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Small Tomato Plant
updated: Jun 23, 2014, 4:24 PM

Does anyone know the best nursery or home store in Goleta or SB to buy small hearty tomato plants?

 COMMENT 530046 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-23 04:31 PM

La Sumida, but you're getting a late start.


 COMMENT 530051P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-23 04:42 PM

Island Seed!

We just (Saturday) picked up a few 24" tomato plants for $1.00! They have many to choose from and the price is crazy right!


 COMMENT 530052P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-23 04:44 PM

Island Seed & Feed has a large variety and everything is grown organically. Plus, they usually have the time to give you growing tips, if you need any advice.

967-5262 29 S. Fairview (near Railroad tracks & Hwy 101)

As for late planting: I have planted tomatoes later than this, with great results. Just be sure to use lots of compost and mulch, to help keep plants hydrated. Remember that tomatoes prefer deep watering to shallow and frequent watering. And a handful of calcium chips always helps. Worm castings, too. All can be got at Island Seed & Feed.

Have fun. Can't beat homegrown!


 COMMENT 530055 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-23 04:55 PM

plus 3 for IS&F


 COMMENT 530056 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-23 04:56 PM

Island Seed and Feed


 COMMENT 530057P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-23 04:57 PM

Island Seed & Feed! Great selection of heirlooms, super knowledgable, really friendly. All their maters and eggplant are half off right now. I just came with another load today... running out of room. Tee hee! Happy gardening!


 COMMENT 530091 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-23 07:23 PM

Check out La Sumida, and there's still plenty of time left to plant them in SB. We planted as late as September last year, and a couple of those plants are still going due to the crazy winter weather we had. But figure that from plants it'll be 65 - 80 days til the first fruit are ready so you should consider sticking to "early" varieties.


 COMMENT 530094P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-23 07:41 PM

Our Early Girl tomato plants - a variety that has always been successful for us in the past -- have terrible mildew right now. Are other gardeners experiencing this? What shall I do? Rip 'em out and replant with another variety, or hang tough?


 COMMENT 530100P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-23 09:51 PM

The guy who sells them at the Farmer's Markets has amazing plants for a very reasonable price!


 COMMENT 530102P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-23 10:07 PM

Is there ever a time in SB when you can't plant a tomato? ;) Our one tomato plant that didn't get eaten by the gophers last year is still thriving, and it's over a year in the ground now. It even spawned several volunteers - about a half dozen at last count! My best luck with tomatoes is after a few weeks to get them situated, just ignore them completely. They seem to get all the moisture they need from deep roots without watering from me.


 COMMENT 530104P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-23 10:49 PM

Home Improvement has a large selection.


 COMMENT 530123P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-24 07:52 AM

Farmers Market guy or Island Feed and Seed.


 COMMENT 530125 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-24 08:10 AM

Our tomato plants are in a raised box and starting to produce. This year, for the first time when going to pick the first ripe ones, discovered they are half eaten! We have always had skunks and raccoons on the property, with no problems, but suspect that recently arrived squirrels are the culprits. Any ideas on how to protect the plants? They are 3- 4 feet tall.


 COMMENT 530153P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-24 09:27 AM

@125, we surrounded our raised vegetable beds with that 2x3" wire mesh fencing 4 feet high but the critters went in over the top. So we put chicken wire over the top. Something was still getting in, so we put chicken wire around the sides too. Then we discovered rats were getting in, so we set a round of snap traps until the nibbling stopped. The deer still eat whatever sticks out through the wire.

Our back yard looks like a vegetable zoo with all these cages. The tomato plants grow up through the top mesh, mostly out of range of the deer, but not the squirrels or birds. Now tree roots are coming up through the bottom of the beds, sucking up water and nutrients. A farmer's life is tough.


 COMMENT 530157 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-24 09:44 AM

Oscar in the Farmer's Market does a great job and will help with tips on mildew and general gardening.


 COMMENT 530166P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-24 09:57 AM

Island Seed & Feed rocks!

The people there are ultra-knowledgable about everything they sell, unlike Home Depot & other "nurseries" in town.

If you want to get off your addiction to commercial, chemical-type fertilizers, they can easily & gently guide you to the organic side of growing everything for far less money.

You will be impressed with IS&F. If not, I'll refund your time reading this. :-)


 COMMENT 530180 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-24 10:20 AM

It's NOT that it's too late to plant, warmer soils and longer days of June are perfect, it's that SELECTION is usually low by this time. Island Seed is a great place to look. Plants are grown locally, not shipped in from San Diego.

If you get a tall or leggy plant, dig a deep hole and removing all lower leaves, plant so that only the top two to three inches is above ground level. The plant will strike roots all along the buried stem, and develope into a beefy plant in no time. It'll be much sturdier.

For excellent care tips/trouble-shooting advice, go to the websites LoveApple Farms or Gotomato. Both will give excellent growing information. just google and webpage links will come up.


 COMMENT 530199 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-24 10:41 AM

Go to Island Seed & Feed. Also check out their facebook page--Matt takes amazing photos.


 COMMENT 530210 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-24 11:06 AM

@SEEDLADY - that's exactly what I did! I saw a video a few years ago about deep planting tomatoes. I bought a couple for cheap @ IS&F a few weeks ago and they are already huge. Plus I already had a couple going from Oscar that are producing lots of tomatoes!

@153P We also have issues with the ground squirrels. I have raised beds with cages that I built around them and chicken wire "lids" to put on top. This worked well last year, but sadly this year, the wood has started to rot and the chickenwire on the bottom of our raised bed has come loose and the squirrels are getting in. I've been setting traps in the cage and gotten a few, but there is a COLONY of them!! :( Would love any tips for keeping them away from our "rustic" yard!


 COMMENT 530235P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-24 11:58 AM

Killing critters that eat my plants has never been my thing. Setting "snap" traps and such is just begging for trouble, as far as "incidental kill" goes. What if your trap snaps down on a Towhee or other garden innocent? Yuk. Prevention and not murder is best.

@0194P. Mildew is a death sentence for most plants. You can try spraying them with a homemade organic spray, but I think it's not going to work if your plants look like they're already succumbing to the mildew.

Organic spray to combat mildew on plants:

Mix together:
1 gallon of water and 1 tablespoon each of:
baking soda
vegetable oil
organic type dishwashing liquid

Spray your plants early in the morning or on overcast days, if you're doing it later in the day. You don't want to "sunburn" the plants' leaves. Spray weekly. This works for squashes and cosmos and zinnias and other plants prone to mildew.


 COMMENT 530257P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-24 12:24 PM

@235, re snap traps, rats are most active at night. We set traps at dusk and cover any that are unsprung at dawn so we don't catch birds.

Agreed that prevention would be preferable, but how does one "prevent" rats in the garden? In our woodland area it's not really feasible to remove all hiding places and clean up all spilled birdseed every day. Never EVER use poison!


 COMMENT 530283 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-24 01:37 PM

So if I surround my box with wire, how do I harvest? The box is already two feet off the ground for easy weeding.


 COMMENT 530305P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-24 02:59 PM

@283, yes, the wire enclosures do make harvesting more difficult!

Our raised beds are 4' x 8' x 16" high. We pounded in a tall metal fence post at each corner and one in the center of each side. There are two wire fence sections for each raised bed, attached at the corners. They wrap around the ends of the bed, meet at the posts in the center of each side and are hooked in place. So we can unhook those ends and swing the sections outward like doors. The chicken wire on top is just bent over the upper edges of the fencing to close gaps where squirrels might sneak in.

Pretty damned expensive veggies, now that we've invested in all that hardware.! But battling the critters is an interesting challenge, and fresh garden tomatoes are worth it.



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