tedln
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Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

Another tomato experiment!

This year, I have been very impressed with a hybrid tomato variety named Fourth Of July. I planted four of them in early March and had ripe tomatoes in less than 60 days. They produced abundantly until septoria took most of the leaves off and then the heat killed most of the branches back. After about two weeks, the plants started producing new growth from low on the dead stems and branches. i cut them back until none of the plants were more than ten inches tall.

All four plants are in identical beds with the same amount of moisture, nutrients, and sunlight. Two of the plants have already grown above the tops of their cages again and are loaded with new fruit in 106 degree weather. Two of the plants are only 1/2 way to the top of their cages with only a few fruit and a few new blooms.

This evening, when it cools a little; I will dig the under performing plants up, prepare the holes with organics, minerals, and other nutrients and replant them. I'm curious if it is possible to "reboot" a tomato plant when it isn't performing well. If it doesn't work, I will replace them with some "grown from cuttings" plants I have under lights.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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gixxerific
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Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Very interesting. I wish you luck Ted.

You may remember last year I cut off a Black cherry stem at the soil level of a pot, I shoved it (without gentleness) into the ground and it came back and did well. This year I had potatoes in pots that were going under I dumped the pot to see what was going on and there was nothing more than marble size spuds. I immediate replanted them but the plant died.

So as if you didn't know it either will or it won't work.

Again good luck I'm interested to see what happens.

Actually I'm surprised your plants came back as they did, this get's me thinking. Uh oh here comes trouble. :o :lol:

tedln
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Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

My property has about a four degree slope from east to west towards a large lake. My garden beds are built on the same slope that exists on the rest of the property. I've always known that while the beds are watered evenly, moisture moves below the soil surface due to gravity to the lower ends. Each bed is about 1/2" lower on the west end than the east end.

When I dug the under performing plants up, I found they were saturated with water below the soil surface while they looked overly dry on the surface. Most of the organics (about forty percent) I added to the soil in the past winter had decomposed leaving a heavy, wet, clay. I think the plants were simply drowning in the saturated clay soil. The plants that are doing very well are both on the high ends of their beds and are not saturated. I reduced the watering intervals on my timer to dry the beds a little. In the high heat we currently have, the top 1/2" of soil drys considerably during the day while the sub surface soil is saturated. My beds always look dry, but they are actually over watered.

I dug the holes much larger and deeper than the root ball of the plants. I refilled the holes with a mixture of about 70% organics and 30% soil with minerals and nutrients added. The organics should keep excess moisture wicked away from the root balls, but allow the root structure to grow and the plants to become healthy again.

Hope it works.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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