No Till growing tomatos

A question here for no till gardeners, what steps do you take growing tomatos (from seedlings to final harvest).
Thanks for any info.
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What do you mean by "no till"? Not turning the soil over each season with a rototiller?
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no dig, not digging the soil or very minimal tillage, using mulches and green cover crops.
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Major digging is only needed when preparing a new area that's got deeply rooted grass or other vegetation. Once the area's cleared of that stuff the first season, periodic weeding and shallow cultivation should eliminate the need for further soil disturbance. Cultivation, in my case, consists of using a goose-neck weeder tool which skims about 2-4 inches below the surface. This severs the roots of weeds, and also fluffs up the soil, which is supposed to assist in moisture retention. When mowing, I bag some grass and sprinkle a 3-4 inch layer around all garden plants. This turns brown pretty quickly in hot weather, and does a great job of keeping the soil moist and weeds at a minimum.
Other than this, I don't do anything special. If you can be more specific with your questions, I can be of more assistance.
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Yup, sounds no diggish to me. How do 'you' grow tomatos using a no dig system. What steps do you take through the growing season from seed to final harvest. Thanks.
rob
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None of the steps are any different, except for one, which depends on your soil: If you're dealing with "bad soil", which can mean many things, you may want to prepare a hole a few sizes larger than the seedling's root ball, and add potting soil. I've done this a few times when the soil's contained lots of clay and I wanted to plant immediately, rather than waiting for soil improvements to do their job, which can take months or longer.
Regardless of whether you till or not, a tool like this is a must. I also have a hand version: http://www.gardeners.com/Swan-Neck-Hoe/default/StandardCatalog.GardeningTools_LaborSaving.34-526.cpd
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wrote:

Geography probably makes a difference in growing tomatoes, but my favorite growing method was to dig a hole about bushel basket size and fill it with composted lawn grass from the year before, along with a bit of lime and magnesium (Epsom Salts). The magnesium helps with blossom drop, that seems to occur more with composted tomatoes. Set a tomato plant in the composted material with a mixture of garden soil and keep the area covered in mulch, either more composted grass or freshly cut when I ran out of composted grass.
There is a drawback to composting and mulching heavily, it causes the ground temperature to be a bit cooler and the plant tends to grow bigger and a bit slower before producing tomatoes. Most of my composted plants lived through the hottest part of summer and began to produce again when the weather cooled. At the end of the season the vine will have grown up over a 6' cage and back down to the ground again. YMMV
Regards,
Hal Zone 8 Georgia
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g'day george,
none mate don't prune anymore, don;t stake them up, just make sure they get the water they need, check for any grub attacks, set fruit fly traps for the fruit fly and pick ripe fruit.
wrote:
snipped With peace and brightest of blessings,
len
-- "Be Content With What You Have And May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In A World That You May Not Understand."
http://www.gardenlen.com
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I guess first question len is how to propogate them. Grow in a container seperately in sunny spot etc, or plant straight in to the ground with mulch removed and reapply mulch round it once plants grows a few inchs high, or indent the mulch and fill with compost/soil and plants the seed straight into that.
Advice appreciated.
rob

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Where do you live?

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new zealand. frosts in mid winter (soon) but gone by early spring. Heaps of rain and mild dry summers.
rob

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George, the bottom line here is that whether you use no-till methods, or go to the other extreme and till the hell out of your soil every time you feel like starting a noisy machine (like my neighbor), it has no relationship to how you plant the seeds and care for the plants. I think you're trying to expand the no-till subject to overlap an aspect of gardening on which it has no effect.

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g'day george,
i'm one of those who has trouble getting seeds to germinate, so generally i buy seedlings. but i have planted seeds into drills by pulling the compost apart a bit not much sprinkle seeds along the drill and lightly cover with a sandy material, then when they have their second leaves developed they can be dug out seperated and transplanted (they do suffer some transplant shock).
to do that i always trim off the first leaves and plant the stem to about 3/4 the length of the stem into the ground, this gives those young roots protection from the heat of the sun and gives a stronger growing tomato as roots grow up the lenght of the stem.
i have never had much joy in propgating seeds in trays etc.,. just me i think hey lol? have had better luck when direct seeding but then there is all that extra back work easing seedlings from the ground and transplanting.
snipped With peace and brightest of blessings,
len
-- "Be Content With What You Have And May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In A World That You May Not Understand."
http://www.gardenlen.com
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