Tomatoes!

Share info or tips or ask questions about Desert Gardening here. Suggest plants which do well in harsh desert conditions!

Re: Tomatoes!

Postby cactuspete » Thu May 07, 2015 7:52 am

The inconsistent watering theory probably accounts for cracking in places with normal weather, but out here in the desert the extreme heat and dryness undoubtedly play a huge role. When you think about it this doesn't contradict the inconsistent watering theory since heat and aridity would force the tomatoes to develop thicker skins and fluctations in heat and aridity would alter the rate of evaporation and cause the same problems as inconsistent watering.
User avatar
cactuspete
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 934
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:14 am
Location: The Boonies

Re: Tomatoes!

Postby surfsteve » Thu May 07, 2015 8:19 am

Well said. It's practically impossible to avoid inconsistent watering here in the desert. Even if you water the same time every day it still wont matter. Yesterday was windy so I had to water twice. Had it not been windy once would have been plenty. I'm sure my 60% shade cloth is going to cut the watering requirements by more than half. Unfortunately it will probably do the same thing to fruit production. But half is better than none which is pretty much what happened last year when I was just a few hours late watering them one time.
Make Trona great again!
surfsteve
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 2002
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:57 am
Location: everywhere

Re: Tomatoes!

Postby shadylady » Thu May 07, 2015 8:48 am

I think keeping the tomato plants protected from too much direct sun, hooking them up to a drip irrigation system on some kind of timer, and maybe some kind of mist system to protect them from extreme dryness might be the ticket. It would be a lot of bother for tomatoes, but it would be one way to increase the chances of producing delicious juicy tomatoes instead of rotten tomatoes.
User avatar
shadylady
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 798
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:20 am
Location: The Ranch

Re: Tomatoes!

Postby surfsteve » Thu May 07, 2015 9:27 am

It's not as simple as just hooking them up to irrigation because too much water can be as bad as too little. Plants with wet feet all the time will develop disease and rot. There are some devices that actually operate on moisture instead of timing but I've never used them. I mostly just "weigh" the pots by picking them up or tipping them to see how much water they need. The big pots I stick my finger in the soil and wait till it's dry at least an inch down but not more then two before I water them. You can do the same thing when planting directly in the ground. I guess my point is that timers water by time and take no consideration that plants need many times more water in the wind. If you water by time you'll either have to over water them on normal days or let them dry out too much when it's windy.
Make Trona great again!
surfsteve
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 2002
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:57 am
Location: everywhere

Re: Tomatoes!

Postby James Sel » Thu May 07, 2015 10:04 am

shadylady wrote:I think keeping the tomato plants protected from too much direct sun, hooking them up to a drip irrigation system on some kind of timer, and maybe some kind of mist system to protect them from extreme dryness might be the ticket. It would be a lot of bother for tomatoes, but it would be one way to increase the chances of producing delicious juicy tomatoes instead of rotten tomatoes.

That's the direction I'm leaning.
User avatar
James Sel
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 286
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:47 pm
Location: I'm too lost to explain

Re: Tomatoes!

Postby surfsteve » Thu May 07, 2015 10:15 am

Yesterday I restaked all my tomatoes so that the stakes are all the same height. All I have to do is move them to the sunniest part of the yard and throw my shade cloth over them and use a few rocks to hold it down. I'm thinking that maybe that's the way to go. The beauty (of the ugly cloth) is that you can water through it so the only real bother (removing a few rocks and a piece of cloth) is when I have to pick them and pull weeds. That's a sacrifice I'm totally willing to make.
Make Trona great again!
surfsteve
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 2002
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:57 am
Location: everywhere

Re: Tomatoes!

Postby surfsteve » Fri May 08, 2015 6:39 am

Here is what did yesterday. It's ugly but it was easy and it works. I think the 60% shade is going to be perfect. Getting some red full size ones now. I was wrong about being able to water through the cloth. I suppose I could but it wouldn't be practical.

Image

Image
Make Trona great again!
surfsteve
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 2002
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:57 am
Location: everywhere

Re: Tomatoes!

Postby tronagirl » Fri May 08, 2015 7:39 am

Aren't the water restrictions going to prohibit watering everyday? Won't that make it impossible to water the tomatoes when they need to be watered? It would be great to have a vegetable garden, but this year is probably not the year to do it. The water company is likely to shut you down before you can make it to harvest time!
tronagirl
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 566
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:55 am

Re: Tomatoes!

Postby James Sel » Fri May 08, 2015 8:58 am

tronagirl wrote:Aren't the water restrictions going to prohibit watering everyday? Won't that make it impossible to water the tomatoes when they need to be watered? It would be great to have a vegetable garden, but this year is probably not the year to do it. The water company is likely to shut you down before you can make it to harvest time!

Its not like he is starting a lawn. Shouldn't be an issue.
User avatar
James Sel
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 286
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:47 pm
Location: I'm too lost to explain

Re: Tomatoes!

Postby surfsteve » Fri May 08, 2015 9:55 am

Due to my 60% shade cloth I'm 60% indoors now. Your outdoor regulations don't apply to me anymore! There's a noticeable increase in humidity inside the tent and for the first time ever none of my plants needed watering. It also smells like tomatoes really strong in there. It's more like they are growing in a greenhouse. Now I'm excited about building a real hoop house. I think it would be a good idea to keep it really simple, just throwing the shade cloth over the frame at first and adding stuff like a door whenever I feel like it.
Make Trona great again!
surfsteve
Ancient Bristlecone
 
Posts: 2002
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:57 am
Location: everywhere

PreviousNext

Return to Desert Gardening Tips

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron