Shipping live tomato plants to WI in January?

turquoise(5)December 27, 2008

Hi everyone, I'd like to try growing some small tomato plants indoors this winter. I have my eye on Red Robin and found a place which sells live plants a few states away. But I'm a little nervous about having live plants (especially tomatoes) shipped in January. Our temps will be high 20s/low 30s over the next few days and they'll go Priority. Someone will be home during the day to take them in immediately.

Any experience with shipping live plants in winter? Would I be better off starting from seed? The reason I'm considering plants is to get going a little sooner with tomatoes.

Thanks very much!

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tom_n_6bzone(Western Maryland 6b)

The plants will freeze enroute. You'd be much safer just sprouting seeds indoors under lights. Red Robbins are small and nice and can grow nicely sprouted in early January under lights. They are indeterminates and you can place them outside when your weather warms and they will produce all summer and then bring them back indoors in fall. I have had 3 that have lived like that for 3 years now.
~tom

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 9:45AM
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turquoise(5)

Ok, thanks Tom! I think you're probably right. I'll just get them going under lights. Are they indeterminate? The descriptions I've seen say determinate.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/74494/

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 10:02AM
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tom_n_6bzone(Western Maryland 6b)

lol, I think you're right. I get tiny tims and red robbins and all those nursery rhimes mixed up.
~tom

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 3:12PM
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turquoise(5)

Well, I'm glad I decided to go with seeds. They emailed me back to say they didn't have any tomato plants and "maybe" would have some in a few months. I wish they'd update their website to reflect that, it would have saved me trouble. Good thing I didn't enter my credit card number!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 10:13AM
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