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Starting my "tumaters"...

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IronKnees photos
Joined: 8/01/2005
Location:
Posts: 386
Posted: Feb/25/2006 7:18 PM PST

I wanted to share a tip about starting and transplanting main crop tomatoes that I learned and tried years and years ago... Roughly in the late 1970's or early 1980s' which really works... In a magazine I read an article about a study that had been done at Cornell University... Basically, they determined that tomatoes (and other plants) would transplant and produce much better if "set out" at just the right time... In the case of tomatoes, the number of days AFTER germination was 37, when the plants had five to seven leaves and were NOT root bound and were growing actively... Their claim was that production would increase by 50 to 75%...

So, ever since, what I have done is take my average last frost date (I use May 15th), count back 37 days on the calendar, and then add 7 more days to that for germination... So, 44 days before May 15 is the day I start my plants in 3 inch pots inside...

My results the first year were amazing... Each year I had been setting out 48 plants and we canned 70 quarts on average... (Don't need that much now that we are empty nesters) I now set out 17 plants in tall cages each year and get the same amount of tomatoes/juice that I had been getting from 48... Burpee Big Early Hybrid was what I used back then...

I can't speak for anyone other than myself, but the results I've gotten over the years by using this starting method for tomatoes has worked very well for me... Hey! My peppers just started coming up too... Got's to has my hot salsa!: :animorang
jennyspray
Joined: 5/26/2005
Location: VISALIA, CA.
Posts: 124
Posted: Mar/02/2006 10:58 AM PST

I was going to do my toms from seed this year but now I think I have waited to long...Or is there still hope?
IronKnees photos
Joined: 8/01/2005
Location:
Posts: 386
Posted: Mar/02/2006 11:27 AM PST

If it was me I'd go for it... Just set them out while they are growing actively before they get all root bound... I think the key to the whole study is that plants that sit in a small pot take a long time getting established after they are set out... People tend to go to the store and buy those big nice looking plants that already have some blooms on them, but those are the ones that have to stop top growth, get the roots going, and then start top growth again... I'm not sure what your climate is like where you are, but if it was me I'd have at it...
Herbyann
Joined: 3/29/2002
Location: Sunny So. Calif. Zone 10
Posts: 3490
Posted: Mar/02/2006 11:34 AM PST

Hey Iron Knees, I have a thread going on Tomatoes; Could ye put yer info on there pleze!

http://www.gardenguides.com/forum/showthread.ph p?t=16464&page=12
IronKnees photos
Joined: 8/01/2005
Location:
Posts: 386
Posted: Mar/02/2006 4:25 PM PST

Okay neighbor... Thar ya' bee!

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DebsGardens
Joined: 8/17/2004
Location: Indiana
Posts: 292
Posted: Mar/02/2006 6:40 PM PST

IronKnees.... which part of Indiana are you from? Great info, BTW!!!
IronKnees photos
Joined: 8/01/2005
Location:
Posts: 386
Posted: Mar/02/2006 8:33 PM PST

Quote:
Originally posted by DebsGardens
IronKnees.... which part of Indiana are you from? Great info, BTW!!!


About 40 miles north of Indy...
DebsGardens
Joined: 8/17/2004
Location: Indiana
Posts: 292
Posted: Mar/02/2006 9:36 PM PST

Cool! I can follow your plan then. LOL
IronKnees photos
Joined: 8/01/2005
Location:
Posts: 386
Posted: Mar/02/2006 11:23 PM PST

I have a very different method of starting my early tomatoes that I enter in the county fair... Hey, I ain't a' givin' out all my secrets, but I will say that I use the Wall-O-Water water filled protectors and one specific kind of large yet very early tomato... I've taken first place year after year at the fair. Our fair is ridiculously early, and people often ask me how I manage to get them ready so soon... I just shrug my shoulders, look down and my feet, shuffle a bit and say, aww shucks, I don't know... They just seem to grow good for me...

One lady flatly accused me of buying them at the store... The funny part was she was talking to someone else and I was standing right behind her... I pulled an old business card out of my wallet and wrote my name and address on it, introduced myself, and invited her to have a look at the full row of tomatoes just like these setting in my garden.... A redder face you never saw... I was about half P/O'd, but her expression cured that...
Herbyann
Joined: 3/29/2002
Location: Sunny So. Calif. Zone 10
Posts: 3490
Posted: Mar/03/2006 12:50 AM PST

[COLOR="Blue"] Way to go Iron Knees!! Thanks fer puttin yer info on Tomatoes 101. Trying to get a lot of good info togeather as the growing season arrives. Any of yer secrets yer willin' to share would be more than welcome. :strawberr[/COLOR]
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