Vegetables and Fruit forum: tomato experiment 2014

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Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
Feb 24, 2014 7:42 PM CST
I have an awful time getting veggies to produce, so this year I decided to start them 3 months early instead of two. I have transferred half my tomato seedlings into cans with the bottom cut out, and sitting in a tray of soil, and when they grew taller, added root tone to the stem and stacked cups with more soil. The other half i just used plastic cups, as that's what I had. They were a mix variety of tomatoes with all the same soil, light, heat, water, EXCEPT for the cans. I think it very curious that the tomatoes in cans on the left are 24" from bottom of can to tips, and those with just plastic cups are only 13". Think it's the metal from the cans? Extra heat from the cans? (BTW, squash had the same reaction)
Thumb of 2014-02-25/texaskitty111/f0a86b

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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
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Oberon46
Feb 24, 2014 7:45 PM CST
Are they all the same distance from the light? It is possible that the cans absorb more heat from the warmed air and warm the roots. As you suggested. But that is just a guess. Interesting set up you have.
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Name: David Reaves
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
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david_reaves
Feb 24, 2014 7:53 PM CST
Looks like the lights are closer on the plants with cans. I would expect the plants with more roots to be taller. Probably should compare only the growth above ground, since the cup only plants can't grow deeper roots. By adding soil on the plants with cans and cups you're giving them a chance to grow great roots.

David
Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

Tomato Heads
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texaskitty111
Feb 24, 2014 8:20 PM CST
They WERE all the same distance from the light, the left ones grew taller, until I couldn't raise the light anymore. The light on the right is 1" from the top of my broccoli plant. That's the best I can do. If I measure only the plant above ground, the difference is 13" and 9", but then you are ignoring the fact that what is now included as root, used to be a very tall plant. Which is why I measured the total plant.
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
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Joannabanana
Feb 24, 2014 8:27 PM CST
I think it's because of extra rooting area. I find that tomatoes really take off when I transplant them into a deeper pot. I usually seed them in a 32 cell deep rooting tray and then transplant them into 4.5" pots and/or 1 gallon depending on the space I have at that time. Since we don't plant our tomatoes out until late May, the 4.5" have to go into 2 gallons by late April
Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
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Gymgirl
Feb 27, 2014 11:14 AM CST
I just LOVE garden experiments, LOL!

I have to agree with Joannabanana. The extra depth you created in batch "A" is allowing more roots to grow along those stems. You're gonna get stronger plants from that batch. Thumbs up

When you are ready to harden them off before transplanting, here's a neat trick. Lay the cans/cups on their sides, and leave them there. The plants will naturally turn themselves upward toward the sun, and make an "L" shape. Dig a deep trench for transplanting, and set your "L"-shaped stems down with just the tips of the tomatoes above the surface. Your plants will form roots all along every part of the stem that's buried underground, for a nice, strong root system.

You shouldn't have a lot of transplant shock, and they'll take off rather quickly.

Hugs! I tip my hat to you.
Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

Tomato Heads
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texaskitty111
Feb 27, 2014 11:24 AM CST
Are you saying that even though I have transplanted three times, and the stems and roots are the same length, I STILL need to make more roots? I got to admit the plants are still weak, but I thought I would get tomatoes faster if they weren't once again concentrating on forming roots. No? I like your idea though, of getting them to curl up, as I wasn't looking forward to digging 50, 1 foot holes
I agree
Thank You!
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Feb 27, 2014 11:45 AM CST
In the spring, I sell tomato plants, all in 1 gal. pots. The pots are literally crammed with roots. I still tell my buyers to bury the plant as deep as possible, leaving only 1/2 of the plant above ground. Every place there is a stem under ground, they will root. The more roots the better.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Franklin Troiso
Rutland, MA (Zone 5b)
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herbie43
Feb 28, 2014 7:10 AM CST
Ken - Thanks for that tip. I never buried the plants that deep but i will give it a try this year.


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frank
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 28, 2014 7:47 AM CST
I tip my hat to you.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

Tomato Heads
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texaskitty111
Feb 28, 2014 7:01 PM CST
Transplanted the tomatoes for the fourth time as they were getting very leggy (branchy?) FYI, the above idea of stacking cans to top the tomatoes as they grew didn't work so well as 1. They are top heavy and can't be moved outdoors to harden. 2. It seems the roots in the bottom cans were reabsorbed, as only the top had roots. So I think I'll limit it to one can for original transplant. Failed experiment!


Thumb of 2014-03-01/texaskitty111/f718d6

Tomatoes are a little wilted, hopefully they will recover overnite

Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)

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