newgardener2016
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:08 pm
Location: Modesto, CA.

First garden

Hi everyone, so I'm new here and new to gardening, never done it before. So I planted tomato, jalapeño, strawberry and cucumber. The tomato, jalapeño and red strawberry (in garden bed) were planted around the 28th, 29th of last month.
Cucumber I just did 3 days ago I believe.
The strawberry plants in the 2 green planters are actually supposed to be the white strawberry and taste like pineapple.
Any overall suggestions and tips based on information I gave and my location (Modesto, CA)
The tomato leaves, just a few look so, so, not to good, uploaded a close up shot of one
Didn't use any old dirt or soil, everything was fresh n new from home depot.
Thanks
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AnnaIkona
Greener Thumb
Posts: 803
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:20 am
Location: Canada zone 8b

Re: First garden

Looks like you're doing everything well :) tomatoes like soil rich in organic matter, so maybe sprinkle some composted manure from the store on top of the soil?
Zone 8b, Canada

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11269
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: First garden

It looks good and the spacing looks good.

If you are doing organic you will need to feed the plants since you won't have built up the soil web enough yet and the tomato is a heavy feeder. Weekly fish emulsion will help.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

newgardener2016
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:08 pm
Location: Modesto, CA.

Re: First garden

Not sure if I can get composted manure, fish emulsion I can get probably, what's the ratio I'm looking for?
I don't want to overdue it with nitrogen or any other element. Just want to be sure I do it right and every plant is getting the feeding it needs.
Thanks

DR1VEN
Full Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:25 pm
Location: Southen California, Zone 9a

Re: First garden

Yep...Like the others said, things look good.

Before amending the soil, do a soil test to see where you're at. I cant stress this enough. Could you just get by without it? Sure. But that can cause a lot of issues if you don't instead of a tiny tweak. You want the right balance for the right plants.. For that you need to know where to start...Beans for example will actually do better without fertilizers and a nice balanced soil.(IMHO)....Without the test it's like going to a gourmet restaurant and immediately salting the hell out of your eggs without tasting how the chef cooked the dish. :wink:

On your tomato's in initial grow a nitrogen gets it going but then you want to back it off from there and encourage flowering(PO) otherwise you end up with 2" thick stems and lots of HUGE GREEN growth. Remember to add calcium as they are heavy feeders and you can get "Blossom End Rot" with low calcium or sporadic watering. (The tomato rots brown from the bottom up.. It starts where the blossom was hence the name "Blossom End Rot". If you get the rot, it's hard to recover. Nothing sucks more than getting 7-8 beautiful fruits with as many more blooming and as they grow watch them turn brown before they're ripe. I learned the hard way.(My first heirloom Beefsteak) Keep the watering steady and not too much.

The blossoms are asexual(both male and female)..If you don't have a lot of bees you may want to "Shake the plant" to encourage fertilization. Bumble Bees are the tomato's best friend for pollination...A great hand pollinating method is to lightly touch the stem of the blossoms where it leaves the main vine with an electric toothbrush to stimulate both in the blossom. Perfectly duplicates the effects of the Bumble Bee.

Watch your leaves and stems...If you start to see chewing on either you have Tomato worms. I get them very heavy here in Southern CA..... the spray "BT" (on amazon) will be your best friend.(again IMHO)...Watch the leaves, spray once a week if necessary. BT is fine to spray up to day of harvest and makes the leaves and stems un palatable to the worms..

I'm assuming you may already know all this stuff but am typing it anyways wasting my time trying to be helpful just before midnight on a Sunday...lol......If you are brand, brand new also look into/ask about Determinate and indeterminate. Once you know the type, decide what to do about suckers....Ah, the everlasting question, Sheer that sucker off or no? :roll:

Anyways, Great first garden....Keep it up! :D

~~~DR1VEN~~~

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11269
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: First garden

It is hard to overdue organic fertilizers they are weak fish emulsion is 5-1-1. Tomatoes and young plants do need nitrogen to sustain their growth. If you added compost, manure, bone meal or blood meal before you planted you will have slow release nutrients in the soil. Compost for me is on the alkaline side. Tomatoes like slightly acidic but as long as you don't add any chicken manure it should be o.k. Fish emulsion is diluted according to the label instructions usually a tablespoon per gallon applied weekly. Once the plants are about 6 weeks old you can back off to every other week if you want. It is hard to over do organic nitrogen since it is low numbers and not all of it is readily available to the plants so it releases slowly.

As an alternative people like to use Epsoma tomato or garden tone. The NPK is lower than the old formulation and you would apply a couple of tablespoons every two weeks after the seedlings are two weeks old. Actually, if I am using a granular fertilizer, I think old school works best. Band the fertilizer about 2 inches away from the plant and about 2 inches below where the seeds are planted. Burying the fertilizer instead of putting it on top means less nitrogen will be lost to volatization and phosphorus is not very mobile so it is best delivered at root level. Banding the fertilizer concentrates the nutrients in the surrounding the fertilizer bandd and the plant decide when to take them by extending out with its roots to reach for the fertilizer. You only have to apply the fertilizer once, so timing is not an issue. It works better with fast nitrogen. Organic fertilizers work best mixed in with the top 3 inches of soil before planting. But since organic nutrients need to be mineralized first, it needs to be supplemented in the growth phase of the plants.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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