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hendi_alex
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Tomatoes - zone 8

O.K. zone 7 or 8 and warmer, time to get those tomato seeds started. I now have two batches of plants up and just start a third batch, the main crop, today.

I've been having a difficult time limiting the number of tomato plants, so this year have taken on a different strategy. I'm dumping all seeds of a particular group into one container, and what gets planted is a random mix. Indeteminate beefsteak tomato seeds are all dumped in together and somewhere between 5-10 seeds got planted this round. Sweet Cluster, Super Sioux, and 4th of July all got combined as well, though only Sweet Cluster will be planted early season. The blacks and the chocolates got combined, as did the greens. I have not planted any yet, but all paste types also got combined. For spring and early summer this year I'll plant: 2 Juliet, 4 sweet cluster, 6 beefsteak, 4 green, 4 brown or black, 6 Celebrity, 2 German, 2 Brandywine. Also will plant about 12 paste tomatoes of various types. Boy, sure am glad that I'm limiting the number of plants!

My four volunteer plants that were plucked from the beds in November are about 10-12 inches tall now. It will soon be time to size them up to six inch nursery pots. my Juliets and Sweet Cluster plants were about six inches tall prior to re-potting into singe pots today.

Supplemental light, the cheap solution. Go to Lowes or Wallmart and buy a silver dish reflector clip @ $6-$10 depending upon the size. Buy a 100 watt equivalent CF bulb for each reflector. I start my seeds in small community pots which are set in solid trays about 12 inches square, or alternately use large plastic bottom trays, both of which allow for bottom watering. Each container holds 4-5 small community pots. I clip a reflector fixture on to each side of the tray and have a timer to cycle on about 14 hours per day. This makes for thick stemmed, healthy seedlings.

Photos to be posted later.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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gixxerific
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Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Go ahead and rub it in. Just kidding sounds like you are doing dang good for how early it is. Your setup sounds good to waiting to see those pics.

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hendi_alex
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Tomato seedlings started in December. Cheap source of supplemental light for plants that get all day sun in the greenhouse. If the plants got less natural light, I would mount the supplemental directly over the top.

[img]https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4037/4288482795_25aca5eccd_o.jpg[/img]

Volunteer plants rescued from the garden beds in November. Are a little leggy as have not been given suppemental light.

[img]https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4003/4289224524_5feb1b5a6d_o.jpg[/img]

Greenhouse is pretty crowded:

[img]https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2513/4288481747_604f0bd5eb_o.jpg[/img]
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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Earl K
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Location: Melbourne ,Fl.

Very nice Alex,Today I pulled all my frostbitten plants in preperation for the next round.I went from 5 gallon to 25 gallon buckets and wow what a difference.This season should bring bigger and healthier plants.Now that i have a little more experience due to all here at THE HELPFUL GARDENER.I will try different varieties this go around as well.Good luck and keep the pics coming.It gives us motivation :D :D :D :D :D
Florida porchgrown veggies
USDA zone 9

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Duh_Vinci
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Location: Virginia

Very nice Alex, looks great, and you are off to an early start!!! Oh how much I wish I had a green house! Keep posting the pics, motivational indeed!

Regards,
D

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hendi_alex
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Yep, decided to rub it in a bit! To you northern gardeners.

Here is the temperature in the shade. Is much warmer out in the sunshine where I placed my tomato seedlings for the day, in a small cold frame.

[img]https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4035/4290303521_2279bf4810_o.jpg[/img]

Here is a better photo of the new plants, with lights removed and placed outside in the cold frame. To my eye they look thick, healthy, and with good color.

[img]https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2747/4291044580_9421c1f255_o.jpg[/img]

[img]https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4041/4291044224_4a5583695a_o.jpg[/img]
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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Duh_Vinci
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Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:58 am
Location: Virginia

Good looking plants Alex, nice, thick stems and deep color, very nice start!

Going to start my first official 2010 batch first week of February... Really hoping for an early tomatoes this year. So starting with the very early varieties:

Fruhe Liebe
Jaune Flamme
Early Wonder Pink
Lambada
Kalinka
Taxi
Burtzyn
Stupice
Pipo



And others will follow in a week or two after... For now, just few experimental sprouted seedlings are growing, trying to see if I can actually overwinter them successfully...

Happy growing to all!

Regards,
D

top_dollar_bread
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:34 pm
Location: Inland Empire,CA

great pics alex!!!
oh and thanks for the heads up, ill get to starting my tom seeds :D

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