Sunlight in an Intensive Bed

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by suelandress, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    If I planted 24 tomato plants in an intensive 4x20 bed, would the center tomatoes get enough sunlight (assuming caged plants)?
     
  2. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    The sfg book shows 4sq.ft./plant and you are at 3.8. I think you would be really pushing the window. Than again, it think it would depend on the breed of tomato also.
     

  3. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I plant two rows of tomatoes in my garden boxes. I plant them 18" apart in rows about 2 ft apart. I use two sheets of cattle fence as trellis/support. They are joined at the top, and spread at the bottom - like an upside down "V". The panels are 8' long (Thats all the tomatoes I need). I weave the tomato shoots as they grow. By the end of the summer I need a step ladder to reach to the top.
     
  4. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    '

    Ok, say I made it 20. the point is, will the tomatoe in the back block the sun from the front one?
     
  5. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    :haha: :haha: Sorry I missed your point :eek: I still must be as what are you meaning front and back? Are you saying that the back row only receives sun from one direction and the bed is not in a full sun situation?? In a full sun situation in a bed of your dimension, there should be no front or back and there should be enough sun for all. If the "back" is against a building or some other sun-blocking situation, than yes, I would have to think the front would block the back from getting enough sun.
     
  6. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    Guess you would have gotten my point if I made it clearer. Too much gray hair :)
    The bed is fully exposed to sun when nothing is in it. However, the summer sun is actually a bit to the back of it, not directly over it....thus the shade created??
     
  7. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    O.K. got you!! I think that if you keep in mind that tomatoes are very heavy feeders and need lots of water, you should be fine, IMO. Now, that said......Jay has a lot more experience with Square Foot Gardening and I would hope he would have some input. Also, staggering should help (they plants not you ;) )
     
  8. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I know what you're saying and I think the tomatoes will do fine. I have some boxes that run north-south and some that run east-west. I move the tomato setup from one box to another in rotation. I haven't noticed sun starved tomato plants on the shady side. It may be the plants on the shady side yearn a little more. They start out the same small size and as they grow they accomodate to get the best light they can. In fact, my small garden (24x30) has a large maple tree on the northern edge, espaliered fruit trees on the west, a six foot wooden fence on the east and my ranch style house on the south. The path between the boxes and the perimeter is 3 feet. Shade from the house hits the edge of the first box at 2 and has covered the second box by 4. I battle trees annually: I cut any maple branches that grow over the garden, and keep the fruit trees pruned to 7 feet.
     
  9. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    Also, staggering should help (they plants not you )

    :D Me tooooo!!!
     
  10. If you feel that this is really going to become a problem (shade that is), perhaps you could space the tomatoes further apart & inter-plant them with a companion plant that are light feeders and much shorter, hence not creating as much shade. here are a few plants that grow really well with tomatoes & will allow you to increase your gardens' production:

    Marigolds, Parsley, Onions, Chives, Nasturtiums and Carrots
     
  11. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    If you wait til hot days and warm nights to plant tomatoes it probably doesn't matter if they get sun full time. We had excellent luck with all our tomatoes when the weather was perfect. We flood irrigated and it worked out better than any other method including drip.