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)

#301

Post: # 24503Unread post Ginger2778
Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:28 pm

MsCowpea wrote:
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.

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 you can’t leave the soil bare on top.

Elaine - you post the best videos! I just watched this and learned so much. I like that they didn't mortar them in, so its reusable, and portable. This is exactly what I want to do. Like you, I may leave the liner out, not sure yet. I need to do more research. The raised bed won't be for any solanaceous plants, so I'm not that worried about nematodes there. I plan to enrich that soil like crazy! Thanks so much for posting this. Your thread has turned into our own Florida gardening thread, hasn't it?☺

Your right about seeds in the Earthbox, I'm constantly weeding them. They even grow seeds during solarizing.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#302

Post: # 24504Unread post MsCowpea
Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:46 pm

Marsha, I find these videos because I am addicted to YouTube like a kid to their video games. I do learn stuff but nothing much gets done.
I need intervention. :lol: I have close to 240 subscriptions which I need to go through and weed some out.
I even pay a premium, I think it is $11 a month to watch commercial free. I didn’t like all the ads even if you could click them off in 4 seconds. Plus they were starting to play them in the middle of the video. :roll:

I found other concrete block videos but I guess I will post them in the new thread so more people can see them. One is an example
of an ugly one with the blocks uneven and sinking.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#303

Post: # 24674Unread post MsCowpea
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:35 am

Here is a phenomenal organic market grower who grows with the seasons between Maine and central Florida. (He was interviewed by Pete Kanaris Green Dreams.)

No raised beds with solid sides just layered compost over many years.





Pete Kanaris Green Dreams Youtube site has many great videos with several visits with organic ‘nomadic farmer’ Jim Kovaleski.

Since COVID isolation I have been starved for gardening trips/events and classes and workshops so I signed up for the course Grass Fed Market Garden
with Jim Kovaleski ($199). It looks to be Maine-based but I can always learn new things that can be applied to Florida. And he does grow organically in Florida in the winter season. Taking classes and courses also helps supports knowledgeable farmers and growers.
Last edited by MsCowpea on Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#304

Post: # 24846Unread post MsCowpea
Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:36 pm

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#305

Post: # 24849Unread post MsCowpea
Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:48 pm

Trees: from far left- lychee, sapodilla, tamarind
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#306

Post: # 24865Unread post PlainJane
Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:09 pm

Lovely, @MsCowpea!
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

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Post: # 24870Unread post Ginger2778
Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:37 pm

So pretty!
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

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Post: # 24887Unread post MsCowpea
Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:42 pm

Thanks!😀
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

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Post: # 24920Unread post Growing Coastal
Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:29 pm

A nice mix of trees and palm trees.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#310

Post: # 24973Unread post Barb_FL
Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:22 pm

Elaine - your backyard is stunning. It's like a park.

I also watched the video with Jim K. then I watched another one of his for making soil blocks. I will be watching more of his. Will be watching more of his in the future. So good for the people that live near him to be able to get super fresh produce.

----
I still need to finish dumping my earthboxes, etc and solarize. I've done about 5, but then the rains came and they were too wet, not to mention too hot to go outside for any length of time.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

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Post: # 24988Unread post arnorrian
Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:52 pm

Wonderful garden.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#312

Post: # 24990Unread post MsCowpea
Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:44 pm

Thanks G.C. , arnorrian, and Barb.

I only take pictures of the pretty parts!😆 So much work needs to be done everywhere else but Barb is right about the heat and humidity — yesterday was 95 and the nighttime temp was 80!

Barb, I haven’t covered the EBs with plastic yet. And I am also rearranging parts of vegetable garden.

If I lived in New Port Richey I would go to that Tasty Tuesday Farmers Market and Wrights. They also give out that free yard waste compost. There are online videos showing how to make the soil blockers out of household ‘stuff’ for people who don’t want or need the expensive blockers. I have the very smallest blocker- I tried it for flower seeds years ago but I never mastered the system. May try again and use the small block to put in a bigger block that I will make with a home-made blocker. Kovaleski had great lettuce/greens transplants though I think the cooler temps of central Florida helps.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#313

Post: # 25056Unread post wildcat62
Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:09 pm

Great thread. Loving the pics.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#314

Post: # 25072Unread post MsCowpea
Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:01 pm

Thanks wildcat.
And Plain Jane, thank you for your earlier comment. Appreciate all the comments.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

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Post: # 25682Unread post MsCowpea
Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:13 pm

Making compost. Modified from Charles Wilber’s book : ‘How to Grow World Record Tomatoes’.

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Partially made compost pile. Will add more layers.
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The bed will be covered to prevent weeds. Sort-of sheet mulching. Later finished compost.

One problem is I never have enough compost . The piles shrink and it becomes a very valuable input that requires careful/stingy distribution. Always need more than I have.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

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Post: # 25693Unread post Ginger2778
Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:26 am

@MsCowpea What do you do to supplement your compost?
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

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Post: # 25785Unread post MsCowpea
Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:56 am

It varies. In ‘How To Grow World Record Tomatoes’ Charles Wilber uses
colloidal phosphate and granite dust or wood ashes.

I have rock phosphate (espoma) and use it sometimes , very sparingly. I use greensand as a substitute for the granite dust or wood ash. Greensand is also very expensive! If I don’t have any I leave it out but I do use it when I have it. These rock minerals supposedly take a long time to break down. You could probably substitute anything natural that has potassium for the greensand.

I seldom use it but I did sprinkle on some azomite. It is expensive and i don’t really think it is necessary but I had some for another purpose. Wilber does not use azomite. Same goes for granular humic acid, don’t consider it essential.

I have also sprinkled on some Black Hen and a few times bat guano just because I happened to have some. I like Black Hen though some people want to avoid chicken manure products.

What are you planning on using for your browns (carbon) and greens (nitrogen)? That’s really the key. You don’t necessarily need any other
amendments but I am a devotee of Charles Wilber so use what he recommends when I can. I have also made basic compost with no amendments by just following workshops and compost books/articles.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#318

Post: # 25912Unread post peebee
Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:44 pm

@MsCowpea I am also wanting to supplement my next compost pile with minerals of some sort. I'll look into the rick phosphate but have never seen it anywhere around here. I was looking to add azomite actually. I'd have to buy online.
I made 2 compost piles this spring & they came out great I thought. Added chicken manure & worm castings from my worms. You're right, you can never have enough compost so I had to really think about where to use it. My main pile I left a good 6 inches & planted tomatoes directly into the bed. The same bed that I covercropped months before. You'd think that I would've had fantastic results but no, they were just meh. In fact I had disappointing plants with lower production than usual.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#319

Post: # 25928Unread post Ginger2778
Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:44 pm

MsCowpea wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:56 am
It varies. In ‘How To Grow World Record Tomatoes’ Charles Wilber uses
colloidal phosphate and granite dust or wood ashes.

I have rock phosphate (espoma) and use it sometimes , very sparingly. I use greensand as a substitute for the granite dust or wood ash. Greensand is also very expensive! If I don’t have any I leave it out but I do use it when I have it. These rock minerals supposedly take a long time to break down. You could probably substitute anything natural that has potassium for the greensand.

I seldom use it but I did sprinkle on some azomite. It is expensive and i don’t really think it is necessary but I had some for another purpose. Wilber does not use azomite. Same goes for granular humic acid, don’t consider it essential.

I have also sprinkled on some Black Hen and a few times bat guano just because I happened to have some. I like Black Hen though some people want to avoid chicken manure products.

What are you planning on using for your browns (carbon) and greens (nitrogen)? That’s really the key. You don’t necessarily need any other
amendments but I am a devotee of Charles Wilber so use what he recommends when I can. I have also made basic compost with no amendments by just following workshops and compost books/articles.
Haha, This is wonderful info but I actually meant what else do you use when you run out of compost?
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#320

Post: # 26082Unread post MsCowpea
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:34 pm

Marsha, Even though I may ‘want’ more Wilber - style compost or traditional compost if I don’t have it we just make do with what we have. Plus just straight horse manure and bedding adds organic matter and it has both a green and brown component. So I guess I ‘never run out’. I have pretty big garden area so I save the special compost for that area. Particularly for the tomatoes and an application of a few inches or so where the greens go. And for special potting mixes.

I would like to add just a little composed pine bark and peat moss to the raised beds this year. That would be a first.

Also use organic fertilizer so I am not relying on just the compost.

And there were many years , off and on , where I didn’t grow a cover crop
so I bought alfalfa hay to use in compost pile. I am mixing with horse manure and bedding
and hoping the herbicide issues that has been traced back to these components doesn’t happen to me. I do have herbicide free grass clippings from my yard which we use a lot. Even mow the neighbors yard for more. I think I could make a decent compost with the grass clippings (nitrogen) and maybe new animal bedding or straw or pine bark for the browns and throw in kitchen scraps.

If I didn’t have any compost and just needed a small amount I would consider worm castings though that is an expensive option. You wouldn’t need much. And then add organic fertilizer. But at the same time I think I would figure out a small composting system using kitchen scraps and other ingredients that would give me a bit of compost.

Peebee,
Oh that would be disappointing! Cover crop and really nice compost and the tomatoes weren’t that great. Any pictures, if not how would you describe
them. Yellow, stunted, poor production???
I was pondering what could have gone wrong.
Have you ever done a soil test?
Just curious what was in your compost? Was it completely composted and not robbing the soil of nitrogen to break down? How much did you use?
What was the cover crop? Did you plant in it right away after incorporating? Usually they say to wait a bit depending on what it was.

Sometimes I think of poor drainage and too dense of a mix if things look poorly. I was once talking to someone who filled raised beds with bags of top soil and bags of cow manure compost. And his plants were dying. No wonder. That would hold way too much water.
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