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Tomatoes

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Tomatoes

Postby Dumbo » May 04, 2012 10:47 am

Tomato plants!

Tell me everything you know about them!

I've been reading up on tomatoes lately mainly because I started so many of them in the house for the first time this past winter.

A lot of what I'm reading says to plant tomatoes very deep. 2/3rds of the plant should be buried they say!

Example: My plants are about 3-feet high. A lot of what I'm reading says to plant the first 2 feet of the plant in soil! Some even say only keep the first 8 inches above soil.

That is deep! Can't say I ever saw this done, or heard of this.

Is this internet kookery at it best? Or is this true?

Have you done this? Would you do this?
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Re: Tomatoes

Postby Eeyore » May 04, 2012 11:00 am

Planting deep helps the plant establish a deep and sturdy root system and reduces breakage. You can trench plant rather than digging holes. Dig a trench and lie the tomatoes across the trench doing your best to have the part that is above the soil in a more or less upright position. They should still be fairly flexible now. Strip off all the leaves that will be below the soil line. Tomatoes will grow roots wherever they touch the soil, unlike most plants that only grow at the leaf nodes. Backfill the trench and firm down the soil, then very carefully straighten the top of the plant. It may be necessary to tie them to temporary stakes until they are prepared to stand upright by themselves at which point you will want to cage the indeterminates anyway. This way you'll get nice sturdy plants.
Lyn
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Re: Tomatoes

Postby Dumbo » May 04, 2012 11:19 am

Yes I read about trenching also. But does anyone actually do this?

Is it really more advantageous?

Will it produce more?

Or is this only to do with the strength of the plant?

I may try this on some of them to see if I spot any differences.
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Re: Tomatoes

Postby Eeyore » May 04, 2012 11:54 am

Yes, I do it. I don't know if it improves production or not. Would be interesting to know though.
Lyn
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Re: Tomatoes

Postby B_BQ » May 04, 2012 12:35 pm

I've been growing heritage/heirloom toms for many years now. Mine are now just about 6 or 7 inches high.

I don't trench mine. I also don't strip off the excess leaves planted below the soil. I just dig a deep enough hole, (I have a very deep raised bed), and bury the plants up to their 'armpits', i.e. just leaving the topmost leaves above ground.

Marc, your plants are very tall, however, so trenching may be the best way of burying them up to their 'armpits'!

As Lyn says, burying them deeply will encourage a very strong root system. A very very deep water once a week should be all that is required.

I use large plastic soda bottles, bottom cut off, and attach the Lee Valley spikes with holes into the neck end. I locate these as close as possible to the root system of each plant. I just fill up the bottle with water once a week and if we get rain, or they get a little water from the sprinkler system, that's a bonus!

~BBQ
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Re: Tomatoes

Postby Dumbo » May 04, 2012 1:00 pm

B_BQ wrote:so trenching may be the best way of burying them up to their 'armpits'!


See, if i'm not mistaken, you are doing as some other sites say to do: Bury the entire plant except the top 6 to 8 inches.

What to do, what to do....

I still have a few weeks to figure this out since it's still too cold to plant them. But I'm willing to try a bunch of different things for my curiosity, and yours as well.

So I will do some rows as follows:

1. Trenched with 2-feet of the plant buried
2. Trenched with only the top 6-8 inches poking up
3. A hole 1.5 to 2 feet deep (3 feet deep is kind of silly).
4. As is, will only bury some about 6-8 inches down.

Anything else you want me to try?

BTW, if I trench it I guess the trench need only be about 8 inches deep?
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Re: Tomatoes

Postby DonnaZn2SK » May 04, 2012 3:56 pm

I think you started them too soon; the advanced height may or may not affect your production. Are there any suckers? If there are, you might want to pinch a few off and try starting them in some moistened potting soil. You will end up with the same variety and then you can compare which stage gives you the best yield.

Btw, I always bury my tomato plants deeper than how they were grown in the container.
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Re: Tomatoes

Postby Dumbo » May 04, 2012 5:50 pm

Well Donna, this is my first year planting stuff in advance. I normally just buy plants and stick them in a hole. And yeah I started them a good month too early... maybe more.

So I looked up "sucker".
So if this is the only type of tomato sucker there is, then no, I have none. Well I checked half the plants and none had them.
Tomato_Suckers.jpg
Tomato Sucker
Tomato_Suckers.jpg (10.69 KiB) Viewed 2799 times


I didn't know you can start another plant from a sucker. No need for that rooting hormone stuff? No need to leave them a couple of weeks in water?
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Re: Tomatoes

Postby CdnChelsea » May 04, 2012 5:54 pm


Like everyone above, I too bury my tomato plants deep. Like BBQ said, "up to their armpits"
Tomato plants suffer terribly if their roots are allowed to dry out which can result in poor tomato production. Usually the top 2 - 3' of soil dry out and if the roots are there; they too will dry out. On the other hand, if the plants roots are buried really deep, the soil at greater depths will still be moist enough for them to fare well.

I also put a thick layer of mulch around my tomato plants so any soil-bourne fungus will not splash up onto the tomato leaves and to conserve moisture.


A great website all about growing tomatoes:


http://organicgardening.about.com/od/ve ... esdeep.htm

I also did not know you could start a tomato plant from "suckers". I learn something new every day. :idea:


"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth
are never alone or weary of life" ~ Rachel Carson
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Re: Tomatoes

Postby DonnaZn2SK » May 04, 2012 6:34 pm

Marc,
You need to have a sucker at least three or four inches tall, not as small as in your picture. Put it in moistened potting soil, then place in an unsealed ziploc bag. You can do this now indoors, or outside when temps are warmer, but put in a shady spot. You should have a rooted plant in about three weeks or so. Sometimes they get a bit limp looking for the first week, but as long as they don't get cooked or dried out, you should have a new plant. If you start too late, you might not get any fruit, but this is a cheap way to start a tomato plant.
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