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Thread: Tomatos on my Deck

  1. #1

    Tomatos on my Deck

    I just bought 2 Big Boy Tomato plants and have 2 / 5 gallon contains I want to plant them in and grow on my deck which gets plenty of sunlight , I also got some very good organic soil to grow them in. So anyone grown Tomatos in a planter instead of in a garden...if so how about some tips..on getn the best bang for the buck...Thanks

  2. #2
    MG AgentOrange's Avatar
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    I am the self-proclaimed expert on everything under the Sun. Unfortunately only my cats see me for the great guy I am.
    I am a "Master Gardner" and got my official papers from Clemson to prove it.
    My 'mater knowledge goes way back as my Pop was an expert.

    You can surely grow delicious tomatoes in a 5 gallon pot. I presently have 6 growing in pots on my dock. My yard is now full shade and there is full Sun. Veggies require full Sun.

    'maters are like most vegetable plants. They want good soil, a consistent moisture level and lots of Sun. The ones we grow pale the taste of store crap. That makes our effort worth it.

    Growing in a container has good and bad. The good is that most times we add healthy soil with no disease or bugs. The bad is it can make moisture management harder.

    There are two categories --> determinate and inderminate. The difference is that one has a growth limit due to genetics and one does not. Determinate is better suited for a pot, but WTF, we can do both.

    Today most plants you buy are resistant to many problems. Thank to places like Clemson University for that.

    The big deal for pot growers is moisture management.
    'maters do best with a constant moisture level. Going dry and then being flooded is best for many plants, but not tomatoes. Also, plants with their feet in water will not be happy and will not make you happy.

    So, keep the soil moist but not wet. In a pot, that means water every day it does not rain and have drainage. Actually those "self watering" pots work well.
    If you have used something like Miricle Grow soil, don't add any more fertilizer. The objective is to end up with lots of tomatoes and not just a beautiful plant. Too much fertilizer (nitrogen) is bad for maximising your harvest.

    In the area you live, expect the crop to come in the first week of July. When you plant has little bearing as they do not crank up to full steam until the soil is above 65 degrees.

    On your plants will grow suckers. Those are stems that have no blossoms. Break off a few near the bottom and plant them deep with just a couple leaves above ground in June and you will have plants that will have September 'maters. The ones you have growing now will not give you much after first harvest. I pull them out and plant peppers then for a fall harvest in my pots.

  3. #3
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    Hey, I'm only replying here 7 years or so after the original post. I too am a Master Gardener with the certificate framed and hanging on the office wall next to my college diploma. I haven't grown anything edible for several years. A friend gave me some homegrown tomatoes last year of the "Cherokee Purple" variety. They were so good I decided to grow some this year. I started some from seeds and they are now ready to transplant into bigger pots. In years past, I've had plants with small tomatoes on them already when it was time to plant them in the ground.
    Years ago, I got this small "green house". Well, sort of. It's 4 X 4 and has sliding glass all around. For my purposes, it works out good.
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    This picture was from several years ago, with tomatoes I had repotted several times getting them ready for the garden.
    I also like to grow leaf lettuce. This planter is made from ice deflector parts from an AT&T microwave tower. I had shredded leaves in it to compost, and added some store bought potting soil, and them planted a variety of lettuce seed. Again, this picture is from several years ago, but I have planted the same this year, and looking forward to salads. Unfortunately, when the hot weather hits, the lettuce gets bitter and not edible.
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    I wish I had taken a later picture when the lettuce had grown and filled the planter.
    Anyway, I'm getting back into doing a little gardening.

  4. #4
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    Everyone's an expert at gardening as long as Mother Nature does her job and stuff just grows like it usually does and should. It's when stuff starts dying on you for no particular reason (or the bees stop showing up..); that's when you really find out what you know about gardening or don't know..
    Ode to 2020 (sung to the tune of "Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting") - ELG:
    "Everybody was Kung Flu fighting
    This virus panic struck like lightening
    Although the future seemed too frightening
    (Seemed too frightening)
    It's the book of your life that you should have been writing
    (Life that you should have been writing)"


  5. #5
    MG AgentOrange's Avatar
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    So far mine are off to a bad start.
    I replanted a few. I grow them on my dock in pots as my yard is shade.

  6. #6
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    Mine is off to a better start than last year (knock on wood..) as no wilted plants (for no discernible reason) yet. Have 4 toms, 2 pepper, 2 cuc, and 2 squash plants out with 3 rows of corn about to go in the ground in a few weeks...after the current 'cold snap' ends (as of course seeds in the ground just won't germinate until they know that spring as really sprung!). Best of luck to all YC gardeners this year!
    Ode to 2020 (sung to the tune of "Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting") - ELG:
    "Everybody was Kung Flu fighting
    This virus panic struck like lightening
    Although the future seemed too frightening
    (Seemed too frightening)
    It's the book of your life that you should have been writing
    (Life that you should have been writing)"


  7. #7
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    My problem is that I have almost 9 acres, but it's almost all wooded. 15 years ago when I had the house built, I got the bulldozer driver to clear off a garden area, but it's surrounded by tall trees, and I'm afraid I don't get enough hours of full sun. I have a deer problem too. So, I have a small plot fenced off with electric fence wire. I'm going the "no-till" route this year. I have some "Cherokee Purple" tomato plants I've started from seed, and a few "better boy" plants that I bought. I'm trying for experimental purposes several things. Some of the plants are in the ground. Some are in containers. I have a few on the boat dock, which does get full sun. I have a few on a retaining wall in front of the house. Surely, with all these options, I should get some good home grown tomatoes this year. I'll try to post some pictures of the results.

  8. #8
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    Having grown up on a ~93 acre small "gentlemen farmer" farm in Ohio, I have a biased position against "no-till" gardening as it has always smacked of liberal anti-fossil fuel agendas and not at all about what's the best way to grow stuff. 'Turning the soil' is almost biblical in its basis as the way to do farming/gardening and it puts the dead plants back into the soil and kills most all of the new weeds and gives the new seedlings a chance to gain the upper hand over the weeds until they are big enough to survive the farmers 1st tilling of his crop and removal of these new weeds. Plus, it seems to a lot of these 'old timer' farmers that no till farming is just an excuse to avoid all the LABOR that turning/tilling the soil entails.

    Now, if data shows that no till is the most efficient way to grow stuff (albeit, I seriously doubt that it will ever be shown to be the most PRODUCTIVE method and thus the best way to feed billions of folks on the planet), then perhaps it will become the 'new way'. But again, this whole idea of 'most efficient' vs. 'most productive' plays into the U.N.'s Agenda 21 that pushes for LESS fossil fuel use and perhaps the need for less food as this agenda also believes that the Earth's population of ~6 billions needs to be reduced to less than one billion to "save the planet" and to protect "Mother Earth" and ALSO so that the elites of the world can live idyllic lives as the wealthy privileged class of 'plantation owners' (i.e., corporation owners) with the remaining folks as easily managed peasants working these 'plantations'. i.e., Pure evil!
    Ode to 2020 (sung to the tune of "Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting") - ELG:
    "Everybody was Kung Flu fighting
    This virus panic struck like lightening
    Although the future seemed too frightening
    (Seemed too frightening)
    It's the book of your life that you should have been writing
    (Life that you should have been writing)"


  9. #9
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    Don't worry about me. I haven't fallen off the deep end and going the "no fossil fuel" route. I only have 6 tomato plants. I dug a deep hole for each one with post hole diggers, and planted each with store bought potting soil. I'm a lazy guy. What I've done in the past with my 8HP Troybilt tiller is till in the spring, which brings the weed seeds to the surface. My garden then is overcome with weeds because I'm too lazy or have other things going on and end up neglecting my garden. I left enough space betweenplants so I can get in with my mower. I'm older than AO, so I'm trying to make gardening easier. All of this is sort of an experiment to see what will work best for me. I'm not trying to maximize productivity and feed the world. I'm just trying to enjoy some homegrown tomatoes this year.

  10. #10
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    I hear you, Chuck....not blaming you on foisting the NWO on all of us ; just enjoying the opening you gave me to 'vent' about the dreaded 'Agenda 21' that is part and parcel to the plans of these evil shits...

    As to "bringing weed seeds to the surface", my son 'gifted' me this past Christmas with a "gardening kit" that consisted of (among other things) a large tarp to place over one's garden space in the spring/winter and prior to tilling and is supposed to kill all the weeds and seeds so that your garden has fewer weeds during the summer.....so far, it's worked pretty good.

    Plus, you've given me "tiller envy" as I only have the Troybuilt 5-6 HP Pony model! But it's still the best piece of machinery I've ever purchased (maybe my Acura Integra was better, perhaps; not sure..) and purchased it in 1984 and it still starts with one choke pull (usually) even after sitting all winter. I've only replaced some rubber parts/diaphragm in the carb (about 10 years ago..), and other than that it's been trouble free. B&S Engine appears to be as "forever" as the engine in the "ancient" Farmall tractor that my dad bought at auction in the late 50's and we used for many years to plow fields, etc. with a simple half-turn of the crank almost always starting it right up (and it resided outside in Ohio winters/summers/year round with only a tin can on the vertical exhaust pipe to keep the rain out of the engine...amazing in that it was probably 20-30 years old when HE bought it...)! American made used to mean a LOT; still does, but probably not as much as it once did! MAGA!
    Ode to 2020 (sung to the tune of "Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting") - ELG:
    "Everybody was Kung Flu fighting
    This virus panic struck like lightening
    Although the future seemed too frightening
    (Seemed too frightening)
    It's the book of your life that you should have been writing
    (Life that you should have been writing)"


  11. #11
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    Hey, I ran across this 3 year old thread. I'll update with some info on my tomatoes this year. I probably already have this picture on the forum somewhere, but this is a recent picture of my boat dock tomato arrangement.
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    I have 6 plants, 3 better boy, and 3 cherokee purple.
    We had a few with lunch today, and I picked these this evening. The ripest one will be in a juicy sandwich in an hour or so.
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  12. #12
    Nothing better than a nice BLT with a really ripe, juicy tomato.

  13. #13
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    Those tomato plants are really kicking in now. Two were sliced to go with lunch today.
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  14. #14
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    Mine have done well this year. They started producing mid June and are still coming. The vines now look like hell due to being fried in all day Sun.
    This morning had home made biscuits covered in SOS with a couple fresh picked maters.

  15. #15
    My wife and I had tried several times to grow tomatoes and peppers and a few other odds and ends and finally just decided that the critters who ate them all took the fun out of it. Our efforts the past few years (I should say my wife's efforts) have been blue berries, figs and now a peach tree. We got lots of peaches started but I think they sort of gave up. We have gotten figs and blue berries for a few years now. I have gotten some nice veggies from The Fresh Market but we had a stand up the street until this year that had food from local farmers. Now I have to go uptown to Kings Dr to the market there to get what I know is off local farms and not from somewhere else. My brother and one of my sons in law have a big garden at my brothers place as he has 10 acres and they enjoy working it. I got some tomatoes and squash from there last year and they were great.

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