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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:28 am 
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I know it's earlier than normal for North Texas, but weather patterns are dictating that we go ahead and get those tomatoes in the ground. Give them an early start so you can get a good production before they go 'dormant' for the summer. You still need to watch night time temps, and protect the plants if we fall below 40 degrees.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:49 pm 
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I'm not starting them yet. I've had to replace them too many times when I started them early. It's still a judgement call!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:21 am 
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Just cover them if it gets below 40. The sooner the better. I bet we warm very quickly again this year.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:20 pm 
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I planted several, and found about half of them bitten off today - there is a gray to black worm/caterpillar of some sort in the soil that I think is doing the damage. I'm going to be working on getting rid of that pest before I put any more out. I sprayed some BT on the remaining plants, but a couple of bites to kill them and the BT won't have time to take effect before my tomatoes are history.

I may have to grow some in intermediate pots and put them out when they're larger.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:18 am 
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sounds like a cut worm. You can cut the top and bottom of a half gallon plastic bottle and put over the plant for awhile to protect it. Sorry about that!!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:43 pm 
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I got some planted this week.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:05 pm 
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Last year I took the advice and put plastic containers around my tender tomatoes. I am late with the garden this year, I'll do beneficial nematodes before I plant, but I'll also do the plastic if I find any cutworms in the soil.

My across-the-street neighbor swears by not planting tomatoes before easter, but it does seem the climate is shifting and earlier works.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:00 am 
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I always plant before April 1st. You will get a better harvest before they shut down for the summer. I've seen it for almost 30 years.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:32 am 
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A quick testimonial - I started my corn, tomatoes, potatoes, Black Seeded Thompson lettuce, Russian Mammoth sunflowers, garlic, peppers, red onions, turtle beans - all using the organic mixture of rock powders, meals, manures etc. and fertilizing with Garrett juice, sea weed, liquid molasses and insect control with tomato (crushed and steeped) leaf spray - and spraying peppers and tomatoes with Epsom salts spray ... all of this in a 4' x 4' x 6 plastic tent, then to a 8' x 8' x 8' pvc dome and uncovered since 3/27 this spring and I am convinced that what Howard says about the soil temp gaining +5 or +6 degrees to stave off frost burn and death is truth! These pictures were taken this cool, overcast morning.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:50 am 
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Looks good! My garden went in late so I'm way behind your production, but I also have been leaning on the Garrett Juice to get my beds up to speed. I reworked the orientation of my raised beds so I need to pamper the soil a bit. Compost and Garrett Juice are my tools of choice.

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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 2:17 pm 
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Some of my Early Girls and a couple of Indeterminate species of 'Maters developed yellowing on one side of each plant in different beds scattered in two towns. A Green Leaf Lettuce in a small raised bed at home also developed this yellowing; which I've settled as being caused by the last cold snap in which the temperature dropped to 38 degrees a couple weeks ago... which caused this malady.
Never again will I set up the heavy duty tomato cages which kept us from putting low tunnels over these plants like last year in which our community garden lost zero greenery or production because the low tunnels kept the soil temperature higher than normal early spring would normally be and the chilling affect of the wind off of my young tomato plants. Lesson "re-learned."
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While it may be a pain to set our heavy duty tomato cages over our 'Maters in May, it's just a bit of extra time and care to weave vining tomato branches carefully into the support cages give; but not worth the risk of setting the cages too early in the spring. When I reviewed the Pictorial Journal source for the above photo I was reminded of
WHY we plant tomatoes LATE in their season:
We encourage the growth of radishes and green onions in the beds we plan to plant tomatoes (always from potted sets) in order to reduce the nitrogen to phosphorous & potassium ratio that tomatoes prefer. Besides we have a hard time giving up our organic lettuce, onions, and radishes till the last possible week, you know? :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:46 am 
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Take your soil temperature and make sure it is above 60 degrees before putting the tomatoes in. They hate cold feet.


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