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Hey there! Glad to see that the brand spankin' new garden forum is getting some attention! :ThumbUp:

I'm no expert, but we grew tomatoes for a while. The key is to wait until it's nice and warm before planting them in some rich soil, and to carefully pick off suckers as they emerge from in between the branches and the main stem. This focuses all of the plant's energy into making nice, juicy tomatoes. Also, make sure to water the plants consistently to prevent blossom rot.
 

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Well, traps work for raccoons anyway! ;) I remember when my mom tried to help the tomatoes grow by placing sardines around their roots. The next day, the raccoons had ripped them all up to get at the fish! :ROFL
 

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I try to bring in a trailer load of compost and till it in before planting. I can't say my tomatoes were anything great but they grew well and tasted good.
 
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Over the last few years we have given up planting our garden in the ground. Where our garden was is in the shade too much now so a few sheets of durarock and a few 18 gal plastic tote bins made into self watering things filled with merical grow potting soil is all we do.

These are some peppers , but they work well with tomatos and other stuff as well .





 

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My Italian friends from New Jersey shared with me their secret about growing lots of flavorful tomatoes. Mix 1/2 cup of Epsom salt with the soil for each plant. I used it and it seemed to improve the yield, not sure if it improved the flavor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am thinking about going the raised bed route. for the tomatos this year. and plant the iris's in a raised bed this fall after they have bloomed this year. well that is MY IDEA ON THAT 1. anyway.:idea::idea::idea::idea::idea::idea::idea::idea::idea::idea:
 

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I am thinking about going the raised bed route. for the tomatos this year. and plant the iris's in a raised bed this fall after they have bloomed this year. well that is MY IDEA ON THAT 1. anyway.:idea::idea::idea::idea::idea::idea::idea::idea::idea::idea:
:needpics:
 

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Over the last few years we have given up planting our garden in the ground. Where our garden was is in the shade too much now so a few sheets of durarock and a few 18 gal plastic tote bins made into self watering things filled with merical grow potting soil is all we do.

These are some peppers , but they work well with tomatos and other stuff as well .





Hey Phil,
Can you give a little detail on how those containers work? All we plant anymore (besides Brenda's flowers of course) is a couple of tomato plants, but if we go camping for a week or 10 days in the summer, it's either pester someone to water them for us, or figure on dead tomatoes by the time we get home.
Your containers look like they might be a solution for my problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey Phil,
Can you give a little detail on how those containers work? All we plant anymore (besides Brenda's flowers of course) is a couple of tomato plants, but if we go camping for a week or 10 days in the summer, it's either pester someone to water them for us, or figure on dead tomatoes by the time we get home.
Your containers look like they might be a solution for my problem.
:ditto:
 

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ANY body have any luck with those BLOODY COMPOST BINS.:banghead:
I use them all the time if you mean the black plastic ones.
First thing to do is the tear up the idiot instruction that come with them and put them in the bin.
Second you need a few to get the system to work.
I have 8 although not all are used all the time.

The way to make them work is to fork from one bin to the next.
So if you have 5 working biks then the 6th will be empty .
You toss the contents of the 5th into the 6th then the 4th into the 5th all the way down the line.
Next day go the other way.

Untll you get the feel for them the only thing to worry about is the wet:dry ratio and keep some dry material ( sawdust / ash / dry grass ) on hand to add to the mix as you are turning it over.
.
As the material starts to break down combine the bins so after 3 days I will go down from 5 bins to 4 bins 2 days more and it will be 3 bins then 2 bins.
By the time it had broken down to one bin it is garden ready,
There will be some bits that will not be fully broken down, ignore them.

Quite by accident I stored the "finished" compost in a larger bin and a few weeks latter when I came to use it worms had turned it into the "Worm Hilton" so now it has become SOP.

The bacteria that are working themself to death for you for free work day & night and require warmth , air & water to gobble up all that food.
The finner you cut the material, the faster it will get eaten.
Chook droppings will really speed things up.
But the trick is the tossing daily for the first 6 or 7 days is essential and twice a day works twice as fast. When I toss I hold the fork above the bin and twist it left/ right so the clumps break up .
Get the cheapest lightest thinnest tank fork you can find as you will not be digging with it .
At first err on the too dry side of things because you can lightly sprnkle water in any time but too wet will exclude the oxygen & the swamp bacteria will become dominant so it will stink & become fly blown in no time flat.
When that happens, dig a hole where your garden is going to be put and bury it. It will rot own there and be just as beneficial except it will smell bad & be very acid.

To stop rodents, don't put cooked food in there and never ever put meat in there, meat needs to go in a worm bin not a compost bin as the compost will be too hot for worms but just right to incubate maggots, so unless you are a keen fisherman, no meat.
 

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Hey Phil,
Can you give a little detail on how those containers work? All we plant anymore (besides Brenda's flowers of course) is a couple of tomato plants, but if we go camping for a week or 10 days in the summer, it's either pester someone to water them for us, or figure on dead tomatoes by the time we get home.
Your containers look like they might be a solution for my problem.
What we made is a hybrid DIY earth box , looked at a bunch of ideas and distilled them .
We used 2 18 gal tote bins for each box , the more vertical the sides the better the cut down bottom of one fits into the outer bin.
POTTING MIX , potting mix works best because it wicks the water from the bottom up to the roots much better than just dirt or top soil.
The good thing is you can't over water the bins , there are drainage holes that let excess water out.
Big 'Mater plants are thirsty and in the big fast growing season we still need to water 2x / day.
With the fill tubes it is pretty easy to rig up a timer to the hose spigot and make a run with branches for each bin . 5 min 2x / day works for us.

This video is pretty much what we did , there are also a lot of other videos and posts on the innerwebs to look through to find what works best for you.
One thing we did that was not mentioned in the vid was to put a layer of weedblock fabric inside the pond filter ( pot with holes in it ) and over the top of the base you put the potting mix on top of just to keep the roots out of the water reservoir .
Hope this helps :dunno:
 
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