anyhone putting tomatos out yet?

caosesvida(zone 7 del.)April 6, 2005

or anything else. I put some sacrificial cilantro and basil out this week, its supposed to be 80 today, if it keeps up things will be going good. I am thinking of starting hardening off maybe this weekend or next, have some other things ready to go, but still a little hesitant. I am 3 miles or so from the ocean, and get a little break from frost.

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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

No way!! The weather is too unpreditable. I'll wait till the end of April to plant the tender stuff.

Cilantro will be fine tho.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 1:10PM
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Mine are out in my cold frame.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 5:58PM
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caosesvida(zone 7 del.)

pegg your a lot colder than I am there I think, I am on the eastern shore near ocean city.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 6:37PM
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blueheron(z6 PA)

You could start hardening them off if your last frost date has passed. Otherwise, I would just keep them inside because they don't do much growing when planted in cold soil. Once the temps warm up, they take off.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 8:07PM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

Caosesvida, I'm definitely colder but even south of us (like Richmond) is too early to plant tender tomatoes. Zone 7 is still in danger of frost. Believe me...I tease Mother Nature every chance I get and she sometimes stings me bad. ]

I have walls of water but I don't notice much of a difference between the toms I plant out early and the ones I plant...say the end of April...(after checking the 7 day forecast of course)

It's always fun to play with nature and try for the earliest the tomato fanatics.

AH, you're one of them aren't you...)LOL!)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 9:49PM
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caosesvida(zone 7 del.)

this year I seem to be more anxious, I guess I may have started them a little early. Last year I put them out may 15th, which is the record for the last frost in georgetown, which is around 5 degrees colder than we are near the beach. there is a 90% chance that we will have no frost. I also don't see any real benefit to putting out early, they just tend to sit there till it warms up anyway. also it was 83 degrees here yesterday, if that doesn't get you thinking of planting nothing will. The earliest I would actually put inthe ground would be the 23rd if I start hardening them off this weekend. Trying to get a little action on this site going. lol

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 6:27AM
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manure_queen(md 7)

I dragged all of mine out onto the patio yesterday and have leaned storm windows over them to protect from the wind. If it gets cold , I shall just have to drag them in again

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 10:49AM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

You know ironically, on this date in 2002 and 2003, we had snow in Philly (literally the same day for 2 years in a row). LOL

April 7, 2003:

I have seen it have a mid-90° Fs heatwave in April and then come back around and do a near frost during that one full moon in May (usually between 18th - 25th timeframe).

I haven't even started my 'mater seeds yet. Will be doing that tonight. The past couple years, I started them around the last week of March and they were well past ready to go out by May 15 (although I usually didn't plant them until Memorial Day weekend) so that's where I stand. I am slowly going to put some of my marginal potted plants out to get them adjusted to outside (eg., my oleander, gardenia, fuchsia, camellia, etc.).

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 2:16PM
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I've got my tomato seedlings underway indoors, after making myself wait until March 1 this year to start them. (Last year, I planted in January and then had to nurse them along indoors for what felt like forever. Early fruit, but not worth the hassle.) I'll probably put mine out in a cold frame in a couple of weeks to begin hardening them off. And then into their 'permanent' spots after the first of May. The weather here in Central VA is a little too iffy to chance simply sticking 'em outside this time of year. Ma Nature has a habit of slamming us with a late frost just when we let our guard down!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 5:10PM
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Laurel7286(3b Wyoming)

Not yet. The earliest I've ever put them out without WOW's has been May 1, and I don't recommend it. It's not just the air temp, but the soil temp too.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 6:27PM
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annebert(6b/7a MD)

Cilantro is actually quite cold-tolerant, but tomatoes nad basil can't stand temps under about 50. I have read that any exposure to temps below 50 will permanantly affect tomato yield, but haven't tested this carefully.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 12:26PM
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Like Manure_Queen, I have put mine outside in a temporary cold frame set up. They were getting too big to keep inside. If the weather gets too cold, I will throw an old blanket over the cold frame set up.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 1:30PM
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I winter sowed a few tomatoes (see the forum) and they are just starting to germinate. I figure Mother Nature knows more about growing things than I do and the very best tomato plants I've ever grown were from volunteers. So sowing seeds in pots outdoors seemed like a good compromise between nursery grown seedlings that I tend set out too early and sowing seed in the ground after frost.

Yes, some Richmonders are putting them in the ground already but the soil needs a lot of warming up before they will start to grow. April 15 is our last frost date and most years even that's too early due to soil temperature. I put some out then as a gamble and wait till the end of the month to put out the rest. Those closer to the coast in zone 7 might get away with earlier planting since they tend to be a little warmer.

Of course, all of this varies from year to year, but this year has been cold and wet, not exactly conducive to good growing conditions for tropicals like 'maters. If you want to speed up the time it takes for the ground to warm up, black plastic (yeah, that icky stuff!) works. Put it down for a couple of weeks before you want to plant and it will help bring the soil temperature up. You can plant through silts in it or remove it and plant and then mulch to help keep temperature and moisture even.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 10:33AM
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beth_b_kodiak(zone 5a)

I just planted my first tomatoe seeds yesterday. Hope to get some others at the MAG swap. I'm getting restless but the ground seems so WET here on the shore.
How about herbs, can they go out yet? I found tiny shoots of what I think is chocolate mint. That is encouraging , or is choc. mint indestructable like cat mint??

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 1:02PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Beth - you are right along with me. Finally started my 'mater seeds Thursday night. You should be able to put the hardy perennial herbs like the mints (including the "balms" like lemon balm), sages, rosemary, and thyme out now. I think some like basil and possibly parsley, dill, and cilantro, etc., are a bit more tender and could get damaged by a hoar frost. You could probably sow seeds of all these now directly in the ground if you grow them like that. It may take them a bit to sprout but they will eventually.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 6:49PM
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Well, since we had daytime temps in the 70's & 80's this past week, all my tomatoes, peppers, & eggplants are going hell's bells in my cold frame.

I may just stick a few out in the garden under row covers or cloches & see what happens.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 8:15PM
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"The earliest I've ever put them out without WOW's "

- Laurel, ANY time you put out tomatoes, there are wows. And oooos and ahhs too. Oh, you meant wall o' waters.

- i am just amazed at some of the varieties y'all find! Well, uptill i gt better at starting 'em from seed myself, i'll just be happy soem of y'all are willing to swap plants!

- Happy gardening,

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 11:58PM
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caosesvida(zone 7 del.)

my mint is already up for about a week, the cilantro and basil is still fine. I am moving my tomatos to 1/2 gal. containers now and will start next weekend for hardening off. Then it will be about may first when I put them out. I may put a few out now with protection., we will get some mid thirties next week. My 16 oz cups don't hold the water long enough now, they are wilting if I don't check every couple of days.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2005 at 8:30AM
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caosesvida(zone 7 del.)

ok this is the weekend I am starting the hardening off process. will be in and out of the gargage for two weeks. that will put me into almost may. They are doing fine in the 1/2 gallon containers now.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 8:57AM
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