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Tomato Arbor

Post in 'The Green Room' started by SolarAndWood, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    When you decide to build some, let me know and I will send you the pattern. That is my primary motivation for getting a mill. Those were almost 2 bills in lumber 12 years ago. They have held up very well especially given that they sit out all the time but it would be nice to make them out of scrounged wood.

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  2. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    That's cool, but if i had chairs in the garden a lot less work would get done!
  3. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Someone has to be out there to flip the valves on the soaker hoses :lol:
  4. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    507
    I think that the tractor would make a huge difference. I currently use a bcs brand walk-behind tractor (tiller on steroids) - it works very well, but is still physically demanding. Plus, my "traditional" garden area is really too small to use the bcs to its potential - I have to turn too frequently. If we stay where we are, I'll eventually install different fencing that I can easily move when I expand the garden area and be in the market for a smallish 4x4 diesel tractor. I'd still use the walk behind, but the real tractor with a tiller, bottom plow, and front loader would make life considerably easier. Plus I could use it to clear the driveway in the winter, move firewood, engage in compost manufacture on a much larger scale, etc.

    What do you mulch with? The last two years I have been using layers of newspaper topped with grass clippings between rows. My soil is terrible - mostly clay, but I'm slowly building it up with composted manure additions -thusfar I have added 25 yards and it has barely made a dent in what I need - huge improvement, but I have a long way to go. I remember talking with you before about how you built up you soil - didn't you have a larger tractor and then trade down once most of the big work was done?
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Tomatoes do respond to good ventilation. Dampness invites molds, fungus and blight. We use drip irrigation for all our beds and don't top water at all. This year I was pretty aggressive trimming the in determinant varieties. I kept the bottoms open and airy and clipped off a lot of sucker shoots.

    I think you will be pleased with tenting. Try it on a row. It gives the plants a nice head start. Just be sure to open up the ends when the sun comes out and the tent gets warm. It's possible to bake the young plants, even when it's only 50 outside.
  6. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I wood mulch the tractor wheel/walkways. About 25 yards a year. Beds get mulched with grass. About 3 acres worth between us and two neighbors. Organic material was originally composted manure from a friend's dairy farm, 28 yards of compost this year from a county program http://www.ocrra.org/yardwaste_food.asp. The impact of the compost this year was amazing. I hope the program doesn't get killed by shortsightedness before I can get the garden nice and rich and deep.

    I've been all over the place with the equipment. The current early 80s 4wd 32 hp Ford works pretty well for everything but mowing. After I really get done with the work at the house, the Ford and the 80s era 5' JD mower will probably retire to the camp and be replaced by a similar or slightly smaller 4wd diesel mower/loader/tiller/blower that hasn't been beat on as badly as what I've got now. I'm currently watching for a clean low hour JD 655/755/855/955.
  7. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    We've been hurt by lack of ventilation the past 3 years. The arbor is a little more work initially, but I think in the long run it won't be too bad and not be as exposed to the horrendous wet periods we have had recently.
  8. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    SE Mass
    I was fighting blight , fungus , mold and splitting green tomatos from too wet a Summer and then Irene just blew it all out of control, just as all the Romas were turning red. Peppers succumbed early.
    I've never had such losses from rain. Ever. Can see why so many farmers are going that route. If any of this was counted on to pay property taxes I'd be hurting.
    I did get my butternut squash in while everyone around me was losing theirs to rotting sitting on the wet ground. Lost some to squirrels and some huge flocks of turkeys, but not too many.
    Squirrels wiped out all my fruit trees, too.
    No acorns this year.
    Deer and squirrels are eating things I've never seen them eat before, even in Jan/Feb when food sources diminish.


    Tomatoes are supposed to like heat and steady water (no extremes) so that set-up with white sheet should be a great set up


    I've had poor performance with soaker hoses on my somewhat low well pressure.
    I'm trying drip next year.

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