Tomato Hole

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mikestuff49
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Tomato Hole

#1

Post: # 68330Unread post mikestuff49
Sat Apr 23, 2022 11:07 am

I was researching what to put in a planting hole and came across this post on Garden Web. I believe this is the handle Carolyn Male used. Thought it was interesting.
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The best things in life---are not things.

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Paulf
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Re: Tomato Hole

#2

Post: # 68332Unread post Paulf
Sat Apr 23, 2022 11:36 am

I march to the same drummer...with only 50 years experience of growing tomatoes this method has worked for me. Not too old to change but if it ain't broke it will take some pretty fancy arguments for me to use a different way.

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worth1
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Re: Tomato Hole

#3

Post: # 68333Unread post worth1
Sat Apr 23, 2022 11:38 am

Paulf wrote: Sat Apr 23, 2022 11:36 am I march to the same drummer...with only 50 years experience of growing tomatoes this method has worked for me. Not too old to change but if it ain't broke it will take some pretty fancy arguments for me to use a different way.
Me too.
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25 miles southeast of Liverpool.

There are no dead end jobs, only dead end people.

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Bower
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Re: Tomato Hole

#4

Post: # 68336Unread post Bower
Sat Apr 23, 2022 12:24 pm

If only we all had the same quality dirt that you guys have. ;)
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

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Rockoe10
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Re: Tomato Hole

#5

Post: # 68341Unread post Rockoe10
Sat Apr 23, 2022 1:14 pm

I add all my "stuff" (mainly kitchen scraps) throughout the year leading up to planting. Then i have no need to add anything after. Although, i do tend to give a light fertilizer mid summer, just because i try to squeeze every bit out of my plants.
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Rob, ZONE 6A with 170 days between frost dates, Western Pennsylvania

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Cole_Robbie
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Re: Tomato Hole

#6

Post: # 68345Unread post Cole_Robbie
Sat Apr 23, 2022 2:20 pm

It doesn't even have to be a hole. A pile of good soil works fine, too. Roots are happy to grow sideways.

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karstopography
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Re: Tomato Hole

#7

Post: # 68349Unread post karstopography
Sat Apr 23, 2022 3:35 pm

Wonder what all kind of things people put in tomato holes?

I don’t usually put much of anything where the tomato set root ball will rest or tomato set stem is going to be, maybe a little worm castings if I happen to have some. Now, if you dig out to the side of the hole a ways or a bit deeper underneath the tomato hole, you might find some granular fertilizer, more or less balanced types. Pelletized Chicken Manure or something.
Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Paulf
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Re: Tomato Hole

#8

Post: # 68355Unread post Paulf
Sat Apr 23, 2022 4:25 pm

The rationale behind a plant in a hole is that if food is in the hole roots have no reason to spread out for nutrition and they tend to stay in the comfort zone. Making sure the surrounding soil (the whole garden) is in balance, root systems can easily spread out and make a strong, healthy plant. That's my story and I am sticking with it...my soil test tells me my garden is OK or what needs to be done for the entire plot.

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worth1
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Re: Tomato Hole

#9

Post: # 68357Unread post worth1
Sat Apr 23, 2022 4:32 pm

I've found feeder roots many feet away from the plants about 2 inches under the soil or even less.
In a rain forest the rich soil isn't deep at all and plays out really quick if the trees are cut down.
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25 miles southeast of Liverpool.

There are no dead end jobs, only dead end people.

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Cornelius_Gotchberg
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Re: Tomato Hole

#10

Post: # 68358Unread post Cornelius_Gotchberg
Sat Apr 23, 2022 4:48 pm

@Paulf; "The rationale behind a plant in a hole is that if food is in the hole roots have no reason to spread out for nutrition and they tend to stay in the comfort zone"

That's logical and makes sense.

Field/Seed corn farmers up this way claim that a dry spell a coupla weeks after planting is not such a bad thing; it encourages-n-strengthens nascent root systems to desperately seek more.

But if plant growth is a Zero-Sum Game (is it?), root growth would come at the cost of less growth above ground. Or would the plant benefit more in the long run because of it?

Paralysis by Analysis.

Anywho, I'm in the habit of mixing ~ 2.5 tbsp's/35.43 grams of both Epsom Salts and Coffee Grounds in each Tomato and Pepper hole, the superb results which have ensued haven't given me any reason to do otherwise.

The Gotch
Madison WESconsin/Growing Zone 5-A/Raised beds above the Midvale Heights spade-caking clay in the 77 Square Miles surrounded by A Sea Of Reality

zeuspaul
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Re: Tomato Hole

#11

Post: # 68374Unread post zeuspaul
Sun Apr 24, 2022 2:57 am

Last year I placed nothing in the hole except the plant and no fertilizer later either (my own health issues). All I did was water and the plants did very poorly. I usually add fert and some composted steer manure and my plants generally do well.

This year I am adding organic fertilizer and a little Epsom salts and Osmocote slow release fertilizer and a small amount of lime. I am also for the first time drenching the root ball with Myco Grow (mycorrhizal fungi) just before planting.

The containers get a blend of Espoma Garden-Tone, Tomato-Tone, Kellogg Organic Plus Organic Tomato Vegetable and Herb Fertilizer, and a little Kellogg Amend. I have some Dr. Earth but haven't used that yet (it is more expensive). I also add some crushed egg shells and some spent tea leaves.

The more fertile in ground garden gets Espoma Garden-Tone (cheaper) and Osmocote. The less fertile in ground garden gets Garden-Tone, Osmocote and a little composted steer manure and some composted chicken manure.

I use a blend of organic fertilizers because they have different ingredients. Kellogg specifically calls out mycorrhizal fungi. Espoma indirectly states it by indicating Bio-Tone which has the fungi. They also list several types of bacteria but they are not the same in the different products.

It is too early to judge the results. The first planted Early Girl F1 in a 25 gal container is doing very well. It already has a couple of grape sized tomatoes and is about 2 1/2 ft tall. The Bloody Butcher is close behind with a couple of smaller tomatoes and is about 1 1/2 (edit) ft tall but was a smaller start. The Early Girl F1 was in a container about 4 days before the Bloody Butcher. I have read Bloody Butcher beats Early Girl F1 for the first tomato. I am planning on checking this out for myself. Early Girl F1 has always been my most reliable tomato.

I usually under estimate my work load as the season progresses. The organic fertilizers and the Osmocote will probably last most of the season which will hopefully reduce my work load later on. The containers which are closer to the house than the in ground garden will probably get a few drinks of year old+ Texas Tomato Food.

rxkeith
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Re: Tomato Hole

#12

Post: # 68430Unread post rxkeith
Mon Apr 25, 2022 8:28 am

i put the plant in the hole, and thats it.

i put all my chicken coop clean outs in the garden and till it in as best i can. chicken poop is hot.
even tilled in well, you can pick up a clump of dirt, and it will be warmer than an area without
chicken manure in it. greens like kale do really well. i have had 4 ft tall shrubs of kale looking real happy.
another method i tried with the chicken manure was the pile method with the winter squash where i would
dump a pile in between my rows of squash about three ft away from any plants. waterings, and rain would leach
the pile as it slowly broke down. that worked out well.
fertilizing the soil eliminates the need to add something to each and every hole.
everyone has their own way of doing things, and what works for them. we all seem to get tomatoes.


keith

mikestuff49
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Re: Tomato Hole

#13

Post: # 68432Unread post mikestuff49
Mon Apr 25, 2022 11:00 am

I just thought you all might enjoy reading one of Carolyn's old posts.
The best things in life---are not things.

rxkeith
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Re: Tomato Hole

#14

Post: # 68435Unread post rxkeith
Mon Apr 25, 2022 12:39 pm

yeah, i remember one of the earls from ohio i think earls faux tomato might be from the same guy
describing what he put in his holes, and carolyn exclaiming whoses, and thatsis!!!
i think he may be on the other side of the dirt. it was fun reading the back and forth between those two.


keith

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WoodSprite
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Location: center of Pennsylvania, USA, Zone 6a

Re: Tomato Hole

#15

Post: # 68450Unread post WoodSprite
Mon Apr 25, 2022 6:57 pm

I agree with Carolyn and the rest of you that just put the plant in the hole and water it in.

I also don't use any fertilizers. When I create new beds, I use a mix of 50% topsoil and 50% compost and a layer of mulch. Every year or two, when the bed level sinks a bit, I top off the bed with several inches of compost and more mulch. I don't turn it in because it just pulls more weed seeds to the surface. The earthwarms turn the soil for me. The only other things I add are plants, seeds and water. Everything does great. No need to complicate things if you create healthy growing soil to start with and maintain it with more compost & mulch that will break down and add to the soil, too.

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