Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

Market Review – Kuraby Farmers’ Markets

Recently, I’ve been searching for information online about what’s the best market to find fruit trees, and vegetable seedlings. A number of active Brisbane Local Food members raved about the quality and price of seedlings, and interesting food and produce that are available from Caboolture Markets, but living on the southern fringe of the Brisbane City, it is really too far for us.

Markets is so trendy nowadays, that there’s a lot of information and reviews available online, but the specific information that I’m looking for is just not there! The best I could find was something along the line of “There’s a lot plants”……. So, here I am, trying to write reviews for people with common interest, and this would also give me an excuse to visit the different markets~

What’s a better place to start than the one closest to where I live?

Market Name: Kuraby Farmers’ markets
Website: http://www.kurabymarkets.com.au/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kurabymarkets
Where: Kuraby Train Station carpark, 1342 Beenleigh Road, Kuraby
What time: Every Saturday, 6am – 12 noon
Entry Cost: Free

There are a total of two places that sell plants. A large area at the back of the market, which might be comprises of more than one stall, but it looks like just one to me. There’s a good selection of different sizes ornamental plants, and some natives, but the only edible I can see are strawberries, plus a few fruit trees in a corner. There’s one each of different types of fruit trees in different size pots. I didn’t check every single one of them, but the single small blueberry plant was asking for $15, and there’s no variety on the label. Not quite what I was looking for.

However, there’s a small stall amongst the fruit and vegetable stalls selling organic seedlings, mostly in small round tubs for $2 each. There are some salad seedlings in seedling trays, which you select and they pick from the cells, and are sold for cheaper. There are also some seedlings in slightly larger tubs that cost a little more. They also have comfrey plants in pots, and worm juice in bottles. The varieties of seedlings appear to be F1 rather than open pollinated, but with a small growing capacity, I’m not really looking at seed saving so I was fine with that. I went home with a Sarian strawberry, and heartbreaker tomato ~

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Just remember, information are correct at the time of publish, there may be new stall holders any time in the future 🙂

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Superprize tomatoes update: Polyethylene box vs plastic pot

Although the amount of potting mix in the 250 mm pot, and the polyethylene box are probably about the same, however, the plant in the pot is showing much better and faster growth. Both of them are showing their first flower pinnacles, but the pot grown plant is a stronger plant.

Tomato flowers appearing

Since the plants were small when they were planted, I didn’t fill the pot with potting mix all the way up, so I can add more mix in as the plant grows. Tomatoes being a relative of potatoes, they grow roots where their stem touches the soil too, and by doing it this way, the plant anchors better into the ground and have more roots to take in water and nutrients. I couldn’t do that with the polyethylene box because it was shallow.

The other two plants in smaller containers are doing just a little bit better than the polyethylene box, which was a surprise since the amount of mix/soil in the box was at least double.

My conclusion is tomato plants do better in taller rather than wider containers of similar volumes, therefore, when transplanting tomato seedlings from their punnets, plant them into tall, minimum 250 mm containers. Fill half the container with potting soil/mix, bury up to their top two leaves, and add more potting soil as they grow until the pot is 85% full. My problem is, I don’t have any more 250 mm + containers!! Need to go out and buy some more!

Comparison

Lastly, I think the wider containers like the polyethylene boxes are probably better for vines… Maybe I should transplant the tomato in the box to a pot, and plant pumpkins or watermelons in the box instead ~

Super Prize Tomatoes

I wasn’t going to buy any seedlings, but it was more than half price at a supermarket… only $1.30 for a pot of tomato seedlings. The reason they marked them down is of course due to half of the seedlings were dead already, and all of their pots were bone dried. But I did spot a pot with three surviving seedlings of a variety called “Super Prize” which only grow to 50 cm high. I have always grown open pollinated indeterminate, so a small determinate F1 tomato is new to me, and it’s a bargain too good to pass.

After watering them regularly for a week, I think it’s ready to be planted out. Sadly when I tried to separate them, I found their roots were all tangled up. Although I managed to separate them, a lot of roots were lost. There was a little surprise though, there were four seedlings instead of three. Well, I hope at least one of them survive. I have potted them into different size containers, the largest of which is a Styrofoam box. So there’s a lot of spare space in that one, in order not to not waste valuable grow space I’ve poked in a few cuttings (Wisteria, crabapple, and mostly prunus mume) to see if they’ll take.

Hopefully, I’ll have an update in a couple of months with harvests ~

Tomato plants transplanted into different containers ~

Tomato plants transplanted into different containers ~