Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies and garden pics)

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Ginger2778
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#281

Post: # 23699Unread post Ginger2778
Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:47 pm

MsCowpea wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:53 am
Barb, I thought about that. One of the trees that has a lot of dying branches on top is Nam Doc Mai which I do love. Even DH would agree that it needs to be chopped way down and then maybe it would sprout out so then no need to top graft. Another is the world’s worse mango, at least the one we have is- lancetilla. Years ago when it was productive we would get football size mangos that were inedible. Sour beyond belief—not even good for green mango recipes. Got it from Fairchild’s mango festival maybe 19 years ago. Now it is huge with damaged diseased branches from hurricanes. Hardly any mangos which is no loss. The trunk looks pretty bad so not sure you could top graft it but maybe it could be cut below the bad part.
I would try it. Sounds like you don't have much to lose.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#282

Post: # 23700Unread post MsCowpea
Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:50 pm

Almost wished I hadn’t walked around outside looking at mango trees. The 3 oldest ones are in awful shape. They are planted right next to each other.
The lancetilla is huge , really gigantic. Going to cost a fortune to remove it. It looks fine from the outside but the trunk is rotting.
Here is the trunk. I wouldn’t top work on this even if they said I could. It is only a few inches from ground. And is pretty much in shade now except for the huge canopy.
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I also have a graham that blew over in a hurricane so It is growing sideways. It didn’t hit the ground just a steep lean but we could not get it upright again as it was too big. It is a lot bigger than it looks.
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Another old mango tree is covered with sooty mold but I didn’t examine it close.
And next to it is a tree that has a lot of dying limbs on top. I could hat rack that one.

We do have some healthier looking trees.
Ice cream mango is supposed to be smallish but ours is big.
Got a couple small Edwards and another nam doc mai.

(I once paid 1800 dollars!! to have ONE tree removed as a hurricane almost blew it over onto our shed . It was leaning precariously over. A big ficus.
And it wasn’t even my tree it was a neighbors tree but they didn’t have the funds to remove it. It was that or lose my shed.
Removing trees and general pruning is very expensive and you need to find a knowledgeable arborist or they ruin your trees. And fruit trees must be a specialty all to itself.)
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#283

Post: # 23706Unread post MsCowpea
Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:44 pm

Barb, I missed that part where you said your husband is on board with the pruning after watching video. That is fantastic.
I also go out after 6:30 but many times the evening rolls around and I just can’t be bothered so nothing gets done.

I have one small mango tree that needs to be cut off at hip level like they do in the videos to get it to branch. I go out and look at it but it is a hard thing to do. I have worked myself up to do it but can’t help but think I am cutting off about 2 feet of nice growth to make it look like a stick. Sure hopes it comes out with the new horizontal growth.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#284

Post: # 23711Unread post Ginger2778
Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:38 pm

MsCowpea wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:44 pm
Barb, I missed that part where you said your husband is on board with the pruning after watching video. That is fantastic.
I also go out after 6:30 but many times the evening rolls around and I just can’t be bothered so nothing gets done.

I have one small mango tree that needs to be cut off at hip level like they do in the videos to get it to branch. I go out and look at it but it is a hard thing to do. I have worked myself up to do it but can’t help but think I am cutting off about 2 feet of nice growth to make it look like a stick. Sure hopes it comes out with the new horizontal growth.
Elaine- it will. If it's healthy now, it will.
Barb, the man who gave me Lemon Zests also gave me some others to try.
Springdale- too much fiber huge fruit, delicious.
Chocanon, having it for lunch now with cottage cheese. It's OK. Maybe a 6.5 if Lemon Zest is a 9.8(nothing ever gets a 10)
I still have Floragon to try.
My suggestion to you us go to one of the groves, but a whole bunch of different ones to try, then get a nice grafted tree of what were your favorites. There's a sister to Lemon Zest, called Orange Sherbert, many on the mango page go crazy for it. I haven't tried it yet, but I want to pretty badly.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#285

Post: # 24174Unread post MsCowpea
Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:05 pm

Cover crop:
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Another zinnia pic:
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#286

Post: # 24180Unread post Ginger2778
Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:55 am

I'm in love with your zinnias! What's your cover crop? I am probably going to put in 3 4 X10 raised beds this summer so I can grow broccoli carrots, sweet onions lettuce in the fall. And the plan for now is only 1 tomato per earthbox, but maybe a few will still have 2.
I have not much idea of how to build a raised bed. I think I'm going to have to watch a lot of YouTube vids. I know I want a liner, and I know I want it at least a foot tall. I'm hoping to build it from cinder block or other material that doesn't rot over time like wood does. Is that a bad idea for the type of material?
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#287

Post: # 24260Unread post asmx92
Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:27 am

Your garden is dream!
Anneliese
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#288

Post: # 24264Unread post PlainJane
Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:18 am

@Ginger2778, I’m wondering the same thing - best raised bed material for Florida. If you find any vids/pics you like let me know. I’d like to do something next year potentially.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#289

Post: # 24297Unread post Barb_FL
Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:05 pm

My original raised beds disintegrated but I took a 16'*2" board (from Lowes) that I was using as one of the sides in an attempt to keep one side together for the '18-19 season. I had my husband cut the 16' board into 4' pieces nail it together for a 4' square raised bed that I grew broccoli in this past winter. I already had the board so it didn't cost anything extra even if I only get a 3-5 seasons from it. The board itself is much heavier and thicker so hopefully better than the commercial raised bed that I previously purchased. For the bottom of the raised bed, I just put it on the weed barrier I have throughout my back yard.

For weed barrier, for the woven kind (it frays but can easily been singed with a bic lighter) Am Leonard brand works better (ie lasts longer) than DeWitts if uncovered. Unless the 300' Dewitt I bought was a counterfeit which I have considered possible. The woven kind also outlasts the non-woven kind if not covered.

No weeds will grow up from the ground but if soil/mix/etc collects on top, weeds will grow down in it.

-----
NEED YOUR ALL OPINION on a travel related issue. I will put in a new post.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#290

Post: # 24302Unread post Barb_FL
Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:38 pm

I need your opinion on this. We are scheduled to go on a hiking vacation in Utah and Sun Valley Idaho in August. We have been super careful with masking/etc and only go to any store on a necessity basis.

We will be flying Delta which is doing 60% max capacity, but there is also the airport, TSA, renting a car exposure risk. Once we are at our locations, we are no more at risk than staying home in Florida.

We are also concerned that these 2 states will impose a 14 day quarantine for people coming from the 'hotbed states' which Florida certainly qualifies.

Everything has been prepaid and we have until tomorrow to cancel the 2 rentals (VRBO) for a full refund. If we cancel, the rental car $ will be a lost cause (Hotwire), and Delta should give us credit for flights in the future.

We are very healthy and not immunocompromised, not overweight, no diabetes, etc. but are 67,63 years old. As bad as getting Covid-19 would be, it would be much worse getting it out of state.

We originally planned this trip to beat the heat, hike, and have our daughter (California) meet us there as a post trip for taking the California Bar (lawyer). That has been postponed until Sept, and possibly now October so she will not be going regardless of our decision.

I appreciate your words of wisdom.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#291

Post: # 24305Unread post PlainJane
Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:59 pm

Yikes @Barb_FL, you have a tough decision.

If it’s me I’d stay home and hope for next year.
It comes down to the multiple risk vectors with having to fly. If you could drive that might be different but it’s quite a haul.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#292

Post: # 24306Unread post Ginger2778
Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:03 pm

Barb_FL wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:38 pm
I need your opinion on this. We are scheduled to go on a hiking vacation in Utah and Sun Valley Idaho in August. We have been super careful with masking/etc and only go to any store on a necessity basis.

We will be flying Delta which is doing 60% max capacity, but there is also the airport, TSA, renting a car exposure risk. Once we are at our locations, we are no more at risk than staying home in Florida.

We are also concerned that these 2 states will impose a 14 day quarantine for people coming from the 'hotbed states' which Florida certainly qualifies.

Everything has been prepaid and we have until tomorrow to cancel the 2 rentals (VRBO) for a full refund. If we cancel, the rental car $ will be a lost cause (Hotwire), and Delta should give us credit for flights in the future.

We are very healthy and not immunocompromised, not overweight, no diabetes, etc. but are 67,63 years old. As bad as getting Covid-19 would be, it would be much worse getting it out of state.

We originally planned this trip to beat the heat, hike, and have our daughter (California) meet us there as a post trip for taking the California Bar (lawyer). That has been postponed until Sept, and possibly now October so she will not be going regardless of our decision.

I appreciate your words of wisdom.
Barb, I wouldnt risk it. Wayne and I had a vacation to Iceland booked, we postponed it for a year. By next year there's a good chance there will be a vaccine.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#293

Post: # 24329Unread post MsCowpea
Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:18 pm

(Thank you Anneliese)

BARB, I wouldn’t want to travel right now either. It is the flight that would worry me the most.
You could end up sitting next to this guy or one like him.

https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/loc ... tional-way
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Last edited by MsCowpea on Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:00 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#294

Post: # 24332Unread post MsCowpea
Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:37 pm

Marsha, I just don’t have any experience with cinder block or concrete block. But the longevity is certainly
an advantage. The wood on many of my oldest beds has rotted after many years. Took a great course on organic gardening 25 years ago! and the instructor, who had a certified organic farm in Redlands, used concrete blocks to form his beds.

I have seen some really ugly looking raised beds made with concrete block and really beautiful ones as well. I prefer them capped on top. I don’t really like the open ‘holes’ that people say you can plant in but that is just me. They just look like a good place for weeds to grow and difficult to amend and fertilize.

Used to be the big controversial material was CCA pressure treated wood.
Now you can get ACQ wood that doesn’t have that arsenic component.
I remember traveling a great distance to a lumber yard when ACQ first came out and was not widely available. We were putting in some new beds and it cost me a fortune - at that time it wasn’t available at Home Depot. Now it is mandated for homeowners and the price has gone down. You still can’t use it in certified organic operations.

I never use any weed barrier on the bottom. Or a plastic liner.
Though I have seen this liner recommendation on many sites. For me, just not necessary nor desirable. But we put in a lot of effort with composting and cover crops to combat nematodes as best we can and build the soil. To make our raised beds we just weedwacked the grass down to nothing , framed the beds, and then filled. Or you can put newspaper or cardboard down and then fill. Compost is essential. Over many years of adding compost the level of good soil extends down below the original height of the raised bed.

This is our largest raised bed in 2013? right before a garden tour came. I pretty much plant it out the same way every year. Changing it up next year and will plant tomatoes and move the greens to a shadier location.
We have 2 other big beds. And 8 beds that are the about 4 feet by 10. (The usual size in width that is recommended because you can reach into easily.)
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#295

Post: # 24343Unread post PlainJane
Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:35 am

That looks fantastic @MsCowpea.
Even if I keep my tomatoes in fabric pots and 5-1-1, I’m thinking of some raised beds for other veggies and berries.
At first I considered galvanized stock tanks but after using them for years with ornamentals - they get too hot during the summer.
My inclination now is to go with cedar and research non-toxic wood preservatives.
But I’m curious to see what Marsha turns up.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#296

Post: # 24352Unread post Barb_FL
Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:28 am

PlainJane wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:35 am
That looks fantastic @MsCowpea.
Even if I keep my tomatoes in fabric pots and 5-1-1, I’m thinking of some raised beds for other veggies and berries.
At first I considered galvanized stock tanks but after using them for years with ornamentals - they get too hot during the summer.
My inclination now is to go with cedar and research non-toxic wood preservatives.
But I’m curious to see what Marsha turns up.
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My purchased, then disintegrated raised bed were cedar and that didn't help at all. They probably lasted 5 years and that was pushing it. Is there different qualities of cedar such that if you bought the wood,it may be better?

This past season, besides growing in the raised bed, I let my broccoli seedlings get really rootbound and then planted in an Earthbox and a trough. Super Successful and much less water was used.

When I had my horseshoe of raised beds 12' on the sides, 16' in the center - all 4' wide, it took a lot of water. There was a point say late March/April that I pulled the broccoli thinking it wasn't worth the water.

For broccoli, the best one to grow in FL is Castle Dome. Seeds are cheap and last multiple years.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#297

Post: # 24353Unread post Barb_FL
Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:36 am

Elaine - your raised bed looks beautiful.

Thank you for all the sound advice. We are going to cancel our 2 VRBO rentals today.

Our little town (Indialantic) had 3 Covid-19 cases until 2 weeks ago. Now 40.

Our county (600K people) had 400 on May 31, now 2400+ - And people still argue about masks. We walked the causeway last night and there is a 7-11 on the corner and it was the first time I saw 2 people going in with masks. Usually will see 10 cars come and go and until last night I had never seen anyone with a mask coming or going.
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Last edited by Barb_FL on Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#298

Post: # 24357Unread post Ginger2778
Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:25 am

Barb_FL wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:36 am
Elaine - your raised bed looks beautiful.

Thank you for all the sound advice. We are going to cancel our 2 VRBO rentals today.

Our little town (Indialantic) had 3 Covid-19 cases until 2 weeks ago. Now 40.

Our county (600K people) had 400 on May 31, now 1600+ - And people still argue about masks. We walked the causeway last night and there is a 7-11 on the corner and it was the first time I saw 2 people going in with masks. Usually will see 10 cars come and go and until last night I had never seen anyone with a mask coming or going.
I'm so relieved to read that you aren't going to travel. This virus is on the order of 10X as contagious as flu. And viruses don't just grow the same amount each day, the grow exponentially. They double multiply every day. So 2x2=4x2=8x2=16, 32,64, etc. So 6 days, 2 cases would be 64, then day 7 - 128, and so on. Not wearing a mask ! What imbeciles!
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#299

Post: # 24490Unread post MsCowpea
Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:09 pm

I am going to start a thread on building raised beds just so people interested
in the topic can find it. I like discussing it here but as others and I find videos and more information maybe it’s better in a thread under that category so people can find it.

In the meantime:
Found a video where they explain different blocks needed for a bed. Didn’t know there were 2 types. And they built a solid looking bed.
If you use landscape cloth thought it was interesting how they tucked it into the second layer.
I didn’t use it but so many videos do. Some of my beds were only 8 inches high and I was planting a lot of tomatoes so I didn’t want that barrier to the roots or anything interfering with all my soil improvements. Plus I didn’t want that synthetic material under my beds, permanently there.
I also had many beds of all sizes- some really huge. Others may have a different experience and for some reason want a barrier.

As far as weeds, in Florida if you turn your back on a bed or container or even an Earthbox when you look again it will be covered with weeds. You have to keep everything mulched or covered or be resigned to pulling weeds. Even if you use landscape fabric (under a raised bed) you can’t leave the soil bare on top.

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Last edited by MsCowpea on Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#300

Post: # 24497Unread post MsCowpea
Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:37 pm

Barb, that seems like a wise choice. If you were to get sick you would really be kicking yourself for going. I had a chance to go
to Lake Tahoe which is beautiful in the summer as I could have rented my nephew’s house for the month of July. My sister flew there already but too many unknown risks for me to go.
I would drive somewhere but not fly because you are trapped on the plane with people who won’t wear a mask. And it just takes one.
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