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applestar
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Re: WHO WILL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?

phonelady61 wrote:I have always heard you don't grow tomatoes in clay pots ..they dry out too much . Is that an old wives tale or true and yet I see this picture posted on here and your seedling looks good . can anyone give me some insight to this ?
As long as humidity is high enough and there is no drought, I find clay pots grow better seedlings than plastic. I think the roots can get more air. I would grow everything in clay pots if I could -- weight, space, winter freeze/crack requiring extra attention to clean up and storage being negative aspects.

My solution has been to turn to soil blocks for seed starting, but I don't have the dirt space -- like a greenhouse -- to grow them to larger soil block size so. I uppot to containers after the 2" mini block. I might spring for a larger soil block maker at some point but not the 4" one.



I suspect that once they are fruiting size, the water requirements may make it difficult to grow tomatoes in clay pots unless you have automatic or self watering set up of some sort. Clay pots large enough for full production of even small dwarfs (2-3 gallon) can be heavy too.

Outside on the patio, I have been using wooden planters with good results.
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applestar
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Re: WHO WILL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?

I went to look at those Pit Vipers and noticed that the clay pot one is growing out of the pot.
Look at the difference in the root development :D
Pit Viper seedlings in plastic vs. clay pots
Pit Viper seedlings in plastic vs. clay pots
The leaves are curled because they are having aphid issues and also I overwatered by accident. :oops:
The dwarf growth pattern with the short internodes is always a surprise. I'm also intrigued by the purple (high antho) stems 8)
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Re: WHO WILL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?

Blossoms almost open on the first truss of the uppotted Pit Viper:
Image

The other Pit Viper that was in the green plastic pot was moved to the clay pot as you can see behind the CT Striped Plum which I'm counting as part of my 2014 tomatoes :wink:
Image

Both -- well, ALL -- of them have received some attention from the ladybugs in the new Indoor Garden Patrol. So I can rest easy. :mrgreen:
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Re: WHO WILL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?

Here is a picture of fruits from the latest truss of what I'm calling "Coyote (Not)". There are three more green and just blushed fruits on the same truss.

It is a very rambling vine (no doubt inherited from the Coyote mother) that is being tied onto trunk and branches of a 5 ft avocado. Only sparsely forming trusses but that's probably because it's about a foot or more away from the 4 ft T-12 shoplight standing vertically. The pot is ON the surface of the avocado pot so maybe a foot above the floor which is still kind of cold (cold enough that therosemary and tea plants are happy) in the Cool Gang area.

Image
- clear skinned smallish Coyote-sized cherries with blush reminiscent of Jaune Flammée that was growing next to the Coyote.
- intense tomato flavor but not sweet at all, not even fully ripened. Super acid. But I have to admit even de-seeded they tasted kind of good.
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Re: WHO WILL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?

Yet ANOTHER picture of the Jackass Yellow fruit.... 8)
(I know, I know... :> ...but this is the biggest fruit I've seen on a Winter indoor tomato plant :flower:)

Ooh! I LOVE posting because I think of something practically every time I do -- I think I should tie up this fruit more securely before the entire vine collapses. :eek:
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Re: WHO WILL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?

:evil: RUSSET MITES :evil:

...I had my suspicions after lower leaves of some of the plants started to wither, so I finally broke out the kids' "toy" digital microscope. Very old model and lousy quality, but you can see them. :x
60X
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200X
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...now to go retrieve the license serial number from my old computer so I can use this updated software properly (the trial copy only let me use pixels as measurement unit). The 200X was actually a video clip but flickr only uploaded a photo :? --- guess I'll have to figure that out later.
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Re: WHO WILL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?

Gosh Applestar, those are horrible! I was looking around and some of the older sprays that were effective had Canola oil around 80% with a small amount of pyrethrins. There is also a man here from South Africa who used Canola oil mixed with garlic, and said it was very effective. So I think the common denominator is the Canola oil. :) The first source said they sprayed an over and under leaf, and stem spray ( very thorough)every 5 days for 2 weeks, and problem solved. Makes sense to me, because all the soft bodied parasites are susceptible to the smothering action of the oil. Also, they can't build up a resistance to pass along to future generations from being smothered, because they are always going to be soft bodied.
I suspect I may have them, I feel the powderyness( is that a word?) and I see the lower leafs on some going brown. My magnification isn't good enough. I am going to mix about 2 TBSP per gallon canola oil, and 1/2 tsp per gallon of dish soap liquid as a means of lowering the surface tension( wetting agent) and spray in the cool late afternoon hours, we'll see what happens... After all, if the plants are dying anyway, what do
I have to lose?

Many thanks for posting this and the other thread's mite pictures. I really appreciate that you did this. :D
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Re: WHO WILL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?

You are welcome and thanks for the info :D I may have to go the oil spray route, but for now, I got more ladybugs out of the refrigerator in hopes that they do eat russet mites -- internet search results were unclear... No reliable source to cite from though some people said they were effective predators of (russet) mites. I think it's more likely that the youngest larvae would prey on such small prey so the adults may not be the answer.

IF I were to get predatory mites, the ladybugs may eat THEM :|

Here, I found some more :evil:
These were on Red House Freestanding in another area of the house.
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200X
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It turned out that the Red house Freestanding plant is more heavily infested as you can see. (Lower humidity in this area maybe part of the problem.) I'm concerned now that our cats who like to sit on the windowsill where this plant is, could be transporting and spreading them on their fur.

I tried looking at the pruners and scissors I used to cut the leaves to see if any got on the tools! but I only saw one or two that *may* have been mites. I also tried using the clear tape on all the surfaces nearby to see if any mites get lifted off by the sticky tape, but I really didn't see any.

Here's how I make my samples -- I sandwich the piece of leaf between a long piece of clear shipping tape and seal the edges shut:
image.jpg
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Re: WHO WILL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?

That's just a little bit of pure genius IMHO. You know I am reading this with great interest. I gots to gets me a microscope! :lol:
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Re: WHO WILL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?

So have you observed any russet mites on your plants?

They are insidious and difficult to control. I have one plant (Variegated Cherokee Purple) that I am trying to basically scrub clean of all inhabitants to see what happens, but the ladybugs -despite obvious piggyback rides- I think are finding the house temp to be too low. However, I HAVE seen one and two (meaning very small number of) larval forms that have grown into adults from the previously released group (different species) so it's not entirely impossible it seems. I'm considering getting green lacewings or predatory mites now.

Since last posting, I have given up on a handful of plants and put them outside to freeze off. (I actually sowed some halesia (silverbell) tree seeds in those pots to see if they will cold stratefy and sprout later 8) -- no biggie if they don't. ). I'm also attempting to keep alive two indeterminate varieties by rooting cuttings.

It's snowing outside now -since overnight and still- and accumulation on the patio table looks like 6 inches or more. Temp in the 20's. (sigh)

But really, this -mid March- is typically the most difficult period of the winter indoor growing every year. Stressed from low humidity, low temp, occasional overwatering, and the usual indoor gardening pests like mites and aphids, scale insects, fungus gnats.... Too freezing cold to let anything out except on day to day basis -- which for me with so many plants is near impossible to manage for all. So only the select few gets the VIP shuttle ride treatment. If you only have a small number of plants, I think it's worth doing.

This Jackass Yellow took all winter to produce a single ripening fruit, albeit a big one. Due to nature of gradual pollen set in a mega/fused bloom, it is already ripe on the far side while the near side lobes are still hard and green/barely color breaking. Unless growing for giant tomatoes, this kind of characteristic is actually undesirable. :roll: -- no doubt this is why the breeder of this variety is now selecting for single blossom fruit characteristic. It's a dwarf plant growing only to about 4 feet tall. If it had been provided with much more favorable growing conditions -- full exposure supplemental light (instead of one sided vertical twin 4' t-12) warmer (70's instead of 60's/50's) and in larger container (5 gal bucket instead of a measly 6-1/2" pot) -- I would think it would have produced more and likely earlier.
Ripening Jackass Yellow
Ripening Jackass Yellow
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Re: WHO WILL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?

I agree: I don't do indoor tomatoes, but all my indoor house plants are kind of suffering at this point, just too long of staying in dry air and general poor conditions. It doesn't help that now that I have 14 trays of seedlings under lights and nine more going in and out and constant up potting and whatnot, I'm not paying as good attention to them. They've missed a lot of days of misting... I don't have as much trouble with the insects indoors, but there is something chewing the heck out of the angel trumpet leaves. I pulled two little green worm things (something like budworms) off it earlier in the season, but clearly there's still something eating it. I have looked and looked and can't find the darn thing.

and still too cold to take them out. Even all the cold weather seedlings are back in. :( It was cold and very windy yesterday, so they came back in. The forecast for today was 50 deg so I was planning to take them out. I was waiting and waiting for it to up to freezing. Sometime after noon, they revised the forecast downwards, saying high today 38 and revised the forecasted low tonight downward also. So they are staying in another day, which of course screws up the hardening. Sigh....
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Re: WHO WILL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?

image.jpg
:()
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Re: WHO WILL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?

rainbowgardener wrote:I agree: I don't do indoor tomatoes, but all my indoor house plants are kind of suffering at this point, just too long of staying in dry air and general poor conditions. It doesn't help that now that I have 14 trays of seedlings under lights and nine more going in and out and constant up potting and whatnot, I'm not paying as good attention to them. They've missed a lot of days of misting...
Don't you find that one day skipped seems OK, and maybe two days in a row, but if you skip another day, they start to seem unhappy? I don't know if I can quantify it -- they just "feel" stressed. :|
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Re: WHO WILL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?

Finally ate that Jackass Yellow fruit last night. With such cool temps (upper 50's downstairs at night) the fruit lasted very well sitting on a folded paper towel, and in fact managed to even out in ripening a little, though one section was maybe a little bit softer than best. It has pale almost white flesh though outside skin becomes deep yellow.

It was -- "It's...GOOD! Actually DELICIOUS!" According to DD who got 2/3 of the fruit.
DH declined any in favor of DD so no review from him. My take on it was that it was full of flavor that I was missing desperately :lol: a little tangier and less sweet than the summer fruit for sure but the flavor sensation was full and satisfying. I wish the plant could have produced more. I would definitely recommend it for winter growing to those who have the room to grow, and definitely one to grow during the summer.

:arrow: Subject: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?
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