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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:23 pm 
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Golden Swan
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No hot tips, but nice of him to enter you!!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:43 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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sue55 wrote:
I need help

Mr sue55 has informed me that he has entered ME in HIS work tomato growing competition. (he doesn't do gardening). Apparently we will be given a punnet of tomatoes (same variety, same source) and are allowed to use any growing technique but cheating.
Any hot tips, secret family techniques greatfully accepted.


Tomatoes are gross feeders. They love heaps of fertilizer and water.

If it's an indeterminate variety it's well worth pruning the branches off, so you're left with a single stem. Then also remove any lower leaves that turn yellow or get disease. The fruit will be better quality.

I struggle with large tomatoes over summer in Brisbane, but cherry types still grow well in the heat and humidity. Not sure where you are, but large fruited types tend to get a bit unhappy if there are too many days over 35oC in a row.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:50 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Yes Sue, when you plant them water them in with a weak dilution of liquid fertiliser like seasol, Charlie carp, maxi-crop. Get some of those plastic tree guards and put them around the plants, it keeps them warmer & more protected. Fertilise every 2 weeks with a good all round fertiliser. If they are Roma don't stake them, they produce better being ground cover plants. Mulch them well, but not near the main stem. Full sun if at all possible & keep them well watered for the first couple of weeks until their roots have established a bit. If the competition is on weight then water well at night & harvest early in the morning.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:15 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Thanks andrewschooks and Bungie. I'm not sure yet what variety they'll be. Get them on Monday. I only grow heirloom varieties by choice and they are already in the ground and doing well. The comp ones will go into old washing machine barrels on a paved area for warmth. I'm planning to plant deeply for increased root growth and am thinking about layering the planting mix (mainly my compost) with NKP according to growth needs - root growth boost in the first 10 cm, followed by N (chook/alpaca poop based) and the bottom layer modified for flower and fruit development. I'll do a control planting without the layering - interested to see if it makes a difference. Not prepared to use any chemicals. Have plenty of worm wee and OK with some of the liquid fertilizers.
Also planning to thin fruit as the judging is on first ripe and largest.
What do you think about removing laterals? I don't usually bother (although sometimes I plan to)

Good tip about harvesting Bungie


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:32 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Yes removing laterals and thinning fruit will give you bigger fruit quicker. This is a Black Krim I picked yesterday.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:51 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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When I worked for a commercial grower, he used to dig deep trenches to plant the seedlings into. He actually started the seeds close together to force them to grow tall to have a longer stem.
They were then planted on their sides facing opposite directions out of the trench with just the top 3sets of leaves visible.
As they grew along the ground (being an indeterminate variety) the stems were covered twice more which meant they actually ended up with about 60cm of stem that had roots coming out all along it.
The plants ran across the ground then. They were fed irrigated as much as possible & we picked them every week for months.
It was sandy soil & very hot but the fruit never got sunburn because there was a lot of leaf cover that stood up well above the stems where the fruit was.
Early this year I used the same technique in my own garden because this soil is quite poor & does not necessarily respond positively to fertilizing.
I dug a deep trench & dug in a barrow load of mixed fertilizer including blood & bone, chicken manure, Searles 5in1, potash, boron, sulphur, Katek organic super pellets & waited 2wks each at their recommended rate per linear meter of row.
I set Beef Steak, Black Krim, Graf Zeplin & Green Zaebra seeds.
I then laid 6 tall seedlings of each variety in the trench & covered deeply then progressively covered the stems as they grew with alternate layers of hay & soil. I kept them mulched with organic pure lucerne hay. Once the plants were about 60-70high I snipped out excess stems to leave 3 leaders per plant & built a grand bamboo trellis over 2m high which I had to cover with bird netting to prevent the king parrots from eating everything. I hung strings down & trained each leader up a string. All those plants created a double row 6m long & 2m wide.
I applied buckets full of Powerfeed fortnightly (purchased in a 20lt drum) plus trace elements, then topped the stems that lay on the ground under the plants covered in roots with mushroom compost & more lucerne hay.
Very important to keep the soil wet, even soggy in a soil type that will tolerate it like that as tomatoes just love moisture. It stops the fruit splitting or getting marks.
The plants covered the trellis with heavy leaf & grape bunches of large sweet juicy fruit.
I am kept busy preserving.

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Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


Last edited by ClissaTSoyFreeChooks on Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:52 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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andrewschooks wrote:
Yes removing laterals and thinning fruit will give you bigger fruit quicker. This is a Black Krim I picked yesterday.


Yes that's about the size I've been getting from my Black Krims too.

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ClissaT

going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:36 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Thanks guys. Laterals off it is then.

Clissa, I've always wanted to try horizontal planting, and training. (next year)

And Nelly, thanks - I did take the opportunity to mention the other ute canopy!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:38 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Been doing some reading and picked up a couple of interesting tips on tomato growing

A side dressing of Gypsum at flowering will help prevent Blossom End Rot.

University of Minnisota study found that the water from boiling egg shells provides an instant calcium and potassium hit - to stimulate flowering and fruiting.

Prepared the planting pots for tomatoes today
Compost - lots of chook poop and coffee grounds as well as wood ash and dry stuff for carbon - chookies eat your hearts out worms, worms worms.
Worm castings - Lots of egg shells - chookies eat your hearts out, worms, worms, worms
Garden soil - after green manure crop - chookies eat your hearts out, worms, worms, worms
Washed river sand - no worms
Added rock dust, trace elements, gypsum, soil wetter and blood and bone.

No idea if the balance is OK - will have to judge the development. Havn't checked ph - think the mix is too fresh

And just to stir mr sue55 up a bit, I've left the moon planting calendar on the bench. According to him this is all witch craft, voodoo, hocus pocus, mumbo jumbo and some other words.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:54 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Picked first strawberries for the season. Heritage varieties fragrant, tender, sweet, yummy.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:37 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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sue55 wrote:
And just to stir mr sue55 up a bit, I've left the moon planting calendar on the bench. According to him this is all witch craft, voodoo, hocus pocus, mumbo jumbo and some other words.



:) I am following the moon planting too Sue...I always intend to do a "Control" comparison plant to see if the moon planted ones do actually do any better than randomly planted seeds/seedlings but always seem to forget/run out of time/seedlings Something about it feels instinctively right but I would still like to test it out (being a bit of a 'double checker' as Mr Took Took says :biggrin:)

Maybe this year I will actually do the comparison... :yess


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:16 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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My garden isn't growing. It's swimming. :( seedlings in last weekend. It's been stormy since


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:04 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Most of my garden is rather overly mature now. I did plant a heap of new seeds for spring/summer, most of which came up but the autumn/winter garden is still producing.
Got my first snow peas the other day, most welcome.
Still lots of winter veg waiting to be eaten. But now that it is just me to consume 3 persons worth of veg, lots are going to waste unfortunately.

Bl@@dy chooks will only eat grated cooked carrot or broccoli & beetroot leaves that I sit there & hold for them. They won't attempt any other garden waste so all the rest is wasted although at a pinch they might condescend to eat a red tomato if I cut it up for them. If they get out which is most days, they scratch up fresh seedlings rather than eat lovely full lettuce for example.

Tomatoes falling, even though I have canned & dried massive volumes along with egg plants & paprika caps.
I'll try to make time to do a few jars of beetroot over the coming weekend.
But all the leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach & silver beet, cress, etc have been wasted. There are some red cabbage hearts that I'll try to eat or store in the fridge & the root veg- beetroot, carrots & parsnips will keep a while in the ground.

I haven't begun digging the potatoes yet but I know there is a heap of sweet red potatoes & kiplers.
Corn will be ready in a week or so. Between me & the horses we'll demolish that lot.
I picked a celeriac for dinner last night & deep fried thin slices along with pumpkin slices into chips for a decedent change. Only 8 left to eat! In that bed there are also 8 chicory that are hearting up beautifully but will go to waste now too.

Purple beans always bare well & make a tasty snack while feeding cluckles & watering garden.
Grubs are demolishing the broccoli sprouts so I don't know what the chooks will have to eat for greens once I have to pull all those big brocs out. I kept some for seed & chookie greens. Maybe I can set a heap of broccoli & beetroot seeds for young greens for cluckles. Hopefully they won't bolt in the heat.

Down the other end of the house yard the Madagascar beans are already producing again & the choko has sent out several new vines. The grapes might make it if I can keep the parrots away.

If only there were more hours in the day or I had more energy. :roll:

Parrots have already got the tiny lychee fruit & pretty much all the pigeon peas. I keep the tomatoes covered with bird mesh or I'd have none due to king parrots.
I ordered a whole roll of bird mesh today to cover the pigeon peas, lychee tree, more tomatoes & probably the snow peas. I'd be better off with a huge meshed in garden/orchard space but the previous owners didn't design this garden/orchard well & it's scattered all over the place.

So the chooks & I will get some out of it all & the horses will get heaps!

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ClissaT

going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:27 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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mixed bunch wrote:
My garden isn't growing. It's swimming. :( seedlings in last weekend. It's been stormy since


Ooh where are you Mixed Bunch? Today in Melbourne it really stormed it up ..50mls of rain! I think many of my seedlings have been drowned too!


Clissa - your garden sounds amazing! Such abundance. I will have to post photos of my fave chook garden in Northern NSW ...it is a bunker haven for chooks netted completely to keep out fruit bats (and other critters too I expect) and fondly known as the Rhino Enclosure by our friends (the designers!)

Let me just search out my photos as it may inspire you/others. I know it is what I will design one day when we go rural!!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:07 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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TookTook, that Rhino Enclosure sounds like what I need.
The fruit bats are in plague numbers here also.
Particularly once the mangoes get going around mid December.
I'm thinking along the lines of the frame from an old grow house probably 60mx40m or maybe longer.
I would just cover it with white bird mesh.
Often when hydro growers or flower farmers go out of business the frames can be got for not a lot.
Or I could just use bamboo to build a light frame as big as I want & keep extending it.
I'd like to transplant my fruit trees to a better location so the whole garden & chook pen could be under the same frame.
My mango trees are getting a reasonable size now, far too big to cover with mesh unless heavily pruned which is an option in worst case.
My soil is so poor & dam water so out of balance it's a wonder I can grow anything. It takes a massive amount of chook & horse manure compost, organic fertilizer & trace elements. Be much cheaper to just buy organic fruit & veg at the local fruit shop.
But then I wouldn't get the exercise, have such a variety or have extra for horses & chuckies.

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ClissaT

going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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