Author Topic: Growing tomatoes  (Read 7175 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2011, 10:01:48 AM »
Thanks for that link Bill.  That definitely helps. 

Chau


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2011, 12:42:03 PM »
beautiful photography John.  Mine are a bit leggier.  How do I prevent that?  Are you burying the seeds deep?  You are using light bulbs correct?  If so can you post specifics about the bulbs? 

Thanks,
Chau

Chau - I believe the key is fluorescent lighting 3-4 inches above the plants for 14 hours a day.

John

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2011, 12:43:13 PM »
I will move them outside to home made cold frame boxes at the end of April to harden off before garden planting in mid May sometime.

Would you mind expanding on the cold frame box construction and use?

John

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2011, 12:53:36 PM »
John did you make the light setup or did they have a light set up at home depot?

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2011, 12:58:07 PM »
John did you make the light setup or did they have a light set up at home depot?

David - I made it myself with cheap wire frame shelving and shop lights suspended on chains.

John

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2011, 01:10:42 PM »
Dang, I already have blossoms!  Of course in a couple of months it will be so hot it is hard to keep them alive...

Offline matermark

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2011, 02:58:19 PM »
i used advice from this page in starting my tomatos and basil: http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/tomato/2005015135020413.html  it talks about leggy seedlings and how to avoid.  i got seeds for San Marzano 2, San Marzano Redorta, Red Cherry Tomatos and Bolloso Napoletano Basil from https://growitalian.com/Qstore/Qstore.cgi?CMD=009&DEPT=1130608177&BACK=A0001A1 . They're doing well so far after we moved to cups.  We'll plant in a couple of weeks. 

That GardenWeb link is a good starting point. I helped write the FAQs about 5-6 years ago, unfortunately the rest of the forum started going downhill after iVillage bought it and loaded the site up with ads & popups that are annoying and even unexpected.

Many that take tomatoes more seriously moved on to www.tomatoville.com which is privately funded, has no ads, and is php based I think (similar to this type forum, with notifications, PM's, etc.)

For you "techie" guys, be sure to see the Overdriving Shop Lights threads at GardenWeb's  Growing Under Lights subforum.

To keep your plants short & stocky, grow them in cool conditions (mid 60's) and always keep the fluorescent lights just a few inches above your plants so they don't get leggy.

Hope this helps.


Offline ZekeTheCat

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2011, 09:56:08 PM »
Would you mind expanding on the cold frame box construction and use?

John

John
My cold frame is essentially a miniature greenhouse - rectangular in shape made from 2x4s for the base - 22  1/ 2 wide x 45 long - inside measurements - it can hold 4 standard plastic green house trays. It has a top frame made from 1x2s that is hinged onto the 2x4 base frame . It has a half round dome, about 11 tall at the center apex, made out of 2x4 wire mesh attached to the frame, that I got at the hardware store , and the half round ends are also enclosed with this mesh - all wired together. It is covered with an opaque polyethylene plastic greenhouse covering material. Im currently modifying it to add a ventilation slot on top to prevent overheating similar to a greenhouse, which has been a problem in past years. I put my indoor grown tomato and flower trays in at the end of April to harden the plants for a week or so before garden planting in May. Hope this helps.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2011, 10:12:47 PM »
That GardenWeb link is a good starting point. I helped write the FAQs about 5-6 years ago, unfortunately the rest of the forum started going downhill after iVillage bought it and loaded the site up with ads & popups that are annoying and even unexpected.

Many that take tomatoes more seriously moved on to www.tomatoville.com which is privately funded, has no ads, and is php based I think (similar to this type forum, with notifications, PM's, etc.)

For you "techie" guys, be sure to see the Overdriving Shop Lights threads at GardenWeb's  Growing Under Lights subforum.

To keep your plants short & stocky, grow them in cool conditions (mid 60's) and always keep the fluorescent lights just a few inches above your plants so they don't get leggy.

Hope this helps.



Very cool Matermark.  Always nice to have another tomato expert on the forum.  I'll move my seedlings into the garage this weekend.  It sounds like they'll do better in there. 

Chau


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2011, 05:51:11 AM »
John
My cold frame is essentially a miniature greenhouse - rectangular in shape made from 2x4s for the base - 22  1/ 2 wide x 45 long - inside measurements - it can hold 4 standard plastic green house trays. It has a top frame made from 1x2s that is hinged onto the 2x4 base frame . It has a half round dome, about 11 tall at the center apex, made out of 2x4 wire mesh attached to the frame, that I got at the hardware store , and the half round ends are also enclosed with this mesh - all wired together. It is covered with an opaque polyethylene plastic greenhouse covering material. Im currently modifying it to add a ventilation slot on top to prevent overheating similar to a greenhouse, which has been a problem in past years. I put my indoor grown tomato and flower trays in at the end of April to harden the plants for a week or so before garden planting in May. Hope this helps.

Thanks so much!

John

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2011, 10:17:58 AM »
I fed them this morning and I have almost a dozen fruits!  Here is my pizza garden, 3 San Marzanos, lime basil and sweet basil.

Offline lilbuddypizza

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2011, 08:24:14 AM »
Anyone ever try those topsy-turver hanging planters???

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2011, 09:25:18 AM »
I left my grow lights on overnight by accident will this effect the plants in anyway? They were on for about 20hrs +/- 30mins. Theres something else that confused me. When I got the setup I asked the guy how long I was supposed to leave them on for. He said 16 on, 6 off. What about those other 2 hours. Did he say it wrong or is it supposed to be a cycling at different times thing?

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2011, 10:07:36 AM »
I fed them this morning and I have almost a dozen fruits!  Here is my pizza garden, 3 San Marzanos, lime basil and sweet basil.

When did you start them, New Years Day?
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2011, 10:42:55 AM »
Around March 15, that is our last freeze day, from 4" pots.

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #40 on: April 27, 2011, 10:44:15 AM »
It's supposed to be sunny friday-monday but it's going to be in the low to mid 60's. Should I take them outside to harden them up for few hours or should I leave them under the lights?

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2011, 10:56:14 AM »
It's supposed to be sunny friday-monday but it's going to be in the low to mid 60's. Should I take them outside to harden them up for few hours or should I leave them under the lights?

David - I don't think it will harm them in any way. I always thought hardening was done by restricting water for a week before you plant outside. I am banking on getting them out there by May 15. According to this website, frost is virtually guaranteed not to be an issue  ;)

http://davesgarden.com/guides/freeze-frost-dates/index.php?q=01760&submit=Go

John


Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2011, 11:24:49 AM »
Thanks for that link John. This was a good read. http://gardening.about.com/od/gettingstarted/qt/Hardening_Off.htm. The idea of witholding water didn't sound to attractive. Acclimating the plants to the weather sounds a lot better.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #43 on: April 27, 2011, 11:40:52 AM »
Thanks for that link John. This was a good read. http://gardening.about.com/od/gettingstarted/qt/Hardening_Off.htm. The idea of witholding water didn't sound to attractive. Acclimating the plants to the weather sounds a lot better.

Yes, it does sound much better. I was going to try the cold frame, but I just don't have the time to build right now.

John

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2011, 09:57:30 AM »
Bummer, last night I picked 30 thumb sized tomatoes and threw them away.  I let the pots dry out one day last week and they got end-rot.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #45 on: April 28, 2011, 10:02:21 AM »
Bummer, last night I picked 30 thumb sized tomatoes and threw them away.  I let the pots dry out one day last week and they got end-rot.

Last year I got some end rot on potted plants as well. So lack of water causes that? At the time I thought it was a lack of nutrients in the soil. I added some organic bone meal and the next round did not have the rot.

John

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #46 on: April 28, 2011, 11:09:06 AM »
Didn't know what end rot was so I read up on it just now and realized it happened to my bradywines last year. It said one of the causes can be overwatering which dilutes the calcium. Which made me think how do I know if I'm over watering? Will the plant look a certain way if its over watered? They are still in the 3" pods and the soil looks like its always wet. The last time they were watered was 2 days ago and the soil still looks moist.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 03:09:03 PM by BrickStoneOven »

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #47 on: April 28, 2011, 11:15:16 AM »
I poke my finger through the mulch and feel it.  If it is moist, I don't water. It is already 90 degrees and windy here, so I have to water every other day, but every 3rd days is probably enough at 70-80.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #48 on: April 30, 2011, 07:55:19 AM »
A mistake you can make with walls of water is to leave them on too long.  The leaves spred out and touch the walls and get cooked.  The plant gets stunted also. 

For the past 3 weeks, my plants have been thriving in the walls of water - most have blossoms - even though nighttime temps have been dropping below freezing. It is definitely time to remove the walls, but snow is predicted this weekend with temps in the 20F's. It should warm-up by Wednesday with temps expected not to drop below 40F. I'm hoping to remove the walls then and to have some plastic sheeting ready to cover them in case of unexpected freezes. May 15 is the official frost-free day here. Fingers crossed.

   
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Growing tomatoes
« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2011, 03:59:16 PM »
This is going to sound like a weird question but when you plant the tomato in the ground how much area do u think the roots spread out? I was at Home Depot and was looking at pots, the biggest one they had was a 20qt pot, it was pretty friggin big. Do you guys think a tomato plants roots spread out more than a 20qt pot? It was this one http://www.homedepot.com/Outdoors-Garden-Center-Planters-Accessories/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbx81/R-100574625/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053. And is there any difference between having a terra cotta pot to a regular plastic one other than looks http://www.homedepot.com/Outdoors-Garden-Center-Planters-Accessories/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbx81/R-100182204/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053? Does the terra cotta have a mulch like (temp/moisture control) effect on the soil?


 

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