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applestar
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2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomatoes... + sugar snaps and cucumber

So it's already August 8th and I'm a week behind in starting them, but I'm going to drop the seeds for my winter indoor tomatoes today. From last years revised schedule, I know beginning of August worked out better for getting ripe fruits before the end of the year than beginning of September as in the year before.

Basic criteria for My winter Indoor growing are -- perform well in under 3 gallon containers, early, cool setting, productive, low light tolerant *and* 30" tall or under varieties that taste good to excellent despite these adverse conditions.

I already have Whippersnapper (hanging basket) and Dwarf Arctic Rose that I started on a whim from this year's candidates list. New Big Dwarf has been attacked by russet mites and prone to disease, but if the plant I have now recovers and is still in good condition by frost, I'll bring it in. I believe it will mean this plant will have immunity or even predatorial protection from russet mites for the others to share.

The rest of the candidates that I will start now so I will have them to choose from later are --

Previous years winners --
Sweet n Neat Pink (not the Red F1 or Yellow F1. My seeds were from wintersown)
Kootenai (grew productively even in 1-2 gal)

Manö
(I liked Manö better than Kootenai for flavor in the summer growout last year, but had seedling failure for last winter)

Sophie's Choice had auspicious start first year but didn't do well last winter. I do like the larger fruit size though.

Yellow Dwarf (Tiny 10-12" plant good in small containers and good flavor reviews from other growers during the summer -- mine was nearly killed by russet mites but is recovering and blooming now so I'll get to taste them a little later)

Coyote -- Coyote is normally a HUGE rambling indeterminate mini cherry. I tried growing this in a 3 gal container this summer, and it grew well until it became root bound, only growing to about 3 feet. Now it's going down fast. But It did produce extra early. So I might try this in a tub on the floor.

Maglia Rosa -- intriguing shape. trying to decide on flavor. I think this needs good light due to wispy foliage -- not as productive as reported in current less sun location.
Lime Green Salad -- good flavor reviews
Orange Pixie -- said to be small and loaded

I'm not sure if I want to grow more golfball-racketball sized red spheres but I *may* consider --
42 days -- being considered after the summer's excellent performance... (But I would rather grow a pink or purple instead. I need to think about this one.)
Extreme Bush Dwarf -- amazing productivity last summer. Flavor did not seem as good as Manö or Kootenai.
.
.
.
Utyonok -- I was going to try this again, but since it doesn't grow with dwarf-type internodes and it's known to grow a bit taller than I want, I think I'll leave it out of this winter list (it will be back for next summer's main list :wink: )

So, if you are planning to grow Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year, I recommend you get your variety selections ready and start them. Post your lists and let's discuss. :()
-- you would have more variety options if you have more head room and growing space for 5 gallon buckets. I may or may not be able to manage one or two 5 gallon containers, but my available space is limited which narrows the varieties that could be grown.
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Juliuskitty
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

Tatjana would fit the criteria nicely. It is a dwarf to about 2&1/2 feet, reg rugose foliage red 4 oz fruit in abundance with old fashioned not sweet taste.
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

Ooh Tatjana! Yes! I'll add it to my starting line up! Thank you. :D
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

You are welcome!
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

Have you had and success with micros that grow in 8" pots or less?

I have 2 brand new, extra wide sills that I built in our bonus room JUST for potted plants. But I literally have 8"x36". 3 gallon pot is a no go. Floor placement is a no go. Hanging basket.......maybe go.

I saw an advertisement for the micro tom hybrid. I don't know anything else about it, other than it's really tiny.
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

Yellow Dwarf could be a micro. My Yellow Dwarf, Hahms Gelbe Topftomate, and Tiny Tim are recovering from the russet mites and covered in blossoms (and probably green fruits, too -- haven't looked in the last three days) right now. (I'm afraid Tatjana didn't make it under the onslaught or I would have remembered about it) I should take some new pictures but they looked like this a couple of weeks ago:
Yellow Dwarf is starting to bloom here
Yellow Dwarf is starting to bloom here
They obviously don't need these 3 gallon pots. :lol:

You should be able to grow Kootenai in 8" pots. Probably Sweet n Neat, too.
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

The micro dwarfs are getting septoria. :(
Hahms Gelbe Topftomate is going down. But the others seem to be doing OK so far....

New Big Dwarf is dealing with early blight but is staying ahead of it as of now.

I'm thinking maybe I should add Tiny Tim to the candidates because this variety seems to be fighting off the fungal issues, but for the time being, I've started these 2014-15 Winter Indoor Tomato Candidates

(2" mini soilblocks)
1 Dwarf Arctic Rose (2)
2 Coyote (2)
3 Maglia Rosa (2)
4 Manö (2)
5 Orange Pixie (2)
6 Sweet n Neat (Pink) (2)
7 Tatjana (2)
8 Yellow Dwarf (2)

(1 pt. Berry container)
+Whippersnapper (4)

Depending on the size of the containers I have room for 8-12 plants in ideal lighting locations. Other locations are not as suitable and have not produced satisfactory results. It's a tricky situation since I can't easily give them away. Only intentional "gift" variety I'm going to try growing this year will be Whippersnapper in hanging baskets.

The seedlings I started earlier are struggling. I forgot that starting them outside at this time of the year is actually not a good idea since the fungal issues are rampant right now. I'm not counting on any of those, and have started these new ones under lights indoors. Hopefully those russet mites I had indoors in spring are gone. :|
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

Do you think they came from soil, or one of your plants you brought in the house for the winter?

Are they tomato specific?
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

I would guess that they came inside with plants. I suspect they originally came to the garden a couple of years ago when we had abnormally warm winter and hot summer with unusual for this northern climate pests. They could have hitched a ride with one of the migrating pests or even birds. Outside there are Garden Patrol that can control their numbers and our normal winter lows may be too cold, but indoors they got out of control which allowed them to survive the winter.

Hopefully I will be able to bring in the russet mite predators with the plants this winter.

They can infest other solanacea though I don't think the hot peppers were affected. They DID significantly weaken the eggplant I was experimenting with, and also got to some of the petunia seedlings.
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

applestar wrote: (2" mini soilblocks)
1 Dwarf Arctic Rose (2)
2 Coyote (2)
3 Maglia Rosa (2)
4 Manö (2)
5 Orange Pixie (2)
6 Sweet n Neat Pink (2)
7 Tatjana (2)
8 Yellow Dwarf (2)

(1 pt. Berry container)
+Whippersnapper (4)
At least one of all 9 varieties except Yellow Dwarf is up and some are already starting to grow true leaves. I re-seeded the two Yellow Dwarf, two Whippersnapper, one Tatjana and one Orange Pixie yesterday.

I don't think I'll start Tiny Tim after all because some of the indeterminate dwarfs from the summer growout are starting to come back from the russet mite induced near-death, and I may end up wanting to bring them inside. New Big Dwarf seems to be doing well. I think most or all of the micros are determinate -- the ones that have recovered are starting to fruit so they probably won't live to be brought inside.
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

These photos clearly illustrate why the dwarf/micro varieties are more suited for growing in height challenged winter indoor garden :D :wink:
image.jpg
Coyote, Maglia Rosa, and Whippersnapper had to be moved out
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

Seeds dropped, more to come. You will just have to wait to see. :>

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

Here are my babies now:

Orange Pixie in the back, reseeded Orange Pixie
and Yellow Dwarf in the two miniblocks, Tatjana and
Sweet n Neat Pink, Manö and Dwarf Arctic Rose

Image
Coyote, Maglia Rosa, and Whippersnapper

...and I realized there is a different growing technique involved with growing the Winter Indoor Tomatoes as compared to the late winter/early spring seedlings for the main season, which are grown slowly in cool to almost too cold conditions with aid of heating equipment, but the slower development is preferred so they don't get too big before they can be set out on warmer days for hardening off (they need to still fit under the lights while there are frosty days and nights). Most of these are intended to be ultimately planted in the ground so a certain amount of elongated internodes due to inadequate lights are not an issue. Once the frost-free weather arrives, they are planted as they get overgrown and begin to become rootbound in their small containers (usually 12-20 oz by then).

I remember filing this for further consideration last year, and now, with these seedlings growing, I'm running into the same question.

Any container tomato growers, and I think also Florida and southern growers who need to get their seedlings growing fast to beat the heat before they get shut down. My question is this:

For Winter Indoor growing, I also want them to develop and mature quickly so they bloom and set fruits before the winter arrives and the cold and the short days shut them down. Height limitation is a premier concern, so I need them to be stocky and dwarf internodes supply the necessary characteristic. I can't rely on cold temp growth suppression so I keep them very close to the lights. (I found out last year that this time of the year through fall, the fungal disease pressure is too great if I put them outside and allow them to get stressed.)

I decided not to stress/setback the seedlings like I do for the main season, and started with sowing in 2" miniblocks, and have uppotted as soon as the roots outgrew the sides of the blocks.

So, Whippersnapper -- they look like this now and were just uppotted to this 1/2 gal rice milk box. At what point should I plant them in their final individual baskets? Is it better to plant them in their final containers early and avoid them getting rootbound?
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

I would do it sooner than later as long as they look to be strong. Some that are more knowledgeable than I say that they adapt to their new surroundings and grow better stronger root systems when smaller, they don't like to let the plants get too tall before transplanting. Darrel Jones is a big advocate of smaller transplants.
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

I've enjoyed reading this thread and am thinking of giving it a try.

My question is - if I can get them outside on a sunny day in winter, what is the minimum temperature that could be considered safe for a tomato plant? I'm sure different types have different requirements, but is there a safe minimum temp? Or is it not a good idea to increase their sun at cost of cooler air?

Thanks.

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

I have too many and never really considered taking them outside in the winter, but in early spring, I take them out when official temperature is in the upper 40's because it will be warmer in the sun. The thing is when it's in the upper 40's it could be as warm as 60's or even 70's in direct sun, BUT the indoor grown seedlings cannot take full sun at first and need to be gradually acclimated. They also can't take too much air movement at first. (1/2 hr in the sun for first day out, etc.)

You also need to keep in mind that it's colder directly on the ground because the soil temp could be frozen or only a little warmer.

One way to temporarily take them outside in the cold is to put them in a large translucent storage tote with translucent cover. It's like a mini-greenhouse. If no wind, I angle the cover so there is ventilation but mostly blocks the sun. If there IS danger of wind blowing away the cover, I bungee it on at an angle. Sometimes in the sun it can get too hot inside.

A thermometer is an essential equipment to take readings, and you need to be able to monitor the temp constantly at first so you know the conditions as the sun moves through the day.
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

Juliuskitty, I think you are correct.

These seedlings have jumped in growth since uppotting. I'm raising the lights/lowering the risers every other day so they won't touch the hot lights! One of the Whippersnappers is about an inch taller than the rest in that group, and I think I might have to move it out (so I might as well plant it in its basket -- Whippersnapper is said to be a good hanging basket variety).

One of the Manö plants is also trying to touch the lights every morning. :roll:
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

Whippersnapper --
image.jpg
It's in a 14 inch hanging basket which I hope is big enough. Do I pinch or prune? ...or do I just let it do it's own thing?

Assuming around 50-60 days DTM, it should start providing ripe fruits around 2-4 weeks after our first frost.
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

I decided to try watering it this way, since I can't have it dripping all over the place, and
I can't see myself unhooking it and taking it to a sink, etc. to water every time. I'm going to keep the wax-plugged terracotta pot filled with water at all times.
image.jpg
The soil mix level is low because I want it to recover from transplanting and grow new roots along stem that I already buried while the mix settles, *then* top it with more fresh mix.
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

My seedlings are growing rapidly. I really need to uppot to next size or plant most of the seedlings in community containers in their final 3 gal containers YESTERDAY :oops:

The 1st Whippersnapper is starting to grow a branch shoot and 2nd Whippersnapper was planted in a pressed fiber basket today. You can see flower trusses starting to form on several of these. 8)
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

I uppotted those plants. They kept touching the lights. :x

The T-8's are not as hot and they might be only lightly singed even after a few hours, but the T-5 will scorch them if they are not rescued within a couple of hours after the lights turn on.

2 Coyote were separated into 1 per 1/2 gal rice milk carton
2 Dwarf Arctic Rose into 1 per 1.5 qt ice cream carton
1 Manö also in a 1.5 qt ice cream carton
image.jpg
I still need to uppot those dwarfs in the community rice milk carton.
One of the Manö in the foursome was severely stunted in growth.
When I separated them, I discovered that one of the DAR had snaked
two long feeder roots on either side past the little Manö.
No wonder it wasn't growing. It was too little to be planted in an
Ice cream carton but was given a 4" pot of its own.
The 1 Orange Pixie was uppotted from a 1 pt. Berry basket to this
4"x5"H (probably 3 cup) square container.
2 mini blocks of late sprouting Orange Pixie and a Yellow Dwarf
were uppotted into a shared 1 pt berry basket.


2 Maglia Rosa uppotted 1 per 1/2 gal rice milk carton had outgrown the max height of the garage V8 Nursery. They are temporarily parked here in this klugey set up. One of the two T-5 tubes had gone out and, in fact, this DIY light is scheduled to be upgraded to a 3-light system.

The 2 Whippersnappers in hanging baskets are being trained. They may eventually sprawl and be good in hanging baskets as I was told, but for now they insist on growing upwards. And in the limited headspace indoors, i was rearing my hair out because they kept touching the lights.

It's kind of funny because this is OPPOSITE of normal training to grow straight upwards on a stake, etc. I'm training them to bend down and droop. :wink:
image.jpg
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

So, is anyone else besides gixxerific (who grows tomatoes year around anyway) planning to grow a few tomatoes indoors this winter? ...or are you going to watch me for another season?

I think a few criteria are already emerging that will guide you in your variety selection and growing conditions. It's no too late. I keep my house WAY cold and that's why I need to start this early so they would get their growing, blossoming, and fruit setting done and hunker down to maturing and ripening the green fruits on warm days during the coldest weeks. If you tend to have warmer house in the 70's there's no reason your tomatoes won't keep growing through the winter.

I'll tell you what: Later on, I'll be posting about my fresh ripe tomatoes while it's snowing outside, and you'll wish you started some "back then" -- which is NOW. :>
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

Maglia Rosa and Whippersnapper are starting to bloom :D
image.jpg
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

I have another Coyote that I'm envisioning growing around this upstairs windowsill in long vines. But this is the window allocated to two mango trees, one of the citruses that I think might bloom, and one of the jasmines, so it will take some planning to make sure they all get the sun and supplemental light they need. (It's also a windowsill favored by our two kitties as you can see. This one happened to be there both times when I took the photos and is squinting because of the supplemental CFL bulbs :lol:)

For now, I've uppotted from 1/2 gal to 1 gal container, but Coyote is ultimately going to need at least 3-4 gallon. I'm planning to add on to the container (utility knife and duct tape :() )
image.jpg
-- if you zoom in, you'll see that this Coyote is also starting to bloom

...it may seem too early to call these winter tomatoes, but if it takes 40-50 days from blossoms to ripe fruits, then these first fruits won't be ready to pick until November. And their growth will slow down as it gets colder and days become shorter providing less natural light.
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

Maglia Rosa in KFC Bucket :D
image.jpg
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

Update on the windowsill Coyote:
image.jpg
My plan with this indeterminate rambling vine type variety is to train it and try to increase fruiting with espalier principles. 8)
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

Whippersnapper #1 ... Whippersnapper #2
Coyote #1
image.jpg
Yellow Dwarf ... Maglia Rosa #2 and Manö #1 ... Orange Pixie #1 with first blossom
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

I have one cross going Apple. Too much other stuff to do this winter, not to mention this year was very busy and stressful.

I like than magnolia rose in the KFC bucket. I bet that fruit will be finger licking good. :-()

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

Looks like I'm going to find out really soon. The first Maglia Rosas in the KFC bucket are blushing. :D

You were right, Gixx -- Yellow Dwarf is REALLY cute! This is growing in an 8" pot.
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

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

Noticed last night that first Whippersnapper is blushing :D
image.jpg
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

I like this timing. We had 2 hard frosts and the tomatoes outside are done, while the Indoor tomatoes are ripening and ready to start harvesting. :()

Maglia Rosa #2, Whippersnapper #1
image.jpg
Coyote #2, Whippersnapper #2
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

I asked DD to provide a taste review of these four little beauties:
image.jpg
Maglia Rosa, Coyote, Yellow Dwarf, and Whippersnapper

She started with the Yellow Dwarf and said it "tasted like the big tomatoes" -- now that's pretty significant considering that she's comparing it to the top flavor picks like Terhune, Captain Lucky, Missouri Rose, Ananas Noire, Grandma Oliver's Chocolate, Faelan's First Snow (Cherokee Purple type), etc.

Then she had Whippersnapper and said it tasted sweet and she liked it.

The Coyote which she said was sweeter and yummier.

She saved the Maglia Rosa for last, saying she had this before. She paused a minute to clear her palate and explained that her mouth was full of "tomato flavor" -- which I think can be ascribed to the Coyote's strong lingering finish. Then she had the first bite and her eyes widened -- REALLY SWEET! She declared Maglia Rosa the best out of the four. :D
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

I'm running into problems with TRM (tomato russet mite) infestation again. Without the mite predators to rescue them like they did outside this summer, Maglia Rosa#1, Dwarf Arctic Rose#1, Sweet N Neat (pink OP) #1, and Manö #1 and #2 on top of the Winter Paradise indoor greenhouse shelves are toast, though some of them did produce a couple of clusters of mature tomatoes before they went down.

I'm thinking of trying to grow dwarf snap peas there to see if it can be done (trying to think of something that won't be affected by TRM that will grow well in the coming couple of months since the temperature will continue to descend at this north-facing window location -- looking at mid-60's at most and as low as low 50's with blasts of freezing drafts from the front foyer and door. With the front flap down and even zipped closed, it should stay warm enough (upper 60's to 70's) INSIDE the Winter Paradise for the basils, orchids, peppers, curry plant, etc.

In this photo, you can see the Yellow Dwarf starting to go down :(

Yellow Dwarf ....... (Maglia Rosa#1 and Coyote#2 in the back) Whippersnapper#1, Coyote#1 close up
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Whippersnapper#2 ...... Maglia Rosa#1 close up with super variegated Fish pepper

Dwarf Arctic Rose#2
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Sweet N Neat (pink OP)#2 ....... Orange Pixie

I just brought the Dwarf Arctic Rose#2 and Sweet N Neat#2 -- as well as a few more -- inside from the garage V8 Nursery yesterday because the temp there dropped to 38°F. So these are suffering from the cold and somewhat stunted from the slow growth in the cooler fall garage temps. I was going to use them to replace the determinate varieties as they finished up deteriorated, but since top of WP appear too hazardous for tomatoes, I'll have to think of other locations to distribute them.

(I fully expect the TRM to spread to other tomato plants around the house on me and my clothing, so it's probably just a matter of time until we have a full blown pandemic.... :? )
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applestar
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

I'm going to post some updates today, starting with ones that are doing well. :D

Here' s Orange Pixie as of yesterday.... Waiting for the first truss to ripen :)

It's in one of my "crazy idea" winter container experiments - identical OJ jugs used to EXPAND rather than uppot into a larger container. I tried similar ideas by stacking containers last winter.
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...it started with the shorter jug, then I cut matching openings in the side walls and added the "external container expansion" I was REALLY pleased to see the roots growing into and starting to fill the 2nd container within a couple of weeks. I got the idea from external drives and battery packs while perusing a geeky gadget catalog. :()
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

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

Now, HERE is a sad photo of the Maglia Rosa in the KFC bucket. It has mostly succumbed to the TRM attack. I've given up on it and am trying some Sugar Sprint snap peas and Solstice broccoli, as well as a scattering on cilantro in the container (I'll prick out the broccoli once they grow true leaves though it looks as though they needed to be closer to the light :roll: ). You can see the white container that contained the a Yellow Dwarf in the back after the fruits were harvested. The right hand photo shows the Dwarf Arctic Rose with the small fruits, also going down after ripening this tiny harvest.... :|
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...but I'm hoping to turn things around for the rest of the struggling and still healthy Winter Indoor Tomatoes by releasing ladybugs and -hopefully- green lacewings (GLWs). Documenting the process in this other thread: Subject: Embrace Your INNER APE –dealing with APHIDS >> got ladybugs

The small paper bags and folded papers in the above photos contain some of the GLW eggs that are expected to hatch out the voracious mite-eating GLW larvae.
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

Here's another look at the two Dwarf Arctic Rose plants. One put out a megabloom while still small and set a single fruit very early on, then stayed out in the cooling garage V8 Nursery and took a long time to mature the fruit, but when the garage temp fell into 40's it was brought inside while the large fruit still green. The other plant was brought indoors relatively early on, but became infested by TRM and struggled to mature the first cluster of three fruits.

They are both still in the 1/2 gallon rice milk cartons.
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The three smaller fruits are 1.5", 1.75" and 2" at widest diameter. The mega fruit is 3"

Oh yeah, and the two Orange Pixie are ready to harvest :()
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...huh? It's strange but I can't seem to get the fruit color to be what my eye are seeing...
They look more like THIS
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

A "clinical" summary of things that have been happening with my Winter Indoor Tomatoes so far -- a progress review of sorts :wink:

Some of my Winter Indoor Tomatoes have failed completely, while others are struggling, and yet others are looking quite well still, and I have hopes for one plant that was down to sticks but is now growing a healthy-looking shoot even though it is touching another plant that has recently declined to "the sticks" state. I'll post photos of these later to illustrate their conditions better.

After doing this for the last few years, I know my main issue is with TRM -- tomato russet mites. I haven't even set up the microscope to verify it this time. They need to be magnified to 60x to 100x to see clearly. They can easily be transferred from one plant to another by handling infested plants. I really think on occasion, I have spread them with my E toothbrush. They can also be blown from one plant to the next on air currents.

In my case, progress of infestations can be readily observed because I have several discreet growing areas. Some areas escape infestation for a long time, but eventually show that I have not been as careful as I should -- I grow too many and get careless.

I have heard and read about many different possible sprays and treatments for TRM, but I really prefer to not use any broad spectrum killing agents. Also, indoors and packed, it's very difficult to spray anything sticky or stinky and certainly nothing toxic. I won't get into all the details right now.

Related to the mite issue is the rapid decline in humidity as soon as the outside temperature has dropped to the point that the central heating kicks in almost around the clock.

My other indoor garden nemesis are aphids and scale insects. Tomatoes are not particularly affected by scale insects though. It's the aphids that can get out of hand because ants that pasture them around and protect them find their way in -- either during periods of thaw from outside, or because they have actually moved INTO one or more of the containers.

Oh! I forgot to mention because I have been fortunate not to see too much of this so far -- tomato leaf miner moths can also devastate the Winter Indoor Tomatoes. I think I did see a couple fluttering around in the lights in the last week, and found one infested leaf so far. If I'm careful about inspecting the leaves, I may be able to stop a general explosive infestation by the next generation of hatched moths.

Finally, another critical turning point, I feel, is when the soil nutrients in the containers are depleted. Sometimes, if I'm not ready, they first to suffer the nutrient deficiency is too stressed to recover well, especially because they are at the point when they are blooming and fruiting and needing the next level and balance in nutrients.
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Re: 2014-15 Who's growing Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year?

L1. Whippersnapper in the hanging basket in Winter Wonderland is rapidly yellowing -- combination, I think, of TRM infestation and premature senescence due to being a Determinate.
L2. Sweet n Neat (pink OP) is ripening the first fruit, but it looks as though I managed to transfer some TRM on this otherwise unaffected plant in the Green Room which is isolated from the other, more heavily infested Winter Indoor Tomato growing areas
L3. A couple more Maglia Rosa ripening in Winter Wonderland, but this plant may bite the dust! The upright vine in the center is a Coyote plant and although it is also infested, they haven't managed to get to the upper vines where new green fruit clusters are maturing... Yet.
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R. This area was first to be infested by the TRM (some dead plants have already been removed). If you look closely, there are three tomato plants in this photo from top of Winter Paradise. (1) the last pink Dwarf Arctic Rose fruit is basically hanging on dried up stick, (2) mostly dead Manö in the right foreground, and (3) fresh looking new shoot from the Maglia Rose in the KFC bucket that otherwise looks like dead sticks -- infestation level is somewhere between DAR and Manö. Although there are some yellowing and the new shoot may end up like the others, I'm hoping for a miracle recovery, which would indicate presence of predatory mites.
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