These young tomatoes are really looking good.

Growin-Stuff

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Tomatoes are about 30 days old now (started from seed) and showing good growth. I'm growing them organically in a basic soil mix of mine and using a liquid organic fertilizer.

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Zeedman

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In general, how old are your tomato plants when they go in the ground Zeedman?
As a rule, if everything goes according to plan, about 6 weeks. Yeah, like THAT ever happens! :lol: If I miss my June 1st target date due to weather (which is more the rule than the exception) then I end up with 2' tall plants that I have to cut back. Tomatoes grow so quickly that I'll probably move their starting date up even further (to 5 weeks before transplant) or reduce the light cycle (which is currently 16 hours on). The seedlings I started 3 weeks ago are already 6" tall, and even growing in extra-deep cells, are ready to be potted up. Can't pot anything up yet though, until it gets dry enough for me to repair my greenhouse (which sits in the swampier side of the yard).
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The lone pepper in the photo is "Thunder Mountain", which is growing upward much faster than all the other peppers. Have you ever seen someone walking their dogs, with cats trailing just behind? Apparently Thunder Mountain has been spending too much time hanging around with tomatoes. There goes the Materhood... if I end up with spicy tomatoes, I'll know who to blame. :lol:
 
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Branching Out

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Six weeks sounds reasonable, weather permitting. May 21st used to be my target date for setting out tomatoes, but now June 1-15th is what I am aiming for. The later we set them out the better they seem to perform, at least in our climate. Previously I would try to see just how early I could start them figuring that early sowing equated to earlier harvest, which doesn't seem to be the case. I do want to set out large seedlings if possible though, so that I can plant them extra deep given the drought conditions that have plagued us for the past several years. A few of my late season storage tomato seeds have yet to sprout, and if they are not up by next weekend I am going to try sowing a new round of seeds. For the small cost of seed it seems worth a try-- and those late harvest varieties may just respond well to germinating with longer, warmer days.

My new high tunnel is up and running; it is like a small portable greenhouse. I had planned to move a bunch of my tall tomatoes into the tunnel this weekend, but it appears that I have some research to do first. We just came through several days of cold and rain, and one of the inside walls is covered in water; the tunnel is under cover of our deck, excepting the wall that is covered in condensation. The four bean plants that I had in there are covered in surface moisture too, so clearly crazy humidity going on there. The tunnel is sitting on the grass, and I think the moisture may be wicking up through the soil. I definitely don't want warm, damp tomato foliage after all of the months spent nurturing them. It could be that the tunnel will only be used for tomatoes when it is cool but dry, which would be a drag.
 

Zeedman

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Six weeks sounds reasonable, weather permitting. May 21st used to be my target date for setting out tomatoes, but now June 1-15th is what I am aiming for. The later we set them out the better they seem to perform, at least in our climate. Previously I would try to see just how early I could start them figuring that early sowing equated to earlier harvest, which doesn't seem to be the case. I do want to set out large seedlings if possible though, so that I can plant them extra deep given the drought conditions that have plagued us for the past several years. A few of my late season storage tomato seeds have yet to sprout, and if they are not up by next weekend I am going to try sowing a new round of seeds. For the small cost of seed it seems worth a try-- and those late harvest varieties may just respond well to germinating with longer, warmer days.

My new high tunnel is up and running; it is like a small portable greenhouse. I had planned to move a bunch of my tall tomatoes into the tunnel this weekend, but it appears that I have some research to do first. We just came through several days of cold and rain, and one of the inside walls is covered in water; the tunnel is under cover of our deck, excepting the wall that is covered in condensation. The four bean plants that I had in there are covered in surface moisture too, so clearly crazy humidity going on there. The tunnel is sitting on the grass, and I think the moisture may be wicking up through the soil. I definitely don't want warm, damp tomato foliage after all of the months spent nurturing them. It could be that the tunnel will only be used for tomatoes when it is cool but dry, which would be a drag.
Personally, if I was putting an enclosure down over grass, I would lay a tarp or plastic down first, to cut down on transpiration. That trapped moisture could cause disease, especially in cooler temperatures... and tomatoes are especially susceptible to that.
 

Branching Out

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Personally, if I was putting an enclosure down over grass, I would lay a tarp or plastic down first, to cut down on transpiration. That trapped moisture could cause disease, especially in cooler temperatures... and tomatoes are especially susceptible to that.
Having a vapour barrier on the bottom sounds like good advice Zeedman. I found a paper from Purdue on managing the environment in high tunnels that says 'Many growers don’t seal all cracks and crevices, keeping their tunnels somewhat “leaky” or “drafty” to reduce relative humidity without having to open and close vents so frequently. Of course, leaky tunnels won’t be as warm, and if a heater is used it will cost more'. We have an option to place the tunnel at the end of our carport, and if we did that it may alleviate a lot of the excess moisture.

Once the weather gets above 15C(59F) at night time I am thinking of putting the tomatoes and peppers in the back of my husband's pick-up truck. We could park the truck in the carport overnight, and then just driving it out into the warm sunshine in the morning. That would be so easy! Then if the sun gets too hot midday-- drive it back into the carport. Stay tuned for further updates on that front. 🛻
 
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