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loosegoose

when to start tomatoes

64 posts in this topic

I'm going to start some tomatoes from seed this year. When do you recommend starting them indoors?

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Kind of depends on where you are located, but it's good to start them about 6 weeks before you plan to plant them outside.

If you can safely put them out by May 15th, then the end of March or beginning of April is good. Consider transplanting them into bigger containers at some point. If you know someone that works at a convenience store, have them give you some big cups from the Pop fountain. Those work great to transplant your tomatoes into.

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I normally start mine March 1st,This year I'm starting them Feb 1st I'll have to transplant to larger containers but I want to start outside with larger plants with more root structure,for earlier developmentPeppers also, all other starters will be yet march 1st

All flowers start Feb 1st this year also,I'll have petunia blooms by june 1st.

Keep the water down for stronger plants,let em almost start to wilt.you'll have good roots and strong fat stems.

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When you transplant from smaller to larger containers,always pick off the leaves up to the top 2.Bury the stem up to the top.Tomatios are one of the few plants that will send out roots from the buried stem.

Do the same when you transplant into the garden.The larger the rootball the better the plants will produce.Dig a shallow trench and lay the plant on its side and cover up to the top leaves.Put a dirt pillow under the top leaves.The plant will straighten itself out.Put a tablespoon of balanced garden fertilizer in the bottom of the hole.

Mulch when the tomatoes start to appear to keep from getting blossom end rot.Add another Tbs of fertilizer when you mulch.

I started my sweet onions today.

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Geesh talking gardening when it’s -14. But hey I warmed smile up already thinking about it. I don’t know what I’ll do with my garden in the spring. All frown the corn stalks and vines are still out there. It was so muddy I could hardly get out there. I usually don’t have much time in the spring for the garden because of springs work. I like it in good shape in the fall for the spring season. Plant a few things when ever I can get out there especially the sweet corn. Hope it’s a dry spring so it dries up some. I heard about burying the stems also and going to try it.

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Very interesting ken_w. I'm a little skeptical but I will try your tomato tips on a few of my plants this year.

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loosegoose No need to be skeptical, My old man is a Master Gardener he tought me the same methods that Ken W posted. I've used those methods for several years with good results. I start my tomatoes and peppers the beginning of February. Great to have fresh toms for the 4th of July. Good Luck!!!!

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Very interesting ken_w. I'm a little skeptical but I will try your tomato tips on a few of my plants this year.

It does work.....I was a master gardener for the National Gardening Association.Learned that method 30 years ago from them.Most people plant it the same depth as it was in the pots.You wind up with a small rootball and a big plant.By burying the stem up to the top leaves you have a large rootball for that large plant.Just make sure you bury it shallow by laying it on its side to be in the top 4-5 inches of soil where it is warm.

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Very interesting ken_w. I'm a little skeptical but I will try your tomato tips on a few of my plants this year.
Loose dont be skeptical KENs right.

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huck what species tomatos do you get fruit by the 4th?
Sparcebag The 3 varieties I planted for 2008 early crop were Early Girl, Wayahead and 4th Of July. The Early Girl And 4th of July were the better pair last year. The year before the Wayahead were better. The seeds the season who knows what makes the difference? Have not seen any 4th of July seeds in any of the seed catalogs this year. Getting close to ordering seeds any other early varieties anyone has tried with decent results?

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4th of july are in Burpee page 120, I always start early girl,tried 4th last year and wayahead,4th of july ripened around end of july.Knida strange my first fruit was Brandywine a 90 day variety last year then 4th & early girl.

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Thanks for the heads up on the 4th seeds. The first 2 I picked at the end of June were Celebrity 72 day (small tennis balls but good eating). I do set out 6 early plants with wall-o-water, And cages wrapped in poly with enough poly on top so I can twist tite when needed. I also plant Big Beef, Delicious, Better Boy, I also have not had any look finding any Cluster Seed the last 2 years. Have you seen them in any other sources?

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I actually do this to my peppers also and it seemed to work. My tomato plant bases were about the size of a golf ball last year and I had to use a dewalt recip to cut them down. They (a few) ended up 7 and 1/2 feet tall and normal staking could not hold them up.

Does this mean I have to leave more of the tip out?

I really enjoyed bragging about them, but they really turned my garden into a forest and in my mind, was not worth it.

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If you want shorter plants you should plant determinate varieties.They usually stop growing at about 4 feet or so.

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Last year I started my early girls on Mar 17. The week before memorial day I had transplanted them three times into large keg type beer glasses with holes drilled in the bottoms. When I put them in the garden they were about 1 foot tall and were already flowering. We had a cooler spring last year and most of my co workers had a dismal tomato crop but due to mine being so large I harvested my first on July 7 and had tremendous luck the rest of the season. I would recommend not starting much earlier and buying two two bank 4 ft fluorescent lights with just regular bulbs (grow bulbs are way overrated and overpriced)

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I am looking to plant peppers and tomatoes this year to make a ton of salsa. I would like to make a couple different batches, what do you reccomend doing to stagger the times to be picked?

Oh I guess this means I will be tilling up my yard again,, planted the garden with grass a few years ago when I first moved in...

It will also be a new garden and my first time gardening.. any and all tips and help is greatly welcomed!

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Roma tomatoes for salsa and a determinate larger tomato celebrities are good and yield well. The reason for the determinate type is because they ripen basically at the same time. Peppers : Jalapenos and a sweet bell { california wonder is usually reliable} Anahiem chiles are also good. You may have to go to a farmers market and get onions ect. Good luck on your advenure! Gardening cuts down fishing time grin

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Originally Posted By: sparcebag
huck what species tomatos do you get fruit by the 4th?
Sparcebag The 3 varieties I planted for 2008 early crop were Early Girl, Wayahead and 4th Of July.

Getting close to ordering seeds any other early varieties anyone has tried with decent results?

Glacier is the best early tom I've ever grown. I've had them finish in unheated tunnels late June for 4 of last 5 growing seasons.

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Ryan Berger,

I did my 1st garden ever last year in my backyard (residential area) I built 2 4x8 raised beds, 2x12's with landscape fabric under them. I filled them with a 50/50 mix of topsoil and manure.

I planted 16 green bean (climbing), 6 bell pepper, 3 cherry tomato, 3 roma tomato plants in one box.

The other box I planted 6 jalapeno, 3 habanero, 3 hot banana, 3 serrano and 3 super chili plants.

I set up a spreadsheet to fill in when I picked everything and I got over 2000 items.

I'm going to do a few less plants this next year in each bed and I'm going to probably make a new 4x8 bed this next year for cukes, etc.

I had people in awe with how heathy and huge the tomato plants were. They were around 5 1/2 feet tall.

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sparcebag.....you can find Glacier tomato here.

http://www.territorialseed.com/prod_detail_list/223

also here.

http://www.totallytomato.com/dp.asp?P=%7B455509D0%2DEE3A%2D4BF5%2D8FEE%2D186254F8AA21%7D

Other really early tomatoes are the Beaverlodge plum and slicer at Territorial.they are always the first tomatoes to ripen in my garden.Plus they taste good and there are a lot of them.

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Thanks Ken! And I got a totally toms catalog.

I got so many seed cataloge this year,I cant keep up and all my ordering is done,all my seed is here,but I gotta try some other early toms!! I dream about that first red ripe tomato!!

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Ya just ran the snoblower,think next time I'll clear & plant the garden. My blankie gettin lots a use

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