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Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Posted on June 30th --

Subject: Winter Indoor Tomatoes variety candidates
applestar wrote:2017-18 Winter Indoor Tomatoes variety candidates --

A tomato grower from Mississippi said "Mid July seed drops = Mid November fruits" for growing FALL tomatoes.

...which is in line with what I've noted in the past for my Winter Indoor Tomato growing timeline -- that I need to start my seeds of the earliest maturing varieties by beginning of August at latest, to get at least some ripe tomatoes for Christmas, but if I want to have ripe tomatoes for Thanksgiving, I need to start them earlier and later maturing varieties need to be started earlier, too.

I need them blooming and at least setting green fruits by Winter Solstice to make them worthy of being called Winter Indoor Tomatoes. Otherwise, by the time they set fruits in late January to early February, they won't ripen until spring.

So I'm going to be starting my few selections for this year's Winter Indoor Garden this weekend.

Subject: Winter Indoor Tomatoes variety candidates
applestar wrote:FINAL PICK:

Yellow Canary - TimothyT WG-2016
Red Robin - TimothyT WG-2016
Sophie's Choice
Manö x MWC F3 - Paprika's cross from Gixx
MMF-10 F5 (do not share) – Red Robin x Rose Quarts MF from dfollet.CKinNC
MRxZCMF F1 -- look for shortest
MRxSFM F1 – Maglia Rosa x (Stump of the World?+FFSlv+Manö) -- look for shortest
Dwarf Arctic Rose x Utyonok F1 - I'd forgotten about this one!


7/6 Soaked in weak turmeric.citrus tea (eh? Don't ask me, that's what I was drinking at the time, so I diluted it with hot water :> ) since about 5am – so 12 hours, then spoonzeedzipped on vermiculite/sandDE/bit of worm casting.

7/7 Most of Yellow Canary and Red Robin have germinated, half of MMF-10, so I sowed them in top half of coffee creamer bottle SWC's. I have 3 more of these as well as 2 top half of Dr. Bronner's liquid soap bottles SWC's

...of course as FOUND the Nano Ciliegia seeds TODAY... oh what to do.....
...aaand they're off to a GREAT start! :-()

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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Sophie's Choice may have to be scratched. My 2012 seeds have not germinated so far and I don't want to give them the time they may need -- we are on the clock here :x -- so Nano Ciliegia (Itali 2016) is back on deck and the seeds are now soaking and will be SSZ'd (spoon seed-zipped) later today.

If Nano germinates first, then Sophie's is out. :wink:

All the rest have started to germinate and were sown in their SIP/SWC's and have started sprouting. Image
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

I SWEAR my plants have internet access and are secretly reading everything I post about. Guess which two seeds germinated TODAY? :? :roll: :lol:
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

The candidates are uppotted and will be grown for the final selection. These are the dwarf and micro varieties that will definitely go in the Winter Indoor Garden. Micros need only 1-2 gal pot at most.

Either Sophie's Choice or Manö x Matt's Wild Cherry will be the biggest challenge I think, though I have grown Sophie's Choice in a 2 gallon bucket before (it would have been happier in somewhat larger container, so I will try 3 gal nursery container or a 2.5gal self watering square pot this time.)

Image There was one exciting find among the Manö x MWC seedlings -- a very OBVIOUS shortie :() So I will be keeping an eye on that one.

Image

...I couldn't get obvious shorties from the small sample of my own MR crosses, so now I'm not sure if I will grow them this winter. I did cull them severely based on internode and vigor, and have 4 seedlings each that I will keep growing for now and decide later.
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

I uppotted the tomato seedlings that I am seriously considering for this year's Winter Indoor Garden. I'm hanging onto a few that I may or may not keep. Some of the taller seedlings that failed to be selected were planted in various available spaces in the garden though I doubt they have enough time before frost. A bonus if they do though.

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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Winter Indoor tomato candidates -- some out of these will still be culled or given away

Image

- one of MMF-10 F5 is the earliest to start to bloom. Already showing high promise for multifloral characteristics :D
- one yellow flower in the background belongs to one of Red Robin plants

Two Dwarf Arctic Rose x Utyonok F1 are already too tall for the Winter Paradise (WP) lights, and were moved to Winter Wonderland (WWL) along with the lanky Sophie"s Choice.


...I'm seeing some signs of mites. I decided to be preemptive/proactive this time and purchased and distributed a vial of predatory mites to among these tomato plants as well as other tomatoes and peppers showing signs of mite infestation outside.
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

WWL (Winter Wonderland) -- two Dwarf Arctic Rose x Utyonok F1 (the floral size and shape are different so I'm hoping to see variation between these two) and Sophie's Choice

Image

Garage V8 -- Red Robin, Yellow Canary, Red Robin x Rose Quartz Multiflora F5 (MMF-10 F5) -- these are the "micro" varieties -- they only grow to about 18 inches. Although they all have large floral trusses, dfollet/CKinNC's MMF-10 F5 is a "multifloral" variety with extra largem multiple floral trusses... you might be able to see the difference in the photos. 8)
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Nano Ciliegia cherry tomato started for the winter Indoor garden, and a lettuceleaf basil dug up from VGA in a 2.5 gal pot.
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

I have always wanted to grow tomatoes year round. What your doing in interesting. Have you gotten rid of the mites? Have you gotten ripe tomatoes yet? How much does electricity cost to run grow lights? Are you transplanting to larger pots as the plants grow larger? Do plant leaves need to be sprayed with water? Don't you need honey bees to pollinate the plants? Your plants look very green and healthy.

My 3 attempts of having a small green house 30 yrs ago was for the most part growing tomatoes year round. I never put enough money into building a GOOD green house for it to work. I had trouble with stem rot several fans helped but humidity got too high inside the green house for fans to work. My green house needed a dehumidifier that I never had. In the winter the green house needs to face south. The sun produces 200 BTUs of heat per square foot an 8'x10' green house with glass only on the front side is 80 sq ft = 16,000. BTUs . A 20 degree day in winter very dark over cast it got 70 degrees inside the green house. With 6" of snow on the ground 20 degrees outside and full sun it got 100 degrees inside the green house. My green house needs a temperature controlled fan to bring in cold air to cool it down to 75 in winter. It also needed heat at night. I had bug problems in winter with grass and weeds inside. The green house needed 2 very small birds like Finches that are small enough to land on the tomato plants and eat bugs. I'm not sure Finches are bug eaters?

I never tried growing tomatoes inside the house like your doing, I don't have a good place to do that. I don't have a good place in the yard for a green house either there are too many trees here and the front yard = (wasted space) is 4 times bigger than the back yard. Wish I could plant a garden in the front yard but we have too many deer around here. Front yard is full of deer every morning at 4 am.

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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

...my reply in red...
Gary350 wrote:I have always wanted to grow tomatoes year round. What your doing in interesting.
  • Have you gotten rid of the mites? I believe they are under control, but I'm going to buy one more batch of predatory mites just to be sure)
  • Have you gotten ripe tomatoes yet? No, not yet, but I have lots of greenies. I choose early to very early maturing short (less than 30") to micro sized plant varieties.
  • How much does electricity cost to run grow lights? Sorry, I don't keep track.
  • Are you transplanting to larger pots as the plants grow larger? Yes. I'll post new pics soon.
  • Do plant leaves need to be sprayed with water? I do especially when the heat is turned on and the air gets way too dry, but I also like to emulate the morning dew by spraying them thoroughly with filtered water in the morning.
  • Don't you need honey bees to pollinate the plants? No, because tomatoes are primarily self-pollinators. The yellow cone shaped part of the flower is the modified anthers. They surround the stigma which may or may not protrude from the center of the cone-shaped structure, and when ripe, drop pollen directly on the central stigma. But tomatoes have evolved to respond to buzzing hum of the (sweat)bees and (bumble)bees when they land and vibrate their wings -- so you can emulate by touching the Flores truss or the stem with a humming/vibrating -- not mechanical whirring -- type electric toothbrush.
Your plants look very green and healthy.
Thank-you! :D
My 3 attempts of having a small green house 30 yrs ago was for the most part growing tomatoes year round. I never put enough money into building a GOOD green house for it to work. I had trouble with stem rot several fans helped but humidity got too high inside the green house for fans to work. My green house needed a dehumidifier that I never had. In the winter the green house needs to face south. The sun produces 200 BTUs of heat per square foot an 8'x10' green house with glass only on the front side is 80 sq ft = 16,000. BTUs . A 20 degree day in winter very dark over cast it got 70 degrees inside the green house. With 6" of snow on the ground 20 degrees outside and full sun it got 100 degrees inside the green house. My green house needs a temperature controlled fan to bring in cold air to cool it down to 75 in winter. It also needed heat at night.

I had bug problems in winter with grass and weeds inside. The green house needed 2 very small birds like Finches that are small enough to land on the tomato plants and eat bugs. I'm not sure Finches are bug eaters?
I think finches only prey on bugs to feed their chicks. -- What kind of bugs? I buy ladybirds (ladybugs) for winter aphid control. I keep them in their net bag in the cold garage or in the refrigerator and release them peoriodically in the house -- and they eat aphids and whitefly larvae. I am also convinced the predatory mites are the answer for pest mites. I also end up with several different species of spiders that help with Indoor Garden Patrol. Another nuisance bug is fungus gnats. I use mosquito bits (Bt specific for mosquitoes and gnats) in the water

I never tried growing tomatoes inside the house like your doing, I don't have a good place to do that. I don't have a good place in the yard for a green house either there are too many trees here and the front yard = (wasted space) is 4 times bigger than the back yard. Ifeel a south-facing window that can be left without window treatments -- curtain, shade, blinds -- during the day is the best. Set up a counter height surface, then hang a 4-tube shoplight -- or two 2-tube -- above the plants. It helps them to bloom and fruit if they get direct sunlight during the day as well.

Wish I could plant a garden in the front yard but we have too many deer around here. Front yard is full of deer every morning at 4 am.
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

It’s going to be -is- very cold this morning — 34°F now — so yesterday, DD’s and I brought the absolutely critical plants inside for the winter indoor garden — orchids, coffee, tomatoes I couldn’t pull the plug on… :oops:

I came downstairs this morning while still dark, turned on the lights to the green room, and our two kitties were crouching at attention on the floor. :|

DD2 had the explanation— last night after I went to bed early, they heard “squeaky” — grey tree frog call — from the green room and realized we unintentionally managed to bring a tree frog in with the plants. Later, they found “the” frog on the kitchen floor with one of the kitties, poking at it, so DD1 captured it and released it outside.

I imagine they were congratulating themselves until (I was told) they heard a 2nd frog calling in the green room:shock:
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Some photo updates :D

Plants with developing green fruits:

Image

Others with floral trusses:

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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Started spreading 2nd round of predatory mites and ladybugs. Hoping for early control of any pests on newcomer plants that are brought inside to overwinter.
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Subject: Tomato leaves curled and fruits grow v slowly
applestar wrote:...

Here is an example of stunted plants that were not uppotted in timely manner and are getting dried out and starved, not to mention being in a patched together lighting that is making them stretch out:

Image

[…]. Stunted plants like these can still be saved, but they need to be planted deep in sufficiently sized container of potting mix. As soon as they get the additional food and water, the new growth. stems will fatten up at least twice as much and the skinny lower stems will not be able to support them

Here are some more examples [of Indoor tomatoes]. Note that these are all under fluorescent 4-tube shop lights. You can see that the top two photos of micro-sized, compact varieties look content, while the bottom two indeterminate and taller dwarf varieties are sprawling everywhere and stressed. All of these were also dried out — they should have been watered two days ago but just were deeply watered this morning:

Image
...bottom-left is Nano Ciliegia (an Italian cherry tomato variety) which had grown lanky and too tall, so I basically COILED the bottom stem inside the square 2.5 gallon container when I uppotted. It’s starting to bloom now. Image
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

...still have a lot of family stuff going on and all my threads have been neglected — but here’s a quickie update (written details to follow) :wink:

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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

I have skinny plants too and they are planted in the garden not in pots. I started these from seed in August not sure why they are so skinny they look like they need fertilizer but plants grew fine in this same row April to August. When weather he is 100 degrees tomatoes suffer really bad. Planting tomatoes so they get cool morning sun and full shade after lunch works miracles for a while until temperature reaches 100 degrees. I think the shade is what caused my plants to have aphid problem that killed several of the plants. Tomatoes rarely have a bug problem planted in full sun but plants produce few tomatoes in 100 degree heat. We have been having a lot of rain, clouds, over cast weather maybe that is why my tomato plants are so skinny. New plants have been making small ripe tomatoes and doing slightly better than the 6 old plants that I managed to save that were planted in April. A few days ago it got down to 32 degrees 1 night tomatoes got frost bit in the tips ends of a few leaves. Crazy weather it was 80 yesterday and suppose to be 82 today. I sure do hope I get a few ripe tomatoes before the next cold spell I want to know what these tomatoes taste like so I can decide if I am planting my spring garden with these seeds or buying new plants at the garden store. I usually plant 6 varieties of tomatoes very year no matter what the weather does we always have ripe tomatoes, I planted all Big Beef this year heat and aphids killed most of the plants. Cherry tomatoes seem to do much better in hot weather.

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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Ha. This thread needs an update. Sorry it’s been a while....

As usual, the winter tomatoes have experienced ups and downs. I know it can be done and I have had good acceptable results but I’m also running into issues I’ve experienced before. This may be due in part to my cavalier attitude about bringing in plants from the outside. It DOES show that if you are regimented about completely eradicating any stowaways, using series of quarantine systems and multiple insecticidal treatments, you just might avoid the kind of problems I’m facing.

On the other hand, my results also show that same problems can be overcome with other treatments. For me, it’s a matter of applying similar environmental and other conditions all around, which may or may not be possible due to different micro-climates in the house. ...if you have a single growing area — one Room, a Greenhouse, etc. then the matter may be at least “simpler”.

So, in the Faimily Room “Winter Wonderland” it is a sad sight — fortunately I had only put 4 tomato plants here when the mite infestation became apparent and exploded: The taller Dwarf Arctic Rose x Utyonok F1 Cross and Sophie’s Choice. Later, I brought in the fruiting micro variety Yellow Canary from the “Garage V8 Nursery” and I also added one of the white grape dwarf/micro type Maglia Rosa x Coyote F4 segregate seedling I grew from this summer’s F3.

Image

As you can see, the dwarf plants that are actually taller than the height limit criteria for Winter Indoor Tomatoes have been completely overtaken by the mites and struggling to mature the fruits that did set. I don't expect them to be able to manage any more. The blushed and almost fully colored but still firm and not quite ripe fruits started dropping on their own yesterday, while we were having Movie Night and watching Captain America: Civil War — THUD, THUD, BUMP...ROLL ROLL...CRUMPLE

...What IS THAT? Where are the sounds coming from? I think it's the tomatoes.... no way!....

We had to pause the movie while I investigated. :lol:

You can see that the Yellow Canary in the bottom right corner panel seems to be unaffected by the mites.


Now let me show you the “Garage V8 Nursery” — tah DAH!

Image

I took some of the ripe Red Robin and Yellow Canary fruits for my parents to enjoy and actually shared some with a resident that was sitting with them at breakfast. Her eyes were shining when she said they were sweet and good. My dad opened the bag and took out and ate extras that I thought they might eat later in their apartment. (I told Mom I’ll bring more for her next time)



Briefly why I think there is such a difference: Part of the problem I think is the Family Room has a space heater that whoever is using it runs when they feel cold, and the room is occupied at all hours depending on who’s doing what. We have had some sudden dips in the 20's already. I think the room is typically warmer and drier than the rest of the house. So even though I did release predatory mites, they may not have established well. The plants here are also widely spaced, so maybe it wasn’t possible for the mites to move around from one plant to another. Case in point the Yellow Canary.

Even though the unheated Garage V8 Nursery has had some dips down into 40’s, the micro varieties Red Robin and Yellow Canary crowded under the lights (same kind of lights as Winter Wonderland btw) look much better. I can only surmise that the predatory mites that were released here established well and are continuing to protect them. In addition, perhaps the pest mites are less comfortable in the cold.


...I need to decide what to put in the Winter Wonderland space when these tomatoes are finished. I’m not super disappointed because I’m getting F2 seeds from those crosses which I can grow out and advance to F3 seeds in spring/next growing season. But even after thoroughly wiping down this area, I’m hesitant to put any plants that are susceptible to the mite attack — that means no more tomatoes, no peppers, no citrus.... are there any plants that are not particularly bothered by mites? Maybe I should grow a Winter Salad Garden.....?
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Here are my several years old seed-grown avocados and mangoes with Norfolk Island Pine on the left, and coffee and some of the over-wintering peppers on the right. These are in the “Green Room”

Image

I took pictures of the base of these trees to show their caliper-sizes — all except coffee are growing in 4-5 gal buckets or containers with 10” diameter opening. Coffee’s terra-cotta pot is 13” diameter.

Image

Bottom-right — I noticed that Nano Ciliegia tomato which is the only tomato plant to survive in this room is actually doing very well. It might be because I nestled overwintering peppers that I KNOW had overcome their mite infestation next to the tomato. Maybe there are still some active predatory mites. I did note, too, though, that There had been serious tomato leaf miner infestation here that I missed while I was busy with family stuff. I clipped off all infested leaflets from Nano Ciliegia. Hopefully I got them all.
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Update on some of the overwintering peppers. These were dug up/brought inside with green and/or maturing fruits. You can see the ones in the house are still going strong while the ones in the unheated garage are getting limp. The low temps in the 40’s °F and limited light won’t kill them but they think it’s time to go dormant.

Upstairs in one of the bedrooms: TS Chocolate didn't mature in time and were just starting to bloom when the frosty days arrived. The shock from being dug up caused blossom drop, but the new blossoms are starting to open, and the warmer upstairs temperatures and the SE sun exposure should keep this one going into the winter.

Image


Some of the peppers in the Green Room. Most of the others are still in plastic grocery bags, have been trimmed down, and are pretty boring looking. :>

Image


Peppers in the unheated garage — they are too big/tall to place directly under the Garage V8 Nursery lights but are on surrounding floor and shelves in front.

Image

— I’m excited about the orange fruited Fish Sport. A couple of winters ago, I noticed a Fish fruit that would not turn red no matter how long I waited. At first I thought it was because the plant was in cool part of the house, but no. Then I realized this was happening ONLY on one lower branch of the plant. I saved seeds and grew them out last year, and they are growing “true” with mature fully colored fruits that are tangerine orange. Taste test later. ;)
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Applestar, The frog you mentioned would be good to have in a green house they eat bugs.

Here 1 section of town near the swampy lake has Screaming Frogs. Those tiny little 1.5 inch long frogs can scream as loud as a police whistle. When I lived in town i only had 3 or those screaming frogs in my yards in 20 years. Frogs in my yard were quiet until I got too close 1 morning I went out side to get in my vehicle for work 2 ft from the car door a LOUD SCREAM scared me to death. I had to look close to see that tiny frog on the window glass a few inches above the door handle. It is hard to believe those tiny frogs can scream so loud. Those tiny screaming frogs can climb all over plants and could probably eat all the bugs in a green house if you had about 20 of them.

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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Interesting! Is it any of these?

The Frogs & Toads of Tennessee

Sound ID Page
https://www.leaps.ms/soundpage.htm
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Runty Chocolate Cake pepper, harvested from the overwintering plant in the garage to use in a lamb stew today.... next to a full sized Aji Pineapple pod also from the garage. ;)

Image

...another CC plant produced fruits that ripened red, but this late to mature stunted plant produced one that is definitely the chocolate color. Yay! :D
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Dipping my toes in hydroponic techniques — :wink:
267A2033-77EA-47A4-88E1-A0D2EC860525.jpeg
...I don’t know what you call this kind — rooted cuttings and seedlings grown in luffa sponge blocks uppotted to charcoal/clayballs-filled basket pots in reservoirs. Small airpump via lines to airstones in the water fortified with wormtea. {ETA - I remembered what it’s called — “DWC = Deep Water Culture” — though mine are not very deep, I’m using these containers with lids that can be used with same sized deeper containers if it becomes necessary.}

Previously uppotted basil and tomato cuttings had been in individual pickle jars with air stones, but the unaerated greens were suffering in a 6-egg carton so I decided to uppot today. Basil and Tomato have good roots growing out from their basket pots. The greens had roots extending way into their shared reservoir out of the egg carton but some of the roots didn’t look so good. Hopefully the greens will recover and show better growth now that their roots are aerated.


...more greens growing in a large bakery clamshell container. They need to be uppotted and will take over the space that used to be occupied by winter tomatoes:
63B654DF-10C4-4EB0-9DF3-F5A72CB10A4C.jpeg
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

So...I don't know if anyone has ever asked. Do you indoor winter tomatoes taste as good as their outdoor summer counterparts?

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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

JayPoc, that’s a good question. So far, I am finding that you cannot get that summer flavor from the winter tomatoes when same varieties are compared. Fruit sizes are smaller as well and I can’t grow the really large indeterminate plants in any case.

However, by experimenting with the stronger and best flavored, genetically smaller plants, I have been narrowing down my family’s favorites for growing as Winter Indoor Tomatoes. One experimental, still segregating cross I grew this year produces surprisingly sweet cherry sized fruits. This was a really pleasant surprise. I think this one has been the sweetest yet.

I’m going to pursue this aspect, but cherry sized fruits are the easiest to obtain from these smaller stature varieties, so I really want to keep looking for one or two that can produce good slicers that are bigger than 2-1/2 inches, which I believe is the largest I’ve harvested so far.

Due to the cooler temperatures, I think, it has seemed difficult for them to produce the more complex flavors, and especially the sugars, and some of the better flavored varieties end up with unbalanced strong lingering acid aftertaste that have made them less favored for fresh-eating on their own, even though they are still great for pizza toppers and intense flavor bursts in sandwiches that you can’t get from store-bought tomatoes.

It’s also true that by the time these start yielding ripe fruits, we would have exhausted our remaining fresh garden tomatoes, with only the longest-keeper green/blushed, picked before frost, weakly flavored fruits left, if that. We will reluctantly start to accept the storebought and restaurant tomato slices in our sandwiches instead of pinching them up with contemptuous disdain — plastic tomatoes — and tossing them in the compost. So the home-grown fresh winter tomatoes are still superior to our tastebuds. :wink:
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ElizabethB
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Applestar - I am constantly amazed and impressed by your indoor winter gardens. With my very long growing season I am much too lazy to invest that kind of time and effort into indoor gardening. You really are THE BOMB and the QUEEN of indoor gardening. Rock on.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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applestar
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

LOL thank you, Elizabeth :D

Now that we are past the Persephone Days and the days are starting to lengthen, my overwintering peppers are starting to wake up and grow new leaf buds and shoots. It’s time to go over them and prune and repot as necessary... get them ready so they can get growing. It also signifies need for vigilance against aphids — this wa borne out when I spotted some on terminal branches of some peppers in the Winter Wonderland, and underscored when I spotted some ants after the recent freak thaw.

Today, I retrieved the remaining still alive ladybugs from their package stored in the garage and released them.
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Winter Paradise Penthouse (WPPH) and Level 2 (WPL2.) [Level 1 is currently unused]—

- I was using some scallions this week, so I added their bottoms along the edge of the greens container.
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- the DWC seem to be settling in. Basil looks happier.

- Some tomatoes are succumbing to mite infestation and are on last legs. Some are “trying” to come back on WPPH. I’m going to try treating these with home made miticide/oil-soap-baking soda solution.
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- After fruiting, the micro varieties in GV8N (Red Robin, Yellow Carnary, RQMFxRR F5) we’re hit by the deep freeze during which temps fell below freezing. I thought all the tomatoes had died, but when I trimmed the dried up leaves and upper stems,including dead flowerbuds and underdeveloped fruits, I found some new shoots growing.

Garage V8 Nursery (GV8N) and new V8 Shelves (GV8S) —

- I uppotted some more greens. The Asian greens were not happy that the temperatures fell below freezing during the deep freeze and turned purple (plus they nearly got dried out once or twice), but I think they will come around once they have established. This is a container in which one of the winter tomatoes died from mite infestation — I’m re-purposing the mix with addition of some vermicast.
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

OVERWINTERED PEPPERS

The Green Room (GR) — a few examples

- Some overwintered peppers can look as bad as these and can come back. I do the best I can and then sit back. Some do and some don’t. But ones that have been in the garage through the deep freeze like these sticks in the square white container (middle photo) have less chance of coming back — I REALLY should have moved them inside BEFORE the deep freeze, for which I should remember by now has deadline of around mid-December here. [Well, to be fair to myself, I DID remember, but there were a lot going on in life].
- Others have been in the GR all along. Peach Bhut in the back of middle photo is starting to show new growths
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- These two that have been in the GR all along — Black Scorpion Tongue Ladybug strain on the right has new growths…. Maui Purple on the left in a small clay pot is looking less sure of itself, but I AM seeing tiny new growths starting. Hopefully, they will be protected from aphids by the Indoor Garden Patrol ladybugs. But I should put down some more ant bait as support.
- Another one that has been in the GR — Madam Jeanette in the back in the left photo was cropped in the picture but has three bright red maturing fruits (you can sort of see them reflected in the emergency blanket reflector in the middle photo) and is looking lush and well and is also starting new growths. I’m hoping this means there is a healthy community of predatory mites on this plant.
- That’s one of seed-started coffees still in a deli pint cup. I need to uppot it so it can grow better


Winter Wonderland, Cool Gang, and upstairs — a few examples

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- LEFT: sticks in re-purposed tripled paper popcorn bucket are Gochugaru yon Gochu from the Garage. To the left, hurriedly dug up and stuffed in plastic grocery bags have been kept with mite infested tomatoes (RIP) on Winter Wonderland counter, but seem to be unaffected.
- RIGHT: Cool Gang plants tend to be neglected, but these brown flattened round fruits, which turned out to be actually stunted Chocolate Cake bells are managing, still in their plastic grocery bags. There’s another bag to the right with the leaning stem and red fruit, and another plant that has started to bloom, and three white square containers with others.

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- LEFT: I’m pretty sure this dark red fruit is is Sweet Chocoloco. Stems belong to a very large Trinidad Scorpion Chocolate
- RIGHT: One of the upper canopy branches of the TS Chocolate. It’s been trying to bloom all winter but has yet to set fruit. Shriveled and dried up buds I think are due to mites. New growth leaves are showing dark lesions that are worrying me. Not sure what that is. Hopefully not bacterial, and it hasn’t spread to any of the other 4 pepper plants here.


As you can see, most of my pepper overwintering strategy involves ripening late matured green fruits from last season, and then keeping them alive (sometimes just barely) until they can be planted this season.
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

applestar wrote:Interesting! Is it any of these?

The Frogs & Toads of Tennessee

Sound ID Page
https://www.leaps.ms/soundpage.htm
It looks like we have the Green Barking tree frog I have never seen one larger than 1.5" long they are always on something like the side of the house or side of the SUV. You never know they are there until you get too close about 24" then it is like someone blew a police whistle in your face. LOL. On the south side of town near todds lake there are 1000s of these screaming frogs after dark. They scream all night. Many years ago I was at a BBQ in someones back yard near todds lake we were all hanging around talking soon as it got dark the frogs were so loud we could no long talk to each other we could not hear each other because frog noise was too loud. I was told they are not all green, some green frogs have yellow spots or blue spots or red spots, some frogs look blue, some frogs look red, but most are green. I have only seen the green ones. The sound these frogs make is different than the sound on the page of the Barking Tree frog. These frogs remind me of a 5 year old child scream. It has always been 1 hard loud scream that last about 1 second. If you step away then get close to the frog again it will scream 1 loud scream again.
Last edited by Gary350 on Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:01 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Gary350
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

I wonder about your ripe winter tomatoes do they have the same good flavor as summer tomatoes?

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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Gary, JayPoc beat you to that question. I answered in this post: Subject: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

About the tree frog — your BBQ party story was funny! :lol:
I’m curious now — are they like this one? The poster didn’t ID what kind of tree frog, and it looks bigger than the 1.5 inch you mentioned, though....
First “scream” around 0:40

Screaming Tree Frog https://youtu.be/2jl64KWfK3c
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

applestar wrote:Gary, JayPoc beat you to that question. I answered in this post: Subject: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

About the tree frog — your BBQ party story was funny! :lol:
I’m curious now — are they like this one? The poster didn’t ID what kind of tree frog, and it looks bigger than the 1.5 inch you mentioned, though....
First “scream” around 0:40

Screaming Tree Frog https://youtu.be/2jl64KWfK3c
That frog sound is about the same as the sound I heard. Hard to tell from the video how loud that frog really is. The one that was on my car door was LOUD it scared the @#$% out of me. LOL It was funny after it screamed I was looking around wondering, what the #@$% was that??? I did not know which way to look when I reached for the door handle again it screamed again. After the 2nd scream I knew it had to be right in front of me, it took a few seconds to finally spot it on the door. It was a tiny frog. I had to laugh how could such a loud scream come from such a tiny frog. LOL. It was about 1.5" to maybe 1.75" long. The frog was right in my face arms length away about 24" I guess being that close made it seem much louder than a frog that is not so close.

When I grew tomatoes in Arizona my best crop was planted Nov 1st I had ripe tomatoes in Jan. Plants looked good, tomatoes seemed a bit smaller, flavor seemed not quite as good as spring tomatoes but I never though much about it. It was in the 40s at night and 65 to 70 every day. 3 weeks in Feb AZ has 20 degree weather tomatoes die. I planted tomatoes again about first week of March and had ripe tomatoes in May.

I know sunlight it not as bright in winter as summer I have always thought mirrors on the north side of the garden could be used to double the light in the garden in winter. Once I had 3 large 36" x24" mirrors that I set up to add light to my tomatoes in Oct. It sure did make a bright spot in the garden but the spot moved with the sun. I think a grow light in winter will be good to add extra light the sun is not producing. Extra light might make larger better flavor tomatoes. There is a lot of Red color light in winter green, blue, violet are mostly gone. You have proven tomatoes are smaller & have less flavor in winter, I have always wondered if it was from colder weather or less sunlight or both?
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applestar
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

First two orchids started putting on their annual show :D

Image

...I lost the tag for the pepper plant trying to compete. :lol: — I saw a ladybug working of ridding it of aphids. I hope there are more since the orchid pollen will help to sustain them and hopefully feed them enough to mate and lay eggs.
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Winter Indoor Peppers are not done yet :-()

Doux Long d'Antibes are sweet frying peppers and they ripen yellow — just about ready to harvest :()

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Others are responding to lengthening days and starting to grow new leaves/branches and flower buds. Ones that had been dropping blossoms in the colder temperatures are not doing that any more, so I have to pluck the too-many flower buds, especially ones that need to grow good leafy canopy first and ones that are still in tiny pots with tiny root systems that won’t be able support the excessive growths.
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

Sooo excited :-() — I came across a new to me insect!
- Found in the Winter Indoor Garden.
- tiny — only about 1/2 inch long
- gorgeous light green with lacewing like wings
- looks like a tiny baby praying mantis? ...with wings????

Image

~~~ of course I had to look it up. Almost immediately found a reference in list of NJ insects... which led me to this BugGuide listing :D

Zeugomantispa minuta - Green Mantisfly - BugGuide.Net
https://bugguide.net/node/view/40288
Range
e. US: NJ-WI south to FL-TX (rare in northern part of range); Central America to Venezuela(2)(3)(4)

Food
Predatory: larvae feed on spider eggs; adult small insects.

Life Cycle
Larvae penetrate spider egg sacks and develop as parasitoid

...and this...
Real Monstrosities: Mantisfly
https://www.realmonstrosities.com/2014/09/mantisfly.html
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

This is the overwintered Trinidad Scorpion Chocolate in upstairs SE bedroom window. It had just started to bloom in the fall when the frost became imminent, so I dug the two plants up and potted them. They bloomed sporadically through the winter but never set fruits.

Finally, this one fruit has set on an upper branch. It’s bursting in bloom, too. I think it must want heat to set so maybe more will set fruit as weather warms up for spring as long as I keep it inside. Probably will do better in a container or SIP once they go outside for this season, even though one is already a big plant....
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Re: Winter Indoor Tomatoes and Garden 2017-18

In the Winter Indoor Garden, by this time of the year, when there is yet another month to 6 weeks to go at least until the outside overnight low temperatures settle down and stay above danger levels, the plants are stressed from the less than ideal winter Indoor conditions, even though the lengthening day’s and rising temperatures encourage them to start growing.

And this is also the time of the year, with arrival of spring thaw, that flooded out and busy ants make their way inside — the Scouts find the Winter Indoor Garden an ideal temporary pasture for their flock of aphids and other sucking pests. Sometimes the aphid pressure can be overwhelming for the tender new pepper leaf and flower buds.

...but not to worry! The Indoor Garden Patrol is on the job! :()

Image

...I saw a pair of ladybugs mating just a couple of days ago, so hopefully there will be more reinforcements soon. :-()
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