you say tomatOH

21 05 2008

When I told my beloved about my tomato problem, he built me another bed. What an ABSOLUTE SWEETHEART! One of the many reasons I love him to bits. And I think he knows it will all come back in payments of salsas, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, tomato soups and more. If he doesn’t know this now, then for certain he will. Our tomato plants will pack a wallop next winter!!! RAH RAH RAH!!! So what if I have no idea what KIND of tomatoes I planted in each potmaker pot!?! I’ll figure it out.

The potmaker pots still seem to be doing wonders. I’ve planted these tomatoes and some beets – both seeded in the potmaker pots. And, after talking to my friend Farmer Shaun, he seems to think that the pots might help me in thwarting the dreaded CUTWORMS. I should be so lucky to thwart them in my first year of vegetable gardening…

Cross your fingers. 🙂




10 responses

22 05 2008

I know what you mean about mystery tomato plants! I have a couple that have lost their tags and I’m waiting to see what fruit they will bear.

I think you could have buried your tomatoes a little deeper – all the way up to the first true branches, above the cotelydon leaves. That way, the stem will grow more roots giving you a hardier tomato. Are they bushy, determinates or vining, indeterminates?

Also, you may want to keep an eye on the moisture level of the soil inside the newspaper pot since you have the edges exposed out of the ground. I know with peat pots it’s better to bury the whole pot so that none of the pot is exposed as it wicks away moisture from the plant, creating a little mini plant coffin. I don’t know – maybe newspaper pots are different and don’t have that effect.

22 05 2008

Uh oh Kathy… I thought about burying them deeper, because I’d heard that you can, but at the time I thought it would be best not to – I thought I should keep the newspaper above the soil level to avoid the cutworms. But now, I think I should follow your advice and avoid the cutworms some other way… I really have no idea how likely it is that cutworms will come but I’m scared of them! They’re like the boogeyman to me.

And I have NO IDEA what type of tomato plants I have… is there a way to tell?

I should be paying you for all this advice!

22 05 2008

I’ve never had a problem with cutworms, however, I know Ottawa Hortiphilia had a problem with them eating her onions and leeks. Here’s a link to her post, I think she uses toilet paper rolls around her seedlings. You can still dig them up and re-set them in the ground if you really want to.

As for the type of tomato, did you get them from someone and just didn’t get the name? Or did you lose the labels on your seeded pots? Let me know what types you planted and I’ll see what I can find for foliage. The most noticeable different at this stage in the game is the difference between regular leaf and potato leaf varieties.

I like using cheap plastic knives and Sharpies for labelling my seedlings. When I’ve got them in a 72-cell flat, I just snap one in half and use one half to label the 9-cell with the name and date of sowing. Once I pot them up to their 4″ pots I’ll use a full knife and write the name and sowing date for each seed that came up.

23 05 2008

another idea for cutworms is to surround your seedlings with toothpicks placed very close to the stems in a square of 4 corners. as odd as it sounds, it works because the cut worms can’t curl around the protected stems and what they can’t curl around they can’t eat. i learned this after losing about 6 peas, 6 beans and a couple of other misc plants to them. once your stems are between 1/4″ and 1/2″ thick, you should be in the clear. my mother-in-law is a big fn of tin foil around the stems, too, tho i’ve not tried it. she swears by it.

i’m fascinated at the thought that these pots could protect against cut worms tho…while i’d recommend planting the ‘maters deeper for rooting as well, this is not something you want to do with other types of plants and it seems to me that those would benefit hugely from the paper pot rim protection, then, don’t you think?

also, well done on the new bed, gillian’s beloved!

25 05 2008

MerlotMudPies, so many ideas to choose from! Very interesting about the toothpicks. How does your monster-in law (:P) use the tin foil. Does she wrap it right round the stems???

28 05 2008

Yes, Gillian, she wraps it around the stems up to the first set of leaves i believe. I’ll find out how tightly and etc for you when I talk to her next…which is daily. She’s less monster than friend. Mostly. 😀

1 06 2008

Please do ask her. I tried the toothpicks on a half dozen of the tomato plants and I left another half dozen to try the tinfoil with. And thank her for all the advice, please!

8 06 2008
one person’s garbage… « hit pay dirt

[…] person’s garbage… 8 06 2008 Believe it or not, even with the extra gardening bed, I’ve STILL run out of space for all the goodies that I want to plant. A few weeks ago, I was […]

9 06 2008

well, i keep forgetting to ask BUT, i have done a loose cuff around the bottoms of my bean plants, which were literally being eaten alive by cut worms. i’ve had success! i left room for the plant to continue growing up through the cuff, but made sure the whole bottom stem was surrounded. no more cut off tendrils so far! i’ll update you again tomorrow when i’m out to see how it’s going.

9 06 2008

I ended up sticking toothpicks around the majority of my plants and I’m hoping that will do the trick. From what I understand the cutworm has to be able to wrap itself all the way around the stem to be able to cut. I think tin foil, toothpicks, or almost anything will work so long as its close enough to the stem to stop the worm from wrapping itself.

However, I’d only protected my tomato plants. Your comment made me realize I need to protect ALL my plants. Thanks so much!

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