Author Topic: My First Earthboxes -- and a Challening Tomato Situation  (Read 1675 times)

EarthBoxAdmin

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My First Earthboxes -- and a Challening Tomato Situation
« on: July 06, 2017, 11:59:33 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Active Member, tenthousandwaves. This was originally posted on July 30, 2012.

I'm in a temperate region of Australia where the climate is considered "Mediterranean." We get a few blisteringly hot days in the summer, but winters are relatively mild -- no frost or snow. We've been in an extended drought and have water restrictions, which is why I've gone with Earthboxes for my garden.... that and the fact that I don't have a speck of soil on my urban property. Here are my planting locations:

1. I have a west-facing balcony in front which can get intense sun in the evenings and strong winds, but is also open on the north and south sides so receives a gentler light on the northern side as the sun moves east to west.

2. I have a north-facing balcony on the side which receives the same gentler light from early morning to later afternoon, after which it's in shade.

3. I have a ground floor courtyard sandwiched between my three-storey building and the neighboring two-story building. Fortunately, it's on the north side (remember, I'm in the southern hemisphere). It is in medium to light shade most of the day -- light enough that on a clear day things in the courtyard cast a very slight shadow. As the sun moves across the sky, it casts a bright light on the wall about three feet above the ground (the adjacent building blocks the sun below that point.

My question is, will tomato plants do well in light shade? At some point they'll reach a height where their leaves will be in the sun for maybe three hours a day. Otherwise, they'll be in light shade. The benefit of this location is that it's cooler and the plants oughtn't fry when the sun really starts to boil here in the summer (Dec-Feb).

As an experiment, I've gone ahead and planted a Black Russian and a Chocolate Cherry tomato in one of my earthboxes in the courtyard, although it's still a bit early. I'll plant another pair in September (Spring) for a side-by-side comparison.

I'll also plant a determinate tomato on both balconies. I'd plant Black Russian and Chocolate Cherry except the wind on the front balcony would send them airborne, and there's no space on the small side balcony for massively tall plants.

I have lots of other questions, but these are the ones I'm most concerned about. My experiment will be enlightening, I'm sure, but I'd be keen for any tips on growing tomatoes in these conditions or an recommendations on varieties that may be tolerate light shade better than others.

Thank you for a very useful and interesting forum!

EarthBoxAdmin

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Re: My First Earthboxes -- and a Challening Tomato Situation
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2017, 12:01:08 pm »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, tag. This user is located in Fleming Island, FL, Zone 8. This was originally posted on July 30, 2012.
Is light shade the same thing as filtered sunlight? I've been very successful growing tomatoes in an area where the plants only get about 4 hours of sun a day. The rest of the time they are in the shade. Keep in mind that while in the shade they still receive indirect sunlight.

The only way to know if they will grow there is to try.