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Thinking ahead to next year's tomatoes

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by Skanbow on October 01, 2004 08:14 PM
Hi All,

This year, for the first time, I grew my tomatoes in Earth Boxes. Early on,the results were nothing short of amazing. Huge, vigorous plants that were heavily laden with fruit.

But then, like most growers in the Northeast, my plants were struck with the blight. I still managed to get quite a few tomatoes, but the plants eventually withered and are now all but dead.

My question: Next year, when I use these same Earth Boxes for tomatoes, should I replace the potting soil in them, to be certain the blight does not recur? The Earth Box instructions advise changing the soil every 3 or 4 years, and I just put this soil in new this year. Will sitting outside throughout our harsh winter kill the blight, or should I start with everything fresh next year?

These Earth Boxes look like they have great potential, but I do not want the same problem with my plants next year.

Thanks up front to anyone who can advise me.

Skanbow
by sidheblooms on October 02, 2004 08:11 AM
humm..i am sorry...what is an earth box? never heard of that one before....

as for if blight can survive in the soil while below freezing for the winter..yes..it will overwinter in the infected plant. but i am pretty sure it will not live in soil..so i think it will be alright..

but i am curious what an earth box is...

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HAPPINESS is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony. ~ Ghandi
by weezie13 on October 02, 2004 03:39 PM
****Sidheblooms,
If you do a FORUM SEARCH and type in EARTHBOX,
you'll come up with at least one post we had about them, someone inquired about them......
Neat little contraptions for growing stuff in...
*container style gardening*

Weezie

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by weezie13 on October 02, 2004 04:11 PM
Skanbow,
Welcome to The Garden Helper's Forum,
We are Very Glad you found us!!
*Especially a fellow New Yorker's like myself*

We've a tons of conversations here about tomatoes, one of my most favorite conversations here actually, next to composting!!!!
If you go do a FORUM SEARCH and type in TOMATOES, you'll find ALOTTTTTTTTT of posts on them....
you'll find out alot of things on what you can do to help that situation out...
ie; cover your dirt so no water splashes up on to the stems and leaves of the plant at your watering time or when it rains, that's the largest cause of it creeping up the stem and on the leaves...
Also nutrition for the plant is helpful....
Try some Epsom Salts and Organic fertilizers....
*Alfalfa Meal, Blood Meal, Fish Meal, and my personal favorite COMPOST!!!!
Watch your watering times, not late at night and I'd use fresh dirt every time...
How much dirt do one of those containers take????

And don't forget to wash it out and wash off anything you put into the container this year,
ie; tomato stakes, shovels/trowels, tomato cages,
etc....That way it won't spread even worse...

I truely believe it's just there, it's awefully hard to get it out, once it's there, you just need to take precautions as to not let it take over for every season after...

Please keep us posted as to how you do,
We [Cool] LOVE [Love] updates [critic] good or bad, that's how we all learn [teacher] in our gardening endevours!!!!

Weezie

Do you do other kinds of gardenings/plants????

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Skanbow on October 05, 2004 05:19 AM
Thanks to you guys for the replies. I think I may well start my Earth Boxes off with new soil next year - along with a good scrubbing out.

Earth Boxes are container planters. Check www.earthbox.com to learn more. As I mentioned, it was fairly phenomenal the way my tomatoes started growing in them this year before the blight arrived. I also have an Earth Box going with red peppers, and I am amazed at the output I am getting out of that. No blight on the peppers this year !

From what I have seen , I would enthusiastically recommend the Earth Box, especially to someone with limited growing space. I planted one of these boxes with 2 cherry tomato plants,and I will not make that mistake again next year. Even with the blight, I got so many cherry tomatoes that many of them went to waste. Next year, one cherry tomato plant will serve me just fine. In the full sized tomato Earth Box I had, the blight hit earlier and harder. I would have liked to have had more of those tomatoes than I got. Can't wait to see what I can get out of these in a year with no blight.

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