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Sepp permaculture for tomatoes  RSS feed

 
Amedean Messan
pollinator
Posts: 928
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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Through hundreds if not thousands of years of evolution guided by man kind, these heavy fruited crops cannot sustain acceptable fruiting without artificial support.  If there is no staking of these plants then the heavy fruit weigh and occasionally break branches or the fruit rot on the ground.  I have not seen any techniques regarding Sepp's methods for tomatoes.  Has anyone any experience on this issue?
 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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the large tomato farms I've seen don't trellis tomatoes.  they just lay on the bare dirt.  works in some conditions.  can't imagine that's what Herr Holzer is doing.
 
Amedean Messan
pollinator
Posts: 928
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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I was thinking of using large flat stones placed on top of loose soil and that perhaps this would prevent premature rot and as a bonus retain water in the summer heat.  Since tomatoes love the heat I imagine the fruits would sweeten from the radiant heat. 
 
tel jetson
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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the rocks could work especially well to keep fruit warm at night.  in my experience, nighttime temperatures are more important than daytime temperatures for tomatoes.
 
Amedean Messan
pollinator
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Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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I would love to have a setup were I would introduce possibly 6 varieties of heirloom tomatoes and not plant every year, but rely on the subsequent germinations of the fruit.  I had a square foot garden and for the past year I have not planted tomatoes, they just grew buy themselves from rotted fruit.  Reminds me of what I believe was in the movie "Food Inc" where they interviewed Mexican farmers about how they occasionally planted corn in the wild to build strong genetics. 
 
Travis Philp
gardener
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Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Tiny Tim is a variety that I've grown which doesn't need trellising, though it is a cherry type. It only grows knee high at most.

I've also grown large red field types that were 5 feet high with no trellis but unfortunately I can't remember the variety. Damn.
 
travis laduke
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Hmm. I have some volunteer cherry growing along the ground. It's probably 10 feet long. That's a good idea about the rocks. I should put all the spare stepping stones and bricks I have in that bed.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
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Location: zone 7
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the tomatoes in our food forest just grow wherever they want, some climb on posts i have poked around for things to grow on, some crawl the ground and some grow on shrubs and trees. imo what happens early on in life determines how the plant is going to grow the rest of its life. once a plant starts growing on the ground its that way for good.
 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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letting them grow over rocks is a great idea. Im going to try that this upcoming year. I can personally vouch for the benefits of rocks as thermal mass.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Rob S. aka Blitz wrote:
letting them grow over rocks is a great idea. Im going to try that this upcoming year. I can personally vouch for the benefits of rocks as thermal mass.


Can rocks help moderate temperatures, that is, can rocks help keep it from getting as cold OR as hot as it would without the rocks?  I have literally tons of rocks, and would like to use them the best way.  Maybe I should start a rock thread if there isn't one already...
 
travis laduke
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I suppose you'd have to orient things so the rocks are in the shade in the summer and in the sun in the winter.
 
Paula Edwards
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I found that tomatoes are not especially happy to be trellised. However, the fruit is difficult to pick if they ramble over the ground and half of them rot because you don't see them. We had this when we had no time for the garden and a lot of voluntary tomatoes grew. But like that they are ok but not really high quality.Tomatoes just love to send their roots down everywhere.
 
Rob Sigg
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Location: PA-Zone 6
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Ludi wrote:
Can rocks help moderate temperatures, that is, can rocks help keep it from getting as cold OR as hot as it would without the rocks?  I have literally tons of rocks, and would like to use them the best way.  Maybe I should start a rock thread if there isn't one already...


From my experience they have worked great in moderating the temperature swings in the area. Another rock thread would be great to see others experiences. They are very undervalued IMO.
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