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Old 06-22-2005, 04:11 PM   #31
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i like to put balogna in my shoes.
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Old 06-22-2005, 04:13 PM   #32
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I'm leaving that one alone.
Oh, I can't:
"Oh my flip flops have a first name....
it's O-S-C-A-R......"


I think I remember grey-hair man as "the gardening guy", but I may be wrong....
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Old 06-23-2005, 02:16 PM   #33
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While we're on the topic of tomatoes, one year I didnt stake my tomatoes and they put out lots of tomatoes even though the plant was laying on the ground. This year I've put the baskets around the tomatoes. Do you think I'll get as many or should I just let them lay on the ground? The plants put out alot of sucker growth which I pinched off and only left shoots with flowers on them. Hmmm, may I should just let them lay on the ground.
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Old 06-23-2005, 02:26 PM   #34
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i thought we were talking about balogna? or was it shoes? only kidding...

the only reason to stake tomatoes is to make them easier to prune, and to harvest. it also keeps them away from some pests. in other words, it's just to keep things neater.
tomatoes come in both kinds (like music ), determinate and indeterminate.
indeterminate tomatoes continue to grow all season, like on a vine. in the wild, they would grow along the ground, so i don't see a problem with your growing that way amber. it may not look neat, but so long as they produce, and you can harvest them, it would be ok. the same goes for other vining plants like cucumbers.
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Old 06-23-2005, 02:37 PM   #35
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Thanks buckytom, guess I'll take the cages off. I had a really great crop of tomatoes when I let them lay on the ground.
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Old 06-23-2005, 07:24 PM   #36
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I like to cage my tomatoes...keeping them off the ground helps them ripen better with less rot, and they are easier to pick. But I used to let them sprawl, back when I put out 100 every year. It's sure a lot less trouble, and if you straw them well, you won't have any problems (except your back, from picking them).
I straw mine anyway...in fact, I use 4-6" straw on my whole garden, once it gets going good. It keeps the moisture in and the weeds out, then rots over the winter, gets tilled in, and improves the soil every year.
Another hint on growing tomatoes...don't overfeed them, or you will get all vine and few tomatoes. They do make special tomato food, but I just give them one or two shots of Miracle Grow when they are getting started, then leave them alone except for watering. A tomato is 90% water, so it's essential that they get plenty of H2O.
One shot of feed is enough for peppers, just to get them out of the shock from being in those little containters. They thrive on heat and poor soil, and the hot and banana peppers will withstand a lot of drought. But the big sweet red, golden and yellow ones that I love need a fair amount of water.
I hope this helps you all with your gardens!

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Old 06-23-2005, 07:44 PM   #37
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Tomato Cages

By the way...the little tomato cages you buy at your local discount store are only good for peppers.
We make our cages out of concrete re-inforcement wire, available at your local lumber yard. They will even cut it for you in the lengths you want. I'll have to measure, but I think mine are in about 4-5' lengths.
You'll need a good pair of wire cutters and pliars. Just bend it into a circle, cut loose the vertical wire on one end, and wrap the horizontal wires to the other end to join. Cut the horizontal wires off of the bottom, and push the free vertical wires into the ground to stablize the cage.
The wire I get is about 6' wide, and I leave it the full width (which I use as height) for indeterminate tomatoes, cucumbers or pole beans. (It's lots easier to pick beans standing or sitting on a stool.)
These are inexpensive to make and will last forever.
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Old 06-26-2005, 01:27 AM   #38
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Thanks Crewsk! I had forgotten about this technique. I've seen it done before but couldn't remember when or where until tonight when I was talking to my "baby boy", who is the "farmer" in the family ... and as we talked we remembered it was something we saw on a PBS program several years ago, "The Victory Garden".
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Old 06-26-2005, 05:06 AM   #39
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I saw Paula Deen talk about planting tomato plants in hay bales and planned to use it only to let time get away from me. We had several tomato plants come up around the compost pile so I just left them there. The tomatoes have been wonderful. One year we harvested over 40 lbs of very good sweet potatoes from our compost pile. We also have cucumbers and canteloupes this year and a plant that looks like a zuchinni plant that covers most of the pile. I have a pecan tree from my first compost pile from years ago. I don't have any pecans from it yet, so don't know if it will bear or not, but is a beautiful tree anyway. I've been working on my family reunion that takes place in 4 weeks and haven't been able to do much outside this spring. We have a total of 97 people coming for the weekend and this has taken lots of planning (especialy for one person). I probably won't do it again. I certainly enjoy the posts here although I've not been able to contribute much and have gathered some good recipes to try when I have time. Thanks to you all!!
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