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Author Topic: Growing tomatoes and basil  (Read 883 times)

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Offline texmex

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2022, 11:45:14 AM »
Update: I'm going to plant today or tomorrow (hopefully today), and I'm realizing that I don't even know the answer to the most basic question:  do I plant one seed for one plant? The directions on the package of tomato seeds say to plant the seeds 24" apart, but I'm only using a 3 gallon pot, so if that's the case, I would think that one seed would be all it can really handle. Should I even bother with the 3 gallon bucket, or do I need to get a bigger one? Also, I've heard it mentioned that worm casings would be helpful, but does anyone have any suggestions for anything else I should add to the soil before planting the seed? I'm using Miracle Gro seed start soil with fertilizer, but it's not necessarily tailor made for tomatoes. I want to add anything I need to before planting the seed(s). Also, these are heirloom SM's, if that makes any difference.
If you have just the 1 pot, you want to sow a few seeds since not all of them will germinate. You will be keeping only the most robust one, and can transplant the rest of the seedlings into more pots as they begin to crowd eachother out.
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Offline texmex

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2022, 11:51:21 AM »
If you want to sow one seed, then cut a few holes in the bottom of small plastic cups, yogurt cups, etc. and use those to get your seedlings going. Then transplant to your large pot when the roots are starting to come thru the bottom holes. It pays to plant enough seeds, because you will be losing some plants. 
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Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2022, 11:52:11 AM »
If you have just the 1 pot, you want to sow a few seeds since not all of them will germinate. You will be keeping only the most robust one, and can transplant the rest of the seedlings into more pots as they begin to crowd eachother out.
So spacing them only a few inches apart won't create any problems?
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Offline texmex

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2022, 11:54:37 AM »
So spacing them only a few inches apart won't create any problems?


Not to begin with....but the roots will intertwine, and you risk damaging them when culling.  You are getting a late start for tomatoes from seed.
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Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2022, 12:14:25 PM »

Not to begin with....but the roots will intertwine, and you risk damaging them when culling.  You are getting a late start for tomatoes from seed.
Everything I'm seeing online is telling me that this is a good time where I'm at. We were having cold nights up until just a couple of weeks ago. Should I just get a bigger pot?
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Offline texmex

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2022, 12:22:03 PM »
Everything I'm seeing online is telling me that this is a good time where I'm at. We were having cold nights up until just a couple of weeks ago. Should I just get a bigger pot?


Aww, cool. I started extra late here, but my tomatoes can grow right into December some years. 
I would buy some small plastic drinking cups, or solo cups would work. Cut some drainage holes, fill wih potting mix, then plant some seeds in the cups. I usually place 3 seeds per cup. Then baby them until you are ready to transplant. By then you will have collected enough large pots to grow your little plants in.
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Offline texmex

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2022, 12:26:57 PM »
For reference...I think this is a 12 ounce cup. snipped 6 holes along the bottom edges. The clear cups don't do as well as dark cups (dark holds warmth I guess), but it's fun to see the root growth.
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Offline 02ebz06

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2022, 01:09:31 PM »
For reference...I think this is a 12 ounce cup. snipped 6 holes along the bottom edges. The clear cups don't do as well as dark cups (dark holds warmth I guess), but it's fun to see the root growth.

Wrap them in  black paper, then you can slide it off to peek.  ;D
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Offline caymus

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2022, 02:19:26 PM »
Update: I'm going to plant today or tomorrow (hopefully today), and I'm realizing that I don't even know the answer to the most basic question:  do I plant one seed for one plant? The directions on the package of tomato seeds say to plant the seeds 24" apart, but I'm only using a 3 gallon pot, so if that's the case, I would think that one seed would be all it can really handle. Should I even bother with the 3 gallon bucket, or do I need to get a bigger one? Also, I've heard it mentioned that worm casings would be helpful, but does anyone have any suggestions for anything else I should add to the soil before planting the seed? I'm using Miracle Gro seed start soil with fertilizer, but it's not necessarily tailor made for tomatoes. I want to add anything I need to before planting the seed(s). Also, these are heirloom SM's, if that makes any difference.

 Only one plant per 3 gallon pot.  However, you will need to use multiple seeds (2 to 3) to make sure that one will germinate.  Most people will start the seedlings in small peat pot type containers and transplant.   

Offline texmex

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2022, 02:31:37 PM »
Gardening is so enjoyable if you can get into it.
Basil is easy easy easy to grow, just keep cutting it back!
I have been following this guy for quite awhile. Similar climate as ours, and he's entertaining.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2022, 03:59:45 PM »
Sprouting the seeds in small pots or paper/plastic cups so you have multiple chances for success. You'll algo get a much stronger root base this way. Plant 3 seeds to a cup then thin down to the strongest sprout. Then when the tomato is 6-8" tall depending on the size of the pot or cup you sprout in, replant the strongest it in the large pot. Plant the tomato deep! At least 2/3 of the plant should be under ground. More is better. You just need an inch or so of the top of the plant showing - just the top set of leaves.  All the plant underground will turn into roots and make for a much stronger plant that can produce more fruit.
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Offline Longs

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2022, 04:13:20 PM »
Having lived in your area for many years, I used to grow my own tomatoes and various peppers (hot ones and bell peppers) for years.  I had really good luck with tomatoes there, especially cherry ones.  I had a bit less luck with peppers although they also grew decently.  The peppers not doing quite as well might have had more to do with my lack of knowledge on growing them than the actual growing climate.

Now that I live in South Carolina, I find my peppers seem to do better than my tomatoes.  I have read that tomatoes like cooler overnight temps (like in the 70's) and here in South Carolina there is a long stretch of summertime where overnight temps are more in the mid-80's and my tomato plants really slow down.  But the peppers don't seem to mind the warmer nights as much.

I have always grown most of my tomatoes and peppers in raised beds in a sunny part of my back yard with just a few on pots when I had more plants than would fit in the beds.  The bed plantings seem to do better than the potted ones but that might have been me not watering the pots regularly.  Pots tend to dry out faster.

I have planted from seeds with mixed results but mostly I bought starter plants and those seemed to thrive better there and also here in South Carolina.  I got most of my potted peppers and tomatoes when I lived in your area at Barbott's nursery just south of Lakeshore High School and on the same side of Cleveland Ave.  I haven't lived there for going on 7 yrs now so I cannot say if it still holds true but Barbott's always had much better plant prices than the big box stores (Lowe's, etc) and they seemed to grow better in that local area, too.  I would suspect that they got plant varieties that were more suited to the local area than Lowe's, Home Depot, etc with just get whatever plants the corporate buyers decide upon whether they are good for any particular region or not.  Seems like the big box stores have the same plant varieties there as I see here despite the different climate.

Good luck.  I am still putting my plants this year even here as we had a really cool spring with near-freezing overnight temps for a few weeks longer than we normally do.   Back in Michigan, I would generally plant the starter plants mid-May and here normally April 15th but this delayed planting this year because it was too cold at night until recently. 


Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2022, 11:23:16 PM »
I went and bought some plastic cups today. Tomorrow I will punch out some holes in the bottoms of them and plant the tomato seeds in soil in the cups- packed firmly, from what I gather. I think the soil I've got should already have enough fertilizer in it, but I will do further research on whatever kind of additional stuff I should give the plants once I transplant them into a bigger container. I don't have a lot of room for the plants, so I'm thinking maybe I'll go up to a 5 gallons pot, or maybe two smaller ones if space allows.
 As for the basil, it sounds like that's a lot less fussy, but I still really want to grow some good stuff. Everything I get in stores around here is either just okay or decent but not great, so I want to give it every chance to give me it's best. I'll take any recommendations on the best nutrients I should give it.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2022, 11:58:37 AM »
This is one of my favorites: https://www.growitalian.com/basil-bolloso-napoletano-13-8/

Basil is pretty much a weed. It doesn't need much help. Full sun and plenty of water.
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Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2022, 02:36:20 PM »
Eight days after planting the tomato seeds. Looks like I’ve got some sprouting happening.
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Offline Hanglow

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Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
« Reply #35 on: May 17, 2022, 04:31:34 AM »
Have a look at my mychorrizal fungi when you come to transplant it, tomatoes respond extremely well to it and you get much bigger root systems. Its sold here as "rootgrow". The advice I have seen for container size is 5 gallons for dwarf and bush toms and 10 gallons for determinates like san marzanos

I managed to get a few san marzanos off outside plants last year and live at higher latitudes with duller summers than you so you should be ok, although I think they are a late season type. You could also try buying a few from a nursery, the variation in tomatoes is amazing and those you can grow that are otherwise commercially unviable can be great

Heres some of my outside container ones, these are a mix of early russian bush tomatoes and a british bred blight resistant F1 variety as we almost always get late blight here outside. They each have at least 5 gallons of compost
« Last Edit: May 17, 2022, 12:40:14 PM by Pete-zza »

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