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Tomato growing systems

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Post by Chilli-head on 28th June 2015, 10:14 pm

A truly imperial tomato !



This is an Amish Gold, from seed I got rom the seed swap.  It is a whopping 1lb 1 1/2 oz.  It took two days for us to eat it !  Not the biggest flavour, but a glorious peachy gold inside, all flesh with hardly any pulp and seeds.

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Post by Ploshkin on 6th September 2015, 12:20 pm

Apart from the dismal weather this year meaning slow growth and non ripening, I have had my best ever crops of tomatoes in terms of quantity, size and consistency of fruit. The only thing I did differently from usual was to not use any high potash feed. I used a balanced feed at every watering at a recommended dilution. I also continued with the scant watering that I employed last year. I've just looked at the boxes, the high potash feed is 18 - 0 - 30 and the balanced feed is 19 - 8.3 - 15.8. Perhaps they like to have a bit of P(hosphorous). Here's a couple of pics - dig out those green tomato recipes, I'll be needing them.

These are Tasha (F1)


and these are Black Cherry
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Post by Dandelion on 6th September 2015, 9:45 pm

You never know - they may still ripen, as we're meant to be having some warmer weather over the next week.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Dandelion on 6th September 2015, 9:48 pm

I'm interested in the size of pots you used P. I've used quite big pots (buckets, actually, with handles removed and holes drilled for drainage. £1 each, so cheaper than actual flowerpots of the same diameter) Do you think the size of the pot affects the yield? How many times a day did you need to water? And which feed did you use?

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Ploshkin on 6th September 2015, 10:28 pm

Those black pots are bottomless pots on a fat grow bag. A couple of the bags have grow pots which hold a lot less compost than the black ones. I used Vitax balanced feed at the recommended dilution for feeding at every watering - which I did. Apart from the initial soaking of the grow bag each bag was watered only once a day, 2 litres per bag. We have had minimal sun this year though, I would probably have used a bit more water if it had been hot.
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Post by Chilli-head on 7th September 2015, 11:46 am

Ploshkin wrote:
and these are Black Cherry

My Black Cherries, which I grew outdoors, are only just starting to ripen. As part of the clear up at the weekend I found space to move one into the greenhouse, and one into a sunnier spot outdoors. I'm hoping there's still chance for them to ripen. In previous years I've had tomatoes ripening on the vine in the greeenhouse as late as November, so there is hope yet.
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Post by Ploshkin on 11th September 2015, 12:24 pm

There was something interesting on the TV the other day though I only caught a bit of it. A grower is experimenting with using just blue & red light for growing tomatoes, cucumbers and the like under cover. He said that the plants only use light at the ends of the spectrum & are not bothered with the bits in the middle. I would assume that it starts with predominately blue for vegetative growth & moves to predominantly red for fruit (when I caught up with it most of the lights were red with just a few blue ones. The thinking behind this is that it would enable crops to be grown in disused industrial buildings, tunnels or even underground.
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Post by Chilli-head on 11th September 2015, 7:55 pm

Interesting. Similar things have been done in raising ornamental plants for some time.

It is visually apparent that plants mostly use the red and blue parts of the spectrum - the bit they don't absorb or use is reflected off, which is why they are usually green ! Now, there is more to it than saving energy by not giving them green light. Many plants are sensitive to green light, and respond to it by growing upwards more rapidly. It is the mechanism for competing for light; a plant having lots of near neighbours will receive more green light reflected from its neighbours, and will respond to it by rocketing upwards. In a packed glasshouse, this will lead to leggy plants. But - you can trick them by using magenta (red + blue) lights or filters; the plants then recieve a lower proportion of green light so are fooled into not noticing their competitiors, and remain bushy. I suppose the same mechanism might produce more trusses of tomatoes in the same vertical space. I have not heard of it being used on vegetables before though.
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