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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.

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Tomato Tuesday/Coastal & Tropical South

+10
Pduzant
1orangething
petals1973
sceleste54
Lurach
shannon1
elliephant
sherryeo
acara
pattipan
14 posters

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Post  shannon1 6/17/2011, 1:14 am

Most toms do not set fruit in temps over 90 degrees. If heat is the problem shade cloth to shade them from the noon day sun and light colored mulch may help to cool them off a bit. Plenty of water too.
shannon1
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Post  shannon1 6/21/2011, 4:45 am

My better patio is nearly done just two left to fully ripen on the vine same with the tula. The sun kings just keep on setting and some look like green base balls already. The Tula tastes the best so I will be rooting cuttings from it this week to plant for the fall harvest.
Sherry so glad you are getting some ripe ones. Hope the rest of you are enjoying yours.
shannon1
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Post  shannon1 6/21/2011, 4:47 am

Pduzant wrote:Mine aren't doing very well, does this hot weather have anything to do with it? They are growing tall but only 1 lil fruit on one..
Anythng I can add to help them fill out and start producing -- On a good not my plants from seed have come up and are looking good.
Have you added shade or mulch? How are they looking now?
shannon1
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Post  sherryeo 6/21/2011, 6:54 pm

I have been enjoying ripe tomatoes for a while. Unfortunately, the birds decided that they would enjoy some tomatoes and helped themselves to 3. I put some old (but clean) socks over the tomatoes to see if I can keep the birds off the rest of them. I actually accidentally pulled a green 'mater off when I was trying to put the sock on, so I think I'll go fry it up!

It has been so hot lately that the plants don't seem to be growing any more or putting on new fruit. I probably don't have but about a half dozen more 'maters left on the plants now, so I don't know if I'm going to get any more.

I recently read an article in our local newspaper by a Mobile, Alabama garden columnist who recommended the folks in our area plant their tomatoes on February 15th to give the plants enough time to grow and produce before the hot, hot temps set in. I think I'll try that next February.

We are supposed to have a chance of thunderstorms all this week and temps might go down to the high 80s. I hope that will get them going again.

One of my grown sons, who was, with his twin brother and Dad, skeptical about my sfg, actually said "Mom, you've already had more tomatoes from those 5 plants than you had all summer long from several rows of tomato plants last year." That was when I had a row garden. I think my family might just become believers!

I've also noticed some tomato leaves being munched upon and see what I think must be hornworm droppings, but haven't been able to catch the demon as yet. I've even started venturing out to the garden at night to see if I can catch him!

So goes my tomato saga, how about the rest of our tropical/coastal south members?
sherryeo
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Post  1orangething 6/21/2011, 7:49 pm

Just plucked a nice 12 oz heirloom off the vine. I also got 4 other tomatoes of unknown variety (I lost the plant tag) I am so happy with my first Smile SFG and can't wait to experiment w/ next plantings. Any ideas will be appreciated. Laughing
1orangething
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Post  elliephant 6/22/2011, 8:28 am

sherryeo wrote:
I recently read an article in our local newspaper by a Mobile, Alabama garden columnist who recommended the folks in our area plant their tomatoes on February 15th to give the plants enough time to grow and produce before the hot, hot temps set in. I think I'll try that next February.


That's when I put mine out this year. Thank goodness I did because we had such a warm "spring" that I wouldn't have gotten anything if I'd waited any longer. I planted the seeds indoors just after the first of the year.
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Post  sherryeo 6/22/2011, 9:41 pm

Well, Ellie, that makes me even more determined to plant my tomatoes on Feb 15th, since you live in Zone 9, southern TX, your weather is probably every bit as hot as mine, if not even hotter. So if it works for you, it should work for me!
sherryeo
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Post  shannon1 6/24/2011, 2:52 am

My better patio is done for. Sad The last fruit will be picked tomorrow. The Tula might be done as well but will live on in the cuttings I am rooting.
shannon1
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Post  acara 6/24/2011, 6:13 am

Yep ... I was done 2 weeks ago & cut everything back. IMHO, It's kinda pointless to try to coax fruit out of them right now, only to have it split at the first sign of color/ripening.

I'm going to try and keep everything stunted through Sept, hit them with some fertilizer when the temps get below 90 & try to "reset" at that point, off the mature vines.
acara
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Post  FarmerValerie 6/24/2011, 8:21 am

Thanks for the info, our low today is 96, I'll let those that are on there now finish, then "stunt" them.
FarmerValerie
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Post  pesmother 6/24/2011, 7:49 pm

I know it's not Tuesday but work has been really rough this week. So consider this late for this week or early for the upcoming Tuesday. I bought both Better Boy and Big Boy. They have both grown tall and sent out some little flowers which promptly appeared to burn off in this Florida heat. I have no fruit whatsoever. Oh well, live and learn! I will try again because I love homegrown tomatoes.
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Post  sherryeo 6/28/2011, 10:12 pm

Well, friends, I think my short, but gratifying tomato season is probably over. The heat shows no signs of letting up for months yet. Not that I expected it to; long, hot summers are the norm here. I don't think my plants will recover enough to put on more blooms.

I still had the best tomato season I have had to date. I have never NOT had blossom end rot on my first tomatoes until my first sfg this year. I think using the Mel's Mix instead of my native soils made the difference. I happily harvested nice tomatoes for several weeks and had more nice, vine-ripened tomatoes than I've ever before grown.

I may try tomatoes again with my fall garden. We can do that here on the Mississippi coast. I will try to plant my tomatoes by Feb 15th next year so they'll have the longest growing season possible before the intense heat sets in.

Cheer me up with your good tomato news, please! Very Happy
sherryeo
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Post  shannon1 7/1/2011, 12:22 am

My Sun Kings are living up to their name the first one is just starting to ripen. Between the two plants there are over 2 dozen toms, and they are still setting fruit. They have grown so tall I will have to top them. Their fruits are the biggest yet. I hope they taste as good as they look. The celeb. is done for, just two left they have been the most resistant to cracking. The Tula is putting out all kinds of suckers to root. I potted up the first one and gave it to a gardener friend of mine. The better patio has a few small green toms on it but I am pulling it out tomorrow morning. So that's my up date.
shannon1
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Post  sherryeo 7/1/2011, 12:51 am

shannon, Do let us know how those Sun Kings taste when you find out. They sound like something I definitely need to try if they're still setting fruit!
sherryeo
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Post  shannon1 7/1/2011, 12:57 am

I am keeping my fingers crossed. I will let you know. So far my favorites for flavor have been the Tulas, not pretty but Tomato Tuesday/Coastal & Tropical South - Page 2 211713
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Post  sherryeo 7/6/2011, 1:02 am

Nothing new on my tomato report. My plants have just stalled out. But I thought I'd get this thread started to see if anybody else from our region will volunteer their latest tomato news.

Inquiring minds want to know! How grow your tomatoes? :?:
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Post  Lurach 7/13/2011, 7:15 am

My better patio has been sitting there with the same tiny tomatoes on it for weeks...nothing happening. Then I got 2 almost cherry-sized ripe ones yesterday. Everything else still in stasis. The roma has 1 lone greenie still hanging out, but that's it.

Can someone please fill me in on "stunting?" I'm still trying to learn all this gardening. =) Thanks!

~Lu
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Post  sherryeo 7/13/2011, 10:35 am

Posting this on Wednesday, instead of Tuesday, cause I was in New Orleans yesterday! DH and I took our 13 year old grandson to the Audubon Aquarium and Zoo. It rained while we were at the zoo, but it sure cooled things down, so was kinda nice. I think we've spoiled him with New Orleans' cuisine - he says he doesn't think he's going to be able to get used to just "regular" food again!

Well, I actually have two tiny new tomatoes on 2 of my tomato plants since last Tuesday! I thought they had absolutely stopped producing on me, but I guess there may be some hope still. They've started growing a bit more because I had to guide them through the next opening on the trellis.

How about all of you guys who voted you were from the coastal and tropical south - we want to know how your tomatoes are doing! We can all learn from each other's successes and problems!
sherryeo
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Post  FarmerValerie 7/13/2011, 11:54 am

MMMMMM, ain't nothin' in this wide world like cajun food. Makes my mouth water just thinkin' about it! Poor kid, only thing you can do is buy him a cook book and possibly some Justin Wilson DVD's for Christmas and his birthday, who knows you may have a world famous chef on your hands one day, all because you took him to New Orleans!!!
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Post  sherryeo 7/14/2011, 12:34 am

Oh, boy, how nice would that be!!!! To have a world famous cajun cuisine chef in the family! I definitely wouldn't mind that! He's pretty adventurous, too, and tried the fried alligator! I love cajun food, too, and consider myself lucky to live only a couple of hours away from N'awlins.
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Post  FarmerValerie 7/14/2011, 8:30 am

We are probably 5 hours away, maybe 6 depending on who is driving. If it were up to me I'd be there twice a year, but hubby is not one for traveling, so we stay home. We also have chickens and goats, so traveling is out for a while. If you like I will try to find my recipe for Bengeits, I make my own and then have a cup of cafe au' le with them.
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Post  sherryeo 7/19/2011, 7:56 pm

FV, Thanks for the offer, but I'd hate to make you dig out the recipe when I'd probably never get around to trying it. I'm just not that great at making desserts. I hope you get to New Orleans soon!

I had given up on my tomatoes but just left them there because I didn't have any plans to replant anything quite yet. Well, a couple of the plants look like they're trying to make a comeback. One has now grown taller than the trellis and actually has a couple of tomatoes on it. Another one is also growing again and is blooming. I'm trying not to get too excited, but will watch to see what happens.

How are YOUR tomatoes doing, Coastal & Tropical South? Please share your experiences with us.
sherryeo
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Post  FarmerValerie 7/20/2011, 8:54 am

Sherryo, I had resigned to pulling all of my tomatoes up, but decided to wait and see, mainly to gather some suckers for new plants, and man, the new growth is through the roof. I took pictures yesterday, but have yet to post them. I was outside until noon again, and then spent about an hour in the tub cooling off. Hopefully I'll get them up in the TT for Lower South today. Don't give up, just watch them, and maybe grab a sucker or two (after letting it go for a bit) put it in water to root, and then plant it, maybe in a 5 gallon bucket.
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Post  sherryeo 7/20/2011, 10:54 am

Thanks, FV. I appreciate the encouragement. For a while there, these poor plants just sat there - didn't even put on any new suckers. It's just been so hot here - in the 90s most every day. But at least a couple of them have started growing again and seem to be trying to start producing again. I do plan to hang on and watch them a while.

I have just started some seedling Brandywine and Yellow Pear tomatoes that I thought I'd try for a fall garden, so I do have a "backup plan."

I'd sure love it if others from the Coastal & Tropical South would let us know how their tomatoes are faring in the heat. In the meantime, though, I'll check your Lower South's posts to see how they're all doing.
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Post  Wapner 7/20/2011, 11:20 am

Sherry,
Over here in Gulfport, my tomato plants look healthy but are not producing fruit. I blame it on the high temperatures and lack of consistent rain. As you might know, we had more rain here Sun-Mon than in the previous 4 months combined. I would think the same for you, too. I have 7 tomato plants potted and ready to plant shortly but I am trying to hold out until mid August before setting them out. Afraid of the heat.
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