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gixxerific
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Winter dwarfs, by the window and under lights.

I am grwoing some dwarf tomatos inside this winter. It was brought about on a tomato site I frequent. The idea was at first to only use window light to grow a dwarf tomato this winter and compare notes. Well I have one that was started on 9/25/11 that I just saw the first flowers on and am excited. I have a few more variety's that I am going to drop today but those woill more than likely be under lights, though will get to see the sun when I can get them there. My good windows are at a very minumum.

Anyway's I will be adding to this throughout the winter. So stayed tuned. Here are some of the more recent pics. The variety here is [url=https://t.tatianastomatobase.com:88/wiki/Lucky_Leprechaun]Lucky Leprechaun[/url].

[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC05435.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC05437.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC05441.jpg[/img][/url]

DeborahL
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These look good ! It'll be interesting to watch how they do.
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rainbowgardener
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Yes, very interesting. Do keep us updated on how they do, what the comparison between the window ones and the ones under lights is, etc. We always tell people it is difficult to get tomatoes to bear and ripen fruit just with winter window light (fewer hours of daylight), but I have never tried it. Maybe we've been steering people wrong all this time! :)

I just this year brought a pepper and basil plant in to try to over winter for the first time. I don't have ANY really nice sunny windows and Cincinnati isn't real sunny in winter anyway, so they do have some supplemental lighting.
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gixxerific
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I won't be able to do side by side window vs light. I just dropped a few more yesterday for the lighted side of town. But I can tell you this that plant has grown like mad. It was dropped 42 days ago. It is going like gangbusters.

RBG I brought a pepper inside as well. It is under lights in the basement. It has since put on a pretty good sized pepper.

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applestar
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Keeping an eye on this thread as well :wink:

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That's a very healthy looking plant! I just ordered some dwarf seeds this afternoon for container growing next summer. Maybe I'll try a few inside this winter under lights as well. The only window that would work for natural light is the one in the kitchen, which means I'd have to keep the plant in the sink if I wanted to try doing it with sunlight. Since I don't have a dishwasher, that wouldn't be ideal!

I'll be watching for updates as well.

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gixxerific
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Father's Daughter wrote:That's a very healthy looking plant! I just ordered some dwarf seeds this afternoon for container growing next summer. Maybe I'll try a few inside this winter under lights as well. The only window that would work for natural light is the one in the kitchen, which means I'd have to keep the plant in the sink if I wanted to try doing it with sunlight. Since I don't have a dishwasher, that wouldn't be ideal!

I'll be watching for updates as well.
What varietys did you get? I just dropped Silvery Fir tree, Tazmanian Chocolate, Victorian Dwarf and Orange Pixie. These will be under lights or wherever I can find room. :lol:

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gixxerific wrote: What varietys did you get? I just dropped Silvery Fir tree, Tazmanian Chocolate, Victorian Dwarf and Orange Pixie. These will be under lights or wherever I can find room. :lol:
I went with Iditarod Red, Dwarf Champion Improved, Perth Pride, Yukon Quest, and Yaponskiy Karlik. Some are last year's releases, some are this year's. I opted for indets. more in the red/pink/chocolate end of the spectrum
and with medium sized fruits. Now I need to see about getting my larger pots cleaned out and moved inside for winter!

Edit- The Yaponskiy Karlik is the one det. but the flavor profile (sweet/acidic) made me want to try it.

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gixxerific
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Here is my update.
The Lucky Leprechaun
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC05444.jpg[/img]
The rest of the gang coming up from behind. These are Tasmanian Chocolate, Silvery Fir Tree, Victorian Dwarf, Orange Pixie and Red Robin.
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC05446.jpg[/img]

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PunkRotten
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Nice thread. I am doing micro tom at the window. It is growing pretty good. I wanna try tiny tim and red robin. How big do the Leprechaun tomatoes get?

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rainbowgardener
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So the bottom pic is pots with seeds in them. They are under lights, right? It's a little hard to tell.
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Duh_Vinci
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Dono,

Very cool project, definitely interested to see how these would make it indoors, and great closeups on the flower buds!

The dwarfs I've grown this year on the deck got only 6 hours of sun max, and did extremely well, so I'd suspect some should perform admirably indoors!

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D

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My dwarf seeds arrived yesterday in the mail, so today I get to plant something :clap:

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Trevor
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Definately going to visit this thread again!
Best of luck to you!

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Father's Daughter
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Gixxerific, how are the dwarf plants coming along?

I just moved some of the starter cells under the lights. I planted three seeds of each of the five varieties on 11/19, and 10 out of fifteen have sprouted so far. One Yukon Quest was the first up, but no sign of the other two yet. All three of the Perth Pride and Iditarod Red seeds sprouted. Only one Yaponskiy Karlik and two Dwarf Champion Improved so far.

I don't really have a window that gets enough light, so mine will probably stay under the lights in the basement where the pellet stove will keep them at a toasty 75 degrees for most of the winter. I do plan to gift a couple to a friend and fellow gardener who has a four season sunroom, so we'll get to do some comparisons on natural vs artificial light.

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Duh_Vinci
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Yeah, update time :wink:

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D

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I am going to try growing tomatoes and peppers inside this year too. I have a south facing patio door with no overhang where I thought I would grow them. I will supplement the lighting with two small flourescent lights. I grew tomatoes indoors last year that I started in Jan and they did great so this year I will start them in early Dec, soon!

I want to experiement with growing lettuce indoors too and maybe a few other things, mostly with daylight supplemented at either end with the small flourescents

We have a "smart meter" so I will only be using lighting before 7 am and after 7 pm. I will put it on a timer.

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rainbowgardener
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Runningtrails wrote:I am going to try growing tomatoes and peppers inside this year too. I have a south facing patio door with no overhang where I thought I would grow them. I will supplement the lighting with two small flourescent lights. I grew tomatoes indoors last year that I started in Jan and they did great so this year I will start them in early Dec, soon!
Were you actually picking tomatoes off your indoor plants with this kind of lighting set up?
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Gixx, how about an update? I really would be interested in seeing if these are going to make it.
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gixxerific
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Here is my update, and yes I may be doing this weekly. ;D

The plants under light are doing great. My window bound Lucky Leprechaun is not so lucky though it does have fruit on it. Yipee!!! You can't buy a sunny day around here. But it is destined to flourish or fail.

[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/DSC05467.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/DSC05468.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/DSC05472.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/DSC05474.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/DSC05476.jpg[/img]

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They look fantastic ! I'm impressed !
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Dono or Duh_Vinci,

I don't recognize some of the dwarf names listed in this thread as part of the "Cross Hemisphere Dwarf Project". Most of the photos also don't seem to have rugose leaves. I grew Mr. Snow, Beryl Beauty, and Emerald Giant from the project this year as well as New Big Dwarf which is a very old dwarf variety. I grew them in pots and they performed great. I will be planting seed for those project varieties as well as Summertime Gold and Rosella Purple under lights in a couple of weeks. They should be at least 24" tall when I plant them out in March.

We are building another house on our property. One of the spare rooms will have a large picture window with southeastern exposure most of the day. I'm looking forward to growing some of the dwarf varieties all winter in that window. I really like the new dwarf varieties.

I've noticed the newer, energy efficient, windows have a transparent film mounted between two thermal panes of glass. The film rejects light rays from the sun which normally create heat in the house and cause fabrics like carpet to fade. I'm curious how the film will effect the growth of plants in the windows. Any thoughts?

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I'm not sure about the other's plants, but I know three of my five are 2011 releases from the project, and the other two are older dwarf varieties that I found on Tatiana's site when I went dwarf seed shopping. I have volunteered to grow out some seed next year for the project and can't wait to see what I get! As for my current plants, they just went from starter cells to pots -- so far so good. The only ones I had germination problems with were the Yukon Quests--only two out of five seeds sprouted.

I don't know if I'll actually get any fruit on them, but I'm just enjoying having plants growing at this time of year--it'll make winter a bit more bearable.

As for the windows, that film is a UV block. Not sure what the effect would be on plants.

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My thoughts Ted windows just can't cut it. They will produce but don't expect miracles.

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Dono,
When we lived in "normal" houses before I retired, I always grew a lot of green house plants and flowers under windows with very good results. We spent a couple of years traveling around in an RV, so all of our plants were small because all our windows were small. We currently live in the former "hay loft" of an old barn we converted into modern housing a few years ago. We also have very little window space in the converted loft. I think it will be interesting to see how well the dwarf plants perform in front of a large window. I wouldn't try it with normal tomato plants, but the dwarf plants may work okay. Even some of the dwarf varieties are only semi determinate and get fairly tall. It may be interesting to see if some tomato plants can be kept alive a few years inside the way some pepper plants can. I will still have my outside garden though.

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Here is the latest.

[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC05481.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC05482.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC05484.jpg[/img]

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All those tomatoes in the bottom picture are on the plant in front of the window? Amazing! Way better than I would have expected. Nonetheless the plant is looking a bit pale -- or is that just the picture with the light hitting it? Either way, it does not look as healthy as the ones under the lights, which look terrific.
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Pretty good for this time of year !
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gixxerific
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rainbowgardener wrote:All those tomatoes in the bottom picture are on the plant in front of the window? Amazing! Way better than I would have expected. Nonetheless the plant is looking a bit pale -- or is that just the picture with the light hitting it? Either way, it does not look as healthy as the ones under the lights, which look terrific.
You are right RBG very good perception there. That's why I love ya. :D The window only plant is a bit lighter but not to mention it's winter and the sun is fading. But it has been cloudy almost 90% of the time. I can't buy a sunny day here. :( It also does not always have the best lighting position in the house. If I could flip my house 180 degrees it would be perfect. I have some big windows on that side that would be great.

The ones under lights I finally separated today, though I should have done it last week or even before. But before I replied to this thread I went and looked at them. I was happily surprised that they are doing great. They really need to get potted up soon. Thinned out as well, I have doubles in there.

Some of the main stalks are as big as my pinky (I have mammoth hands so my pinky is big :lol: ). They are suffering a little as well, but that is because they were bunched up and fighting for light. Still trying to figure out what to do next. I may have to sit them on the floor and move a light over there. They are growing fast.

Oh yeah there are flower truss forming on some of the lighted ones as well. Can't wait to see if this works in my cold basement with fluorescent lights.


Dono

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very good they do look fantastic....

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Thanks for the update! They are looking great and your results are giving me lots of hope that my dwarfs just might produce something! They're in six inch pots under fluorescent lights, and like you, are getting tall enough that I'm going to have to figure out some way to suspend the lights higher.

How big of a pot are you planning for your final transplant? I think I have a bunch of 2.5 galling pots and am wondering if those will be big enough or if I should find something bigger.

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gixxerific
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I hear people that say 2-3 gallon is enough for dwarfs. I will probably put them in 5-7 gallon pots though cause that is what I have.

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Looking great! Gixx. Thanks for keeping us posted.
You know me, if it was any other year, I'd be jumping on the bandwagon and growing some myself. But this year, I'll just enjoy yours. :wink:

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gixxerific
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applestar wrote:Looking great! Gixx. Thanks for keeping us posted.
You know me, if it was any other year, I'd be jumping on the bandwagon and growing some myself. But this year, I'll just enjoy yours. :wink:
Quite happy to oblige Applestar. I will keep updating this. This started on another forum. There are quite a few people doing this. IT started out as a test to see if you could grow with ONLY window light during the winter. But it grew into people growing in greenhouses and under lights. I am interested to see if this works, so far so good.

Problem is the sun is low in the sky not too mention the major lack of it. It seems to be cloudy every day. If I had the good window space (which I don't :x ) I think the ultimate thing for me to do would be to put them under lights on cloudy day's and bring them to the windows on sunny day's. A lot of work but with no greenhouse that would produce some tomatoes pretty well I think.

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hey this looks awesome. i've been doing this as well under my bed and its worked out really well. ive already gotten a huge amount of tomatoes and a lot more are on the way. micro toms produce like crazy and id love to see what they can really do as these conditions are far from optimal. heres a pic of my micro toms beneath my bed:

[img]https://i.imgur.com/mobSU.jpg[/img]
Tomatoes and Melons under my bed.
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gixxerific
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mcubb that is very cool. You have quite a few tomatoes on there.

Keep it up.

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Very nice looking plants, and set the fruit too - rocking there!!! God knows I miss home grown tomatoes!

Keep this going Dono!

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D

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gixxerific
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My window only plant is not doing so well. It is looking pretty sickly. I have fertilized it and keep it watered but wiht the lack of sunlight and not the best window for growing it is going down hill. The ones under lights are looking good. They have a few fruit on them. I can't wait for a ripe one.

[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC05522.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC05524.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC05528.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC05529.jpg[/img]

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This Might be a dumb question, how long does it take for the plant to produce flowering
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rainbowgardener
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gixx - you are right, the window one is not doing well at all, but the ones under lights look great! Is that just regular fluorescent tubes they are under?


OcL - When a tomato plant begins to flower depends on a lot of variables, how much sun/light it is getting etc. In general for a (non-dwarf) tomato plant it won't produce flowers until it is about a foot tall and leafy (like has a dozen or so true leaves). For me growing full size tomato plants, that's probably a couple months from planting the seed.

Here's a time line for what happens AFTER the first flower buds are visible:


https://www.tomatosite.com/index.php?NT=Cultivation&RE=Truss_Timeline


The photos are of a Big Beef/ beefsteak style plant. Smaller tomatoes wouldn't take as long.
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