make sure the bottom leaves aren't toughing the ground, remove them and bury the stem deeper.  Being a vine, tomatoes can root anywhere along the stem where the fibers are extending. 
« Last Edit: April 15, 2021, 12:14:34 PM by LowRyter »
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Offline Perazzimx14

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2021, 12:47:49 PM »
Unless you are planting enough to can for most households 3 or 4 plants will drown you in tomato's. For the last few years I have forgone the traditional plug the plant into mother earth and hope. Now I use self watering planters either DIY or off the shelf and production is way up, work is way down.

Simply prepare the soil (raised bed) and throw in a handful of bone meal for per big bag of dirt and fill the planter. Then its top up the water reseveiour once maybe twice a week in the dead of summer and Miracle grow ever other week. Get ear plugs as the sound of the plants growing will keep you up at night. 

No matter what you do tomato and pepper need calcium. That is why you need to add bone meal, egg shells or calcium rich antacid tablets to the soil. Bone meal is cheap and slowly breaks down to keep the plants satisfied all season. If the tomato's do not get enough calcium they can develope end blossom rot. The tomato will look great on the top when you pick them the bottom will be black and rotten. It very had to add minerals after the plant needs them.

I also suggest fish meal as a soil amendment along with ground turkey feathers. Next year you can use the same soil simply mix in some peat moss to aeriated it and make it wicking add in the amendments and your RTR.

Offline LowRyter

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2021, 01:34:13 PM »
Per- I'm growing in the planters and in a raised bed.  I have both in specific places due to getting enough sun, yard has shade from neighbors' trees.  I've read the calcium is good for roots, so we're adding it tis year.  We do much of the remainder.  Don't know about the self watering planters.

Anyway, curious about removing the flowers and fruit before I plant.
John L 
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Online jrt

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2021, 01:40:26 PM »
I say go all science on it and trim half and don't trim the other half.  Take extensive notes, photographs, documentation and sketch the development.  Measure height, width, and ground humidity that you can plot using excel.  Then write it and submit to a botanical journal.
But that's just me.  I'm a professor and I cannot help myself.
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Offline Groover

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2021, 02:05:34 PM »
I agree with testing half with half without (or one plant with one without) see how it goes. I know what you mean though, we've bought pepper plants with a pepper on them and they end up being dud plants.


Once the tomatoes start to take shape, sprinkle sulfur on them weekly or a few times a week (depending if rain washes it off). That will keep insects away, and also make the skins more resilient to cracking. Seems toxic, but it's not. Old Sicilian farming methods old folks like my dad would do and thought me, and we had lots of tomato plants growing up.
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Offline LowRyter

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2021, 02:28:15 PM »
Since I've already had experience planting with the blooms and tomatoes on them, I might conclude that "half" of the experiment is done. 

But point well taken. 

So far I've not gotten any definitive pros or cons. 
John L 
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Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2021, 06:36:06 PM »
Master Gardener Dorcia says pick the blooms and the leaves in the forks of indeterminate varieties.
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Online bad Chad

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2021, 07:10:59 PM »
My experience, it matters very little if at all.   By mid June they all are doing about the same, makes no meaningful difference.
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Offline LowRyter

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2021, 07:22:54 PM »
I'm following Dorcia.  I'd offer TWO Pabsts to Chuck for that. 

(I think I'll get my magic marker and write CHUCK on two beers in my ice box.)   :evil:

Three if I could borrow his can of CAIG.

 :wink:
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Offline LowRyter

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2021, 07:27:36 PM »
Chad, time will tell since I'm doing an "experiment".   I think you might be tight but I hope not.
John L 
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Offline LowRyter

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Re: Gardening Question
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2021, 04:44:25 PM »
We finally got our salsa garden in the ground.  I've doubled the size but am growing about the same number as last year. 

The Early Girls did have fruit on them, I pulled the fruit off as well as the blooms on them and the others.  The Girls are in pots, also planted Celebrities in pots as well as in garden.  Add those with Beefy Boys, Julietta Cherries, Poblanos, Big Chiles and Jalapenos.
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