jamescanada
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Please help me with my tomatoes!

Okay...this is my first post, and I am 100% new to vegetable gardening!

Currently I am living in an apartment, but moving into my first house on June 1st. The house has a lovely South-facing front garden, which I plan to turn into a vegetable garden...with 2 raised beds.

Now, I have never done anything like this before!!

It's still cold here in Nova Scotia, but I saw a great deal on some tomato starter trays 3 weeks ago, so bought one and the same day planted my tomato seeds, and have been keeping them on my window ledge ever since (my apartment doesn't have a balcony).

After 3 weeks things are looking quite healthy. They're around 5-6 inches high, and looking good. Naturally some have failed, but for an apartment window ledge I don't think I've done a bad job.

My questions:

. I am not moving for another 7 weeks, so I take it I should be hardening these off soon? While I don't have a balcony, my workplace has a roof deck I can place them no during the day, and bring them in at night. Can I start doing that now?

. How much water? I give them a spray and a water every 2 days..but the compost towers still look quite dry.....am I under-watering?

Any other tips would be good! I know NOTHING!!

Thanks
James.

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Rogue11
Senior Member
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:22 pm
Location: Orange County, California

You still have the plants in the starter kits? If so it's probably time to put them in larger pots. Since you say the plants are about 5-6 inches I assume they have already several real leaves (not counting the long flat seedling leaves)

I would get some potting soil and pots that will fit onto your window sill and pot them up. seven weeks are a long time and your tomatoes will grow quite a bit during that period so you might have to re-pot them once more later on.

There is no need to start hardening them yet. you can do that about 10 days or a week before you are planing to put them into the ground. But if the weather is mild you can can put the pots outside for a few hours every day to give them some extra sun. Just make sure they are well protected from the elements including strong sun.

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digitS'
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Posts: 3550
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:10 pm
Location: ID/Wa! border

Good advice, I can only add a couple of things.

Your window location might be quite warm. Do whatever you can to keep the temps to no more than 70°F (21°C). Most homes are a little too warm and have limited sunlight (even the glass itself will limit light & then there are spring clouds :roll: ). You want the plants to do very little stretching (looking for more light) and heat with little light just encourages that.

You can grow fine tomato plants, indoors in a window. One of the best places I have had to start plants was in a cool, bright utility room window :) .

Watering? Try setting your containers in a basin of water for 20 or 30 minutes then allow any excess to drain away. You want the potting mix to be completely wet. Don't water again until the surface, at least, looks dry. While they are tiny, your plants won't have much in the way of water needs. As the plant gets larger, you will have to get water to their roots more often. It is a good indicator of when you should pot-up to a larger size container to provide more soil for holding moisture and more room for their roots.

As Rogue11 says, take it slow at first, hardening them off. There your watering may have to go to once a day as they are exposed more to the outside air.

It sounds like your plants are off to a good start. Here is Wishing You the Best of Luck -- and, Welcome to the Forum!

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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