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

image.jpg
L. Another round of Maglia Rosa with super variegated Fish pepper ripening some small fruits in the foreground. Fish is recovering from mites and aphids infestation.
R. Last show of fruits and a hurrah by this hanging basket Whippersnapper. In the background, Bolivian Rainbow pepper is starting to wake up and leaf out. It was struggling due to aphid infestation, but the indoor ladybug patrol has been working double time , and it is looking great now with fresh new leaves.
:()
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

First Sugar Sprint blossom -- now we will find out if this will work :-()
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

Cucumber has male blossoms now 8)
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...I didn't make special effort to photo them, but both the pea (with two blossoms open today) and the cuke each had a ladybug on guard duty on one of the upper leaves. :()
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Third blossom opened on the Sugar Sprint peas -- can you see the finished two blossoms on the lower left?
Do they look like tiny pods to you?
image.jpg
This other KFC bucket needs to be divided or uppotted (if I still can....

...And the Solstice and Limba broccoli need to be coaxed out from both of them and potted individually. :bouncey:

ETA: Look! found this pod hiding :clap: when I turned and rearranged after stringing up another wire trellis (actually a broken power charger cord)
Image
Last edited by applestar on Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: !!! FOUND THE FIRST SNAP PEA POD !!!
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

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Coyote and Maglia Rosa are going to be keepers for my Winter Indoor Tomatoes lineup. More than anything else, they taste great despite the limited conditions. They also meet three of the important criteria which are (1) very early (2) productive (3) cooler temp tolerant. They are also apparently managing to outpace the TRM Infestation.
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Okay, divided the sugar sprint into two buckets and uppotted the Limba broccoli. There's a 1qt rice milk carton community of 4 sturdy but small seedlings which I relegated to the currently near freezing garage V8 Nursery that is not in these photos, but that's the best light setup spot for short seedlings.
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Tried putting together another collage of the Coyote before picking all the ripe fruits -- it's a single plant in a 3 gal container that is only 3/4 full (planted in the bottom and added/mounded fresh soilmix twice so far with room for one more. It is growing three rambling, fruiting vines.
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

The upstairs Coyote finally bit the dust. I'm pretty sure upstairs is not as suitable for Winter Indoor Tomato growing because it's warmer = drier.

But I had some Utyonok seedlings in reserve, so I uppotted it after doubling the container capacity to 2 gallons:
image.jpg
This window gets the sun from sunrise until the sun turns the house corner. Amount of sun exposure will increase every day now as the sun rises a little earlier and further east every day. 8)
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

So, DD ate that first pod -- she said it was sweet and yummy :D

...and we have the next pod developing 8) (Do you see it?)
image.jpg
Now, this is small scale. I may try to uppot the Maglia Rosa KFC bucket since it's starting to fall apart. ... Then again, I may not.

-- but I think I will plan on growing a larger "pea patch" in next year's Winter Indoor Garden. :()
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Are those Kentucky Fried Chicken Containers? If they are, that's a creative use of leftover trash! Talk about recycling. How do they stand up to being watered though? I can see that they look like they are getting a bit damaged (at least the one on the right). I don't like using paper containers, because I am always scared that they will wick the water away from the soil, and if I really saturate them, they wind up falling apart of course.
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

It's not too bad considering the KFC bucket that's falling apart now has been in use since 9/22/14.
I really like re-using the paper products for interim uppotting of seedlings that will be uppotted or transplanted out.
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Wow, it has been in use a long time. I do applaud you for recycling. I just happen to have the plastic pots that I have gathered over the years from people that had nurseries, or serious plant growers. I use the utility sink and mix in 1 part bleach to 10 parts water to sterilize. But I can admit that if I had not had all the pots gifted to me, I would be using a KFC bucket or equivalent as well. I hate spending money on anything. My wife hates me! LOL.

Your tomatoes in the winter are pretty impressive. If I was more motivated I could do something similar, but I don't really have the room to set up correctly. How much space do you typically use?
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

I like the orange juice jugs :).

Here's a container question, also ...

How well or poorly would a small pepper variety like Thai Hot do in a half gallon of good potting soil? Does that seem like an adequate size for a season of growing, plus moving in for winter? Half gallon is not only a common pot size from nurseries but common at the supermarket.

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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

:oops: I have to admit to slowly expanding - or trying to - every year, but by my calculation, I can fit 8 2-3 gallon containers of 32" or shorter tomato varieties under the 4-tube T8 shoplight fixture, especially if in front of my good southeast-facing window to supply the winter's side/slanting direct sunlight for the lower foliages under the canopy. This winter, I've also allocated the space directly in front of the window to the Coyote, which is sprawling up and sideways but not so lush as to block the sunlight completely.

As for the peppers, I find that by the time I bring the dug up and grocery-bagged plants inside after letting them go dormant -- leaves shrivel and dry up as the temp in the garage fall below 50's to steady 40's and 30's, then I start bringing them inside when the winter extreme low (below freezing down to mid-20's or less in the garage) begins in late December-January. If it stays above mid-20's many of them will survive in the grocery bags as long as I give them a bit of water now and then to keep from completely drying out. -- Well, that was a long preamble -- ...Anyway, I pot them up in fresh well draining and enriched potting mix to bring in (including any earthworms I find in the rootball) and the the plants will have lost 2/3 to 3/4 of their root ball mass. I prune off dried up and/or twiggy branches down to leaf joints and branch knobs or just above new leaf buds that are sometimes already starting to peek out, and even the biggest of them really don't need much more than an 8" container until spring.

The smallest dwarf pepper I've grown so far is Peru White Hab, and that one grew pretty well in a 1/2 gal container all last winter and summer, and many of my overwintering pruned peppers were put in 1/2 gal containers but I think that's kind of small for most peppers to grow in during the summer. At least 1 gallon for the smallest ones, and 2-3 gallon for medium, but I would provide 5 gallon for the 4 footers. (In my garden, they don't get any bigger than that but in the South, you might go even bigger.)

I think 1/2 gal is a bit small even for overwintering the largest pepper varieties especially after they start leafing out.
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Orange Pixie Dwarf
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Such GORGEOUS orange!
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Look how well these are doing!!! I've been away too long... :oops:

Looks so nice! Congrats on your winter tomatoes!!!
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Thanks, Lindsay. Missed you, too! :wink:
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Did I already say I'm sold on growing dwarf snap peas in my winter garden? I'm LOVING IT! :-()
image.jpg
These Solstice broccoli are getting way huge. I'm going to try to either add an extension to the container or just plop it on top of a larger container of potting mix and remove the bottom from the KFC bucket which is already falling apart.
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

I noticed this evening how much this Tatjana that I had given up on had re-grown. It has two floral trusses that are almost ready to bloom. 8)

The Sugar Sprint in the same container had two pods ready to pick :()
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Subject: Embrace Your INNER APE –dealing with APHIDS >> got ladybugs
applestar wrote:Look what I found yesterday! :D
Image
There were a few more but I think I accidentally brushed against them :x

I hope there are some other mated couples laying eggs. This is one of the last green fruits on top of a rapidly declining Orange Pixie in Cool Gang -- it's been down to 50's°F here at tabletop level, so on the floor it's probably even colder and stressing the already TRM infested plant. It gave us about half dozen tasty fruits. Since it's a prime spot in front of the vertical double T-12 shop light fixture, I'll probably replace it with one of the overwintered peppers that I'm going to try to revive by bringing inside.
^^^
Actually more since I gave some of the fruits away. :-()
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Can you believe this is the Dwarf Arctic Rose that had the mega fruit on terminating main trunk?
image.jpg
I kept it in an isolated but less ideal location, so it's a bit spindly but the new sucker is free of TRM. I buried the rootball that was in the 1/2 gal rice milk container all the way at the bottom of this 2 gal bucket, so I think it will sit and take stock, then take off in this new location in the upstairs SE facing window. I'll top the container with additional fresh potting mix in another month or so.

You can also see the double-OJ containers planted with Utyonok which has replaced the Coyote. It has two tiny floral trusses starting to grow.

...and perhaps you can also see that the outer window is frosted this 14°F morning and there is snow on the ground outside. :o
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

I've double-deckered the first Sugar Sprint peas/Solstice broccoli growing in the former Maglia Rose tomato's KFC bucket by simple expedient of (easily) pulling the bottom panel off. The container was full of roots and root mass was pretty solid. They should be happy to make their way down into the new basement level of rich potting mix :()
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

That was a GREAT idea!
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Image

...I think the roots found the new soil. Sugar Sprint snap peas are blooming all over! :()
Image

Now I thought I should post an update about the Winter Indoor Tomatoes. I have about a dozen Coyote cherry tomatoes ripening or developing on the vines. The Coyote lost a couple of the vines to the TRMS but the two other vines have nearly reached the ceiling and are growing THICK side shoots with floral clusters that have just finished blooming. I expect less blossoms (and fruits) if the lower leaves continue to dry up from the TRM's since it's getting to the point where lower vines have no leaves and the healthy leaves are ABOVE the light fixture where it's not so bright :roll: On the other hand, the room temperature has been dropping to 50's at night at sofa table level, so the Coyote might be finding warmer conditions up there near the ceiling.

The Dwarf Arctic Rose and Utyonok that were moved upstairs have settled into their uppotted 2 gallon containers and are blooming.

Utyonok:
Image

Dwarf Arctic Rose:
Image

I also have a smaller Utyonok growing in a 1/2 gallon Rice Milk container, and the Tatjana has resurrected downstairs despite what must be even cooler temperature on the Cool Gang floor level and are sporting about a half dozen green fruits.

In the mean time, those Dwarf Orange Pixie seeds that had started to germinate in the seed fermentation cup have been growing and I uppotted them today to 2L soda bottle SWC's (effectively approx. 1L soil capacity):
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

They're stocky! These newbies don't look even a bit bronzed either! TRM must be suffering!
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Utyonok in *technically* a 2 gallon container (bottomless OJ's lashed together with zip ties) . I think it doesn't like the cold windowsill and window. This is an uncovered SE window so it gets a fair amount of sun, but the supplemental double CFL light isn't close enough for it to really benefit. From past experience, Utyonok needs more light than some of the other early determinate varieties and possibly more heat as well. Taller bamboo support is exactly 24" from top of soil level.
Image
~~ I'm convinced Utyonok is better suited for the summer garden. ~~

Dwarf Arctic Rose in a 2 gallon bucket (already fruited and harvested once plant with 1/2 gallon rootball was put in the very bottom of the bucket when uppotting)
Image
~~ my first year growing this -- it fruits early and lower to the ground in true dwarf growth, tolerant of smaller containers, and lower temp and light, amazingly prolific floral truss, larger than cherry fruit size with potential for mega (2 to 3x fruit size). Tasty. ~~
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Your winter garden is so beautiful, applestar. The idea of growing FOOD, indoors in winter just amazes me! The most I've ever done in that regard is some herbs in my aerogarden. Otherwise the indoor plants are just ornamentals.
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Thank you, Rainbowgardener. :D
You should start, too... You KNOW you want to.... 8)

Oh, and THIS is what happens when you try to grow an indeterminate cherry like Coyote in the Winter Indoor Garden Image
image.jpg
...but remember, this is already sitting on a 34" H surface :wink:
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

No, unfortunately I really don't want to. I kind of like my routine, which is that between end of garden time and Christmas, I devote myself to making garden-based Christmas presents. After Christmas I go through catalogs and do my seed order and then mid to late Jan, I start the indoor seed starting, which is pretty much time / work the way I do it. I have a bunch of house plants but they get minimal care. I really can't get up the motivation for fussing a lot with indoor tomatoes and stuff, even though the rewards would be high.

What I really do want to follow your lead on is growing bananas and figs. That isn't seed starting and when I get a chance I will make a separate thread about that, suggestions for varieties and what to start with. I would like to start this spring (buying plants) and have something well established for bringing in in the fall. And of course, I am thinking that I may possibly be moving to TN late fall, so garden efforts will be a little curtailed by house hunting, getting our current house ready to sell, moving, etc.
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

So, this year's Winter Indoor Tomato Lineup was mostly determinate varieties and they produced and faded away in turn. I did have some trouble with TRM (tomato russet mites) also as mentioned earlier. But these two later started varieties are now producing, so my Winter Indoor Tomato Garden isn't done yet :()

Utyonok on the windowsill with Dwarf Arctic Rose to the left on the window bench below... Utyonok fruit cluster on the right:
image.jpg
Dwarf Arctic Rose fruit clusters:
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Rainbow may have to relearn some things about the garden when you find a new place. The soil will be different, you should have a longer growing season and some of the varieties will probably be different too.
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

A little update on those Winter Indoor Sugar Sprint snap peas:

TOP LEFT: Peas in ice cream tub was ousted to the garage to make room in the warmer indoor location.
TOP RIGHT: New plants in the OJ container extension for Utyonok tomato are starting to bloom.
image.jpg
BOTTOM RIGHT: Peas planted in the same container after Tatjana tomayo went down has fully mature(and probably starchy) peas. DD likes the peas more than the pods and prefers to let them mature. Tatjana grew a new vine from the stump and even fruited, but it's been overwhelmed by the TRM again.

BOTTOM LEFT: The peas in the KFC containers are pretty much done, but the Solstice broccoli and Japanise Sharaku "spinach" I planted are growing wild. I'm not expecting the broccoli to form heads under the limited condition, so I have been harvesting and eating the leaves when they get too close to the lights as they are now. Next year, I think will plant Kale and maybe spinach instead.

Since the Whippersnapper tomato in this hanging basket finished up, and two later planted ones keep dying from TRM, I've been using it for other purposes. But the peas have been growing and are starting to bloom and set pods. :()
image.jpg
...in the mean time... pea seeds for the spring garden outside is being readied for planting :-()
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

My daughter harvested the Sugar Sprint sugar snap pods from this windowsill last night or I would have taken pictures. These Utyonok tomato fruits look almost ready for my other daughter who loves tomatoes :D
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Dwarf Arctic Rose is blushing and ripening :D
image.jpg
But there has been a whitefly infestation on these plants that they had been resisting all winter. With the advent of warmer temps and stronger sunlight warming this windowsill, the infestation has gotten worse.
image.jpg
Also, Utyonok being determinate or semi-determinate, it went ahead and died, while the upper truss fruits were still green -- but they are blushing now. Dwarf Arctic Rose is also determinate and is rapidly going down despite these green fruits still on the vines.
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

You would think that the usual pests wouldn't be such a hassle with the indoor plants! Still, look at those tomatoes!!! :()
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Almost done with this thread -- but here are a couple of fruits from the Dwarf Arctic Rose including the biggest one which is pretty lumpy and ugly but HUGE :shock:
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

Look at those!!!! I'd say this was a complete success! Even with the struggles.

Awesome looking produce there. I like the uglies!

How was flavor compared to outdoor tomatoes?
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Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

@lindsay, these Dwarf Arctic Rose fruits have excellent flavor for a winter indoor tomato. Definitely deep tomato flavor and zing. Difficult to get the sweetness when temperature is cold but since it's been hot lately, they have been more sweet. :D

I have three more mega fruits and about 1/2 dozen singles, but the most anticipated fruit I'm waiting for it to blush is a cross I made with Utyonok. :()
image.jpg
two singles in the truss with the three megas, and three more blushing below, and the one green medium sized Dwarf Arctic Rose x Utyonok fruit....

The other crosses I made with Maglia Rosa didn't develop :( ...and I would have had more fruits but one branch with 6 still-tiny green fruits on it broke off -- I suspect one of the cats pushed it over when trying to get on or off the windowsill. :evil:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

DH picked up sandwiches from a newly discovered italian deli today. For me, he selected sliced roast turkey breast with avocado and mixed baby greens, red onions, and tomato, liberally sprinkled with dried oregano on focaccia bread. It looked wonderful until I noticed the "imitation tomato" -- you know the kind that actually look yellowish green to pale mealy pink, obviously gassed into forced color on the extreme outside epidermis of the skin?

I could not get rid of them fast enough :roll: ...luckily I had these REAL tomatoes to take their place. :wink:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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applestar
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Posts: 28040
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucu

I thought I'd post these photos --

* Winter Indoor Tatjana went down twice -- dried up all the way to the soil level due to TRM (tomato russet mites) and aphids. I put it outside under the trees with others after last frost for initial hardening off, and kind of forgot about it though it got watered along with everybody else in this group. It grew a new shoot and some fruits.
* Winter Indoor Dwarf Arctic Rose was still hanging on to life when I put it outside, and have grown one more fruit. I thought this is it ...though... I see a new side shoot.
image.jpg
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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