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Old 03-15-2016, 11:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Capt Lightning View Post
Today is the best day we've had for ages. Mrs. L has planted tomatos in small pots and they're just about ready to 'pot on'. We've still got a good crop of leeks - planted last year - but we will soon need the space for this year's potatoes. Need lots of leek recipes !
I came across this recipe today: http://blog.ruhlman.com/2016/03/leeks-vinaigrette/
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:16 AM   #12
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I have been using those round "cage like", cone shaped, things for tomato plants, but this year we are trying something new.
Metal fence posts with a galvanized wire stretched down the center of the row to tie our plants to. I have a few turnbuckles left from a project years ago. Very glad i saved them.
We started using fencing for tomatoes years ago. The indeterminate ones get so heavy, those little cages don't work well at all and I don't know who ever suggested using stakes - the tomato vines just slide down. You'll love the fencing
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:24 AM   #13
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One more pic! Here's DH working a beehive with our friend. Paul is going to split his two hives and give us the splits to start our hives.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:05 PM   #14
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Roll bones - I have about 50 tomato plants each year. the best thing I have found is 5' concrete wire. Cut it 48-60 inches long and zip tie it together. Just sit it over the plant and its done. Works great and lasts.
My neighbor makes wire rounds like you do. He said his were six inch squares. He welds his together. He does not use galvanized and IMO that is a mistake.
He cuts the bottom so he has spikes to push into the ground.
This is considered to be the best way to prop up tomato plants. At least it is here.
I know another guy who does nothing to his tomato's and he is just as successful as anyone else. They lay down then aim right back up. I saw his garden last year and not one tomato was touching the ground.
Funny how mother nature seems to know exactly what to do.

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We started using fencing for tomatoes years ago. The indeterminate ones get so heavy, those little cages don't work well at all and I don't know who ever suggested using stakes - the tomato vines just slide down. You'll love the fencing
The cages are not all created equal. I do agree they can and do fall over. But in many instances, its operator error. They come in differing sizes and wire thickness.
My wife thought it was best to try and keep the growth inside the cage and that's exactly what you do not want to do.
The tomato plant needs to grow normally out through the wire cages and should not be trained to stay within the cage. This way the cage does not support to much weight.
Stakes were what was used for ages before these other options were available and no support was used before stakes.
Wooden stakes are what the local commercial farm uses. The wooden stakes do not allow slipping. I have even seen wooden stakes with notches cut into them for this reason.

Does anyone do their own soil testing? If so, what product do you use.
I know my extension office can do this for $6 per sample.
I would like to do this on my own and not have to get a sample and mail it off only to wait for the results.
TIA
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:49 PM   #15
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Speaking of supporting tomatoes, here's a picture of the last harvest a couple of months ago. The fence posts work great for a wire cage. SousChef already has little tomatoes on the new plants he planted last month with the same set up.

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Old 03-15-2016, 02:22 PM   #16
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Got Garlic, we ordered from Renee's Garden a few years ago. I loved how she would have 3 colors for beans, beets, zucchini--those variety packs were done well, each type of seed in a mini container-small envelope inside the seed pouch. The germination rates were great too. I'd recommend them in a minute.
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:37 PM   #17
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blissful, good to know - thanks! I havenít ordered from there before. I went to a talk by a Master Gardener last fall on "The Potager Garden" (French techniques for combining edibles and ornamentals); the speaker talked about these and showed pictures from her garden and I fell in love 😍 lol
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:39 PM   #18
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Kayelle, that's similar to what we do. Our Master Gardeners who take care of the vegetable garden at the extension office have a similar setup, but they use wood.
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:51 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
The cages are not all created equal. I do agree they can and do fall over. But in many instances, its operator error. They come in differing sizes and wire thickness.
My wife thought it was best to try and keep the growth inside the cage and that's exactly what you do not want to do.
The tomato plant needs to grow normally out through the wire cages and should not be trained to stay within the cage. This way the cage does not support to much weight.
I know they do. In our case, it was wind from nor'easters that blew them down. We have some pretty fierce storms here.

You don't want to keep the growth inside the cage because it would get too crowded. Most plants need air moving through them in order to dry out after rain or watering; wet plants encourage fungal growth.

Whether the plants are inside or outside the cage, the weight is the same and the cage is supporting it. Unless you're letting it lie on the ground, which I wouldn't recommend.

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Does anyone do their own soil testing? If so, what product do you use.
I know my extension office can do this for $6 per sample.
I would like to do this on my own and not have to get a sample and mail it off only to wait for the results.
TIA
It shouldn't take more than a week or so to get the results. The extension results will include micronutrients, which many home test kits don't, and they will also give you recommendations for any necessary amendments based on your local conditions. I also read an article that said home test kits aren't necessarily reliable. Extension kits are done at agricultural universities. I think it's worth the six bucks.
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:25 PM   #20
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One more pic! Here's DH working a beehive with our friend. Paul is going to split his two hives and give us the splits to start our hives.
Im Jealous.
Ive been eyeing a local bee keepers class for the last few years to take with my son.

This year was the year we were going to do it, and this year it was cancelled .

I did attend a lecture on bees at the philadelphia flower show a few weeks ago. Great lecture. Definitely made me even more interested. Hopefully they will bring back the class next year. ( Its a year long hands on program).
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