Ask a Question forum: Tomatoes from seed

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Name: Cathy Murby
Luray, Tennessee (Zone 7a)
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CjMurby
Apr 26, 2016 4:34 PM CST
Hello.... I have started some tomato seeds. They are now 3 inches tall, do I transplant them to a larger pot ? How tall should the seedling be, before I plant it in the ground ? Thanks
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Apr 26, 2016 6:05 PM CST
What size pot did you start them in? If one of those little 1 x 1 inch cubes, probably yes. If you re-pot, bury all but the top two or three leaves in the soil - tomatoes root along their stems so you will end up with a healthy, more vigorous plant.

It's a little early to plant outside in your zone. Go to the "Goodies" forum and look for the planting calendar. Put in your zip code and that will give you a good idea of when you can plant out. When you do plant them outside, once again, bury the entire stem except for the first couple leaf sets.

Daisy

(Zone 5b)
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WaiLinVision
Apr 27, 2016 10:31 PM CST
DaisyI said:What size pot did you start them in? If one of those little 1 x 1 inch cubes, probably yes. If you re-pot, bury all but the top two or three leaves in the soil - tomatoes root along their stems so you will end up with a healthy, more vigorous plant.

It's a little early to plant outside in your zone. Go to the "Goodies" forum and look for the planting calendar. Put in your zip code and that will give you a good idea of when you can plant out. When you do plant them outside, once again, bury the entire stem except for the first couple leaf sets.

Daisy



Does this work well with a short growing season? Last year was a terrible year for my tomatoes, and I wonder if I should have done something differently.

Lindsay
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Apr 27, 2016 10:54 PM CST
Are you growing short season tomatoes? The days to maturity on the seed packet starts counting on the day you plant that tomato in your garden. If you choose a tomato that is mature in 100 days and plant it on June 1, you can expect your first ripe tomato sometime in September.

Plant several varieties. Then if one type fails to thrive, you have back-up. Tomatoes perform differently from year to year - the one that failed last year may be great this year. But if you grow a specific one for a couple years and it never produces well, move on to something else.

Tomatoes that produce smaller fruits take less time. I look for types that mature in 65 days or so and grow at least 6 varieties.

Burying the stem doesn't slow down production but it does make for a healthier and more vigorous plant capable of higher production.

Daisy
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 28, 2016 7:21 AM CST
Hi Lindsay -- when you say "does this work for a short growing season," do you mean the part about burying the stem? Definitely yes -- as Daisy said, the plants will be much more vigorous.

The best thing I ever started doing for my tomato plants was to protect them with plastic coverings when I put them out. Initially I was using cages made of wire fencing, which I covered with large translucent plastic bags (with openings cut in the top for ventilation). Later we made some big wooden cages, which I wrap clear plastic around (leaving the top open), making kind of a mini greenhouse. This not only warms things up a LOT more quickly during the day (even when the nights are chilly), but offers a lot of protection from the wind -- which I think is as valuable as the warmth. There have been years when I've left the plastic on until August, pretty much until we started getting ripe tomatoes, without harming the plants in any way.

Last summer stayed really cool where I am, it was a difficult gardening year for sure -- I hope this summer will be better! Smiling
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Apr 28, 2016 2:27 PM CST
Its not starting better. I usually plant out May 1 but it snowed yesterday. I am waiting until the 15th now. I cover mine with little heat caps also.

If you "mulch" your tomatoes with plastic, it helps a lot. I have always used black plastic yard bags with holes cut in them for the tomatoes but recent studies say red is a better color for tomatoes. I bet some grad student got his degree for this project:

http://extension.psu.edu/plants/plasticulture/technologies/p...

Daisy
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
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Apr 28, 2016 3:59 PM CST
This is what my wrapped cages looked like last year...

Thumb of 2016-04-28/Weedwhacker/f592da Thumb of 2016-04-28/Weedwhacker/af111d
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map

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