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Post  florenceq on 1/13/2011, 12:46 pm

This maybe a dumb question but here goes..............
I was browsing in the online store and found a product called a Tomato Tray. Can someone tell me what this does and if a I need it? This is my first year with SFG.
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Post  kimbertangleknot on 1/13/2011, 2:00 pm

No question is dumb when it comes to gardening! As for the tomato tray, I asked a similar question last year. You don't need it unless you want to try it. Some people have had success with using it, others didn't have any success at all. Myself, I didn't use them last year and had pretty good results with my first SFG garden.

This year, I plan on buying one set and using them on the plants that I know I always have good harvests from to see if there is any difference. The main point of them is to get water down to the roots quicker, but if you plan on using Mel's Mix there should really be no problem on getting down to the roots with water.

I don't use Mel's Mix, I use my own mix since I have raised, self contained and self watering plastic gardens, so I need a mix that is more container based and can fill 12" cheaper. My advice is to not worry about any of the "extra" stuff this first time through, and just concentrate on the core principles of how to do it, after your first year you should be able decide then if there is anything special you want to try.

Hope that helps (I tend to blabber a lot). Smile
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Post  jerzyjen on 1/15/2011, 9:20 am

My vote is save your money. Last year I experimented with this and saw no difference. I planted same type tomato side by side, one with a tray and one without and saw no difference in production. Maybe these trays help a traditional gardener, but with SFG and mels mix I think its unnecessary (in my experience anyway).
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Post  CarolynPhillips on 1/15/2011, 9:30 am

The tray prevents weeds from growing next to vines. The tray prevents soil from splashing up on plants which in turn prevents disease and fungus. It also isolates where your fertilizer is applied and keeps the fertilizer from running off and wasted.
But all this can also be accomplished by saucering the area around your plant to keep fertilizer near the feeder roots and just mulching well to prevent soil splash ups.
I don't use the trays.
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