Planting leggy transplants


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If you have been gardening for over 50 years as you say, then I would most certainly say you are quite wise! Modern gardeners need advice from people like you! You should write a book about your experiences...... so I can read it!
 
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Water stressing a tomato is sometimes impossible, like when it rains continually. But, when the weather cooperates you start to stress your plants as soon as the first blooms open. Only water when the plant really needs it. A tomato will live a long time without any water at all but you want to water just enough to keep the plant growing. I hand water my tomatoes with compost tea. On a basic 18 inch tall plant that has started to bloom I water it with 1 quart of tea around the base of the plant. On a heavily foliaged plant it water 2 quarts. If they are still wilted the next morning I give them a little extra. The temperatures during this time temperatures rarely exceed 90F and the highs usually stay around 85 and this setting period usually lasts about 30 days, then the nighttime lows are too high for fruit set. I then resume regular watering after all of the tomatoes have set that are going to. When it gets really hot my tomatoes are starting to ripen, most are in the white stage. If I let them ripen on the vine varmints and birds would get them and also if a tomato is totally white or in the first blush it takes longer to ripen on the vine than it does inside where it is the best ripening temperature.
 
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I can never use kitchen scraps for compost thanks to the critters. But I do have leaf mulch in my raised bed. I have also used crushed egg shells.
 
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I can never use kitchen scraps for compost thanks to the critters. But I do have leaf mulch in my raised bed. I have also used crushed egg shells.
Believe me, you don't have more critters than I do and I trap and shoot them all year long. Leaves make good compost after they have been broken down otherwise they are just mulch. Leaf mold is last years and years before leaves which have broken down and that is good stuff if you can get it. I happen to have more than my feeble old body can shovel up. Unlike leaves, raking leaf mold doesn't work very well. Many folks, myself included use egg shells. The only thing wrong with them is it takes a LONG time for them to break down into nutrients. I have bits and pieces of egg shell in my garden that have been there for years.
 
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(Please still consider writing a book). I have a fence around my backyard, so deer, rabbits and such are not a problem getting in my dinky garden. (they probably know it's not worth the trouble trying to break in to get to it) However, I do have an armadillo I am trying to seek revenge on. I bought a trap, but it hasn't worked yet. But I am still waiting for him!
 
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(Please still consider writing a book). I have a fence around my backyard, so deer, rabbits and such are not a problem getting in my dinky garden. (they probably know it's not worth the trouble trying to break in to get to it) However, I do have an armadillo I am trying to seek revenge on. I bought a trap, but it hasn't worked yet. But I am still waiting for him!
Armadillos are one of the easiest to trap. All you need is a catch em alive trap and two 2x4x8. Walk your fence line and find out more or less where he comes in at. Then set your trap about 15 feet away and place the boards on edge at about a 45 degree angle from the opening of the trap making a funnel shape. Get a couple of sticks, hammer them into the ground so as to not let the 2x4 tip over.The dillo will come in and meet the board and he will not go over it. He will follow the board into the trap and then you've got him. But remember that dillo's come in 4's. A momma dillo ALWAYS has 4 babies plus the dad but they usually move on and leave their young behind. So, if you catch 4 of them the same size you've got them all. BBQ/roasted dillo is good. When you catch one let me know. I'll send you a great recipie.
 
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Oh gross, roasted armadillo?! Thanks, but I pass. Maybe you should write a cookbook to. But yes, you are to smart! What would the world be without gardeners like you? Anyone who has grown that much over 50 years of time should be praised! Goodness, if I were to write a book about my gardening experiences, it would only be about a page long.
 
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I wished you all would stop this smart business. All I am is old and the longer you do something the more you learn. I'll bet I have killed more plants than most gardeners have ever planted. I wouldn't call that smart.
Smart AND experienced AND an Organic Chef! During the Great Depression, Alabamians ate all the deer. We have family recipes for Opossum, Raccoon and a variety of common creatures. My Grandmother cooked my high school hunts squirrel with a pepper gravy. I think her secret was the lard biscuits
 
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Chuck, the reason I asked about how (not why, we both know) you stress your plants, is because it must be very difficult to do so when you have, as you believe, FOUR root systems, and water-retentive clay soil, all protecting your plant against water stress.

1) Surface roots
2) Deep roots
3) Tap root
4) Micorrhyzae.
 
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Chuck, the reason I asked about how (not why, we both know) you stress your plants, is because it must be very difficult to do so when you have, as you believe, FOUR root systems, and water-retentive clay soil, all protecting your plant against water stress.

1) Surface roots
2) Deep roots
3) Tap root
4) Micorrhyzae.
I have everything but the clay soil. My soil is loamy but it does drain rapidly. And it is difficult if not impossible to stress plants many years. This year for example it has rained a lot and the soil remains moist deep down so the only thing getting stressed is me. It is setting time for tomatoes and so far it has been poor. Temperatures have been on the low side and I am not getting a good set so far. Mycorrhizae I am not sure about. MYC seems to be a type of growth on the roots themselves sort of like scales on a fish that protect the roots like armor does on an English Knight. I am beginning to think that it is, on the whole, a late in the season beneficial fungi and therefore not a lot of help on tomato production. Last year for instance I had a hail storm come through and it killed a bunch of my plants which had ping pong sized fruits on them.. When I pulled the plants I was surprised at how small the root system was for such a robust plant. Then at the end of the season when I pulled the remaining plants I could barely get them out of the ground. A very large root system. I am still wondering about this. Just what does MYC actually do to a tomato plant. Is it fruit production or is it plant growth or is it both that it benefits. I would experiment and find out but the only fertilizers I can get here or afford already has mycorrhizae in it and I don't think that not using any fertilizer would be a fair experiment.
 
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Mycorrhizae only seem to help a plant avoid stress, so you won't see much in benefits if you molly-coddle your tomatoes.
A bit like an insurance policy.
 
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I'd give anything for loamy soil! So great for when you get way too much rain.
I know clay warms slower and holds water (and nutrients), but mix in a little gypsum and a lot of organic matter and you have fertile, moisture-retentive soil.
It's what I have (there are three brickworks in the area) and I'm glad of it.
 
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I have everything but the clay soil. My soil is loamy but it does drain rapidly. And it is difficult if not impossible to stress plants many years. This year for example it has rained a lot and the soil remains moist deep down so the only thing getting stressed is me. It is setting time for tomatoes and so far it has been poor. Temperatures have been on the low side and I am not getting a good set so far. Mycorrhizae I am not sure about. MYC seems to be a type of growth on the roots themselves sort of like scales on a fish that protect the roots like armor does on an English Knight. I am beginning to think that it is, on the whole, a late in the season beneficial fungi and therefore not a lot of help on tomato production. Last year for instance I had a hail storm come through and it killed a bunch of my plants which had ping pong sized fruits on them.. When I pulled the plants I was surprised at how small the root system was for such a robust plant. Then at the end of the season when I pulled the remaining plants I could barely get them out of the ground. A very large root system. I am still wondering about this. Just what does MYC actually do to a tomato plant. Is it fruit production or is it plant growth or is it both that it benefits. I would experiment and find out but the only fertilizers I can get here or afford already has mycorrhizae in it and I don't think that not using any fertilizer would be a fair experiment.
Do you think it would be easier or harder to water-stress your plants, if you only had THREE sets of roots?
:whistle:
 
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