When tomatoes go bad!!

Jared712

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My bad tomatoes! They are doing 30 days in the hole!!

Seriously though I bought them last week on an impulse purchase because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get them when things warmed up. I think more people are going to garden this year so I figured I'd grab them because I saw them.

Well I don't start seeds inside because we have 3 cats who'd love nothing more than to make green confetti with any plants I grow.

So 1 panic.....errr......impulse......ummmm.....thinking big picture purchase (yes lets go with that!) lead to another idea. I rigged up my hillbilly greenhouse (DW's term for this set up) to keep them happy till they can be planted outside.

So there sits my 5 little Early Girls (DW's favorite variety of tomato) and waiting patiently. The light was one that was hung in the garage where the previous homeowners had a work bench. The bench was long gone and I haven't used the light since we moved in but was finally able to put it to use.

I've got new growth on them too so its obviously working. The dog crate will fold up and stores easily enough along with the light so I may resurrect this set up next year and really have some fun starting things.
 

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Ridgerunner

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Early Girls are indeterminate. If they get too big before I'm ready to set them out I've been known to prune indeterminates back to just above the first couple of true leaves. If they get that big they will probably have suckers coming out anyway. I would not do that with a determinate. It might still work, I don't know, but it doesn't feel right.

If you can manage it, another and better option is to up-pot. Keep replanting them deep into a bigger pot. Keeps them from getting root-bound.

Another suggestion. Try attaching some white paper or something reflexive on the sides. They will grow to a light. if it's just from above they might get leggy. Having light all around them tends to keep them more compact and stockier.
 

Jared712

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Early Girls are indeterminate. If they get too big before I'm ready to set them out I've been known to prune indeterminates back to just above the first couple of true leaves. If they get that big they will probably have suckers coming out anyway. I would not do that with a determinate. It might still work, I don't know, but it doesn't feel right.

If you can manage it, another and better option is to up-pot. Keep replanting them deep into a bigger pot. Keeps them from getting root-bound.

Another suggestion. Try attaching some white paper or something reflexive on the sides. They will grow to a light. if it's just from above they might get leggy. Having light all around them tends to keep them more compact and stockier.
Those are really good ideas. I can easily run a layer or 2 of aluminum foil around them to help keep the light more balanced. I have a ready supply of miscellaneous pots and have some potting soil on hand if I need to pot up. When I got them I anticipated I would have to pot up 1x because I got them so early.

This was something I had to throw together because we've been upstaffing at work the past few weeks with Covid 19 so other than checking soil moisture and a quick once over they haven't gotten much attention otherwise.
 

Zeedman

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Seriously though I bought them last week on an impulse purchase because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get them when things warmed up. I think more people are going to garden this year so I figured I'd grab them because I saw them.
Probably a sound move. SSE reports that their seed sales are way up this year, so apparently there is a renewed interest in vegetable gardening. When the "stay home" orders are finally rescinded, there will probably be a rush on plants.
Another suggestion. Try attaching some white paper or something reflexive on the sides. They will grow to a light. if it's just from above they might get leggy. Having light all around them tends to keep them more compact and stockier.
I concur with @Ridgerunner 's recommendations. Growing plants require strong light; if the light is too dim, or too distant, the plants will become leggy. You may want to place something under the pots, to keep the plants a couple inches below the light... and adjusting as needed to maintain that distance. Having a reflective surface on the sides will help too; but be sure to allow space for air circulation, or the plants may become diseased. I would recommend having the reflective surface on all 4 sides extend down to the top of the pots, leaving it open below that point. Heat given off by the light should produce a chimney effect, pulling in fresh air.
 

seedcorn

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I’m using idole-3 acid on my plants. Should have years ago. Rooting hormone that is working for me.plants aren’t as stringy-is that a word?
 

Jared712

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I’m using idole-3 acid on my plants. Should have years ago. Rooting hormone that is working for me.plants aren’t as stringy-is that a word?
How are you using this?
 

seedcorn

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Since I have it in dry form, I mixed with distilled water in a spray bottle. It has to be applied to the seed and then sprayed on the seedling-best way.idole-3 is an acid that acts like a rooting/flowering hormone in the plant. I actually am using it in trying to start some Rose starts. So far so good but starts were in shed-not sure how the 29-34 degree weather has affected it. Could have burnt the leaves off. Need to go look.
 

spookybird

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I've started some tomatoes from seed they are doing well and about 8" tall but don't seem to have dark green leaves but not real light either. DH says it the variety. I don't think so they are Early Taste. Didn't find the early girl till later.
They have been potted up once. Do you fertilize them at this point of wait till they go in the garden (bales for me)?
Thanks
 
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