Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

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

#81

Post: # 7783Unread post Ginger2778
Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:11 pm

Oh Barb, not the Kent blooms. No!
Yes the cold then the rain, a lot of mine look awful. I lost some blossoms on my first pannicles ever of Carrie mango. I hope some survive.
- Marsha

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#82

Post: # 8485Unread post MsCowpea
Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:22 pm

TODAY’S PICS:
The plants In raised beds —we spent hours picking off diseased bottom leaves today so it is just a matter of time. Some of them we put in much later so just starting to flower. We didn’t keep up with all maintenance of those plants, the branches weren’t tied properly to the cages so they are all over the place. And if you don’t tie them up they don’t get any height to them.
Regretfully 😩, We didn’t spray every 7 to 10 days either. There
are no branches sprawling on the ground at least and trying to keep airflow around the plants. But I don’t expect the yields we got in the golden years.

Raised beds: Tomatoes despite the nematodes. Compost is keeping us one jump ahead of them . Disease will knock them out first.
On the table: 5 tomatoes in the front from a mini raised bed-completely open at the bottom.



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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#83

Post: # 8486Unread post Ginger2778
Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:36 pm

They look really nice, and fairly loaded too.

After the cold snap followed immediately by rain continuing overnight, and not much breeze, I didn't spray either. Right on time - got massive Septoria. I spent the last 4 days like this; first day trimming off diseased leaves, then 3 days spraying the copper, added BT too, because this is the year of the hornworm. So far I have seen 2 parasitized hornworms, so I let them be. The rest met the sole of my shoe.
- Marsha

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#84

Post: # 8487Unread post Ginger2778
Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:38 pm

Been reading Wilbur's book, he is making me rethink the whole not too high nitrogen thing. He is all about high nitrogen. I might start my own experiments with higher nitrogen now. Ya sure can't argue with his results!
- Marsha

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#85

Post: # 8498Unread post MsCowpea
Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:49 pm

. He is all about high nitrogen.
I don’t really think of his system that way. ( and he is my idol :lol:) He is all about strictly organic sources of nitrogen.
But not just nitrogen. His whole system depends on low organic N-P-K inputs that would be slow release. Too much nitrogen can be very problematic as too little.

His nitrogen inputs are very low compared to synthetics and conventional fertilizers which he wants you to avoid like the plague. And yet look at his results. His fertilization is compost. With a little sprinkling of alfalfa meal. And for the inground plants , a cover crop. And all his compost inputs (even the cow manure and kudzu) are very low in nitrogen compared to a typical agricultural recommendations like a 10-10-10, miracle gro, or hydroponic fert. , or calcium nitrate (15.5 N)

Alfalfa ( which is similar to the kudzu in his compost)
N-P-K
2.5— .5— 2

Even cow manure has low N-P-K.
.5 to 1.5. - .2 to .7 - .5 to 2

And a % of the organic inputs aren’t available to the plant like water soluble synthetics.
.
Even with his containers he only uses 3 parts soil to 1 part compost. Then mulches with grass clippings. Then he will add additional compost or well rotted cow manure from time to time on top. I don’t think these inputs would be particularly high in nitrogen.

I also think his results are a perfect storm of soil, weather, and technique.

Re:Earthboxes
I do think earthboxes are a completely different kettle of fish than Wilber’s compost - centered system. It is a soilless closed system more similar to hydroponics. And I do think someone could play with the nitrogen inputs . I do look for the higher nitrogen and potassium in an organic fertilizer as nitrogen can be a limiting factor in an EB when you don’t use synthetic supplements. A person could look at the NPK numbers that hydroponic people use and emulate in the EB.

I have used organic 8-5-5 for years. (That is what EarthBox recommends.). Never found that 8 too high in nitrogen . That is a higher nitrogen than tomato tone and I do like it. But it won’t last for months and months. I found a miracle gro organic 7-6-9 (Omni listed) recently and used it today. I liked the higher K, you just don’t get that in most complete organic fertilizers. I also have , but haven’t used it yet , a high NPK organic that is supposed to be water soluble. Of course, the tried and true is to use organic for the strip and synthetic for the supplement as so many people do. Then I suppose any lower NPK organic would do.

The quandary is how much nitrogen is too much?
“Many studies have reported moderate N supply will improve tomato flavor, but excess N can harm the fruit favor. Heavy N and K fertilization can also have detrimental effects on fruit favor.”

https://ipm.missouri.edu/MEG/2017/6/fer ... gTomatoes/

Fertilizing Tomatoes for Delicious Fruits
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#86

Post: # 8501Unread post MsCowpea
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:41 pm

These are regular containers. Tomatoes with Early blight :cry: Took off a lot of diseased leaves.
Much worse ones I have already pulled .

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#87

Post: # 8502Unread post MsCowpea
Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:11 pm

Rajun Gardener just clued me into Blue Plate mayo -never heard of it and it wasn’t available here so very surprised to see it in Publix as a new product introduction.
I am strictly Hellman’s all the way but BP was buy one, get one free. Already had the Hellman’s.

Of course , I Had to use a tomato in my blind tasting test. And I mean blind, I closed my eyes. And my DH
spun them around like a pea under a walnut. I kept my eyes closed even while I tasted. Doesn’t take much
to amuse me plus I love mayo.

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#88

Post: # 8512Unread post MissS
Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:19 am

I have never seen Blue Plate here either. Seeing as you are accustomed to Hellman's which did you like best?
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#89

Post: # 8513Unread post Ginger2778
Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:28 am

MissS wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:19 am
I have never seen Blue Plate here either. Seeing as you are accustomed to Hellman's which did you like best?
I want to know too. My favorite is still Dukes, but I'm not married to it, lol!
- Marsha

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#90

Post: # 8514Unread post imp
Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:37 am

Home made, Dukes, Hellmans, Blue Plate, other than that I'll pass, LOL.

BTW, though a part of me really loves the pictures of tomatoes, so lovely and ripe, part of me is developing this twitchy tic from yearning to get something to grow. Besides the green weeds in my yard.
Together, trees make an ecosystem that tempers the extremes of heat & cold, stores lots of water, & makes a lot of humidity. In this environment, trees can live to be very old. To get to this point, the community must remain intact no matter what.

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#91

Post: # 8533Unread post MsCowpea
Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:48 am

Wish I could say ‘and the winner is.....’
but it was so close. I liked them both-vaguely similar but distinct differences. (Now I did try Dukes once as that has such a Southern reputation but it didn’t win me over.)

Hellman’s seemed saltier and had a different , maybe lighter ? texture.
Blue Plate was much more creamier. Blue Plate has a simpler recipe with more costly ingredients (only yolks).

They both tasted, well, like mayonnaise. Different but good. Also had Whole Foods 365 Mayo made with organic canola oil. That mayo is not good at all.

Blue Plate wins epicurious: (and other tastings as well). Hellman’s second place.

https://www.epicurious.com/ingredients/ ... re-article

(Nothing to do with taste. An Aside: I never noticed this before but Hellman’s says right on the front label they use cage free eggs. Now cage free has been called a marketing ploy but I hope it is better than the traditional cage enclosure. The egg industry is slowly going in that direction because of consumer and food industry demand.)

Now I got a lot of mayonnaise to eat. DH can’t stand mayo-something terribly wrong with him. He wasn’t raised right.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#92

Post: # 8534Unread post Barb_FL
Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:20 am

Just caught up reading; Your plants and tomatoes despite the leaves removed look great. My plants on the entire west side of the house look horrible. I pulled some plants and waiting for the fruit to somewhat ripen on others. But it has been over 10 days now and it is raining. UGH

Everytime I go out there I'm overwhelmed on how much there is to do to clean up the plants. My peak harvest of large tomatoes was so early this year so that tempers it quite a bit.

i did pull one of my experimental coir slabs - it was one (of 2) in the Earthbox and cut open the slab just to see what it looked like. I started thinking the plants were nutrient locked out; but the roots were nice and white although centered near the actual plant. Here I had been thinking all along that fitting the slab into an EB (by removing some of the coir) was the issue. At least I freed up an EB. Professionals use these coir slabs and grow 4-5 plants - I did 2.

---
Marsha - Should I remove the mango canes with the fried blooms/no blooms? In a normal year, I don't even have blooms until late Feb / March - I'm thinking if I remove them, it may produce buds again.

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#93

Post: # 8537Unread post Ginger2778
Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:36 am

Barb, I never do, but I dont think it would hurt to remove those with obliviously no fruit forming. Go for it! My Kent is loaded, and some yesrs there aren't even blooms till March.
- Marsha

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#94

Post: # 8557Unread post Barb_FL
Sat Feb 01, 2020 4:24 pm

Thanks Marsha - I will take off all the canes I can reach. Hopefully, new growth and buds will occur. That's great that your plant is loaded.

The wind had been horrendous for the last half of Dec / January. I can't even imagine what it will be in March when it is typically the worst.

----
I finished reading the Charles Wilber book. I would love if Marsha, Elaine, and myself and anyone else in the humid south adapted what we could of it next season (Sept 2020) and kept an online journal here of our experiences along the way. I know I would not be able to create his exact compost (or anything near it for that matter). If anyone is interested, I think we should use the same seed (and seed source) - he used Better Boy I never grew it so have no opinion of it.

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#95

Post: # 8652Unread post MsCowpea
Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:58 pm

Barb,
Oh I know that feeling of being overwhelmed — I really hate that job of picking off diseased leaves. Luckily I still have many plants that look good because I put them in at different times. That has actually helped as I don’t have to deal with them all at once.

Sorry the coir slab thing didn’t work, sounded interesting. I guess you have to have the continuous feed like they do in greenhouses where I have seen those slabs supporting a zillion tomatoes.

Re: Charles Wilber. I love that you like Charles Wilber’s book. I do hope you experiment with some of his ideas. Even now I make my compost Wilber-style with a few adjustments. But I have been exploring his method for almost 20 years now. I am a HUGE fan. 🤩 You won’t believe this but I used to live in a house with a small yard. Because of Wilber’s book I made a compost pile where I added alfalfa to horse manure and stunk up the whole cul de sac. It was like cooking manure on the stove. I told my DH we had to move so I could master making compost like Wilber. And we did move. I still incorporate a lot of his ideas. I have followed his compost and planting instructions as close as I could but had to make many substitutions.

Do I get Wilber’s mind boggling results? No, I think it is our winter growing weather where the sun is limited. (It is also 54 degrees right now.) And my basic soil is no soil at all —it is 100% pure sand. Plus, can’t help but think that kudzu might be superior to alfalfa.
But I have read over and over you can’t grow tomatoes in Florida because of nematodes and yet with compost it is possible. I have C. Wilber and his book to thank for that and my interest in growing organically as well.
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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#96

Post: # 9107Unread post Barb_FL
Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:53 pm

I think you are doing great. Did you ever try growing the same tomato as Wilber - Big Boy?

Right now we have so much wind from the south so the plants that were mostly spared 2 weeks ago are taking the brunt of it. Continued 40MPH gusts and tonight they say 'damaging winds'. I can't imagine how the wind will be in March.

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#97

Post: # 9125Unread post Ginger2778
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:30 pm

Barb_FL wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:53 pm
I think you are doing great. Did you ever try growing the same tomato as Wilber - Big Boy?

Right now we have so much wind from the south so the plants that were mostly spared 2 weeks ago are taking the brunt of it. Continued 40MPH gusts and tonight they say 'damaging winds'. I can't imagine how the wind will be in March.
We're going to see that tomorrow.
- Marsha

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#98

Post: # 9129Unread post Barb_FL
Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:01 pm

Sorry to hear that. So much for ever growing cucumbers again.

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#99

Post: # 9141Unread post Ginger2778
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:08 pm

Barb_FL wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:01 pm
Sorry to hear that. So much for ever growing cucumbers again.
Your conditions won't let you grow cucumbers? I am, 3 from your beit alpha seeds.(Thank you!) Not the best production but its making enough for our daily salads.
I think I'm going to go back to sweet success. Those produced more than any other.
- Marsha

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Re: Winter Tomatoes in Fl. (Plus veggies)

#100

Post: # 9168Unread post MsCowpea
Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:34 pm

I am never that successful with cucumbers as I don’t screen or cover them and I always get pickle worm and disease wipes them out pretty quick.
When I was looking for plants to buy this year I ran across suyo long cucumber at Miami community garden. I wasn’t even planning on growing cucumber. They did produce a lot of cucumbers despite getting the usual mildews. Got at least a 10– several 16 inches long. There were more but pickle worm got them. Then I pulled it out. I can’t say it was the most delicious cucumber I ever had. It was just a normal tasting cucumber like a grocery store one -not outstanding but worth trying again.
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PICKLE WORM
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My mother who lived in Mo. would have had this thing growing up her house and onto the roof if she ever had got the chance to grow it. She would have probably got 100 cucumbers.
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