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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Sacrificial Tomatoes  Toplef10Sacrificial Tomatoes  1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Sacrificial Tomatoes  I22gcj10Sacrificial Tomatoes  14dhcg10

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Sacrificial Tomatoes

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Post  SMEDLEY BUTLER 4/6/2024, 1:10 pm

Today is the day that I plant my sacrificial tomatoes. I usually plant 8 or 9 the first week of April. If they survive, that's fine. If not, I have plenty more ready to go. I already have out several Siberian tomatoes that I planted 3 weeks ago. They were bred to survive down to 32 degrees. They are about 12 inches tall now. We were expecting frost last night so I used cloches' on them.

I have always pushed the calendar when it comes to planting my garden. One of my goals is to have a ripe ready to eat tomato in May. June 1st is the closest I've come. I could have cheated and called it ripe the day before but it just didn't seem right. I also had to put some more mulch on my potatoes, they were peeking through the mulch. 

So glad I found this place. Started out on Gardenweb many years ago. When it shut down, I migrated to Tomatoville. Somehow I can no longer log in there.
SMEDLEY BUTLER
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Post  Scorpio Rising 4/6/2024, 6:13 pm

Nice!  I look forward to my first real BLT sometime in June!  What do you use for cloches?
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Post  SMEDLEY BUTLER 4/6/2024, 7:51 pm

I have some made out of 1/4 in pencil rod shaped like a small high tunnel in various lengths/heights and covered in plastic. I use those for taller plants. For most of the plants I use pork rind containers from Sams. About 3 gallon?. They are good to about 15 in.

Several years ago we had a killing frost in late May. Sure glad I had them then. I built them for my mother's back yard garden. I think I got my green thumb from her. She was a heck of a gardener. One year she put up 280+ quarts of tomatoes. I built her a dozen or more raised beds using huge flue liners. I think they were 2.5 by 6 foot and 6 foot tall. Buried 2 ft deep made them the perfect height for her.

I got the flue liners from work. I think I paid 5$ each for them.
Look up Sams pork rinds.
SMEDLEY BUTLER
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Post  SMEDLEY BUTLER 4/6/2024, 8:25 pm

Just finished planting a dozen tomatoes earlier today. Purple Dog Creek, Champion, and Dester. Champion is supposed to be a replacement for Early Girl. Not sure if I will continue to grow Champion. PDC is fairly productive for me and produces a big pink pretty tomato.

Fingernails are really dirty, Been up to my wrist in Mel's Mix. I will have to scrub them pretty hard to get ready for church in the morning.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 4/7/2024, 1:57 pm

I have used 2L pop containers for cloches, but this did not go well. Cut the bottoms out, left the lids off, but they acted like cookie cutters and lifted the little plants right out of the garden!  Maybe I went a little crazy with how deep I put them in—it was a couple years ago and we, too had a late freeze….
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Post  sanderson 4/7/2024, 5:11 pm

Hi Smedley,  Welcome to the Forum from California.  happy hi

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Post  SMEDLEY BUTLER 4/8/2024, 10:40 pm

Scorpio Rising wrote:I have used 2L pop containers for cloches, but this did not go well. Cut the bottoms out, left the lids off, but they acted like cookie cutters and lifted the little plants right out of the garden!  Maybe I went a little crazy with how deep I put them in—it was a couple years ago and we, too had a late freeze….

Until I found Sam's pork rind containers, I used gallon milk jugs for short cloches. Tried 2 liters once and got the same result you did. Way too narrow for me. 

Did you get to see the eclipse? My wife sat out in the front yard and watched it. 99.7 % total. I was busy working on the garden.
SMEDLEY BUTLER
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Post  SMEDLEY BUTLER 4/8/2024, 10:44 pm

sanderson wrote:Hi Smedley,  Welcome to the Forum from California.  happy hi


Thank you for the welcome, I am very happy to be here.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 4/8/2024, 11:40 pm

SMEDLEY BUTLER wrote:
Scorpio Rising wrote:I have used 2L pop containers for cloches, but this did not go well. Cut the bottoms out, left the lids off, but they acted like cookie cutters and lifted the little plants right out of the garden!  Maybe I went a little crazy with how deep I put them in—it was a couple years ago and we, too had a late freeze….

Until I found Sam's pork rind containers, I used gallon milk jugs for short cloches. Tried 2 liters once and got the same result you did. Way too narrow for me. 

Did you get to see the eclipse? My wife sat out in the front yard and watched it. 99.7 % total. I was busy working on the garden.
Yes!  My kids came up from Columbus, wayyyyy cool!  We actually went to Nashville for the 2017 eclipse.  Same but different, just mostly due to the season we are in.  Here, we had about a minute more of totality.
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Post  SMEDLEY BUTLER 4/22/2024, 10:36 am

Had a light frost last night, but I was ready for it. Used my portable low-tunnels as cloches and then draped Harbor Freight shipping blankets over the trellises and let them hang over the front of the beds. My garden was completely covered.

Heading outside now to uncover everything. Temp only got down to 36 so shouldn't be any problems. Tomatoes and peppers are blooming already. I think I will have a good year except for the corn, it's not looking very good. I do have some more planted. I usually get three crops of sweet corn here in 7A.
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Post  SMEDLEY BUTLER 5/23/2024, 8:15 pm

I spent about 4 hours in the garden this morning after I drank my coffee. Having problems with groundhogs. To get my mind off all the destruction in my garden I decided to pull weeds and prune my plants. Glad I did, for the weed seedlings were out of control. 

We had what I call a Cyfoon yesterday just before dark, 8+ inches of rain in less than 3 hours. My rain gouge holds a total of 6 in plus a catch basin of 2 inches. Both were overflowing. We have a drainage ditch, which according to the TVA surveyor drains 1250 acres. Until the Road  Dept. put in a second culvert, we would get water under the house and over the road after a 2 inch rain. My iPhone said 1.05 in the last 24 hours. Big time lie, so I can't trust it now.

I had a lot of diseased leaves, a couple of the Siberian tomatoes were hit pretty hard by what looked like early blight The Siberians are loaded with tomatoes, several tennis ball size and down. We have had more than 15 inches of rain in the last 10 days. When I mow, I leave tracks in the yard and sling water with the tires. 

The tomatoes that are not being destroyed by the groundhogs are looking fabulous. I've been using bloom booster for the last two weeks, along with a lot of Bone Meal. Lot of tomatoes on 5 Ft. plants.
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