Author Topic: Tomato Growing Project  (Read 19699 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #60 on: April 28, 2010, 11:28:30 AM »
Norma and BSO, those are looking good so far.  Norma mine are behaving the same way.  they came up quickly afte 5 days but have maintain the relative size over the 2 weeks since.  The stems are a bit thicker and darker and I can see 2 tiny true leaves starting to come out. 

I've been doing the same as you and taking them out during the day and in at night.  We have a few chilly spring days left and last night I noted several of the tomato seedlings drooping!  Yikes. :'( 
But they perked up after watering and sitting under the lamp for awhile.

Here's a pic from a few days ago.


Offline norma427

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #61 on: April 28, 2010, 12:08:19 PM »
Norma and BSO, those are looking good so far.  Norma mine are behaving the same way.  they came up quickly afte 5 days but have maintain the relative size over the 2 weeks since.  The stems are a bit thicker and darker and I can see 2 tiny true leaves starting to come out. 

I've been doing the same as you and taking them out during the day and in at night.  We have a few chilly spring days left and last night I noted several of the tomato seedlings drooping!  Yikes. :'( 
But they perked up after watering and sitting under the lamp for awhile.

Here's a pic from a few days ago.

Tran,

We have also been experiencing chilly nights.  I enjoy seeing how your tomatoes are growing.  It looks like mine are slowing down, also.  I want to purchase some live plants within the next few weeks.  Where I live you almost can't plant anything outside right now, because of the danger of frost.

Norma
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #62 on: April 28, 2010, 02:08:50 PM »
The last 3 days its been crappy here, its been raining off and on so I can't take them outside. Inside they are without a cover and no sun which sucks as well. I will take pictures later today and show what I have. Mostly everything has sprouted except my parsley.

Offline cranky

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #63 on: April 28, 2010, 10:41:35 PM »
The last 3 days its been crappy here, its been raining off and on so I can't take them outside. Inside they are without a cover and no sun which sucks as well. I will take pictures later today and show what I have. Mostly everything has sprouted except my parsley.

I have been growing tomatoes for almost 40 years.  It is not difficult.  There are a few simple things to know and do and it almost always turns out very well.  There are also some common mistakes that can cause problems, but that does not mean disaster.

Every year we are eager to get out there and get the plants started and transplanted and producing.  Impatience is a problem.  Beginners get out there too early.  The optimum temperature for a tomato plant is 87 degrees F.  That is when they are not stressed and really grow well, put on fruit and produce sugar.  If they get chilled on cold nights this sets them back.  It takes a long time to recover and get back in gear.  So for example if you put them out week one and the nights are in the forties or thirties they will kind of go into suspended animation.  They might look the same, but they are set back.  It might take a week or more of warm weather to snap out of it.  If you keep them in the greenhouse for that time they will be growing much better.  So don't be impatient and rush things.   



Offline mmarston

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #64 on: April 28, 2010, 10:58:41 PM »
Listen to Cranky.
Most tomatoes like long hot summers. If you live in a cooler climate choose tomato varieties that are adapted to your area.
I would remind people that growing tomatoes in the northeast was very difficult last year due to the "late blight fungus"
Nobody cares if you can't dance well.  Just get up and dance.  Dave Barry

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #65 on: April 28, 2010, 11:06:34 PM »
Cranky, thank you for your words of wisdom. It's been a bit windy today and I notice several of my seedlings are broken at the stem from being to tall and weak for the unexpected wind. I will heed your advice and keep them inside until it gets much warmer outside.  Besides they'll be bigger by then. 

I guess I was worried about getting them use to outside weather but obviously they are too immature for that.

Mmarston, I forgot to thank you for the pruning advice and video. That will be very useful later this summer. 

Offline cranky

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #66 on: April 28, 2010, 11:28:31 PM »
Listen to Cranky.
Most tomatoes like long hot summers. If you live in a cooler climate choose tomato varieties that are adapted to your area.
I would remind people that growing tomatoes in the northeast was very difficult last year due to the "late blight fungus"

Where I live the plum tomatoes especially and others suffer blossom end rot.  Cold weather makes it worse.  The bottom half of the tomato rots.  Calcium in the soil helps.  So I use some lime which also sweetens the soil.  I use Jersey green sand and bone meal for phosphorus, important for fruiting plants and also roots, like onions and carrots.  Chicken manure is also good, but I find the tomatoes taste better with green sand, don't know why and it might be my imagination.  

Soil temperature is really important.  There are tricks to getting heat pumped into soil.  Inner tube full of water, bubble wrap on the ground, a product called wall of water, black plastic.  If you are in a hurry the best thing you can do is try to get heat into the dirt.  One year I had a terrace with a rock wall.  The sun hit the rocks and got them hot and the heat got into the dirt from the wall.  That worked very well.  But as the season progresses the plants can get too hot if you use these things.  

Plants that are started in a house next to a window do not do nearly as well as in a green house in a controlled environment.  So unless you can provide the all day light and warmth you might want to buy your plants.  They will be much healthier and stronger at the time they go into the ground, produce tomatoes much earlier and more of them.  When you buy starts the bigger they are the more they cost.  I buy a half dozen big ones for earlier harvest and many smaller cheap ones.

Offline sear

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #67 on: April 29, 2010, 11:10:45 AM »
Cranky, thank you for your words of wisdom. It's been a bit windy today and I notice several of my seedlings are broken at the stem from being to tall and weak for the unexpected wind. I will heed your advice and keep them inside until it gets much warmer outside.  Besides they'll be bigger by then. 

I guess I was worried about getting them use to outside weather but obviously they are too immature for that.

Mmarston, I forgot to thank you for the pruning advice and video. That will be very useful later this summer. 

if you have a small fan you can run that so it keeps the plants moving slightly, this will strengthen up the stems. also a cheap and very good source of light for them is CFL's of the 6000K color range work best.
i've got a very basic little set up in my office ill post up later

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #68 on: April 29, 2010, 03:16:41 PM »
I know this is premature, but I really am eager to here the impressions of these tomatoes used in a fresh sauce.  :angel:

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #69 on: April 29, 2010, 03:47:31 PM »
Good advice Sear about the fan.

HS Yeah it will be interesting to compare. I think most ppl who grow their own enjoy the process of it more than the tomato being superior to a can product.  It does seem like a lot of work to go from seed all the way to ripe fruit.   Will keep you posted.

In the meantime has anyone heard of an aeroponic unit? It's suppose to yield better results than hydroponics.  I'm interested in building one and currently looking for more information.  Anyone here have an opinion on it?  Would love to hear more about it.


Offline sear

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #70 on: April 29, 2010, 04:04:14 PM »
Good advice Sear about the fan.

HS Yeah it will be interesting to compare. I think most ppl who grow their own enjoy the process of it more than the tomato being superior to a can product.  It does seem like a lot of work to go from seed all the way to ripe fruit.   Will keep you posted.

In the meantime has anyone heard of an aeroponic unit? It's suppose to yield better results than hydroponics.  I'm interested in building one and currently looking for more information.  Anyone here have an opinion on it?  Would love to hear more about it.

the aeroponic units spray a mist of water on the plant roots so they are not submerged like a ebb & flow hydro system.  i havent used either but the aeroponic does sound a bit better .
the key is balancing the right amount of water/nutrients with alot of air as well ... i believe.

4 months before i expect any of my seedlings to have ripe tomatos
i do have one plant i bought that has already set fruit tho  ;)
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 04:05:45 PM by sear »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #71 on: April 29, 2010, 04:54:46 PM »
Here's what I've read about aeroponics vs hydroponics so far. Aeroponics is superior in several ways.
-lower operating costs.  Uses less than 1/2 of the water needed by a hydroponic unit.  Uses about 1/4 of the nutrients required by a hydroponic unit.
-yields a bigger crop
-plant roots have more access to co2
-there is minimal infestation of plants compared to a hydro unit.
There are a few downsides to aeroponics as well.  If there is a pump or power failure, you can lose the plants quickly compared to a hydroponic unit.

It sounds like it'll cost around $200 to build a decent unit.  A little pricey for tomatoes and herbs but should be a fun project. 

Offline ninapizza23

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #72 on: April 29, 2010, 08:55:32 PM »
Tranman,
aeroponic unit does not have to cost $200. It's a black plastic tubing with sprayers.

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #73 on: April 29, 2010, 10:42:57 PM »
Just got back from work so I thought I would post some pictures.

Offline ninapizza23

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #74 on: April 30, 2010, 09:14:55 AM »
BSO,
Seedlings are too leggy, they're not going to make it.  One sentence!

Offline pcampbell

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #75 on: April 30, 2010, 07:08:08 PM »
anything you can do about leggy seedlings?

Patrick

Offline sear

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #76 on: May 01, 2010, 01:31:14 AM »
fan and more light

heres a pic of my cheap set up


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #77 on: May 01, 2010, 11:01:04 AM »
anything you can do about leggy seedlings?

Yes! When it is time to transplant into the garden, if you can lay the leggy part horizontally and cover with some soil, sprouts will grow out from the buried part. Some of the most productive plants I have ever grown have started this way.


Offline cranky

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #78 on: May 01, 2010, 11:52:41 AM »
Yes! When it is time to transplant into the garden, if you can lay the leggy part horizontally and cover with some soil, sprouts will grow out from the buried part. Some of the most productive plants I have ever grown have started this way.


It is true that plants that are planted on their sides with a green crown above the soil can do well.  The roots can get established faster.  This helps when a lot of times home started plants get root bound in their pots and the tops get too big.  Some of the stem with those bumps at the base goes under the soil and the bumps put out roots that are not a tangled mess.  Ideally, you want to time starting seeds so that the top and roots are ready to go, in balance with one another at the time of transplanting.  Leggy plants are caused by not enough light.  In nature new plants normally have to compete for light so they stretch out to get above the competition if they are not getting enough light.  They will do this until they die.  Home starts sitting next to a window, even a south facing window will not get full sun all day so they will tend to stretch out and get leggy.  The starts in the photo are too far gone.  They are not going to make it, and if they do they are not going to grow well and put on lots of fruit.  They are retarded and weak from insufficient light and can not be fixed.    Pizza makers will pay a lot of money for a single can of high quality good tomatoes.  Home grown tomatoes will be far superior.   Paying a dollar or two for a properly started hothouse plant in perfect condition is a good investment, a bargain compared to a $4 can of tomatoes. Artificial light is not sufficient unless you use the right flourescents that provide the right light specrtrum and that costs a bit. 

Offline norma427

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Re: Tomato Growing Project
« Reply #79 on: May 01, 2010, 04:15:14 PM »
Tran,

Here is a picture of how my San Marzano tomato seedlings are doing.  There sure arenít doing well and donít grow much at time.  :(  I put them next to the my Azaleaís to make me feel better, because they are thriving, LOL I also went to a flea market today and different vendors had plants and bulbs.  I think if my seedling donít soon start to do better I will go all with smaller plants that are already established. I bought some Jet Star and Grape tomato plants, basil, and oregano. I also bought some different bulbs to try out. 

Guess what was at the flea market.  :o  A pizza van.  I looked at their pizza, but the crust looked too white for my liking.  They were selling pizza, though. 

Norma
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