snorkel4u
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Location: Delhi, India

Growing Marmande Tomatoes

Hi,

I have sown some seeds of Marmande tomatoes. The seedlings have germinated. They are currently in cell inserts of 3x3 inches and 6 inches deep.

Medium is coco peat and soil and cow dung manure.
Recently we're having cloudy weather but its not too dark. There's light and the seedlings tend to grow towards them.

The temperature is in the range of 30-35 deg C.

I wanted to know
1.) what organic/ NPK fertilizers can I help the plants with
2.) When should I move the seedlings to 8inch pots?
3.) What should the watering pattern be?

Some more questions as and when they come to my mind.

I created this thread coz I wasn't able to find any tips specific to Mermande Tomatoes.

snorkel4u
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Location: Delhi, India

Rainbow, Apple... anyone?

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applestar
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Okay, here I am. :D

This is basically a fall tomato planting question, so I don't feel very sure about it, but I'll answer what I can.

First, I had to look up Mermande tomato variety, and it sounds like a good one! I'll be keeping it in mind for future planting. It's an indeterminate plant described as "vigorous vines" so I would expect a large mature plant.

The cells you have the seedlings in with 6" depth sounds like it could actually carry them to planting out size. How big are the seedlings now (how many pairs of true leaves)? Why did you mention an 8" pots? Do you plan to plant them in the garden after the plants fill the 8" pots? For now, fill the cells to the top with mixture of cocopeat and vermicompost, burying the base of the seedling stems, if they are not all the way filled.

If you plan to grow them in containers, I would recommend 14-16" containers at the minimum. Larger would be better.

Recent fall tomato planting discussion seemed to indicate that 35°c would be too hot. It would be better if the temps cool down to closer to 30°c.
Mermande is described as maturing in 68 days. Didn't you say you get first frost around October-November? Will you have enough time?

If this is the case, I think I would plant at least a portion of the seedlings in their final location now but provide protection (provide shade) For the rest, maybe another option would be to plant them in the roomy 8" pots and keep them in a location that is protected from noon day direct sun or in a location that gets late afternoon shade, then plant them in their final full sun location after the temperatures cool down just a bit.

I'm going to leave the fertilizer question for others since I honestly don't pay much attention to fertilizers and mainly use compost, rock phosphate, greensand, and lime (to adjust pH). Do you make your own compost? ("compost" in the American sense, not the British which seems to be what we call "Potting Soil"). Check out the Compost Forum for more information.

Oh. Note that the manure shouldn't be fresh and should be "aged"/composted when you are using them. I would prefer to add fresh manure to the compost pile or to put them in the garden beds for sheet composting in the fall to break down and become incorporated over winter.

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gixxerific
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My 2 cents.

IF they are in 3" x 3" x 6" inch pots I would pot them up to bigger than 8" if you have them. That is not that big of a jump. Unless you mean 8" at the mouth than they would be more tahn likely pretty deep with more room to grow. Are these going to stay in pots or go in the ground?

As for fertilizer the seed leaves have what they need till they get a bit bigger. I wouldn't fertilize till they are 3-6 inches tall and with at least 2 sets of true leaves. And even than a light dose hlaf strength or less. Bone meal is good for tomatoes, more compost would be ideal as well.

Don't let them get soaked but keep them moist. I prefer to bottom water it helps keep down [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damping_off]Damping Off[/url].

This is a larger fruited plant and will need some heat to get going before the frost.

snorkel4u
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Location: Delhi, India

Hi Applestar,
applestar wrote:
How big are the seedlings now (how many pairs of true leaves)? Why did you mention an 8" pots?

My bad, I measured the inserts and they are 3X3X4 inches. Medium is filled till 1 inch below the top of the seeding tray. Currently the seedlings are 4-5 inches from the soil. (I'll take pictures for better help and add in the evening to this post)
applestar wrote:Do you plan to plant them in the garden after the plants fill the 8" pots? For now, fill the cells to the top with mixture of cocopeat and vermicompost, burying the base of the seedling stems, if they are not all the way filled.
Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of a garden, so YES, they will be living in containers all their life. I did read about the tip of potting the tomato seedlings much deeper so that a part of the stem also gets covered in soil, as roots will develop there too.

applestar wrote:If you plan to grow them in containers, I would recommend 14-16" containers at the minimum. Larger would be better.
I am more intro recycling plastic, so I will try and use spherical plastic jars with good drainage thru holes in bottom, I have which are good for 20-30 lts. They should be better than 8" pots. And when I said 8" I meant their depth, noth sure how much would their diameter be. could check it out
applestar wrote: Recent fall tomato planting discussion seemed to indicate that 35°c would be too hot. It would be better if the temps cool down to closer to 30°c.
Mermande is described as maturing in 68 days. Didn't you say you get first frost around October-November? Will you have enough time?
Where I stay, the temperature is still humid. In the 90-100 F range. Is this too hot for tomatoes? Fall will start settling in by Mid-October - November. Thats the time when it gets pleasantly cool around 15-20 Deg C. December is when it starts getting chilly 4-10 Deg C. And stays that way till Feb. Though we never have frost where I stay. Just cold winds sometimes.
https://www.weather.com/weather/right-now/INXX0342
applestar wrote: I'm going to leave the fertilizer question for others since I honestly don't pay much attention to fertilizers and mainly use compost, rock phosphate, greensand, and lime (to adjust pH). Do you make your own compost?

No I don't make my own compost, but would love to do so if space is not a constraint for that. I use regular yellow soil mixed with a lot of sand+ coco peat + dried cow dung manure. That's my medium.
Am I doing something wrong here? or can I add some other components to make it more fertile. I have a gut feeling, apart form the weather (which is hot and humid), my soil isn't fertile. I say so coz the seedlings have germinated but now their growth seems quite slow or stunted. I will post a picture for clarity in eve. Its been 10-15 days since I sowed the seeds. For me potting soil is the same as the final soil in the containers. I don't have a specific mix/ potting soil/ Miracle Grow kinda stuff for germinating seeds etc.

For everything - I have the same mix - Coco peat + dried cow dung manure. Recently I bought something called Biovita - this is seaweed fertilizer for adding the extra nutrients to the plants like zinc, phosphorous etc. I googled about about the soil type in my area and it says -
Soils of the Gurgaon district are classified as tropical and brown soils, existing in the north western extreme, northern and north eastern parts of the district. The soils are medium textured loamy sand is the average texture in Gurgaon. Gurgaon’s soil is weathered quartzite + sandy soil. This type of soil requires and supports recharge due to permeability.

Does this help?

snorkel4u
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Location: Delhi, India

Thanks gixxerific,
gixxerific wrote:Are these going to stay in pots or go in the ground?
Like I said in the above post, I will now try and transplant them into 20-30 litres plastic jars. They should be big enough for them I suppose.
gixxerific wrote:Bone meal is good for tomatoes, more compost would be ideal as well.
WIll try and source bonemeal.

Currently I have N-P-K 19-19-19. Is this like a general purpose fertilizer? Can this be used for all plants or is this specific to some types plants only?

snorkel4u
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Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:29 am
Location: Delhi, India

Also,

I was able to check online


As a fertilizer, the N-P-K ratio of bone meal is generally 4-12-0, though some steamed bone meals have N-P-Ks of 1-13-0. Bone meal is also an excellent organic source of calcium.

I got an excellent link, quite close by to where I stay, to purchase bone meal.

https://mridulmanure.co.in/products/

Could you suggest which one would be good for me?

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