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Thread: Tomato Expert

  1. #16
    1SG Mike Kelly's Avatar
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    I like to build stuff and the plant stand holders look nice. I will leave off the wheels. Good information here and I am excited and ready for Spring to be here.

  2. #17
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    I replaced all the boards on my boat dock several years ago. I added the castors so the water from the planters wouldn't rot the dock boards. I don't have it in me to tackle that project again. They were easy enough to build.

  3. #18
    MG AgentOrange's Avatar
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    Got my mater stand built, will post as soon as I get it painted and in place.

  4. #19
    I will never do this. Far too much work and I hate work. I am sort of lazy. Well maybe I am very lazy. I like to jog and I do that every day. When I retire some day I may just do more of that and ride my bike. I have thought about working on parts of my yard and get some good plants growing and get more of the yard cleaned out. I have already spent hours getting up leaves and I hate that. The big tree out front has still got leaves on it and it will not finish dropping them for another few weeks. All I have done so far is vac them up with my lawn tractor. I will do that two more times. I still have to blow all the leaves out of the front flower beds and clean them up. Making this worse is all the rain. I cannot use the lawn tractor with the ground being so wet.

    I think all the tomato stuff is fantastic. I may show this to my brother. He has a world class wood shop and he may decide to make some of these but my son in law plants a really big garden at my brothers every year so I don't know.

  5. #20
    MG AgentOrange's Avatar
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    A hobby is not work, it is fun.

    Neighbors rake leaves and burn. I don't, never have as that is work. Leaves are the "brown gold" that will decompose in a couple months and fertilize the land. Neighbors are encouraged to dump them all in my yard, as I am not offended by the sight of a leaf on the ground.
    I'm always in the dark
    Living in a pony keg and giving off sparks

  6. #21
    1SG Mike Kelly's Avatar
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    I on the other hand love yard work. I cut my leaves up with my John Deere lawn tractor and once they are mulched up, yard looks like the were raked gotten up. They have been chewed up into tiny little pieces and put back into the ground. I like the smell of oil and gas from the blower or weed eater and enjoy riding the mower. Lots of fun and when I finish, I can admire what I have done. Leaves are not meant to be burned either. That's what a lot of folks used to do in town. Most towns have banned that and will pick your leaves up now. I'll get started on my mater boxes next month.

  7. #22
    MG AgentOrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kelly View Post
    I on the other hand love yard work.
    That sounds different from what you meant. It implies I do not like yard work.
    I just choose to different things from you, different things move me to action.

    What the neighbors or even the Bride thinks does not motivate me at all. I bet if I had worn my Garmin today it would say I did more than even Marty.

  8. #23
    1SG Mike Kelly's Avatar
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    Sounds like Marty hates yard work. Your yard work is different from mine as we have different types of yards. My next yard project is to build a new privacy fence. The one I built 28 years ago is about all but gone. Looks bad. I will get going on it in the next few weeks and hope to complete before Spring. My Bride tries to motivate me by reminding me how bad it looks. I completed painting the outside of the house last fall which also required a lot of replacing facial boards and overhang which I did by myself. Also had to redo the outside of my shop building which I contracted out, but I did the painting. Only got one coat of paint on it before the cold weather hit. I will have to paint it again in the Spring. Bride wants a brick walkway which I have been putting off for sometime, but plan on working on that this summer. I know you like yard work, because you spend a lot of time outside. Your yard attracts many species of birds and wildlife which entertains you. You are generous to share the pics here for us for our entertainment. Also, this site is Yard Crap. It has the name yard in it. I guess yard work is a hobby of mine since I like it. Collecting small junk is another hobby of mine (old junk). Got to go over to my daughter's house now to put up a ceiling fan. I'm known as "Mr. Fix It". I like doing that kind of stuff too.

  9. #24
    For me it is all work. When my yard looks nice I like it. Right now it looks like crap. I don't care about what others think of it. I just don't like leaves killing my grass as it is hard enough to keep looking ok. It is the curse of living in a neighborhood like I do. We have actually started doing some things in the back yard as we look at it all the time and out back porch is all glass so it is nice to sit out there and watch the wild life and have it look good when the azaleas start blooming. Daffodils are already up about 6 tp 8 inches and will bloom soon. We have had large flower beds but you have to spend time constantly keeping them up and we work and I normally am gone most of the week and don't want to spend time working in the yard when I am home. I wish I still lived just off the park. I would spend much more time there walking and jogging as that is what I love to do. My wife on the other hands likes to do things around the house outside. She plants things and trims shrubs and does all manner of things. I have watched her spend 5 or 6 hours with the tiller when it was about 1000F outside. She gets an idea in her head and there is no stopping her.

  10. #25
    MG AgentOrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kelly View Post
    I like to build stuff and the plant stand holders look nice. I will leave off the wheels. Good information here and I am excited and ready for Spring to be here.

    I can buy tasty fresh maters around here on the roadside. Me trying to grow better is just fun. Every mater I might get will be at a cost of $1K. It aint just about having maters.
    Keeping busy at foolish things helps keep me off heroin.

    Like Mike, I enjoy building with wood. I only do rough cut things. Everything in my yard including the CatBird House I am sitting in was built by myself.

    For my mater stand, was looking for easy, and light. The 5 pots of water heavy soil cause my dock to dip some as I had them sitting on the edge. On fun, busy days some waves would top. There was no danger of sinking, but no need to add more weight.

    Wind often will gust over 20mph off the lake. That or the dock jumping up and down can turn a large plant over. Not all need a stand, but I do.
    Chuck has of that to contend with, we have different needs. No way casters would work on my small dock.

    I wanted tall, light, and easy. PVC is that and also cheap. Marty, if you ever played with Tinker Toys, it is exactly like that, even a 3 year old can do it.
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    Indeterminate maters tend to grow tall so wanted a tall cage to keep them upright in the Sun and breeze. Only time will tell if this is a good design. If not, I can modify. A ten foot 1 1/4" section is just $6.
    I will lay cross supports as needed, made from the garden stakes you can see in the photo. I already have 20 cut at 2ft and clips to hold them.

    Here is a photo:

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  11. #26
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    That looks like a good design. I'm sure it is much lighter in weight than mine. I can see those round spots on your dock from where you had the plants last year. That's why I chose to use to castors, to get the planters off the dock. But, the new pots you got have feet on the corners, so you should be OK.
    Another thing I did - I enlarged the drain holes on my planter boxes and put in a rubber grommet. Then I used some tubing to run the drainage into the lake to further protect the dock. Probably an unnecessary precaution though.
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    This picture doesn't show it, but with "T" fittings, these hoses were all connected together to one drain hose.

  12. #27
    MG AgentOrange's Avatar
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    I am poor, have a one level dock. Wood rots, but I have kept mine protected with stain. . After 20 years mine is still strong.
    When mine needs repair, believe I will not rip up the old, just use that as a base and put a new layer over it - probably those new plastic boards.


    I am eager for April to arrive.
    I'm always in the dark
    Living in a pony keg and giving off sparks

  13. #28
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    I am on the dock nekid with a bonfire during the Vernal Equinox . If Eostre shows, I will post photos of her.

    My plan today is to celebrate the Vernal Equinox by working on my mator pots. This year I have planned for months because you can't have to much fun when gardening.

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    I have acquired bags of the Miracle Grow Moisture Control dirt, dolomite, Tomato-tone, and organic fertilizer mention above in this thread back in January.

    Even though I have grown more than we could eat in the past, doing it different this year because --?

    I am mixing the soil in the wheelbarrow today as it makes a handy tub.

    My recipe is per pot is:
    -- 2 - cuft of dirt
    -- 1 1/2 lbs of dolomite
    -- 1 1/2 - pound of Tomato-Tone
    Is the right formula for success? -- I obviously have no idea.


    After mixing those added -
    1 1/2 pound of the organic fertilizer mentioned above. Instead of the trench in the instructions, have dug a small pocket near each corner. I suspect packing the trench is to slowly add fertilizer all season, yet keep it away from the plant to avoid burn. It seems to me 4 pockets are a better idea for uniformity as I will have just one plant in the center.

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    The soil comes with fertilizer in it. It seems to be unknown on the web as to how much or in what ratio. That will be synthetic fertilizer which is OK. Having used this soil before, know it works, and probably all that may be needed.
    To that end only adding organic fertilizer as one is unlikely to burn a plant with that. Adding more more minerals and crap like that are my plan.

    This soil comes with "moisture control". That is some gel seeds that swell when wet. I have used them in plants for years, they are cheap.
    If you use them, a little goes a long way as they swell. Experiment before you use them.
    https://www.amazon.com/Pound-Soilmoi...search&sr=1-17

    I am adding no extra gel seeds to these pots as they will be well watered.

    I am adding a large citronella torch wicks to the two "water wicking corners", you can see a photo in the thread above. This is my own idea and logically seems to me to be a good one. These pots will be covered in plastic so all water must drain up from the reservoir below as oppose to draining down. I am packing soil tight in both corners all the way to the top before filling the pot.
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    I am not doing per instructions and adding a layer of dolomite half way up, instead mixed it into the soil in the wheel barrow. I also mixed in the Tomato-Tone inthe wheel barrow.
    All I know at this point is that the maters will have lots of food and nutrients.

    That reminds me of a tale.
    Around 1975 I got a house. I planted some maters in my yard and the plants grew like crazy. They looked great! I had very few mators. Pop laughed and told me I added too much fertilizer. He told me the deal is to produce tomatoes and not plants. I had too much synthetic Nitrogen. It is great for grass or lettuce, but can inhibit veggie growth. Yall experts might disagree.

    The deal with this plastic covered system is wicking. To that end you mound the dirt on the top so you can pull the plastic tight. That aids in the wicking. As I will not be adding water to the top of the pot, the mound is needed, kinda like rows farmers make in a field.

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    These last years used mulch and watered from the top. I see in the photos in this thread Chuck did similar last season. That system absolutely works. The jury is out if this method does.

    I have done this plastic cover thing before in the old Growbox system that came out many years ago.
    https://www.agardenpatch.com/
    It worked. This reservoir system works. The science for better maters is to maintain a constant moisture level in the soil, not the shift of dry to wet and back. Maters hate that.

    Finished pots:

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    The scientist/gardener hoping for a mator sandwich:

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  14. #29
    MG AgentOrange's Avatar
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    Since no one asked --

    Planted my maters the first day of Spring, so about 4 weeks ago..
    "How are they doing", you did not ask.

    Is the wicking from the bottom working?

    At this point they look strong and healthy with a couple early blossoms.
    My goal is not to grow mater plants but maters, so stay tuned.

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    My irrigation system has been a problem. The system I have rigged up seems to be good, but finding a timer to run it is hard.
    The timer I bought worked a couple days and stopped -- cheap china junk.

    Quote Originally Posted by AgentOrange View Post
    I think I have a good water supplement plan.
    I ordered this timer which needs zero pressure for $20.
    The deal with a timer for this application is it must be low/no pressure. I use water timers at three places in my yard. They work great, good for about a year, sometimes more if you don't leave them outside in Winter.

    99% of timers will not work in the mater system as most require water pressure.
    You would think that since rain barrels are popular, there would be many good choices, but nope!

    I have a different model arriving this week.


    One thing I have been checking is how much water is needed day to day. The plastic covering greatly reduces evaportion, so right now very little water is needed.

    As the Summer heats up, and the plants grow, the need will greatly increase. As yall know, flowers or anything in a container in Summer Sun need water everyday. The deal with maters is not the wet/dry routine, but constant moisture.

    I am going to set it to add water every 4 hours for 10 minutes. The hope is to keep the reservoir filled. Each pot holds 2.5 Gallons of water (so 12 gallons). Any additional is drained off.
    I'll be able to adjust the 10 minutes to more as less as I observe. I have no clue right now, suspect 10 minutes may be too long. I think the tub is 30 gallons, so should cover a day or more when I get it dialed in.
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    On the porch use the same 1/4" tubing for my containers, but use dripers that go between 1-3 gallons per hour. With no pressure that will not work on the maters, so the 1/4 in tubing flows free times 5. I suspect with the maters being gravity watered, 5 minutes or less will be good.

    I might not get any maters, but I am getting a lot of entertainment.

  15. #30
    MG AgentOrange's Avatar
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    I posted as to having experience with this wick system years back. Some may have believed I was ~~, but this post proves not.

    I ran across this old photo.
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    It worked well then when I had Sun on the deck. For years have had two of those boxes out of sight, hidden in dirt in a flower deck box. It makes growing flowers on the deck much easier.

    A couple years back ordered some deck rail flower beds from Charleston, can't find the thread, maybe there is not one. They are excellent.
    These have a capped pvc pipe on the bottom with wicks running up. It is a cheap and easy addition one can make to any pot. It is now easy because someone had the idea. Sherlock hated when after one saw his thinking called it "elementary."

    Growing in pots in the South is fun. If you are lazy like me, watering becomes a chore.
    Wicking from a bottom reservoir helps a lot.
    Plants need water in a container every day. I run a tube down my rail on a timer that drip waters. My plants would look less if left to me to do it.
    I'm always in the dark
    Living in a pony keg and giving off sparks

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