When to switch to bloom?

sethkyApril 24, 2010

Okay so my tomatoes are 8 weeks old, and have been in the greenhouse on regular grow nutrients for 4 weeks. Each one has 2 or three sets of flowers coming, and I'm wondering, when do I switch to bloom? The tallest is 22" and I still have 40 inches of space to grow vertically. How much bigger will they get when I switch to bloom?

Here are pics:

My child is in this one for scale. He is 16 months and grows much more slowly than the tomatoes. Maybe I should switch him to bloom?

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cheri_berry(7)

I don't really know about the bloom. Being a newb I would probably do it now that one is blooming. But I just wanted to say that your son is ADORABLE!!!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 12:21PM
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joe.jr317

Don't switch him to bloom too early! Kids are already blooming too early. I can't believe my daughter is already 17 and going on 30!

I'd transition, personally. Don't know that it's necessary to go full bloom solution, though.

What nutes do you use?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 11:40AM
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grizzman

when the plants are large enough to support the fruit, switch to bloom. Otherwise you are just promoting additional vegetative growth.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 4:50PM
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wordwiz

Can't answer your question but be careful of the bloom nuits, especially with tomatoes. Many I have seen have next to no calcium which can lead to all of your fruits developing BER. It won't do you any good to have 50 maters ripening if they all rotten.

YMMV.

Mike

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:59PM
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sethky

Thanks Cheri! Joe I use Ionic grow and have the bloom and boost parts as well. Grizzman, I think the plants could support tomatoes now, but I want them to support a sh*t-ton of them, so I would love them to be 5 feet tall eventually. If I switch to bloom now, will they eventually get there?

Mike, I'm using central Kentucky tap water, which I'm pretty sure is overflowing with calcium (b/c of the limestone in the area), but I really don't know how much calcium is in there. I'll just hope for the best.

Also, I have a question about my plant yo-yo's. So far I have been hooking the yo yo clip to the top node of the plant and moving it as the plant grows. My question is, should I just leave it on one of the lower nodes and wrap the plant around the string as it grows, so I can distribute the weight of the plant and eventual tomatoes? This seems like a good idea and it's what I'm doing now with my melon plants, but my fear is that I'm going to need to lower the tomato plants and cut off the bottom leaves as they get older and less effective. I've read somewhere that it's a good idea to lower the plant as it grows up, cutting off the bottom leaves, and curl up the stem at the bottom. If I hook the string at the lower nodes and wrap the plant around it, I'll run out of string pretty quickly, because I only have 60 inches. What should I do?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 9:09AM
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lucas_formulas

sethky,
It's not like if you add that bloom part, that your plants would say " yummy bloommmm, let's bloom and build tomatoes now!"

I say it again, it really doesn't work like that. Look, they build blooms by their own and without "bloom", haven't they? They will either set first fruits soon or perhaps drop the first, - you'll see.

The following growth will mainly depend on if they're a indeterminate, determinate or intermediate variety, then all around conditions matter, UV intensity, temps, etc, all that will play. The bloom part is in fact to insure and increase potassium availability and phosphorus to some extend. But I still believe that phosphorus is overrated in formulas and not actually needed in the amounts most bloom formulas contain this element.

Anyway, your bloom formula is more like an appropriate diet for what has already began. To increase vegetative growth, you'd need to push nitrogen - but that's exactly contraindicated, because it may indeed delay blooming and fruiting but get out of control and induce excessive vegetative growth - and eventually end up in poor fruit setting and/or yield.

Add some of that bloom anytime from now on and watch and learn from them what they do best;-)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 12:25PM
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mrpepper

I have experimented with this quite a bit. I realize that for some, my gardening methods can be considered "un-conventional".

However, try this, and see what happens.

When you do hydro, initially your PH goes up while the plants are in the vegatative state.

What I mean by this is that when you setup your solution, and set it to your sweet spot (PH), over the period of a day or days, the PH tends to go up.

"Some where" along the line, the PH levels out for a bit, then starts to go down, instead of up.

When this happens (PH starts going down), switch to bloom.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 1:25AM
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lucas_formulas

Hi mrpepper,
You surely caught my interest with this. Do you have any background information or scientific backup for it - or is it more like based on some M-J grower's bigger bud stories? ;-)

1. Have you considered, that the actual changing to bloom nutrients will lower the PH notably and if the bloom formula contains high phosphorus (generally provided by mono-potassium phosphate) the switch to bloom will lower the pH even considerably. Thus, are you sure it actually isn't the other way round?

2. Have you considered the possibility that with some formulas (either "vegetative" "all round" or other) together with various water qualities, this "expected pH drop" may actually not occur or be delayed, - if ever it is a so called general tendency an not a selective observation (cherry pickin') only?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 4:30AM
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foliar_spray

Hmm...isn't it that as soon as you start seeing some flowers on the plant, you can go over and switch to the blooming stage? Okay, that may sound really stupid of me, but I am just trying to figure this out as well coz I am also planning to grow my own tomato garden soon and been checking on different information I can use to grow it successfully :)

oh by the way sethky, your son is so cute! ;)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 11:37PM
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mrpepper

Luke (lucas formulas), join the dark side of the force, its your destiny. :-)

Thanks for all of your constructive and helpful comments. I am sure everyone gained from them.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 11:59PM
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lucas_formulas

I must p.o. a bunch of Smart alecs as well. In fact there is quite a discrepancy in almost any forums about "knowledge". I am pro-pluralistic but I am the hell of a sceptic too LOL. For some that's just fine, for other's it may be quite a p.i.t.a and a nightmare ;-)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 9:06AM
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cheri_berry(7)

Knowlege is great...but I prefer to know different people's experiances too because just knowing how something works isn't the same as actually doing it and experianceing it. Which is why I play 1 million questions ;) lol

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 2:34PM
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lucas_formulas

Well cherry, Information is not knowledge according to Albert Einstein. But experiencing something isn't exactly "knowledge" either. Don't you take this personally, cherry - but a million questions and a million opinions per question... what would that be?

I also wonder how important the entertainment part for many people that frequent forums actually is.

Entertainment is not knowledge
Lucas Formulas

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:52PM
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