Ask a Question forum: Transplanting into a raised planter from Jiffy Pots

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Name: Mike Keough
San Francisco, CA. (Zone 10a)
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putitupmike
Apr 18, 2015 12:39 PM CST
I bought some non GMo seeds for San Francisco Fog Tomatoes, as I live in San Francisco. I started them in Jiffy Pots on March 19th, almost a month ago. They busted ground within three weeks and grew to first leaf height and now have stopped growing totally. I have been able to see the second set of leaves for almost two weeks but they do not seem to be getting any larger. I was told to wait until the second set of leaves expand and then to transplant with all of the stem buried, in that the roots will grow out of the buried stems. I am concerned that I have the wrong info and should transplant them now. Am I just being impatient?
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Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Apr 18, 2015 1:44 PM CST
Have the nights been a little cooler than when they first came up? If so, that might be the reason for growth slowing down. Night temperatures near 60 or below will pretty much stop the growing process until the night time temperature goes back up. Here is some general info on tomato growing for you. I hope this helps.

http://www.tomatodirt.com/tomato-seedlings.html


I noticed you list your USDA zone as 10a.... I thought most of San Francisco was considered to be zone 8. Perhaps that may have something to do with the slow down? Possibly you are in one of San Francisco's many micro-climates.

http://sfdpw.org/index.aspx?page=1420

http://sanfrancisco.about.com/b/2013/04/17/plant-zones-in-th...
[Last edited by Moonhowl - Apr 18, 2015 1:59 PM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 18, 2015 7:29 PM CST
I think I'd advise you to bring them indoors, if the nights are too cool Mike. They definitely shouldn't have stopped growing, and temperature is really the only reason as Jean pointed out.

I planted some seeds of Solar Flare tomatoes about 3 weeks ago, too. They are nearly 5in. high and have two sets of true leaves already, but we've had really warm weather and the nights have been close to 70 so they are growing like crazy. With tomatoes, you want to wait until they're tall enough that you can bury an inch or two of stem when you plant them out so they'll make more roots from the hairs on the stem. Adventitious roots - I'm amazed I remembered that word . . . Rolling my eyes.

Btw, if I buy plants in those peat pots, I always peel away the peat pot or at least tear it up the sides a few times when I plant out the plants because sometimes the peat is too compacted and doesn't break down to let the roots through as well as it should. I always just plant seeds in little plastic pots, trays or even yogurt cups with holes for drainage.
Elaine

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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Apr 18, 2015 7:38 PM CST
Mike, I agree that they should be further along after a month, and probably need more warmth... you might also try a very dilute fertilizer solution. And I also totally agree with Elaine about the peat pots -- when you do plant them, water them well beforehand, and kind of rip open the sides of the pot with your fingers, then make sure the top edge of the peat pot is buried under the soil. If you don't open the peat pot up the roots often will never escape it (despite the theory of them being "plantable"), and if the top isn't buried the peat pot can actually wick water away from your plant.

That said, it does usually take 6-8 weeks to get transplant-size tomatoes Smiling
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
Apr 19, 2015 1:10 AM CST

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Zone 8? Nope, SF rarely gets below freezing so 10a is quite accurate. They are often in fog and don't get the day time heat I get further north and more inland but they can grow all kinds of frost sensitive plants, The SF Botanical Gardens are to die for, growing many South American tropical and Australian plants..

@Moonhowl, that last link you provided says " San Francisco is in zones 10a (with a range of 35 to 40 F) and 10b (range of 30 to 35F).".
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[Last edited by Calif_Sue - Apr 19, 2015 1:12 AM (+)]
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Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Apr 19, 2015 9:45 AM CST
Thank you for the correction Sue. The first article I read must have been talking about Sunset climate zones? *Blush* or just misinformation

http://www.examiner.com/article/know-your-zone

I should have read the other two all the way through obviously.
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
Apr 19, 2015 10:33 AM CST

Plants Admin

Misinformation! Blinking I'm just north of SF, west of Santa Rosa so around a 9a to 9b.


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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Apr 19, 2015 11:47 AM CST
Mike, maybe those seedlings dislike the peat pots as much as I do!

If they are unhappy as they are, and not ready to go into the soil, maybe pot them up into something other than the peat pots, with a well-draining mix. Even a slightly bigger pot would make the roots happier if the soil or pot is the problem. Your mix looks nice and open, with all those bark shreds.

Slow growing seedlings that are not very leggy might well be too cold, and "back indoors" sounds like a good idea to try.
Name: Mike Keough
San Francisco, CA. (Zone 10a)
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putitupmike
Apr 19, 2015 12:55 PM CST
This is wonderful, getting all of these helpful hints. I took the plants outside today with the intention of simply planting them into the final homes... now I am going to bring them back inside. I have been keeping them in the laundry room unless the sun is shining, and then they go outside for the few hours that they can sit in the light and heat. I will transplant them into some of our left over clay post for a few more weeks and see if that helps. Same indoor, out in the sun regime for the time being, see how how they do. Funny thing about the Hearty Zone rating of 10... things here in SF are changing, and changing fast. I don't think we have had 15 days of true cold fog in the past six months. It is still rather cold in the mornings, but there is sunshine most everyday. This is no longer my Fathers weather. They are going to have to redo the ratings as our weather changes... and changing it is doing. I think I might even get a suntan this year.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Apr 19, 2015 1:04 PM CST
And I personally would never grow tomatoes in peat pots. I reserve peat pots for plants that resent transplanting and tomatoes are definitely not that! For one thing, those peat pots dry out quickly, and tomatoes like their water. And I swear, the little rascals thrive on being manhandled from one pot to the next bigger one. Hilarious!
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Name: Mike Keough
San Francisco, CA. (Zone 10a)
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putitupmike
Apr 20, 2015 12:01 PM CST
The Jiffy post are in the recycle can and the Tomatoes are now in Terra Cotta pots. As you can see from the photos it is not even warm here today. This will be two days in a row with nos sun, and temps in the mid 50's. Burrr...
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 20, 2015 12:38 PM CST
putitupmike said: This will be two days in a row with nos sun, and temps in the mid 50's. Burrr...


Yikes! Is the HIGH temperature of day - mid-50s? That's COLD for tomatoes. What I read is that they become sullen and just hibernate until it warms up. Very slow growth might be their best strategy for coping with the chilly weather.

How cold does it get at night where they are?

Name: Mike Keough
San Francisco, CA. (Zone 10a)
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putitupmike
Apr 22, 2015 12:20 PM CST
This morning I decided that my decision to not plant sun thriving plants was the right one. san Francisco, at least the part I live in is too cold, too foggy, and the nights do drop into the low 50's. I got fooled by Mother Nature. Hope she got a good laugh outta this, but it's back to cold weather crops.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Apr 22, 2015 12:36 PM CST
Bet you can grow spinach and cabbage more successfully than I! My Chinese cabbage decided to bolt even before I got the seedlings transplanted! (Ok, so I was a little slow with the last batch. Whistling )
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Mike Keough
San Francisco, CA. (Zone 10a)
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putitupmike
Apr 22, 2015 1:01 PM CST
Yep, and Carrots, Kale, Chard, lettuce. But no berries or melons, none of those favorite Spring and Summer treats. But the view of the Golden Gate makes up for it.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Apr 22, 2015 1:33 PM CST
Well, I can't grow melons either, at least not without jumping through a lot of hoops (I did get a small watermelon once). Our growing season is just too short. But you can surely grow some great salad! Yum. I love salad!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Apr 22, 2015 3:58 PM CST
Mike, if it makes you feel any better -- we've had snow here for the past 3 days (fortunately not anything that's sticking to the ground). No fog, though... Lots of things we can't grow, but, then again, plenty of things that we can (and do)! Smiling
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