HomemadeTomatoe Greenhouse ???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Randy Dandy, May 2, 2005.

  1. Randy Dandy

    Randy Dandy Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone ever done anything like this ?
    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y32/Pineyriverbuck/Picture018.jpg
    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y32/Pineyriverbuck/Picture016.jpg
    Just planted them this evening and it is a little cool. We took some cling wrap around the bottom and then pushed the cages on down so it would just touch the ground. First we dug shallow holes and filled with potting soil then planted and watered with miracle grow. Then cling wrapped and watered again then put cling wrap over the top.
    I just had the idea a while ago to put some close line clips around on each four corners to hold the cling wrap in place a little better.
    Anyway my real question is will this be alright for the tomato plants for at least the next three days ?
    Here is a link to our forecast http://www.wunderground.com/US/TN/Centerville.html
    It gets a little cooler down here in the bottom so close to the river.
    Is this a bad idea ???
    Any suggestions ???
     
  2. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    You really need to allow some ventilation or your plants will cook the first time the sun shines for 20 minutes.
     

  3. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    I agree with Laura, they need some air flow at this stage, and why the miracle grow?????? Yuck



    Miracle Gro is a salt based fertilizer that can burn your plants. There are so many good organic fertilizers on the market that you should not have to use this product. Also, by buying Scott's products, you're supporting a company that sells many toxic products!

    The Round-Up is another thing to avoid. What we're learning,is that while the main active ingredient is not always so harmful, there are no listings about the "inert" ingredients. There are many fertilizers that go into the silo as hazardous waste, and come out the bottom to be sold as fertilizer with no change in the product. Ironite is one of those products. Oddly enough (or maybe not, considering chemical companies pay to have our leaders elected) there is no governmental oversight or regulations concerning hazardous chemicals being sold as fertilizer. Their policy is "dilution is the solution". In other words, spread the harmful chemicals across the whole country on our farm fields and in our landscapes.

    Stay away from toxic chemicals. They are not needed and can be very harmful to yourself, your children, and your pets.

    Organic gardening simply works better


     
  4. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    Vancouver, and Moberly Lake, BC, Canada
    We use 6 x6 wire mesh that is used in concrete floors, bent and latched in a circle. They are 30" diameter and four-feet tall. Then I put plastic around them. We have a no-till garden with drip irrigation, and are not always at the garden. So, we aren't the best gardeners to ask about these cages.

    They worked great when we were there, if it was to be cold at night, then we pulled the plastic up to the top. But we never covered it that tight -- just a loose flap at the top.

    And, we left for three weeks at a time -- too long to leave.

    I think the idea is great, as long as you are there, and as long as you do not seal them up too tight. I think you should open up the plastic a bit, to let air into the plant cage.

    [​IMG]
    Two (we have ten total -- they are big) Tomato Cages at Back with White Looking Plastic, No-Till Garden, Drip Irrigation

    Good Luck,

    Alex
     
  5. Sedition

    Sedition Well-Known Member

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    I was able to pick up a cheap case of Wall o’ Water’s about four years ago (36 units). These are a 2’ tall ring of hollow tubes that you fill with water. Once full, they stand in a cone shape. You can squeeze some water out, and the top pretty much closes up to retain center heat. The benefit of water over just plastic is that the water releases heat as it cools, and absorbs heat as it warms up. Some people swear by the “WoW”, but I’ve found that it doesn’t speed up my seasons much but it does prevent frost kill so I can early plant tomatoes and cucurbits. Peppers are still too cold sensitive to plant more than a week early.

    I used to use the wire mesh idea. I picked up four 50’ spools of concrete reinforcing wire that somebody had set out on our annual “trash day”. I found that these weren’t stable enough for the monster indeterminate tomatoes that I grow (they fall over in storms, even when staked with 18” rebar rods), and wrapped in 4-mil plastic didn’t retain enough spring heat to prevent frost up north here. I converted them to ‘hoop duty’ for peas and pole beans, which they work spectacularly for. I have two 30’ long tunnels that I alternate my peas and beans between. I want to put in another tunnel, but it takes 1 and a half 50’ rolls of mesh to do this. When I checked the prices at Menards, this stuff was $40 for 50’! Holy cow steel is expensive right now. 6-strand fencing is not strong enough to stand up to this job (for pole beans), I really need the 12 or so gauge steel in the concrete wire.
     
  6. Randy Dandy

    Randy Dandy Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all very much for your help and advice.
    My wife took the tops off the plants this morning. I just got home and the plants look great. The side wrap kept the cool wind off them all day. We will cover them up again tonight because the low tonight they said on the radio driving home from work is going to be 36 to 34.
    Things should warm up after tonight...I hope.

    What is a good organic food for tomato's ?
     
  7. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    For tomatoes:
    Worm Casings, just go to the local feed store and ask for it. I was losing tomatoes last year, and this was suggested. It works great, and you can use it all over the garden. Organic means you can put tons, and it won't burn. Place about a cup in a cone shape around the plant you want to treat. I had no problems with it directly on the roots.
    Wow I sound like an expert! However, I am not, I just know what a farmer told me and it worked for me last year. I will be getting more this year, if it ever warms up up here.
     
  8. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Composted manure, handful of bone meal (phosphorus & calcium), handful of wood ashes (potassium). Got any critters? If not, and you have a neighbor who does, they'll probably be HAPPY to give you some manure. Don't dig it in, just put it on top and water it down.
     
  9. Randy Dandy

    Randy Dandy Well-Known Member

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    Thank you both very much. Those are interesting suggestions. I will definitely look into both of them. Thanks