planting tomatoes in open ground

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kitla
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planting tomatoes in open ground

Post by kitla »

Has anyone done this rather than in pots or growbags? Did you have any problems, or find it better or worse that the alternatives? I usually grow 3 or 4 in pots in the greenhouse, this year I've grown loads, including some redcurrant tomatoes & have prepared a patch of ground behind the greenhouse - (sunny & sheltered). I'm planning to dig in a couple of extra bags of compost before they go in there, and I'm growing lots of basil to plant around them, which apparently helps with whitefly & makes the toms taste better. I think I'll keep a couple in pots as a backup!
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lancashire lass
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Re: planting tomatoes in open ground

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kitla wrote:Has anyone done this rather than in pots or growbags? Did you have any problems, or find it better or worse that the alternatives? I usually grow 3 or 4 in pots in the greenhouse, this year I've grown loads, including some redcurrant tomatoes & have prepared a patch of ground behind the greenhouse - (sunny & sheltered). I'm planning to dig in a couple of extra bags of compost before they go in there, and I'm growing lots of basil to plant around them, which apparently helps with whitefly & makes the toms taste better. I think I'll keep a couple in pots as a backup!


I would always grow tomatoes outdoors in the open ground (unless they are a sensitive variety and for growing undercover) with some in the greenhouse as "back up". In 2013 I planted lots of different varieties (beef steak, plum, salad, early, you name it!) and they did exceptionally well that year - I've posted links to my diary but you will need to have a "fix" to see the Photobucket photos on your computer. If you haven't already done it, Dean H posted a way to see Photobucket photos again (on Google Chrome)

1. scroll down to the 3rd & 4th photos of the pond bed with the tomatoes planted against cane supports

2. Harvesting Roma tomatoes

3. various tomatoes ripening both on the allotment, and hanging baskets at home

The downside of growing in open ground outdoors however, and that is ... the dreaded blight {cry} . Worse than potato blight, the plants seem very susceptible (even some supposed blight tolerant varieties will succumb) and once infected, the "rescued" green tomatoes still go mushy and smell. A lot depends on the weather - if you get several days of rain, then blight will inevitably strike. Hence, some growing in the greenhouse as back up is a way of making sure you have at least a crop of sorts )t'

EDIT: just reread your post - basil grown outdoors might suffer - they really are warmth loving plants and usually do much better in a greenhouse ... You could grow french marigolds between the outdoor ones (also very good for discouraging white fly, although to be honest, white fly infestations tend to be more a greenhouse problem on tomatoes than outdoors)
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kitla
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Re: planting tomatoes in open ground

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Interesting, so is blight caused by the conditions or is it left in the soil from other crops? The patch I've prepared is where the compost heap used to be, we've not grown anything there before. My other option is to put them outside but in part buried pots, so I can control their environment a bit. I have plenty of tomato seedlings so can afford to experiment! I also have a tray of tagetes growing which is for the tomato bed and the other veg patch - I read somewhere it also suppresses bind weed & potato worm.
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lancashire lass
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Re: planting tomatoes in open ground

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kitla wrote:Interesting, so is blight caused by the conditions or is it left in the soil from other crops?


a bit of both - the spores are in the air and soil all the time but during warm humid conditions (think summer rain - day after day of rain), the spores which land on susceptible plants like tomatoes and potatoes then go on to infect them (there are lots of different types of blight which affect other specific plants but probably more noticeable on crops) When conditions are right, infected plants that have succumbed release spores which can cause widespread devastation in an area. Growing some tomatoes in a greenhouse reduces some of the exposure to spores but they can still become infected during a particular bad case of blight - greenhouses have notoriously high humidity which are ideal conditions for it to spread rapidly. Allotments tend to have high levels of blight as one plot becomes infected, the spores released rapidly affect other plots, so your garden will probably have a slightly lower incident of blight in comparison but is not immune.

Farmers keep an eye on conditions and spray their crops so that spores cannot infect the plants. One home spray uses copper sulphate (you can buy it as a spray or powder known as Bordeaux mixture) - from an environmental point of view, copper is very toxic especially to aquatic animals so one of those treatments which should ideally be restricted, but on the other hand is very effective. It is a treatment you apply BEFORE blight appears - it doesn't treat already infected plants.

kitla wrote:My other option is to put them outside but in part buried pots, so I can control their environment a bit.


TBH, they would probably do much better in the soil direct than restrict their roots in pots which can weaken them and make them more susceptible to disease. Soil contains lots of various minerals that the roots can access naturally. Besides, it just gives you more unnecessary work to do! Planting in pots will not prevent blight - the spores land on the leaves rather than infect via the roots.

kitla wrote:I read somewhere it also suppresses bind weed & potato worm.


Not sure about the bindweed theory (my plot was covered in it and it still grew rampart lol) but yes, french marilds/tagetes are supposed to repel nematodes. On that note, it is probably better to heavily grow the marigolds in a bed before planting potatoes .... the amount of natural repellent tends to be restricted to the marigolds roots so any nematodes already in the ground would simply migrate towards the potato plants anyway.

However, the marigold family are well known for repelling whitefly so would be ideal to plant in and and around plants that attract them (I used to get bad whitefly round Brussel sprouts)
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Re: planting tomatoes in open ground

Post by KarenE »

Oooh I didn't know that about marigolds and whitefly! I'll plant some up around my brassicas this year - I'm growing them under netting to keep the butterflies off but whitefly was a pain last year. You're a mine of info LL )t'
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Re: planting tomatoes in open ground

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Well my outdoor tomato & cucumber patch has done pretty well. The basil I planted around them grew really well until the tagetes took off & swamped them, no basil left now, but no diseases & no flies on the tomatoes - & as a bonus they look very pretty!
Image

No such luck with my r/beans this year, I planted nasturtiums with them to keep off the blackfly, but beans are covered with blackfly & nasturtiums have gone crispy!
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Re: planting tomatoes in open ground

Post by Gwenoakes »

Beat this, one lot of my Nastursiums have loads of black fly on and the other lot have none. They are planted in different places, one lot in deep old guttering which has been attacked and the other in terracota pots, so who knows.....
The upside is the chickens have loved the black fly and nastursiums, so not too bad.
I am just about to put some runner beans in, didn't grow from seed, so will see how they go.
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Re: planting tomatoes in open ground

Post by albertajune »

I have grown toms in the ground before and had good and bad results.
Interestingly I have a few tomato plants growing wild in my garden. When I had my chickens I often cut a tomato in half as they loved the seeds. These plants must be from when I had Rosie so a lovely reminder and hopefully they will fruit as they look very healthy. )t'
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Re: planting tomatoes in open ground

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I've got tomatoes growing all over my garden from the chickens 'output' shall we say. There were even a few in their run but they've nibbled them and they are just stalks now. We even had 5 or so plants growing in our laneway, where the soil gathers on the drain (from when we clean the patio off) so I've rescued them and they are in a pot now. We'll see what they do. If only they could poo a variety of flower, fruit & veg seeds, that would be great!

The hot weather and more importantly lack of water is playing havoc with crops this year. My french beans aren't doing much, salads a bit iffy and my brassicas nibbled to death by whitfly. I didn't do the marigold thing, the earth is rock hard and I can't plant anything now
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Re: planting tomatoes in open ground

Post by lancashire lass »

kitla wrote:Well my outdoor tomato & cucumber patch has done pretty well. The basil I planted around them grew really well until the tagetes took off & swamped them, no basil left now, but no diseases & no flies on the tomatoes - & as a bonus they look very pretty!


)like( This year the weather for basil is perfect (warmth & lots of sunshine - normally they only do best in greenhouses and windowsills in the UK) so a shame the tagetes took over. To be fair I rarely had problems with pests on outdoor toms & cucumbers and found they were worst in the greenhouse (with the higher humidity)

No such luck with my r/beans this year, I planted nasturtiums with them to keep off the blackfly, but beans are covered with blackfly & nasturtiums have gone crispy!


Nasturtiums do not repel blackfly btw - the idea is that they are sacrificed so that blackfly are more likely to migrate to it rather than to the runner beans. Maybe try spraying with dilute washing up liquid (blackfly are just another aphid so should work)

It's been an exceptional year in the garden so not typical by UK standards - the leaves on my pear trees for example are usually covered in rust by now but the long hot & dry weather has meant the trees are still green instead of the usual mottled orange! Even the apple trees seem to be faring better too except for too many unripe apples dropping.
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Re: planting tomatoes in open ground

Post by kitla »

LL I think I planted too many nastitiums in the beans & they attracted extra blackfly! Oh well, at least we had lots more peas than usual this year.
Karen I like the idea - dried chicken poop nuggets with mystery seed packages!
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Re: planting tomatoes in open ground

Post by KarenE »

I'll make some up and post them to you Kitty {rofwl}
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Re: planting tomatoes in open ground

Post by kitla »

)grin2(
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