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hendi_alex
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Earliest planting yet

Planted my first batch of tomato seedlings today. Previously have not started any prior to mid December. These should grow well in my new cold frame that also has heat lamps for cold periods. Will be interesting to see if this adjustment moves my zone 8 first harvest to early April.
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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hendi_alex
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Re: Earliest planting yet

I find that our tomato plants do great until late June to mid July each year, then no matter what, the plants gets sick, slow down, and eventually die or become almost non productive. So our strategy this year will be to get as much fruit as possible to set early to reach full size before the end of June. Then no matter what happens to the plants, the fruit should ripen to give good quality tomatoes.

My theory is that when the night time lows reach somewhere in the 70's that conditions are just too favorable for the various diseases and the plants succumb. I may try placing a few plants under an awning or roof to keep them out of the rain, to see if that prevents the rampant spread of disease during those hot months. So far nothing has really worked, though some years replacement plants will give a good fall harvest. IMO a secondary factor comes via the piercing bugs that walk all over the plants, spreading disease where ever they walk. This year we may place a few plants under mesh to see if that both controls the bugs and slows the disease as well.
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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hendi_alex
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Re: Earliest planting yet

Got pretty quick germination on the heat mat, about 5 days. Plants are growing into sturdy deep green seedlings. True leaves are just starting to form. So far have been able to leave the plants outside in direct sunlight about 7-8 hours per day. They get an additional 4-5 hours in the evening from compact flourescent bulbs.
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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lakngulf
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Re: Earliest planting yet

Wow. You've got it going on there in SC. I actually have some plants going too but only because I was doing a germination test on many heirloom seeds that I had saved. Got virtually 100% germination and later just set the flats out for the cold weather to take over. I noticed today that they are doing great. I may bring them back in the greenhouse and maintain a few of the better ones.

What were the results of your overall garden area reconstruction last year?
Nutin as good as a kitchen sink mater sammich

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hendi_alex
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Re: Earliest planting yet

Great year for most items. Disappointing year for cukes and squash. Bountiful tomato season, but once again, way too short. This mild fall has given a bounty of salad greens, and greens for steaming. I'm loving my additional beds on the concrete pad.
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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hendi_alex
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Re: Earliest planting yet

Disaster hit seedlings after transplant. May have let them dry out or maybe sour soil, but lost about 75%. Only three survivors at this point. New seeds have been planted.
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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applestar
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Re: Earliest planting yet

Oh what a bummer! :(

As long as we have been doing this, and even though much of the process have become routine and automatic, gardening can still be confounding and these sometimes unexplained/unexplainable problems can happen. Glad to hear you are picking right back up again. :-()
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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lakngulf
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Re: Earliest planting yet

hendi_alex wrote:Disaster hit seedlings after transplant. May have let them dry out or maybe sour soil, but lost about 75%. Only three survivors at this point. New seeds have been planted.
Yikes! That will happen at times. One year I tried to graft tomato seedlings onto root stock that would hopefully be resistant. I did the slant cut and clip--no luck, I did the V cut and clip--no luck. If I try again I will let the plants get larger before the graft.

This year I had decided to start plants on the 1st and 15th, starting Jan 1. You have me wanting to start earlier so I may just give it a go tomorrow. Come to think of it I may just try some of the root stock again. It's only time!
Nutin as good as a kitchen sink mater sammich

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