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As an outsider looking in, I want to say thanks for this awesome thread! I grew up in the TN valley, but now I live at 8,500' in Colorado. The season is super short here (late June through early September last year), so I live vicariously through you guys until Independence Day when my garden begins to sprout. Keep it up!

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With 75 tomato plants, everyone you know should be in tomatoes all summer long.

 

Me and my brother set out 180 plant's 2 yrs ago..Last year 120..This year only 75..Have had a some bad blight and stem rot the last few yrs in my area..Seems like it's getting harder and harder to raise a garden each year..No rain,too much rain,pop up shower with hot humid weather..Still managed to can over 300 jars of juice with the disease problem in the last couple yrs..I do love my tomato juice..Starting out to be a headache already with lack of rain.. 

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My garden is blowing up, even with us being unlucky on storm tracks lately.  We've got several big fatty tomatoes, I'm hoping a few are ready to eat within the next couple of weeks.  The garlic has started to lay down so it'll be ready to harvest within a week.  Basil is bushy and smells amazing.  Cauliflower heads are getting noticeably bigger each day, I think it's about time to tie them up.  The real fun will begin in mid to late June when we can start slicing up big Cherokee Purples and Pink Brandywines to eat with mozzarella cheese and basil.  And the fresh salsa, pasta sauce, and the canning... can't wait!

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Mine is running behind a bit. The ground was really really cold this year after the -10s in late February and ice covered ground well into March. It threw everything a week or two behind. It took almost 14 days for corn to come up and it took 17 days for watermelons to sprout. 

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Here is my update guys :

 

The weather has gotten wet over the last few days and my plants are loving the natural rain!

 

I now have 2 tomato plants (big boy), 1 cowhorn hot pepper, 1 green bell, 1 mexibell, 1 big bertha bell, 1 Zucchini, Lavender & chocolate mint.

 

If anyone has some suggestions for my setup please let me know!  All tips would be appreciated.  I have since changed my method and am only growing one plant per pot.  When I began I paired a few of them and it became apparent I needed to pick a winner and cut the weakest plants at the base.  The other plants responded nicely to this change and began producing much more fruit buds.

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Looks good Marietta!  My only concern would be the tomato plants getting root bound in those pots.  Even if they do you should still have yield, but the plants might be constrained.  The peppers and other things should do awesome.  Put a little fertilizer on them from time to time and keep them mulched with wheat straw or wood chips if you can.

 

I came across some large plastic containers that previously had tree saplings in them, a friend was going to throw them away.  I snatched them up and planted sun sugar cherry tomatoes and basil in them.  The buckets are about 2 feet wide and 2.5 feet deep I'm guessing.  These plants are growing like crazy and are as big as ones planted in the ground at the same time, at least so far.  I'd suggest being on the look out for these as you might even be able to find them for free at somewhere like Lowes.  Large pots are expensive so tree buckets are a nice free alternative if you are doing a container garden.

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Looks good Marietta!  My only concern would be the tomato plants getting root bound in those pots.  Even if they do you should still have yield, but the plants might be constrained.  The peppers and other things should do awesome.  Put a little fertilizer on them from time to time and keep them mulched with wheat straw or wood chips if you can.

 

I came across some large plastic containers that previously had tree saplings in them, a friend was going to throw them away.  I snatched them up and planted sun sugar cherry tomatoes and basil in them.  The buckets are about 2 feet wide and 2.5 feet deep I'm guessing.  These plants are growing like crazy and are as big as ones planted in the ground at the same time, at least so far.  I'd suggest being on the look out for these as you might even be able to find them for free at somewhere like Lowes.  Large pots are expensive so tree buckets are a nice free alternative if you are doing a container garden.

 

Thanks man, I appreciate the tips.  Luckily I had read about the extensive root structures of tomato plants and placed them in the largest containers.  I did plant the two tomato plants in different sized containers and am finding that the one in the bigger pot is becoming a larger plant.  You are correct as well the large containers are expensive, I'm going to try and look out for what you mentioned so next season I can give my plants even more room to grow as I do think I will run into an issue with constraint in at least one of the pots.

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And caging ~ can anyone give me tips on when or when not to use them?  Currently I have them on my two tomato plants and my two oldest & largest pepper plants.

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And caging ~ can anyone give me tips on when or when not to use them?  Currently I have them on my two tomato plants and my two oldest & largest pepper plants.

 

I say use em if you got em.  Just be mindful of the tomato plants getting top heavy, you'd hate for the containers to fall over and break the plants.  You may have to stabilize the pots with something if they end up super tall.  If you need to tie the plants to the cages do it gently.  I cut up old tee shirts into thin strips and tie with them.  A very thin string that is tied too tight can cut into the plants.

 

Of course you could also let the tomatoes just sprawl out on the ground but you'd want to keep straw down for them to lay on and that might not be ideal.  Also you have to be careful to not let them get ground rot in that scenario.

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I broke down and bought a soaker hose system. I should have it up and running by Sunday, just in time for the rain to actually start lol.

Stove, you sound like me. What are u putting in?

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Anyone here grow pumpkins? 

 

I generally try every year but rarely get above 25 pounders. I'm trying for some 50+ pounders this year with the Big Max seeds. I've got one good plant per hill right now and the hills are about 4-5 feet away from each other. Right now I'm going with 13-4-5 because I read that during the vine growing phase you want to have 10+ on your nitrogen. For flowers you need a high middle number, so I'm going to go to 15-30-15 briefly during the flowering phase, then once fruit sets, you need more potash so I'm going with some 12-12-20 and also adding old banana peels to the hills as summer wears on so they'll be feeding potassium into the pumpkins by summers end.

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I see you all are having problems with it being too dry. I've been having the opposite problem here, too wet. My tomatoes have been too wet and are starting to try to sprout roots along the stem outside of the soil due to water stress. Guess I'll pile dirt on them up to where it's trying to sprout new roots and hope for some dry weather.

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Stove, you sound like me. What are u putting in?

 

All the talk about blight and rot got me paranoid about running the sprinkler so I figured I'd go for the soaker hose.  Got something that looks like this from Lowes for about $24, it's 100 feet long and I plan to run four 25 foot sections:

 

4C5VlQE.jpg

 

I may add an additional 50-100 feet to cover another set of raised rows depending on how dry we get.

 

All I do anymore is hoe, and hoe and hoe some more. If vegetables and fruits grew half as well as weeds the world would never have a hungry person.

 

I have no love for hoes!  I covered my garlic in wheat straw last fall and the wheat seeds germinated.  It's been a pain pulling all of that out of the beds.  That and all of the little tomato seedlings that come up from the home made compost.  I need to go back to burying my plants in woodchips.

 

Anyone here grow pumpkins? 

 

I generally try every year but rarely get above 25 pounders. I'm trying for some 50+ pounders this year with the Big Max seeds. I've got one good plant per hill right now and the hills are about 4-5 feet away from each other. Right now I'm going with 13-4-5 because I read that during the vine growing phase you want to have 10+ on your nitrogen. For flowers you need a high middle number, so I'm going to go to 15-30-15 briefly during the flowering phase, then once fruit sets, you need more potash so I'm going with some 12-12-20 and also adding old banana peels to the hills as summer wears on so they'll be feeding potassium into the pumpkins by summers end.

 

I've never tried pumpkins, keep us updated on how these turn out for you this year. 

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All the talk about blight and rot got me paranoid about running the sprinkler so I figured I'd go for the soaker hose. Got something that looks like this from Lowes for about $24, it's 100 feet long and I plan to run four 25 foot sections:

I may add an additional 50-100 feet to cover another set of raised rows depending on how dry we get.

I have no love for hoes! I covered my garlic in wheat straw last fall and the wheat seeds germinated. It's been a pain pulling all of that out of the beds. That and all of the little tomato seedlings that come up from the home made compost. I need to go back to burying my plants in woodchips.

I've never tried pumpkins, keep us updated on how these turn out for you this year.

Nice! Are you burrying that or putting it above ground?

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Nice! Are you burrying that or putting it above ground?

 

I still haven't had time to fool with it yet but I'm thinking I'll cover it loosely with soil.  The main thing is to ensure the kids won't trip over it.  It won't be a permanent installation though.  This fall I'd like to run it down to the plot where I plan to build a hoop house.

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Kettle River Giant garlic is in. Not as big as I'd hoped for but bigger than last year's grocery store variety. Still waiting on the German Red to fall over.c559b3881b14ffc2e41a9f0c6af4ad41.jpg87665c18d47cd6473e8d85a335367392.jpg

Green bell peppers rolling in.

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Cajun Bells coming in early, time for a summer chili!

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Been digging weeds all afternoon long. 

 

My first set of corn is about knee high. Second set is about 2 inches high. Beans are starting to bloom. All my melons and cucumbers are about ready to start making a vine. Pumpkins and zuccini are too. Peas are about ready to harvest, with another run of heat resistant snap peas planted among the corn. Cabbages are heading, potato hills are 16 inches high and I have to make them bigger daily. Tomatoes are just starting to bloom. Peppers too.Strawberries are about done.

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Been digging weeds all afternoon long. 

 

My first set of corn is about knee high. Second set is about 2 inches high. Beans are starting to bloom. All my melons and cucumbers are about ready to start making a vine. Pumpkins and zuccini are too. Peas are about ready to harvest, with another run of heat resistant snap peas planted among the corn. Cabbages are heading, potato hills are 16 inches high and I have to make them bigger daily. Tomatoes are just starting to bloom. Peppers too.Strawberries are about done.

 

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Damn...guess it is time to pull the garlic...We are selling our house to downsize so the good garden stuff has to wait until next year...

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Had a brief shower here but they rolled off into the Valley and got going pretty well in a few spots. I just planted another 4 rows of beans. Staggering them every 2-3 weeks right now. Planted these among corn thats about 5-6 inches tall. Hopefully we can maintain semi regular rain at least throughout summer. I will no doubt have to carry water at some points though. 

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Stove, I had issues with my soaker hose spraying and not soaking. Let me know how that does. I could easily be sold on that method.

 

I got my soaker hose system setup this weekend and it seems to work perfectly.  I was so impressed with it that I went and bought another 100 foot kit to expand it further.  This is the product I got at Lowes for $25:  http://www.swanhose.com/product-p/celslk38100cc.htm

 

What I like about this kit is you can customize it to your needs and it is super easy to work with.  You just measure and cut the lengths of hose you need and hook it up with the various fittings.  So far I've not covered the hose with soil and I'm not seeing much reason to do so.  I've just got it anchored in spots with landscaping pins.  There has been zero spraying, just a constant dribble which is perfect.  After an afternoon, the soil was visibly wet at least a foot on both sides of the hose.  I've got a few more expansions I want to do to get it up into a couple raised boxes but at this point 80% of my garden is covered.  I highly recommend it.

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I got my soaker hose system setup this weekend and it seems to work perfectly.  I was so impressed with it that I went and bought another 100 foot kit to expand it further.  This is the product I got at Lowes for $25:  http://www.swanhose.com/product-p/celslk38100cc.htm

 

What I like about this kit is you can customize it to your needs and it is super easy to work with.  You just measure and cut the lengths of hose you need and hook it up with the various fittings.  So far I've not covered the hose with soil and I'm not seeing much reason to do so.  I've just got it anchored in spots with landscaping pins.  There has been zero spraying, just a constant dribble which is perfect.  After an afternoon, the soil was visibly wet at least a foot on both sides of the hose.  I've got a few more expansions I want to do to get it up into a couple raised boxes but at this point 80% of my garden is covered.  I highly recommend it.

May go by Lowe's today. Thanks for the great info. Will keep you updated. Sounds awesome.

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Picked my first two tomatoes of the season today, big ol' Pink Brandywines.  Two or three days in the windowsill and they'll be perfect.  The surge is coming.  I expect to be canning by early July.

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