Speaking of tomatoes,

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turd

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
1,015
Location
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
While no kind of expert, I've been quite successful at growing tomatoes for about 20 years. Usually just one or two plants for my own use. I like the Better Boy variety, and usually get plants 4+' tall and bushy, with usually30 or so good sized fruit.

So, of course, this year I tried something new for me. I keep hearing that you need to plant them deep so they grow extra root systems for healthier plants and more fruit. So, I did that. I bought two plants, well started in 4" pots, trimmed off the bottom two rows of leaves and planted the original root ball about 8" deep.

Nothing, nada. They are still alive, but have not grown at all, no blooming, no nothing. I tried fertilizer, more water than I normally do, nothing seems to work. What did I do wrong? Planted too deep?

I'm so discouraged that I might start growing them in pots next year. I have never had a bad tomato year and I'm bummed. Any ideas, thoughts?
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
8,088
Location
Dallas, TX
We’ve never had good luck growing tomatoes either. Although this year was ok.

I’ve read you can grow a tomato plant and if you keep it alive, the plant will turn woody and “tree-like.”
 

nekvermont

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
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vermont
They're probably putting all their energy into trying to establish a root system from being planted deeper and I bet they were root bound in those 4" pots. Deeper roots mean cooler roots, tomatoes like warm roots. Some people take off the lower leaves on the plants and plant them horizontally with the top sticking out of the ground a little, I don't.
I buy my sixpacks of tomatoes "Early Girl" around mother's day, remove the bottom set of leaves and replant them in 6" pots in some good potting soil so they don't get rootbound yet establish a bigger root system. I then plant them in June, even with the ground surface. We have a short growing season, so I always prune out the suckers, establish 5 sets of blossoms on each plant and then pinch out the top of the plant so it doesn't grow any more. I get plenty of tomatoes and they all end up ripening.

Give your plants some Epson salts, (Magnesium sulfate) and don't give up on them yet. Good Luck.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
8,088
Location
Dallas, TX
Nekvermont: I’m guessing you are up north.

Here in Texas, by Mother’s Day, out tomato plants will already have been planted with tomatoes growing on them.

By the middle of June it’s all over. For us and our potted tomato plants at least. :(
 

eveled

Hunter
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
4,249
I made container’s to plant tomatoes in. 2 buckets stacked. Inside bucket has holes. The big hole is for a pipe so I can add water to the bottom bucket without pouring through the soil. Middle of the bucket has a slotted cup full of soil to let the water leach up to the soil in the bucket.

The system worked well, the reason I am posting is to show how deep the roots went. Down through about a foot of dirt, through the holes through 5 inches of water and made a matt in the bottom bucket!
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eveled

Hunter
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
4,249
Yes in the sun. Did not check temperatures. My reasoning was to better control soil quality and to use less water.

Bonus was to be able to change locations if needed. Also easier to weed. And control pests.
 

turd

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
1,015
Location
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Well. one of my tomatoes finally came alive late last week. Has since been growing like a weed and blooming like crazy. Guess I'll have some in late August 'till probably frost.

The other one did not like being planted deep and bit the dust. I likely planted them too deep as has been suggested. Not sure I will try this method again, depending on what happens with my LATE tomatoes.......
 

powder smoke

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
7,080
Location
Milo Maine
Tomatoes are heavy feeders put the nutrients right to them!
Lots of good products I like Fox Farm Gro Big My tomatoes
are near 6 ft. tall. Loaded with fruit YMMV. I use container
large ones. The soil hear in Maine takes too long to warm
for tomatoes. I use wooden pots I have made with wooden
cages to support them. Good Luck. ps
 

nekvermont

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
865
Location
vermont
Anyone else get Horn Worms on their tomatoes? Horn worms can eat a lot of tomato leaves and ruin a lot of tomatoes in a short time. Started to find some small ones (3/8") a couple of weeks ago and yesterday I found 2 big ones, the size of my index finger. Tobacco Horn Worms have a red horn and Tomato Horn Worms have a black horn. They will also attack Pepper plants.
 

Old and grumpy

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 7, 2022
Messages
57
Location
NV
Ever watch a Praying mantis eat a 5" horn worm? They start at one end and suck everything out. All that is left is a deflated green balloon and a FAT mantis. If you can keep them alive in your climate they do a good job on all bugs. This will limit the spraying can you do but they are good killers. They will stay on your plants as long as there is food and not fly away. Even if you just turn them loose in the parts of the yard you don't spray it will help make less bugs on the stuff you do spray. Order eggs end of winter. Hatch them in a butterfly cage in side. Then seed them around the yard. Spread them out. They will eat each other. They make good pets.
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nekvermont

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
865
Location
vermont
Ever watch a Praying mantis eat a 5" horn worm? They start at one end and suck everything out. All that is left is a deflated green balloon and a FAT mantis. If you can keep them alive in your climate they do a good job on all bugs. This will limit the spraying can you do but they are good killers. They will stay on your plants as long as there is food and not fly away. Even if you just turn them loose in the parts of the yard you don't spray it will help make less bugs on the stuff you do spray. Order eggs end of winter. Hatch them in a butterfly cage in side. Then seed them around the yard. Spread them out. They will eat each other. They make good pets. View attachment 5275 View attachment 5275
That's very interesting. I haven't seen a Praying Mantis in a long time, many years.
 

Old and grumpy

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 7, 2022
Messages
57
Location
NV
Order egg cases on line in January? They may not winter over but there are about 100 in each case. When they get to know you they will walk on your hand. Good fun for grand kids. Good pets. If you have bug problems put them in the woods around your yard. If they can catch it they will eat it. Big ones in South America catch small birds. The ones we have can't do that. Lady Bugs will blow away in the wind. Mantis stay where the food is. https://www.ebay.com/itm/164025132396?chn=ps&mkevt=1&mkcid=28
 

Old and grumpy

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 7, 2022
Messages
57
Location
NV
Another bug control trick. I had a garage with lots of spiders. I would spray and bomb but no good. One winter I was moving a wood pile. Found 10+ lizards "sleeping" in the stack. I took them home and put them behind the bench and boxes. In the spring they woke up hungry. They live in the garage now. NO SPIDERS!
 

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