When to plant tomatoes.

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Some areas behave like zone 4, too. Follow route 81 south through those mountains....
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exactly!:) then there are the peculiar microclimates on a property. i live in NH, mostly zone 5b... but i have zone 3 pockets & i have one neat little zone 7 pocket. microclimates are very interesting things. they're also a PITA in some cases. lee
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It takes a few years to figure out a piece of property, but it can be very interesting.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

I grew up in one of the cold parts of Pensylvania -- northwestern Susquahanna County.
Tomatoes were not planted until Memorial Day. Usually that was late enough to not get frost, but I could still find snow in the deep pine woods until mid-June.
-matt
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enigma wrote:

<whew> We live in Lancaster County, pa. I don't think anyone is gonna seek us out. N.H? Oh, now I am really homesick. My hubby and I would visit his friend's cabin on Lake Winnipesaukee years ago.
He is a loose dog? You mean he likes to take advantage of a Newbie? Shame on you Doug. <smiling> I can take it.
To get back to gardening, we do want to plant some big tomatoes and understand that marigolds keep the bugs away or is that just a wive's tale? Having fond memories of my dad's garden is keeping the memory alive.
Now is it okay to talk about that stuff or am I just rambling???? Bette
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wrote in

Marigolds seem to keep nematodes away, but they're not much of an issue with tomatoes. And, forget the moon.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

Had to google to understand menatodes. Something to do with fungi, but not keeping the bugs away. Do you use a chemical bug spray for your veggies? If so would it be a dry or spray on. How do you keep out the critters other than using a fence. I heard dry blood does the trick, but when it rains, it is washed away. Bette
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nematodes are worm-like critters. some eat roots & some are beneficial. here's more than you probably want to know: http://nematode.unl.edu /

not at all. i keep the veggies organic. no chemicals.

first, do you have critters & what kind? rabbits, deer, red squirrels, chipmunks, chickens? different animals need different controls. a 3-4 foot chicken wire fence with about a foot buried & angled outward will stop most rabbits, but none of the other animals i listed above. deer would require an 8' fence or a 6' double fence setup. my chickens can go over a 6' chainlink fence, so i'll probably put a motion activated sprinkler in the garden to keep them away (they *love* tomatoes & peppers). dried blood doesn't seem to work well on keeping things out (or not for long anyway), but it's good for the plants. marigolds & basil are both good companion plants for tomatoes. lee
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Only lunatics use chemicals on their vegetable gardens. These products have never been, and never will be proven safe, because they cannot be tested in a scientifically valid fashion, like medicines.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

Thanks for your insight. We would only use chemicals to help our lawn. Cannot recall what my dad did. So how do you protect your veggies from bugs? Bette
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wrote in message

***** Ha
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wrote in message

Chemicals on your lawn eventually end up somewhere. Can you guess where?
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Where is your excellent advice on tomatoes, Doug? Wasn't I specific enough with my location?
187 Willowen Dr Rochester, NY 14609-3233
Call me if you want.
(585) 467-3339
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Bette,
I understand your nervousness about the Internet. Why don't you call you county extension office and ask them which zone you live in, then you can post that info here. A zone is a very large area no one will know your location.
Phil
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Bette wrote:

Bette,
We can understand your wanting to not give people your exact address but it would not hurt to at least give the county or area of the state that you live in.
And it has nothing to do with feelings. We can't help you if you won't supply us with SOME information that will allow us to give you accurate information.
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Bill R. (Ohio Valley, U.S.A)

Gardening Since 1969
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Hi Doug, I live on Willowen drive in Rochester NY (hope that is specific enough for you)
What excellent advice can you give me about tomatoes?
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Mike Hunt wrote:

You're part of that Lake Ontario shoreline heat bubble that floats over Rochester not does not extend into the Finger Lakes. You should be safely in zone 6A... when other things in nature are going to plan, that is.
I used to confidently put out many of my plants in late May when I lived in that region, until one year when we got eight inches of snow dumped on us at that time. That was in 1989. The cold wasn't the problem that day. It was the weight of the snow that did the damage.
When we lived on the Lake Erie shoreline (zone 5), we didn't really dare put anything out until June. And when we lived in the Southern Tier (Jamestown, near the PA-NY border, zone 4), it was for sure that nothing went into the ground before mid-June. Late spring frosts were a bastard in that region.
Meanwhile, these days in Salt Lake City, zone 6B, my plants have been out under row covers and W.O.W for weeks now.
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right, & this month there's only one :) i have a nifty little program called moonphase that runs in my taskbar. it shows the 2nd full moon as blue when it happens :) anyway, since the OP is in PA, it's probably safe to put tomatoes out now. lee
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Go to http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ for a map showing the zones gardeners us and figure out which zone you live in, as all advice requires that information.
I live in zone 5 and I start my seeds indoors, under lights, then move the trays outside to acclimate the seedlings about a week or 10 days before my chosen planting date, which is around Memorial day.
Every year I plant one tomato seedling early (I did it today), protecting it with what are called walls of water, a ring of plastic pouches that, when filled with water, form a teepee over the plant and protect it from freezing. I then pamper this plant. Meanwhile, the rest of the seedlings are planted on Memorial day and not pampered at all. Guess which produce the earliest and most abundant fruits? I don't know why I keep trying to get earlier fruit from this pampered plant; it never happens.
I would suggest you use the next few weeks to improve the soil in your garden, doing a soil test and adding what is missing, and digging in a lot of organic matter.
Bette wrote:

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Not@home wrote:

Thanks ALL for your help. Improving our soil is almost too funny. In that this was once a farming area but sold out to some contractor to build homes. The soil is black and rich, yet I notice most everyone takes impeccable care of their front lawns; landscaped to perfection.
Finally we have the dandelions under control. Twice Chem Lawn came. The first time it poured right after he placed the first application on an acre of those impossible yellow weeds. Washing it all away, he came back yesterday and did the same things. Within hours the stems turned over. The man who mows our lawn also mentioned we have tons of chickweed and named some other stuff that is growling, preventing a lush lawn. So little by little it will look nice.
No, we're not that competitive where our lawn must be the best on the street just nice. Bette
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