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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Tomatoes in soil blocks

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Post  littlejo 2/9/2013, 5:08 pm

I have these tomatoes in 2 in. soil blocks. They are between 5 and 6 in. tall. I think they are ready to up-pot into red solo cups. Question, should I put the extra mm in the bottom, or should I put the tomato in first, then add mm at the top, maybe extra roots would grow on stem?
I know to lay them down in the garden to get the roots to grow on the stem.
Jo
Tomatoes in soil blocks Pic_0510
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Post  Lavender Debs 2/10/2013, 5:10 am

Golly Little Jo, I've been watching this post thinking SOMEONE would answer you. I'm betting everyone’s power is down from the storm. The PNW is not tomato country so I have been hesitant to answer.

I up pot my tomatoes from soil blocks as soon as the whole tray has two true leaves. So YES it is time to repot.

YES put MM into the bottom. Yours are so large that if you pick up the cube you will see roots looking for soil to live in. This is only February. Where I garden, tomatoes will need to be up potted again in 4 to 6 weeks. By that time I would sink them up to the first set of true leaves.

They sure look healthy!

Toy Box Tomatoes
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Post  littlejo 2/10/2013, 7:56 am

Thanks Debs, I guess I should have just added to the Soil cubes thread, but I hope they are all safe.
I also used MM, sterilized in microwave, to start my plants, and when I water I use weak worm tea. They will be used to the MM, and they seem to like it!
Jo
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Post  RoOsTeR 2/10/2013, 9:32 am

littlejo wrote:I have these tomatoes in 2 in. soil blocks. They are between 5 and 6 in. tall. I think they are ready to up-pot into red solo cups. Question, should I put the extra mm in the bottom, or should I put the tomato in first, then add mm at the top, maybe extra roots would grow on stem?
I know to lay them down in the garden to get the roots to grow on the stem.
Jo
Tomatoes in soil blocks Pic_0510

Last year I planted all my seeds in MM without microwaving, or any issues. I don't know if it's the best thing to do or not, but anyway Wink
Somewhere around here (and here's a good example of organizing things on the forum) quiltbea has some good photo's of using red solo cups. I followed her direction on the red solo air pruning cups last year with great results.
Here are some of mine after up-potting to the red solo's. It's a bad picture to show how the cups were cut.
Tomatoes in soil blocks IMAG0016-1


Here's a pic of how the air pruning cups were cut.
Tomatoes in soil blocks 20130210_071318_zps2caf13a4

Qb's example was much better, but gives you the idea.

I put as much MM in the red solos as I could before placing my transplants in them, and then filled in the gaps and topped em off a little bit more. I placed all cups in little tuppaware containers. I could fit 2 in each one. I would then fill these containers with water, and any liquid left after watering, I would save in a bucket for next time.
Here's an example of the little tuppaware containers before up-planting. Lunch meat comes in them and we save them all for things like this:
Tomatoes in soil blocks 18a12476-e714-453b-89d7-1201c22c44bd_zpse4b7374e
I don't know if any of my rant has helped you in the least Razz

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Post  littlejo 2/10/2013, 9:45 am

Rooster, thanks for the help. Here I have to put a curtain by the window or the sun would burn the leaves.
Jo
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Post  camprn 2/10/2013, 9:56 am

There is a stickie in the 'Do it Yourself' sub forum with Quiltbea's great video about uppotting with soil blocks and she does show the progression well. I don't know if this is the one you were thinking of Rooster.
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t11383-part-ii-up-potting-soil-blocks

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Post  quiltbea 2/10/2013, 11:55 am

I must have missed this post. Wasn't online earlier.
Great answers folks.
The only difference for me is I make air-pruning 2-liter and 3-liter bottle pots for my tomatoes. Toms grow fast at this point and need lots of root room. I always put a bit of MM (or good potting soil) in the bottom of the pot, then gently lay in the 2" block and just backfill with MM all around it up to within a half inch of the top of the pot.
Tomatoes in soil blocks Seed_s10
I bury the transplant a little deeper for some in the next pot up. That includes peppers and eggplants but I always put a bit of MM in the bottom of the pot, then rest the block in it and backfill to the top with MM.
I use the 16-oz solo cups for smaller transplants, like cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc. that I have to keep inside a little longer than expected. Many things, like the cool crops of broccoli, cabbage, etc, I can transplant directly in their 2" blocks if the garden soil is workable. But sometimes it isn't ready and they need a bit more room so into solo cups they go.
I can't wait for March to roll around to get in full swing again.
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Post  CapeCoddess 2/11/2013, 12:21 pm

RoOsTeR wrote:
Tomatoes in soil blocks IMAG0016-1

Holy moly, Rooster...why so many tomatoes??? Also, are you growing them with window light only? I ask because this is my first year that I'll try them from seed and I want to do window only if possible...is case the power goes out. geek

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Post  GWN 2/11/2013, 6:12 pm

I want to do window only if possible...is case the power goes out.
lol!
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Post  mtottle 2/12/2013, 8:56 am

CapeCoddess wrote:

Holy moly, Rooster...why so many tomatoes??? Also, are you growing them with window light only? I ask because this is my first year that I'll try them from seed and I want to do window only if possible...is case the power goes out. geek

CC

There is no such thing as too many tomato plants.. I am so addicted to the homemade sauces that I got the past two years that I am dedicating 80 SF just to tomatoes this year. Very Happy Very Happy I even decided to try out the new Burpee "Super Sauce" variety, which alleges fruits up to 2lb EACH..
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Post  RoOsTeR 2/12/2013, 9:20 am

CapeCoddess wrote:
RoOsTeR wrote:
Tomatoes in soil blocks IMAG0016-1

Holy moly, Rooster...why so many tomatoes??? Also, are you growing them with window light only? I ask because this is my first year that I'll try them from seed and I want to do window only if possible...is case the power goes out. geek

CC

CC, I did 32 tomato plants if memory serves correctly...seeing as how I misplaced my list I put someplace special so I wouldn't lose it Razz
I did some for myself. A few for my mother, sister in law, and a couple for a friend.

At first I was trying to do everything with lights. My mother saw the light hassles I was going through and said hmm, I've always just used the sun...go figure tongue Ya know, she was right. I have plenty of window space and put all of it to good use. My tomato plants did great!

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Post  littlejo 2/12/2013, 9:25 am

I did not get any tomatoes last yr. due to Southern blight, and I've been having tomato withdrawl. I've got 20 varieties, 2 seeds each, started. I plan on putting at least 1 plant in each bed, more in some. It is going to be a trellis nightmare, but I am so looking forward to it!
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Post  GWN 2/12/2013, 10:59 am

At first I was trying to do everything with lights. My mother saw the light hassles I was going through and said hmm, I've always just used the sun...go figure Ya know, she was right. I have plenty of window space and put all of it to good use. My tomato plants did great!
I LOVE that you can do them on a window sill..

Rooster are those THIS years pictures or Last years?
I usually grow between 50-70 plants and then the volunteers catch up and get ahead.
I have just put some seeds on wet paper towels yesterday, and I feel I am WAY to early once again.... Yet you look WAY ahead of me.

I have really held back this year and pulled out a few I planted 3 weeks ago JUST to try to get the time right. and then yesterday when I was planting my seeds I saw it was exactly the same day as last year.
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Post  quiltbea 2/12/2013, 11:32 am

GWN......I want to experiment this year starting a couple of early tomatoes ultra early indoors. Bob Thomson of Victory Garden in Mass does. His climate is a bit warmer than my 5a. I have some early JetStar seeds this year which should work well.
He starts his seed in mid-Feb indoors and puts them out the 1st week of April with a cage around them and wrapped in clear plastic against the cold and to capture heat. Claims he gets tomatoes by June 1st. I want to try that. He uses reinforcing wire for his cages. I think I'll try bamboo stakes around the plants and binder clips to hold the plastic. I was daydreaming how I'd do it last nite. I can't wait to get started.
I'll have to take pictures as I go along or maybe a video. Its another fun thing to keep things interesting and learn something, too.
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Post  RoOsTeR 2/12/2013, 12:29 pm

Those are last years starts.

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Post  CapeCoddess 2/12/2013, 12:51 pm

All 6 seeds/6 different types of tomato have now sprouted and have been moved off the heat mat and into the window. IF they live, I'll probably leave them there, transplanting to larger pots, until they are big ol' honkin' plants that won't fit in the window anymore or it get's warm enough to put them out. Since you can get those big plants, some with fruit already on them, from the store in pots, why not try it at home, right? I have high hopes. Wink

Has anyone done this?

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