Balcony tomatoes

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Fueling Around

Smoking Guru
Original poster
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Dec 10, 2018
NW Minnesota
OK, Florida winter is pretty short compared to most regions.
Decided to give a try at balcony tomatoes.
Bought a Big Beef tomato plant and potted in a 5 gal bucket on 9 January. Stripped all blossoms and let it grow.
It goes on the balcony now and then when temps are good.
Now it survives under 2 grow lamps.

Grow lights are great to keep it healthy, but not stimulate excessive green growth.

A month later and the fruit is forming. I stimulate the blossoms 3x daily to ensure pollination as the screened balcony doe not allow beneficial insects.

A few more weeks and I will be posting red ripe tasty tomato
I'm not long behind you here in zone 9b... many here plant 3rd week of February, but I like to wait until 2nd. week of march. Last season we had a late cold snap down below 32*F and I had to cover my tomato plants for the first time ever.....
Very nice..... FYI it was snowing this am at my place..... I would sure like to think about maters...
Thanks everyone. Appreciate the replies and likes.

Looking good, you might the first BLT post this year.
That's my hope. I still have a bit of my cold smoked bacon to make it a true BLT. Oh yes, got back into sourdough bread making. Dukes mayo and a smashing sandwich.
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John if you were in my part of Florida you'd have had frost this morning looks like the same tomorrow. We more than likely are not done with freezing weather up here yet
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I've read that bucket tomato varieties are often smaller than grown in a garden.
Taking a few steps to prune the foliage and remove 1 of 3 fruits in the clusters. I may reduce to 1 fruit per cluster.
Increase the fertilizer.
Big Beef is an indeterminate variety.
I added two 6' tree stakes to the bucket
Stakes are anchored to the bucket with screws and fender washers
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Not too long ago, I planted a big garden and would plant 60-80 tomato plants of a bunch of different varieties, mostly heirlooms, and Brandywine was my favorite along with Cherokee Purple. One year just for giggles and grins, I planted some tomatoes in containers. I couldn't get them to produce squat and not sure why, but I gave up on that, and then later I gave up on the big garden...☹
Thinking I'm gonna order 3 of those monster tomato plants and try them in buckets on my patio. $35 for 3 on the Burpee website, shipped by UPS. They ship based on the planting time for my zone, 7. We'll see how they do.

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We're getting closer to the first BLT.
After over a month of fruit on the vine, 1 has finally turned the corner.

Still trying to figure out the best fertilizing regiment. The box suggestion of every week or two is not enough. I stepped up to twice a week and so far haven't burned the plant. Recent run of warm temps has really helped.
Each blossom cluster is 3-5, but I prune to a single fruit to try prevent blossom end rot.
Last night and tonight are cool (nowhere near freezing), but hope that makes the plant kick into the "I'm going to die mode" and ripen more fruit.

Thanks for watching
Thanks for all the likes and comments everyone.

Looking good, you better guard that sucker.
My wife has been eyeing that tomato since it started getting color. Going to be a compromise as she keeps asking how the baby is progressing. We both prefer a fresh garden ripe mater. The second one finally started turning this week.

I dont have a spot for a garden. I have also gave up on containers. I decided the price at the farmers market was not so high after all.
I watched your bucket brigade thread. Sorry it didn't work out for you.
Back in MN I just put them in the ground and hope for the best.

Gonna be a tasty blt!

That is always my desire for the first home grown tomato
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