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Post  hammock gal on 5/12/2020, 11:38 am

Since I don't have a good spot for starting tomato plants, and since the growing season is so short here in CT, I like to buy tomato plants, so that I can have a head start. I also like to try some tomatoes each year that I've never grown before. This year, I tried "Carbon" from Totally Tomatoes, and "Climbing Triple Crop Tomato" from Burgess seed. When I've ordered tomatoes before, from White Flower Farm and Burpees, I've always been pleasantly surprised at the size and vigor of the plants I received, and the packaging. Burpees packaging was especially impressive.

This time, it's the exact opposite. The little "Carbon" tomato from Totally Tomatoes arrived half dead, not secured in the box it came in, no cover on the little pot, so the plant had been banged around in the box from side to side and most of the dirt was loose, with very little still clinging to the plant itself. I managed to salvage one stem, with a few leaves now appearing at the top, since I've given it some fish emulsion, and sunshine. I sent them an email, polite, but detailing the condition of their plant, and I've received no answer.

The "Climbing Triple Crop" arrived yesterday, packaged a bit better, but they are four really sad looking plants. I think they'll survive, but they're sure not healthy and vigorous. I'm trying to cut these companies some slack, because of the current situation, but I'll certainly never order from them again. So I guess this is a word of warning, unless you've ordered from a company before, it's kind of a toss-up on what you'll get. Luckily I got some nice plants locally, but I'll be interested to see how these others will end up doing.

Mail order tomato plants Climbi10
Mail order tomato plants Climbi11
hammock gal
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/12/2020, 10:12 pm

Wow!  That isn’t what you paid for....
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Post  Dan in Ct on 5/13/2020, 7:59 am

Hi hammock gal, I don't know how close Sal Gilbertie's Nursery is to you, he is in Westport but I would recommend him. I heard him speak at The Ct Small Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference in 2019. I bought a couple of his books on growing herbs and am now having better success with more varieties than I ever have. He does have Carbon on his listed which I believe was an AAS in 2005 so not necessarily a true heirloom but everyone swears by the flavor and it is open pollinated. Here is a link. You have southwest Ct. so as the umpire said, you are in the ballpark.

https://www.gilbertiesorganics.com/vegetable-list
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Post  mollyhespra on 5/13/2020, 8:36 am

Wow. Good thing tomatoes tend to be tough.

I don't like the looks of the yellow leaves on that Climbing variety. Is it just old or do I see diseased areas? Not to freak you out but jic, might keep an eye on that.
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Post  hammock gal on 5/13/2020, 11:40 am

@Dan in Ct wrote:Hi hammock gal, I don't know how close Sal Gilbertie's Nursery is to you, he is in Westport but I would recommend him. I heard him speak at The Ct Small Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference in 2019. I bought a couple of his books on growing herbs and am now having better success with more varieties than I ever have. He does have Carbon on his listed which I believe was an AAS in 2005 so not necessarily a true heirloom but everyone swears by the flavor and it is open pollinated. Here is a link. You have southwest Ct. so as the umpire said, you are in the ballpark.

https://www.gilbertiesorganics.com/vegetable-list

Thanks for that Dan! Gilbertie's looks like a fun nursery to explore, I've never been there. It's good to know where to look, if my Carbon shows signs that it's not going to make it. Or even if it does. I always like poking around in a nursery. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for my scrawny little Carbon wannabe.
thanks
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Post  hammock gal on 5/13/2020, 11:42 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Wow!  That isn’t what you paid for....

Yeah. Sadly, when you haven't ordered from a supplier before, you're always rolling the dice. I guess I've been lucky in the past, and this was the time for my luck to run out. Sad
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Post  hammock gal on 5/13/2020, 11:47 am

@mollyhespra wrote:Wow. Good thing tomatoes tend to be tough.

I don't like the looks of the yellow leaves on that Climbing variety.  Is it just old or do I see diseased areas?  Not to freak you out but jic, might keep an eye on that.

I've pulled all the yellow leaves off, and am watching closely. Some fish emulsion, and warm sunshine during the day, overnight indoors, since we're still having colder than normal weather here. I hate to be overly optimistic, but they seem to be perking up a bit.
okay
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/13/2020, 12:24 pm

I think I’d pick all that stuff of that climber and bury both of them deep when they go in!  Tomatoes are tough.
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Post  Dan in Ct on 5/13/2020, 6:09 pm

What Scorpio Rising said and for good measure play Gloria Gaynor singing, "I will Survive" in the background while transplanting, it can't hurt.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/13/2020, 6:20 pm

@Dan in Ct wrote:What Scorpio Rising said and for good measure play Gloria Gaynor singing, "I will Survive" in the background while transplanting, it can't hurt.
https://youtu.be/gYkACVDFmeg

Yes!
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Post  hammock gal on 5/14/2020, 11:37 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:I think I’d pick all that stuff of that climber and bury both of them deep when they go in!  Tomatoes are tough.

Yes, they are! Now if it will only get warm enough so that I can get them in the ground. Hopefully by this weekend I'll feel confident enough that it will stay warm. This is why I like to buy plants.......here it is the middle of May and still with nights in the 30s. That's kind of unusual for us, but our tomato growing season is always too short for me, I want them sooner and longer. Never too many tomatoes for me! Very Happy
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Post  hammock gal on 5/14/2020, 11:39 am

@Dan in Ct wrote:What Scorpio Rising said and for good measure play Gloria Gaynor singing, "I will Survive" in the background while transplanting, it can't hurt.

Gloria knows best!

Mail order tomato plants Giphy10
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Post  angela.chandler.102 on 5/26/2020, 3:55 pm

I used to sell hundreds of tomato plants online.  I wrapped and taped the rootball into the pot, wrapped the whole plant into a tube of newspaper to protect the top, then taped the pot into the side of a mailing tube.  They weren't going anywhere.  I can't believe someone would send a loose plant.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/26/2020, 5:50 pm

@hammock gal wrote:
@Dan in Ct wrote:What Scorpio Rising said and for good measure play Gloria Gaynor singing, "I will Survive" in the background while transplanting, it can't hurt.

Gloria knows best!

Mail order tomato plants Giphy10
Plants DO like music!  Inspiring!
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Post  acranberryfiend on 6/1/2020, 12:40 am

This has been such a wacky year, I wouldn't judge any of the mail-order places by it.  They've all had maaany times the usual volume, employees either out sick, or too few because of social distancing, or people they had to grab off the street to help out, etc.  My usual nursery was sold out of most tomatoes two weeks early this year, by newbies who don't know when to plant them. 

Oh, and watch out for Gilberties (7 Sylvan Rd Westport CT), very dangerous -- you will want every plant in the place!
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 6/1/2020, 6:22 am

I hope they work out, Hammock Gal...

And I see we have a couple of new folks chiming in... Welcome to Angela.Chandler & acranberryfiend from Atlanta, GA!! Glad you've joined us!

Can you tell us about YOUR gardens?
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/1/2020, 12:40 pm

glad you\'re here Angela.Chandler & acranberryfiend!   Tell us about yourselves?
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