Theycallmewelch
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:14 pm

First timer, need some advice on a few things

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I recently received two plants from a friend, his garden was full and he had two that he had been neglecting. This is also my first attempt at growing pretty much anything let alone tomatoes. The plants (which I believe to be beef steak tomatoes) were in really small containers and should have been transplanted early. I transplanted them into my 5 gallon bucket planters maybe about a week ago now. I read that they should be transplanted about two inches deeper to encourage new roots to grow, which I did. I also read that they should get about 1-2inches of water a week, it's been really hot and sunny here so I have been sticking with about 2 inches. I also have just built my first homemade trestle l but am unsure if it is even remotely proper. So I am wondering if anyone has any advice based on the information I have given, also do the plants look healthy? Is there anything I should do? Is the trestle going to work or should I upgrade or buy one? Anything is helpful, thankyou. Oh and when should I expect to see tomatoes?

AnnaIkona
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Re: First timer, need some advice on a few things

I'd just water them as soon as the soil dries out. The soil must always be a tiny bit moist.

Also, it looks to me like there are two tomato plants in one of the buckets. And also, I believe that the buckets are the perfect size as the plants themselves aren't that big.

What zone are you in? Normally tomato plants start to flower around June or July. It's possible that your plants haven't flowed yet because the seeds were planted late.

Some tomato plants remain short like yours (which is perfectly fine), so you might not need to build a higher support.
Zone 8b, Canada

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: First timer, need some advice on a few things

The plants look healthy. For myself I would rather have 20 inch pots. Tomatoes get big, 5-8 ft tall. You will need a taller trellis over time. You can plant tomatoes deep. You could take off all the bottom leaves and plant most of the stem. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and have a significant root system. They will need regular feeding every week if you are organic and small amounts of fertilizer (a tablespoon) once a month of synthetic. I like 9-12-12 tomato food or 6-4-6 citrus food. Low numbers are better so you don't over do it. You can use a long stake or I prefer a tomato cage made from concrete reinforcement wire. A 24-30 inch circle is good. The tomato will still top it but it makes for a strong support and does not require much pruning.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Theycallmewelch
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Re: First timer, need some advice on a few things

Analkona thankyou for your helpful tips. there are two main stems in each bucket, I assumed they were one plant each. Am I wrong, should there be only one main stem? If so I'd imagine it's not good to grow them like that, how would I go about removing or separating them?

Theycallmewelch
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Re: First timer, need some advice on a few things

Imafan26 thankyou for your advice! I will probably stick to the pots I have now unless they really start to grow, but I believe it to be late in the season so I'm pessimistic about actually getting any fruit out of them unless I grow them inside when it starts to get too cold. I plan on getting a better earlier start on my own next year rather than adopting neglected plants

Theycallmewelch
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Re: First timer, need some advice on a few things

Also I live in Philadelphia pa I'm not sure what zone that is?

imafan26
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Re: First timer, need some advice on a few things

Philadelphia. It is in zone 7a or 7b First frost date around November 1.
http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/#
http://www.almanac.com/gardening/planti ... iladelphia

This is not much time to plant anything except maybe garlic and onions. It is a good time to read up on gardening and plan for next year.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Theycallmewelch
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Re: First timer, need some advice on a few things

That was pretty much what I expected, if I can just keep these guys alive til winter I'll feel accomplished but next year I'm going to start my own from seed earlier in the season

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: First timer, need some advice on a few things

Well, actually, this is the time to plant fall crops since the heat is finally starting to break -- or SUPPOSED TO BE -- not this year it seems. :?

If you can find started plants -- broccoli and cabbage, Chinese cabbage, also sow Asian greens and radish (but you will have to put a secure bonnet over them to protect from pests -- if you are using 5 gallon buckets to plant in, I"m wondering if paint strainer bag might work. I bought some to try.)

Theoretically, you should be able to sow fall spinach and fall lettuce now or very soon (after this heatwave breaks).

There are specific varieties of onions that can be started in fall in this climate -- Candy and Walla Walla are two of them, and they should be sown now (or asap). Wait to plant garlic until mid-October.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: First timer, need some advice on a few things

It is true, short crops like lettuce, radish, arugula, Asian greens average 45-70 days and you would have time for those.

Kale and broccoli, I don't consider really beginner crops. They are cool season crops and they can stand a light frost. I started broccoli seeds last week. In my zone I need to plant at the end of summer in order for the heads to mature in cooler weather. Kale and broccoli are big plants.

For future reference it would be good to update your profile with your zone and location. It is easier than reading through old posts.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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