When tomatoes go bad!!

ducks4you

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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.
I didn't notice the plants in the dog crate!!!! :lol::lol::lol::clap:clap:clap:thumbsup
THAT is absolutely Brilliant! I Have an extra dog crate sitting and gathering dust. I WILL pull mine out to keep the cats at bay.
 

ducks4you

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@spookybird , as long as your soil is good and doesn't dry out to cement I wouldn't bother to fertilize them. They will happily tolerate many transplantings. ALL plants that have a good root system will do well. You may want to mix some compost with soil for the penultimate transplant, that is the Last transplant before they go into the garden, bc you bury them up to the top leaves and everything else on the stem grows roots. I know that my tomatoes pull out in the fall with a great root system, and sometimes I have to nudge them out with a shovel. Also, keep them warm. They are tropical and originate from Central America, where they were the size of cherry tomatoes. In the American colonies they were developed to about 3x that size and included only in sauces. There was a real fear of eating them bc they are in the nightshade family, and they are toxic. It wasn't until the 19th/early 20th century that we all started to enjoy eating them. During the Depression they became a staple in kitchen gardens, which is pretty much what ALL of us do today.
When they are too cold they cannot absorb potassium from the soil and then the stems turn purple, pretty, not horrible, just not recommended for healthy.
Many varieties went across the Atlantic and were developed there. My Romas often survive frosts in the Fall since they grow as a bush variety and the leaves protect them.
 

Jared712

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I didn't notice the plants in the dog crate!!!! :lol::lol::lol::clap:clap:clap:thumbsup
THAT is absolutely Brilliant! I Have an extra dog crate sitting and gathering dust. I WILL pull mine out to keep the cats at bay.
Thank you!! It was a spur of the moment idea. Best part too is it all collapses down for easy storage till next season too. So far so good.

That's what I did with mine. Haven't used it in a while since my setter has settled down in the house and can be left out at night. So it was just sitting there and it holds the lights well too.
 
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Jared712

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Works good too for zucchini, yellow squash, and cucumber seedlings.

The lumber is pieces I was going to use to build my raised bed frames with but since its gotten cold again I've opted to wait to build it and use the wood to get the seeds close to the light.

There is a 10"x20" seed mat they are on also.

I think for next year I'm going to get build a frame with some chain and hooks to suspend it from the wire on the top and raise and lower it as necessary to accommodate them.

The tomato leaves that are droopy are from when I trusted the weatherman who said it would warm up. I set them out got busy with the kids and it never warmed up and they were NOT impressed with the cold temps (it was super sunny just cold) but they have new growth and doing great.
 

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Ridgerunner

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I think for next year I'm going to get build a frame with some chain and hooks to suspend it from the wire on the top and raise and lower it as necessary to accommodate them.
From experience, build that frame at least a foot taller than you think you need to. At last a foot. More wouldn't be a problem.
 
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