Tomatoes 2008

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Durgan, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Tomatoes 2008



    http://chazaf.notlong.com/ 31 January 2008 Starting tomato seeds. Pictures of method.

    Two plants of each of the following varities were chosen: Cherokee purple, Mortgage lifter, Better boy, Burpee big boy, Black krim, Black prince, Pilgrim, Japanese momomato, Better boy, Pink girl, Green zebra, Japanese black treffle, Marglobe supreme, and one plant of Sweet million.
    Three seeds were placed in each pot, and the stronger will be chosen when they germinate. The other two will be cut off at soil level. A total of 27 plants.
     
  2. natureman

    natureman Active Member

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    Nice portable mini greenhouses for them :)

    Good luck. Right now, indoors I started at the beggining of the year. At the moment I have a large Cap. baccatum Lemon Drop, many other varieties of chilis (Rocoto, habaneros, jalapenos, pequins, embers, aji amarillo, and more), a few cherry and a few roma tomato seedlings right now. When the sunroom warms up I'll start more, as right now, I'm limited to indoor growing in my room under arti. lighting (CFLs).
     
  3. bullseye

    bullseye Active Member

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    Nice...but ain't it a bit early for tomatoes though?
     
  4. natureman

    natureman Active Member

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    It's a bit early for all of them, but I do that for two reasons. 1) if something goes horribly wrong (virus, mold kills all ) I still have time to recover. 2) they'll go into the sunroom in a month or two when night temps in there are suitable, which will before outside obviously
     
  5. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    Not too early here-- they need to go in the ground in less than 2 months.

    Skeet
     
  6. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    http://chazaf.notlong.com/
    The little plastic bags keep the humidity level high, and the pots need no watering until after the plastic bags are opened. The other choice is to keep a high humidity level in a growing room, which is difficult in a living area.

    Probably humidity does more to encourage germination than soil moisture, and since the seeds are close to the soil surface the seeds tend to dry out rather quickly if not in a high humidity environment. The top of the clear plastic covers are opened when the seedlings are about one or two inches high.

    I use this procedure for all my seed starting and it appears to promote germination without further care until sprouted.

    All the tomatoe seeds have now sprouted, except for mortgage lifter-first time grown. Some plants are an inch high. This is four days from planting to germination. This is evidence that the little miniture plastic bag greenhouses really work. Seeds planted on 31 Jan and all up on 4 Feb.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2008
  7. bullseye

    bullseye Active Member

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    Any pics of the new sprouts?
     
  8. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    http://aevail.notlong.com 6 February 2008 Seeding growth after 6 Days
     
  9. bullseye

    bullseye Active Member

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    Very nice. You did say you had 4 seeds per pot right? Looks like some are yet to germinate
     
  10. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    Thanks Durgan for posting the pictures. (sigh) Too early for me to start yet so it's nice to drool over someone else's seedlings. I DREAM of fresh tomatos. I'm doing alot of heirlooms this year. I think I might just start a few though working with your theory that something may go wrong. I'm strictly a greenhouse grower here because of h*a*i*l (sorry for swearing. It's a bad 4 letter word in my area). I think the plastic bag will work for me in my starter indoor grow op because it's so dry. Once they move to the greenhouse there's enough humidity. I will share this with others here. Thanks again.

    Les
     
  11. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    Great tomato guard dog, too!
     
  12. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    Ditto on TomatoRambo puppy :)
     
  13. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Only one plant per pot is required. Several seeds are placed in each pot to increase the chance of at least one germinating. Today, 8 February 2008 all the pots have at least one seedling.

    They will be put in the greenhouse during the day, and brought indoors at night, when the sun shines during the day. This will raise trhe temperature in the greenhouse about 80F.
     
  14. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Neena, Pomeranian, is a great morale booster. She is three years old, and is always withing a few feet of me. She inspects everything, and never destroys my plant efforts. It is like having an audience cheering one on in a particular endeavour.
     
  15. chemicalx

    chemicalx Active Member

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    I'm just at the heirloom seed ordering stage - bought 3 varieties of tomato seeds: Black Krim, Neves Azorean Red, and Prue, and 2 varieties of pepper seeds: Quadrato Asti Rossa, and Numex Sunset.

    Last year my bell pepper plants did poorly, and my jalapeno seeds didn't grow at all for some reason, so I'm hoping for better luck with peppers this year.

    Anyone have any experience with the spiral veggie/tomato cages (http://www.veggiecage.com/)? I've ordered a few to try this year, and am hoping they work out. Last year the spindly little cheap metal cages were a joke - not strong or big enough to support the Brandywine I grew.

    chemx
     
  16. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Anyone have any experience with the spiral veggie/tomato cages (http://www.veggiecage.com/)? I've ordered a few to try this year, and am hoping they work out. Last year the spindly little cheap metal cages were a joke - not strong or big enough to support the Brandywine I grew.


    I went to Lee Valley and had a look at a spiral support. I decided to pass, since they were clearly not large enough, but I may try one or two if I find another larger type.

    I know those inadequate type to which you refer. I use the four tier stronger ones now on the market with an eight foot rebar to hold the cage and support the tomatoes if they get too tall. There are also some larger type now on the market that has probably 6 tier, but they cost $12.00 each. I may try a couple this year.

    For a few plants an overhead support and tying by 3/8 string with plastic ties to the plant works well, but it takes too much work if one has many plants.

    I have utilized all methods over the years, and the 4 tier stronger wire type with 8 foot rebar works reasonably well, with the least expenditure of labour. The two URL's below depict my method of support.
    http://tomatoss.notlong.com/

    http://tomatoesing.notlong.com/
     
  17. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    Many years ago I got some excess reinforcement wire mesh for use in concrete and made my own tomato cages--they have worked great for over 25 years. I made the cages over 5 ft tall and I cut the last wire off and that left wire stakes about 6 inches long--if necessary I can stake the cage.

    Skeet
     
  18. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    I made a bunch like that one time, the last place I lived. Each sheet 4 by 8 made one cage. Each was 2 foot on each side and they were hinged with plastic ties. They were only about four feet high, since I figured there was too much waste cutting length wise. (2 by 2 by 4 feet).

    Conclusion. They need be tapered, which was too difficult and the height was not sufficient. Storage was easy, since I folded them down flat due to the hinges. They were also painted with green tremclad. They were pretty good.

    Comparing the square box type with the heavy duty commercial cages with a rebar, my view is the commercial cages are slightly better. But both served reasonably well.

    I like the smaller size (tapered) when the plants are small, since it helps support the bottom tomato branches. The straight type was more difficult until the plants got large.

    For the one or two sweet million grown, the plant is simply tied to a straight 4 by 8 concrete wire, all open. This works well, since these plant can spread out about 4 by 8. Here is a sample. http://uixef.notlong.com/ 14 September 2007 Cherry Tomato Sweet Million. (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
     
  19. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    I cut the wire to 6 ft lengths and rolled it into a round cage -- a little over a ft in diameter (4/3.14). I did make a couple that were wider but only 4 ft tall--I prefer the tall ones. I do have to keep tucking the vines back into the cage. I end up using the cages for a snow pea trellis in winter, so I never really store them.
     
  20. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    I found the wire too stiff on the 4 by 8 sheets to roll into a circle along the eight foot dimension. It could be done but not by hand. the stress is too high to bend in a nice circle. The natural bend is much larger than 4/3.14. It would take a mechanical press to achieve a suitable shape. That was my main obstacle, and why the 4 by 8 concrete reinforcing concrete metal sheets were abandoned.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
  21. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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  22. Anne58

    Anne58 Active Member

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    As usual I'm a few weeks behind you Durgan. I generally presprout my seeds in sealed containers with damp paper to provide consistant moisture for the seeds.

    The seeds have sprouted now and I will be getting them planted in my own mix of sterilized compost, vermiculite and perilite today. The seeds are ones I saved from a slightly plum shaped (similar to the shape of a green gage plum) specimen that grew from last year's planting of Manitoba variety tomatoes (these were saved seeds form the previous year's crop).

    I'm hoping the variation/mutation will breed true in this year's plants :o)

    Anne
     
  23. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Personally, I quite like the spirals, especially for the lighter-fruiting varieties like Sweet Millions. Other than that, I stake out using rebar.

    Have you ever tried growing Tomate de Arbol (aka tomatillo) plants, Durgan? They'd provide nice variety to your tomato world, and for a bonus they are quite an attractive plant.
     
  24. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    I have been exposed to the fruit in Auckland, New Zealand, where tomatillo's grow quite well. I was not crazy about the fruit, due to the seeds, but they would be nice to grow. My Zone 5 is too cold to even attempt growing the plant.

    I use the 4 by 8 foot concrete mesh for supporting the Sweet Million. The various vines are simply tied to the mesh, basically a flat surface. I only need one plant. In 2008 the plant stem was about two inches in diameter. It certainly thrived in its location Here is a picture. http://uixef.notlong.com/ 14 September 2007 Cherry Tomato Sweet Million. (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2008
  25. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    Durgan-- "I found the wire too stiff on the 4 by 8 sheets to roll into a circle along the eight foot dimension. It could be done but not by hand. the stress is too high to bend in a nice circle. The natural bend is much larger than 4/3.14. It would take a mechanical press to achieve a suitable shape. That was my main obstacle, and why the 4 by 8 concrete reinforcing concrete metal sheets were abandoned."

    The reinforcement wire I used is the kind that comes in rolls like fence wire, just a little thicker. The flat sheets you use would be great for a lot of things and I can see using it for other types of tomatoes as well.
     

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