When do you start Tomatoes?

CrazyDaisy_68January 9, 2006

I've never grown tomatoes from seed before but this year I bought some 'Subarctic Plenty' First question is can these be WS? Other wise, when do you start them indoors?

I always thought they had to start quite early, like January?

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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Tomatoes can't be winter sown in this area. Start them inside around the beginning to the middle of March and they should be a nice planting-out size by the end of May.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 3:12PM
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sierra_z2b

I always started my tomatoes end of Jan or the first of Feb. Last year I just bought plants.....and I think I will just buy plants this year as well.

Sierra

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 3:50PM
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crazymaisy

ÂSub Arctic Plenty is an old heirloom tomato that sets fruit early and is one that is resistance to cold, but not to a killer frost, so Ang, youÂll never know till you try for yourself, after all it could turn out to be a good spring ;) Tomato seeds don't need a cold period, but they do need warm soil in order to germinate, so no need to wintersow your seeds so early, wait till around April/May. Experiment both methods, wintersow and indoor sow. Early type tomatoes only need to be started indoors 6-8 weeks before your average last frost date.

Sharon

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 4:58PM
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CrazyDaisy_68

Thanks for the info!

I will definately try both methods. I actually may keep one in the greenhouse all summer too, just for some further experimenting/comparisons.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 5:19PM
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luv2gro(z3a AB)

I, Shauna, do solemnly swear that I will not start any tomatoes until March 15. I further swear that I will seed no more than 9 tomatoes and I will only pot up 6. This will include 3 and only 3 varieties. This does not include any cherry varieties such as 'Sweet 100'. I swear I will only have 1 and only 1 plant of the cherry variety. This I solemnly swear.

DO NOT - absolutely DO NOT start them now. I learned my lesson so well last year. I had a friend tell me to start mine in January and I started them Jan. 15. They outgrew my greenhouse by the end of March, I think and spent the next six weeks on a banquet table I had to set up in my kitchen. DH was not amused. He actually said to me the other day that he "hoped" we weren't going to have that blasted table in the eating nook again this year.

Honest, Ang. It was like an uncontrollable jungle. I think by the end of it, I had nicknamed them all "Audrey" from the Little Shop of Horrors movie.

On the other hand, I kind of like your idea, Sierra. Tomatoes were my dad's specialty. I'm not sure they are mine. Jury is still out on that one.

Shauna

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 6:33PM
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Pudge 2b

I grew tomatoes in the greenhouse last year, but they were Cobra, the self-pollinating kind. I think the Sub-Arctic plenty need bees/wind/however else they do it to pollinate.

A tip - after your tomatoes germinate and grow on a bit, and when you're getting ready to transplant to a larger pot, strip off the bottom sets of leaves and sink that tomato way down in the soil. The stem will grow roots, making for a very sturdy plant. Although I've never tried it, I understand the plant can also be planted sideways with only the top sticking up out of the soil and has the same effect.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 8:06PM
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tabardca(z2)

I am with you Shauna! I will not end up with 50 tomato plants this year and only give away 4. My garden was so over planted with tomatoes it was ridiculous. I start mine latish, but I am going to start later again this year, by two weeks. Mine were perfect, then grew too much in the last two weeks and got unruly.

Great tips Pudge, I have trench planted tomatoes and it works great, if you have the room that is!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 9:33PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I've planted mine sort of sideways for years now - always good luck and always have sturdy plants. Last year was the first time in years that i wasn't overwhelmed with tomatoes. Usually i try desperately to cut down, and then my sister-in-law comes over and drops off her extras.... And i can't bear to compost them... I think she finally listened to me last year when i said i was cutting down! Either that or she thought i'd retaliate with all the pepper plants i had left over from the Hort. Society Plant Sale!! :)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 10:20PM
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CrazyDaisy_68

AHHHH! Never thought of the pollination aspect! I was just thinking extra warmth. LOL

I ended up with so many tomatoes last year my SIL got loaded with my extras! Hmmmm... with my plans for this year I either need to take up canning or find more friends who love tomatoes! LOL

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 6:37PM
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SeaOtterCove(2b BC)

I wish I had the problem of too many tomatoes. Last year I don't think I even got enough to equal out the cost of the plants. I even had them in pots up on the deck. I'm going to try again. You can always hope right?

Syreeta

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 8:44PM
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Pudge 2b

Home made spaghetti sauce brimming with 'stuff' from the garden, frozen in baggies for future use - that's what I've done with too many tomatoes, peppers, onions and parsley. Grow your own oregano & basil too...yummy.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 8:46PM
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nman(2b Wpg MB CAN)

I'm with pudge, turn the extra tomatoes into sauce and freeze. Your homemade sauce will be far better then anything in a can from the supermarket.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 11:06PM
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valleyrimgirl(2b)

I'm also with pudge...I grow about 100 plants each year and also make my own homemade spaghetti sauce. Actually I can my own salsa, spaghetti sauce, chili sauce, tomato juice and tomato soup. I have more room on the shelves in the pantry downstairs than in the freezer, so that is why I can all of it. I also am able to use a lot of tomatoes by making all those recipes. And I also use a lot of peppers and onions when I start making the salsa, sauce, soup and chili sauce.

But... I go the "lazy" way and I just buy the tomatoes already started for me. Since the GreenSpot (our local nursery) supplies packs of tomato plants to the Walmart in Brandon,MB, I pay Walmart prices and get them there. My problem is also space....since I start...take cuttings...on the plectranthus, coleus, etc. for the deck planters and therefore do not have any extra room to start tomatoes, peppers, onions or annual flowers. The greenhouse is totally full with all the planters I do. Plus...the cannas, begonias, dahlias, callas, etc. all have to be in the greenhouse too.

I also do the planting on the side if the tomatoes get too tall before planting day. But then when I push in the tomato cages I just have to be sure I do that immediately after planting when I know the orientation of the tomato plant so that I do not accidently push the metal leg of the cage into the tomato stem that is lying on its side.

You guys are talking tomato plant starting....ahhh, there is sooo much that I'd like to do in the house yet this winter, I want spring to take its time in coming. Painting, reading some books, making some homemade cards to have on hand, scrapbooking, organizing the craft room, cleaning through the house room by room, etc., etc. But looking at the calendar...it is not too far away.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 8:46AM
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CrazyDaisy_68

Definately a great idea about freezing everything. Never really thought about freezing speghetti sauce but that sure would work!

I hear ya, valleyrimgirl! Now that it has snowed again here I feel like I am back in my "winter mode". I've got alot of the same things on my "winter to-do list" paint, make cards ahead of time (sure helps during the spring & summer!), scrapbook, organize my craft area. Just yesterday I signed back on for the "Flylady" emails again so I can follow her Zones for housecleaning!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 10:51AM
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sierra_z2b

Syreeta,

You have to find the short season ones.....for here. For several years I planted mine in pots...and put the pots up against the hot side of the house. I have found that if you keep them covered with remay loosely that it will also keep more heat in. And of course let the bugs in to polinate. When I just plant in the garden....I usually end up with tonnes of hard green tomatoes.....which end up in the compost.

Sierra

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 10:57AM
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SeaOtterCove(2b BC)

Sierra,

Last year I planted Tumbler, Lemon Boy, and Sub-Arctic for tomatoes. I wasn't really expecting much off of Lemon Boy but Sub-Arctic and Tumbler should of done well. I did have them up in black pots on the deck where they would get lots of heat. I guess I'll have to get some remay and try that. Where did you buy yours? Do you grow peppers as well? Hubby was asking what it would take to grow sweet peppers as he really likes them. This year he also wants potatoes. Where do I plant those as I don't have a veggie garden yet? In with my raspberries? Someone needs to start digging, guess who that will be? ME!

Syreeta

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 1:11PM
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beth_b_kodiak(zone 5a)

You can polinate tomatoes indoors or in a greenhouse with a tiny artists paint brush and a gentle hand. A couple years ago the only tomatoes that survived were the ones I kept inside.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 9:40AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

My uncle does his with a Q-tip!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 12:32PM
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CrazyDaisy_68

I will definately be giving the hand-pollinating a try. Also I usually leave the greenhouse door unzipped during the summer so bugs do get in.

I was also thinking about peppers. That's going to be something else to experiment with this summer.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 10:17AM
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fadoodle(z3 alaska)

This thread is painful! There is NOTHING I want to grow more than tomatoes, but I have had nothing but total failure here in the Far North since I moved here two years ago, even with varieties advertised as being for our short season. Since other very-tender plants (basil, elephant's ears and sweet potato vines, for example) also keel over dead or end up twisted and stunted within a fairly short period of time, I've decided that my exposed mountainside location is just too windy and chilly for these plants, even in mid-summer. Obviously, I'm just going to have to invest in a greenhouse!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 9:15PM
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luv2gro(z3a AB)

fadoodle, have you talked to any local greenhouse people about what the problem might be. A suggestion might be to build a protective cage around them out of chicken wire and clear plastic and see if that would help. You also might benefit from the wall 'o water cloches to get an extended season.

It may be that the wind is exactly the problem. Just trying to help with some suggestions because I sure hate to see a 'mater lover unable to grow 'maters.

Shauna

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 10:09PM
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CrazyDaisy_68

I've read about growing tomatoes upside down in a paint pail and drill a hole in the bottom and then hang it in a sheltered southfacing spot.

I wonder if that would help?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 8:02PM
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CrazyDaisy_68

I was trying to add in a link that looked really cool!

http://www.findgift.com/gift-ideas/pid-32864/

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 8:04PM
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information_alaskagardening_net

We just started our Tomatoes here in Fairbanks, Alaska
We are at least 3 months from our last day of frost

Here is a link that might be useful: Alaska Gardening Information

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 12:06AM
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