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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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Tomato Tuesday 2015

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momvet
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29 posters

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Post  sanderson 4/14/2015, 9:17 pm

Scrappy may surprise you! Very Happy

Searched all over for the Black Krim I bought. Finally found it, half dried out! I've got 2 baby Roma fruit!! bounce

Turan, Thanks for the warning on the Iraqi tomatoes. They may be very heat tolerant but sacrifice the taste. I will find out.

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Post  Pepper 4/14/2015, 9:45 pm

I guess I am cheating by using transplants from Bonnie. The rain and late hour messed up most of the images. But here is an overview of my eight plants in my tomato bed.
Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 P4143913

On the left are two Sweet 100's; next are two Early Girls; then the two Cherokee Purples(these are several weeks behind cause they were not available till later); last are two Better Boys. Oh yea Josie put some radishes between those on the right. I am using a 9 ft trellis stringing each plant greenhouse style, limiting each plant to no more than two trunks.

Here is a closer view using a lawn chair for height reference. These plants were put in the ground about a week before Easter.
Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 P4143914

We have blooms on all the plants. All my plants are indeterminate varieties.

I hope to do a proper full garden update tomorrow.
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Post  quiltbea 4/14/2015, 11:15 pm

Oh, I just love seeing all the little guys coming into their own and moving to larger pots or even outside.  You all have the jump on me here in Maine but I'm content for now to see robust little guys coming up under the lights indoors.
I can't wait to see all the progress in the next few weeks.
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Post  sanderson 4/15/2015, 12:07 am

Pepper, I would have a chair next to my tomato bed if it looked like yours! How big is the bed? I forgot about the string method of trellising.

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Post  Rahab222 4/15/2015, 1:25 am

Determinate tomatoes grow to be about 4 -5 feet tall.  The sky's the limit on Indeterminate tomato plants.  My Indeterminate tomato plants were all 8' - 10' tall last summer and I just kept adding more stakes to secure them.  This year, I'm planting quite a few Tycoons, Beefmasters and Mortage Lifters - all very large tomatoes.  I planted these 4 feet apart this year, as last year I planted them three feet apart and they just grew into each other.  I use stakes and cages.  Last year, I got three rounds of tomatoes on all my plants.  The Texas Wilds and Juliets produced constantly.  I couldn't get any Juliets this year.  Being in Houston, a lot of people use shade cloth when the heat really sets in or let their gardens go prematurely.  Much of this depends on our rainfall.  My main tomato bed is situated alongside my pecan tree where the plants get a full six hours of sun each day, but in the evening get dappled shade.  My strawberry plants are planted beneath a mulberry tree for the same reason.  When the Houston temps go over 100 degrees, everything appreciates a little shade.  There's a reason Houston is known to be the most air conditioned city in the world.  It gets hot, hot, hot!

So, my tomato plants have been in the ground for almost a month and are already four feet tall.  I think it just depends on where you live and the climate, as far as how many rounds of tomatoes you get and where you should plant them.  Last year, I could put 5 Determinate tomatoes in a 4' x 4' box with Mel's Mix, that I mix myself.  There was plenty of room for all and I double-decked the box so my soil was 12" deep.  I could probably have used at least a 15" depth for these.  All the Indeterminate tomatoes I plant in my in ground garden bed, as their roots can be 4' wide and 4' deep.  If you plant them too close together, all the roots start competing for the same nutrients.
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Post  quiltbea 4/21/2015, 10:13 pm

Windmere.....I just wanted to mention to you that my Mountain Golds are struggling as well.  They aren't getting as big as my other varieties.  My Lizzanos are growing very well.
My several toms are still under lights gaining strength and growing a little.
I'll have to pot-up more of them now that I got some 16-oz Solo cups for the purpose.   I won't be putting any in the ground til at the earliest, May 15th and only then if the prospect of nice nites is in the forecast.
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Post  Turan 4/21/2015, 11:39 pm

Pepper, cheating is good in my book.  I always buy some plants as start my own.  Yours look settled in happy. 

Windmere, how is Scrappy doing?  ANd all the rest Smile 

I had one last week looking on deaths door.  After the firming of soil and watering with epsom salts it stood up and has grown a lot.  All the tomatoes have grown a lot feeling around in their new bigger pots.  I might have to up pot them again into yogurt tubs or something in another week. 

Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 2015-014

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Post  quiltbea 4/22/2015, 11:28 am

Turan.....Lookin' Good. rock on
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Post  Windmere 4/28/2015, 4:16 pm

Well, things are going well with my "teenager" tomatoes.  Here's what they look like as of a few minutes ago:

Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 Tomato11


It's time to move them up to the next size container.   I don't need this many tomatoes... I have backups and backups for my backups.  (Listen, two years of experience with crazy Georgia weather has taught me to be paranoid.)  The backups have already been claimed by six or so of my friends.

Turan:  The scrappy one is still scrappy, but he's trying real hard!
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Post  sanderson 4/28/2015, 4:50 pm

My 2015 miracles!
Iraqi Basrawya:  Big one is shy of 2" Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 Tomato16
On one of 2 Roma plants: Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 Tomato17
Audrey's Snow Fairy: Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 Tomato18
Volunteer:  In a 4 foot x 6" space, this volunteer came up between coriander (left left), parsley (left) and cilantro (right), Borage (hidden right right).  I really don't want to remove it.  Sad   The rest of the 2' x 4' section has 6 pepppers ad 2 squares of Spanish white onions. Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 Tomato19

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Post  Dunkinjean 4/28/2015, 9:21 pm

Pictures of my tomatoes started from seed indoor:

Celebrity Tomatoes

Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 April_10

Cherokee and Red Brandywine

Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 April_12

Amish Paste and very tall Sungold

Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 April_13

Black Krim, Amish Paste, Mystery Tomato (forgot to tag), etal.

Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 April_14
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Post  quiltbea 4/28/2015, 10:17 pm

Great photos.
I potted-up a few more tomatoes tonite.  I have plenty for my garden and to give to the community garden as well this year.
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Post  CitizenKate 4/28/2015, 10:29 pm

You folks in California and the south are breaking my heart.  But it's about time for us to put our summer plants out, starting this weekend.  Mine are mostly Celebrities, but I also have some Super Sauce, Big Mama, Oregon Spring (early season tomato), and Sweet 100's.

They've been spending time outside since they first sprouted.  I decided not to wait until mid-April to start setting them out on nicer days this year, and they are much stouter/stronger and leafier than previous years.  They had a rough week when I was gone to Denver earlier this month, but they're recovering nicely.  Can't wait to get them outside!

Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 Tomato16
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Post  FamilyGardening 4/29/2015, 3:00 pm

no pictures from me.....LOL...its raining and I don't like to get wet!...says a gal who loves the PNW Razz

but...eek.....the tomatoes are flowering in the green house.....and they really want to be up potted.....I was hoping to get them in the garden and avoid another up potting....I have used a little liquid Fertilizer to keep them happy......its really weird that some of them are growing taller than others....they are all the same age and have the same growing conditions, but it seems some verities are faster growers and are producing the flowers first as well.....I have also noticed that 2 of the seedlings that were started out in the smaller version of the peat grow pellets....they too have always been much more slower growing than the ones that were planted in the larger version of the peat pellets....

happy gardening
rose
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Post  FRED58 4/29/2015, 8:25 pm

My tomato seedlings are thin and leggy with no true leaves yet (only seed leaves) a month after planting. The stems are very thin (less than 1/16 inch, maybe 1mm on diameter). I thought that was a sign of insufficient light, so I doubled the light level. No luck. I transplanted them up to the leaves, expecting stronger roots and healthier plants. I had 50% losses on the transplants (I suspect due to handling the stems because there were no true leaves). The ambient temp is about 67-70°F, with a heating pad beneath the seed tray.


I know it's Wednesday, but any thoughts would be appreciated.

NOTE: Oddly enough the peppers are not leggy, although they are developing slowly.
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Post  Turan 4/29/2015, 11:33 pm

Fred, I can only make some guesses.  Maybe they need a week feeding.  What are they planted in?  Is there any sign of white mold?  That can mean damping off mold which does not always kill but can damage roots and thriving of plants.  Were there any roots poking out the edges of what you had seeded them in? That would mean they were growing and able to grow through the starting pots.  Was the soil firmed too much around them or not enough?  What is the potting soil source?  Is there any chance of herbicide contaminated compost in it? 

You might think of all these things and make a few changes and start another batch as back ups. 

I read that this year some commercial potting soils are contaminated with damping off and/or fungus gnats.  Especially Miracle Grow potting soils.  

Good luck.

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Post  CitizenKate 4/29/2015, 11:37 pm

FRED58 wrote:My tomato seedlings are thin and leggy with no true leaves yet (only seed leaves) a month after planting. The stems are very thin (less than 1/16 inch, maybe 1mm on diameter). I thought that was a sign of insufficient light, so I doubled the light level. No luck. I transplanted them up to the leaves, expecting stronger roots and healthier plants. I had 50% losses on the transplants (I suspect due to handling the stems because there were no true leaves). The ambient temp is about 67-70°F, with a heating pad beneath the seed tray.
I think could still be a light issue, but could be as much an issue of light frequency bandwidth as intensity.  I had two rows of plants earlier this year in my grow light stand, and one row was doing noticeably better than the other.  The poorly-growing plants had different light tubes than the better-growing ones.  I changed the light tubes over the poorly growing ones (Sylvania Octron 900 "bright white" - 5000K light spectrum) to the Verilux "full spectrum" tubes (same tubes I was using on the other shelf), and started to notice better growth within 4-5 days.  From what I've seen, the plants seem to prefer more of a bluish tint than a "warm" or reddish tint for early stages of development.  I'm sure others know a lot more about this than I do, so I defer to those with more experience.

Also, I've found that it's good for them to set them outside in sunshine and light breezes on warm, calm, sunny days as soon as they sprout.
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Post  FRED58 4/30/2015, 6:35 am

Turan wrote:Fred, I can only make some guesses.  Maybe they need a week feeding.  What are they planted in?  Is there any sign of white mold?  That can mean damping off mold which does not always kill but can damage roots and thriving of plants.  Were there any roots poking out the edges of what you had seeded them in? That would mean they were growing and able to grow through the starting pots.  Was the soil firmed too much around them or not enough?  What is the potting soil source?  Is there any chance of herbicide contaminated compost in it? 

You might think of all these things and make a few changes and start another batch as back ups. 

I read that this year some commercial potting soils are contaminated with damping off and/or fungus gnats.  Especially Miracle Grow potting soils.  

Good luck.
There was a very little bit of mold on the popsicle stick with the variety written on it. Hmmm. And, I used, wait for it, Miracle Grow seed starter. Hmmm. No roots poking through. I'll try a little half-strength houseplant fertilizer tonight.

I have two 60W incandescent grow lights (I have one tray and two mini trays with the herbs).I'll go bigger next year.

I'd love to set them outside, but that will have to wait at least another week; daytime temps are still pretty low. The high won't hit 60°F until next week. I think its likely too late for another batch. If they all die, I'll be at the mercy of the garden center.

Thanks both for your help.
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Post  Triciasgarden 4/30/2015, 8:00 pm

I never got a chance to start my own so I am so grateful to see what you are all doing and live vicariously through you all. I will have to buy my starts from my local mom and pop nursery.
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Post  sanderson 5/1/2015, 3:20 am

Hope you are able to get some starts and get them in the ground.

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Post  quiltbea 5/1/2015, 12:26 pm

I started mine in cellpacks under 4' shop lights with daylight tubes.  I found that by increasing the time under the lights to 18 hrs from 16 hrs a day this year, my starts are doing so much better.  Stronger and no legginess.  I bottom-water only.
I also learned I could start seeds in cellpacks right under the lights having them on 24/7 until they are about an inch or two tall (10-14 days usually).  No legginess at all and they look healthier.  I learned this from Gary Pilarchick's youtube videos.  He isn't SFG or organic like me, but he has some great tips.  That one is the best so far.  When about 2" tall, I change the lighting to a different schedule.....in my case 18 hrs on and 6 off this season.
The other good thing about the lights on 24/7 from sowing, I don't have to watch for new sprouts and move them under the lights as I had the old way of starting them in the dark, under a tent or cover for moisture, etc.  A whole step eliminated and no damping off at all.  I just leave the tray of cellpacks in the same spot and only change the lighting hours.
Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 04-06-16
Here are cells of tomato seeds at 10 days under the lights 24/7

Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 04-24-16
My tomatoes newly potted up into 16-oz Solo cups and growing well under the lights at about 4 weeks.

Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 04-27-12
Going strong a few days later on their 18/6 lighting schedule.

I just wanted to share this new revelation in the art of seed starting.  Its been a marvelous success for me.
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Post  sanderson 5/1/2015, 2:00 pm

QB, Looking nice there!

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Post  Triciasgarden 5/1/2015, 10:16 pm

Oh those are beautiful, great job! If I had your set up, I would definitely get back to doing my own starts. Some day it may happen.

Sanderson I think I may get my starts this weekend. There is a chance until Labor Day that I could get a killing frost. I have been successful in covering with sheets or blankets and protecting from killing frosts in the past.
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Post  Turan 5/1/2015, 10:37 pm

I also find that plants appreciate the 24/7 lights on.  I figure it works in Alaska so why not here?  No problems as yet. 

I went to the nursery to get my tomatoes that I do not start myself.  I 'let' the nursery start the Cherokee Purples and Gold Nuggets for me.  Several years ago I recommended the Cherokee Purple to them so every year I buy some.  I now have had people tell me about these wonderful tomatoes that the nursery now has called Cherokee Purple.  Teehee.

I got a couple peppers too.  And 3 bare root trees......  Rolling Eyes 

I need to transplant into the greenhouse and wall o waters but the mix in the greenhouse bed is feeling gummy.  This batch of compost has been slow and gummy somehow.  I dug it in and asked hte worms to take care of it, they are but not in the numbers they are in a neighbor bed with different compost pile.  So I am trying to decide if I should just risk it or wait another week.  The have roots poking out the bottom of their pots already.  I could up pot again into big yogurt tubs.

Good to see that Scrappy is fighting still and all the other wonderful pictures!  Fruit! o Sanderson i am jealous!

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Post  CitizenKate 5/2/2015, 3:16 pm

quiltbea wrote:I also learned I could start seeds in cellpacks right under the lights having them on 24/7 until they are about an inch or two tall (10-14 days usually).  No legginess at all and they look healthier.  I learned this from Gary Pilarchick's youtube videos.  He isn't SFG or organic like me, but he has some great tips.  That one is the best so far.  When about 2" tall, I change the lighting to a different schedule.....in my case 18 hrs on and 6 off this season.

Here are cells of tomato seeds at 10 days under the lights 24/7


My tomatoes newly potted up into 16-oz Solo cups and growing well under the lights at about 4 weeks.

Tomato Tuesday 2015 - Page 2 04-27-12
Going strong a few days later on their 18/6 lighting schedule.

I just wanted to share this new revelation in the art of seed starting.  Its been a marvelous success for me.
Those look great, quiltbea!  On my list of tips to use next year, thanks for sharing that.
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