bob_G

Tomatoes

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How are yours doing?  Last year I was up to my armpits in tomatoes of all sizes by 8/7.  This year, I'm easily 2 weeks behind.  Beautiful plants, covered in green fruit, but aside from a few cherries, nothing ripening.

 

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First year growing tomatoes or pretty much anything......complete novice.  My plants sound the same as yours.  Maybe 5-6 ripe cherry tomatoes total.

 

My plants are full of green fruits and blossoms still.  I caged them in 42 in cages and they grew to about 8 feet tall last week, then they laid over and are now covering my entire raised planter.  Should I try to stake them? 

 

I planted too much for the space i have, btw.  live and learn

Edited by jkrock

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11 mins ago, jkrock said:

I caged them in 42 in cages and they grew to about 8 feet tall last week, then they laid over and are now covering my entire raised planter.  Should I try to stake them? 

I have always used stakes instead of cages, tying them every couple weeks using strips of old T-shirts.. The stakes were about 6 feet. That was always plenty for all types of tomatoes except the cherries.

 

Since when I sunk the stakes I would stabilize them all by using a jute twine grid at the top of the stakes (picture a huge horizontal twine trellis), when the cherries out grew the stakes, I would just drape them over the twine grid. Will see if I can find a picture....

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Opinions vary.  Some guys say let them lay over, because you run the risk of damaging the fruit and plant if you try to stake at this point.

I would attempt it, and I have just the other day.  The only problem being, finding an 8' stake.  My wife bought some at Lowe's a few years ago. Made of plastic, but not cheap. But I have a plant not that's easily 9' tall.

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5 mins ago, Steve in Mass said:

I have always used stakes instead of cages, tying them every couple weeks using strips of old T-shirts.. The stakes were about 6 feet. That was always plenty for all types of tomatoes except the cherries.

 

Since when I sunk the stakes I would stabilize them all by using a jute twine grid at the top of the stakes (picture a huge horizontal twine trellis), when the cherries out grew the stakes, I would just drape them over the twine grid. Will see if I can find a picture....

Thanks.  Too late to stake them now, or never too late?

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Just now, bob_G said:

Opinions vary.  Some guys say let them lay over, because you run the risk of damaging the fruit and plant if you try to stake at this point.

I would attempt it, and I have just the other day.  The only problem being, finding an 8' stake.  My wife bought some at Lowe's a few years ago. Made of plastic, but not cheap. But I have a plant not that's easily 9' tall.

Thanks.  i could make my own out of 2x4s on the table saw. 

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1 min ago, jkrock said:

Thanks.  i could make my own out of 2x4s on the table saw. 

If your tomatoes are that tall, they're  indeterminants. They'll keep growing and producing flowers and fruit.

If you can get them staked, you'll be increasing air flow and also exposure to sun. All good things for tomatoes.  Don't forget to feed them.

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Mine fell over from a storm before I got the big stakes in them. 

Just started to trim/ thin out to get to the ripe ones. 

 

image.jpeg.7d057e94284f905421767cc2a8193090.jpeg

 

image.jpeg.5effc7084ac6b5a1a18575a31357c110.jpeg

 

image.jpeg.f2061ffc26a70bd8c0b8a35a3f4d53e4.jpeg

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32 mins ago, bob_G said:

If your tomatoes are that tall, they're  indeterminants. They'll keep growing and producing flowers and fruit.

If you can get them staked, you'll be increasing air flow and also exposure to sun. All good things for tomatoes.  Don't forget to feed them.

I got them on the  side of the road  Being given away for free when they were 1-2 inches tall.  I think I got Cherokee purple, green zebra, some kind of cherry and one other variety I forget .  
 

I’ll try to stake them

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48 mins ago, Fishbucket said:

Mine fell over from a storm before I got the big stakes in them. 

Just started to trim/ thin out to get to the ripe ones. 

 

image.jpeg.7d057e94284f905421767cc2a8193090.jpeg

 

image.jpeg.5effc7084ac6b5a1a18575a31357c110.jpeg

 

image.jpeg.f2061ffc26a70bd8c0b8a35a3f4d53e4.jpeg

Nice garden. I really like your enclosure.  I have to do that someday.

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26 mins ago, bob_G said:

Nice garden. I really like your enclosure.  I have to do that someday.

the squirrels were killing us last year. Being we were going to be going up to the Cape all this Summer, I had to do something about it. 

Since we haven't gone, and most likely wont this year, I ended up Sniping about 10 of them.  still have one doing the sneak on me in the overflow tomatoes.  His time is coming.

 

image.jpeg.40f0e79b23b3ffe39b08039430812176.jpeg

 

 

Edited by Fishbucket

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2 hours ago, bob_G said:

The only problem being, finding an 8' stake. 

For my stakes, I buy 10' 2 x 3's and rip them down to 3 stakes on my table saw. I also built a gizmo to help me pound them into the ground without having to climb a ladder.

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16 mins ago, Steve in Mass said:

For my stakes, I buy 10' 2 x 3's and rip them down to 3 stakes on my table saw. I also built a gizmo to help me pound them into the ground without having to climb a ladder.

I'd love to see the gizmo. 

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13 mins ago, bob_G said:

I'd love to see the gizmo. 

I will see if I can get a picture tomorrow. Hard to explain, but it is basically a L-Bracket screwed to the bottom part with a steel plate attached to the part of the "L" that sticks out. On top I have a VERY sturdy steel "can" that is faster to the side of the 2x3 with the open part pointing down.

 

You push the stake into the ground a bit, and then place the can over the top of the stake. Then you take a hammer and pound the steel plate (which is at about waist high), and the force is transferred up the 2 x 3 to the can and then to the stake you want to drive, and it sinks in with each hammer blow.

 

Sorry, they engineer in me..... ;)

 

 

(Actually, the sell stake drivers with a weight on a slide that you pull up and throw down, but they aren't cheap and mine is custom made for the size and length I need.)

Edited by Steve in Mass

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3 hours ago, bob_G said:

Opinions vary.  Some guys say let them lay over, because you run the risk of damaging the fruit and plant if you try to stake at this point.

I would attempt it, and I have just the other day.  The only problem being, finding an 8' stake.  My wife bought some at Lowe's a few years ago. Made of plastic, but not cheap. But I have a plant not that's easily 9' tall.

A fast way for your stake could be found in the electric dept. of the local big box home center. A 10' length of 1/2", 3/4" or 1" emt conduit can be bought for anywhere between 3 and 10 bucks, is easily driven, and probably tough enough for your task...

Im not a tomato grower but we use the conduit as posts for temporary fencing on our jobsites and they are way easier to deal with ( and less money) then the stamped steel posts usually used.

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