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Re: tomato woes/experiment

This is probably more than anyone wants to know about my great experiment in growing the noble tomato, but I've got the urge to get it down.

At the sheep farm, which was about 10 miles south of where Theresa lives, I constructed four plywood boxes, 4 feet wide by 8 feet long by 2 feet deep--1-1/2 sheets per box. Each box held 8 three-wire bales of bright straw. I installed two sprinklers over each box. I covered the bales of straw with litter from the henhouse whenever I cleaned out the henhouse. I planted tomato sets directly into the litter. I had four boxes--I planted determinate tomatoes in three for canning and indeterminate in the fourth for eating.

I also planted lots of leafy plants [lettuce, basil, cilantro, and such] around the tomatoes--postage-stamp gardening, I guess.

Once the tomatoes were up and producing [and the straw had begun to rot], I planted potato eyes in the straw. And when it came time to harvest the potatoes, I knocked the boxes apart, picked the spuds out of the compost, and moved the compost to another garden. In spring, I reassembled the boxes and did it all over again.

I learned a couple of things from this experiment. First, the notion that chicken manure is "too hot" to use in the garden before it's composted in not necessarily true. Second, that crowding a lot of plants into a small area will cut productivity is not necessarily true either.

On Tuesday, June 29, 2004, at 05:40 PM, Andrea H wrote:

Teresa-I had that problem every year. THIS year I planted mine in a 30
gallon trashcan and so far they've done beautifully. I do have to water them
religiously and add cow manure and fertilizer. had a few whiteflies, but so
far, no wilt.

Andrea H Beaufort, SC

----- Original Message ----- From: "Tchessie" <tchessie@comcast.net> To: "GardenChat" <gardenchat@hort.net> Sent: Monday, June 28, 2004 8:39 PM Subject: [CHAT] tomato woes

I've tried antifungals, crop rotatation, resistant varieties, wishing and
praying, but once again I have wilt on 2 of my tomato plants (I always
forget if it is fusarium or verticilium). Either way, I ripped out one
plant 2 weeks ago, today I ripped out my Sweet 100. It, of course is
with green tomatos (I picked all of the ripe and almost ripe ones and
brought inside).  Bought killed me to yank it.  Is there anything that
rid of this problem??? I'm seriously considering removing the soil and
replacing it- except I wouldn't have a clue how much to remove or if this
would be a backache in vain! Of course, this is the BEST spot in the
to grow tomatos (south wall, raised bed). Rats!!

Sac, CA

P.S. Thanks to David, Jesse, Kitty and Jim for chiming in on the
snit. Was too tired to bother, but happy someone did.

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Island Jim
Southwest Florida
Zone 10
27.0 N, 82.4 W

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