My Naples FL Tomato Garden Journal
I'm still trying to figure out the best way to support my tomatoes.
So far, I've dug the 2x2x2 foot hole, mixed 50% sandy topsoil (homemade), 50% peat moss plus 25% perlite added to the total of that (I know it's not 100% but it's how I think of math), and added a few tablespoons of "tomato and veg fertilizer" mixed in with the soil as I prepared the holes, and planted three tomatoes so far. I have black plastic over the whole garden, and 3 ft pipes going to the bottom of the 2ft deep holes to add fertilizer, water, etc. At the bottom is the innerds of a disposable diaper.
With Naples, Florida sandy soil, the soil needs all of the help it can get. (and I'm pretty sure it's alkaline soil, since our water is EXTREMELY hard, so the addition of acidic peat moss SHOULD help).
Now while I'm preparing the holes, planting the plants, I'm thinking about tomato cages/Florida weave, etc.
I THINK what I'll go with is what I have at hand: 100 ft of 4' vinyl covered garden fencing which I'll make into 2 ft wide circles with one or two green T-Posts for each circle, and the circle set about a foot above the bottom of the post (making the height of the tomato cage 4.5 to 5 feet tall).
Watering properly, I haven't fully figured out yet. I've added a bunch of water to the bottom of the holes and a little water (using a dripping 1/4" tube hooked up to my garden hose using a homemade contraption I built a few years ago) to the tops of the plants.
I put a cup of agricultural hydrated lime down the tube of each hole and watered it yesterday.
I got rid of vines in the trees around the garden to give it the maximum sun in this partially shady area.
I purchased some cheap clear 30 gallon garbage bags to put around the tomato cages to: 1) act as a greenhouse 2) protect plants on windy days 3) protect when the nighttime temps go below 50 (which they did the other day and killed most of my pepper plants).
What are your thoughts about all of this?
Anything I've done wrong or could do better before I plant the other 15 or so tomato plants (which are sitting sadly in containers, clinging to life as they dry out several times a day).