Anyone Start Tomatoes or Peppers ?

tomstrees(z6 NJ)February 27, 2006

hey NJ gardeners ~

Anyone start their tomatoes or peppers yet ? I did yesterday ~ Tom

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andyinnyc

I would think it's waaayyy to early to start these unless you plan on growing them indoors under lights for the whole season - by the time the outside is ready to have them (as opposed to when they are ready for outside) your plants are going to be severely root bound in even the biggest (normal) container.

I beleive our last frost date is Mid May which gives you more than 10 weeks of 'head start'.

Good luck regardless, and you can always start some more in a few weeks. You can try to get these out early (Wall 'O Waters or something) and then have backups if the cold gets 'em.

Andrew

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 12:08PM
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tomstrees(z6 NJ)

why do I keep reading or seeing that the last frost date in Monmouth county is april 4th or April 15-30 ? Is this not right ? Tom

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 12:16PM
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agardenstateof_mind

I got an April date, too, though the nurseries here say to wait until Mother's Day. I guess the crux is that these published dates are "average" last frost dates ... but try explaining that to what remains of your tender plants after an unseasonably late frost!

I've jumped in and planted some tomatoes and peppers, other veggies, herbs and a few perennials and they are rarin' to go, some emerging from the starting mix on the third day after sowing! Waaaayy before I expected! I do have a small greenhouse, plan to try the wall-o-water things this year, and planned on doing some backup seeding anyway.

It's so hard to wait for spring, isn't it?

Good luck, everyone.

Diane

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 1:40PM
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tomstrees(z6 NJ)

Diane,

It really is hard to hold back ! Especially when there is so much to do ! I'm guessing youre really far south in NJ ; I'm more in central by the bayshore ~ Usually I get much warmer weather compared to my Northern friends ... so I figured why not ? I do not have the luxury of a green house, but my plant room does face south and gets plenty of light (compared to my success from last year) ... I dont want to hold the weather to April 4th ... but I sure hope it gets warmer ! ~ Tom

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 1:48PM
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agardenstateof_mind

Not so sar south, really; I'm here in Monmouth County, right on the Shark River ... which does help mitigate temperatures a little bit, both summer and winter.

I grew up in Union County and count myself lucky to have moved here along the shoreline where, from Cape May to Sandy Hook, we enjoy slightly milder winters.

The greenhouse was a sort of impulse purchase this past autumn. I'd been thinking about one, and couldn't resist this 6x8 Harbor Freight model, with twinwall polycarbonate (not the soft plastic sheeting) for $329! (I'll admit, 2x10's for foundation, benches, fan, heater, gravel, and solar pool cover, etc. brought the total up to about $800, but still well worth it.) It has been great fun and one of our favorite getaway spots through the winter. We're harvesting lettuce and cherry tomatoes now, eagerly awaiting flower buds on the snow pea vines. Lots of annuals and houseplants blooming away in there. Just did a major rearranging of pots and shelves to make room for the seedling flats that will soon be ready.

Do you grow anything else besides tomatoes and peppers? I also started some of the cool weather crops - broccoli and Swiss chard. Should probably sow the leeks ASAP. Those can all be planted out much earlier than the tomatoes/peppers. Garlic was planted in the fall, so that's been something to watch all winter. Some of the autumn-sown spinach looks like it has held out through the winter, too. I'm surprised.

A gardening friend in northern Florida who's been watching the migratory birds says they look like they're getting ready to head northward soon. A good sign for us.

Di

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 3:19PM
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tomstrees(z6 NJ)

Di -

I live in Union Beach which is 10 miles from Sandy Hook ~ The weather is different than in other locations in NJ - I'm originaly from Morris county - so its def. a big change season wise ! Sweet deal on your GH btw ~

I grow other veggies like - onions, snow peas, cukes, and zucchini ~
Those I can handle ... its the tomato / peppers that are tricky ! ~ Tom

ps. by the sound of what you've got going on ... I'm not too far from my note taking of last year to start a week earlier !

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 4:36PM
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agardenstateof_mind

Oh yeah, this would be a big difference from Morris County! My husband used to commute from here to Denville; we almost moved back up that way, but another job came up down here. It is pretty up that way though; I love the Tillman Ravine, just next to Stokes ... must remember to set aside time for a visit this spring.

Last year was the first with a veggie garden, and it is tiny, restricted in size by shade from tall oaks. I had great success though, especially with the tomatoes. We started late and I chose seedlings from the limited stock left at the nursery. The tomatoes were delicious, but the indeterminate vines nearly took over my 8x16' garden! There were 6 tomato plants in all, plus cukes, Ichiban eggplant, celery, lettuces, peppers, cantaloupe, green beans and several herbs ... my family had doubts about the advisability of venturing in there without a machete.

Anyway, this is my first year growing from seed - hoping for good results. It is nice to have a greater variety from which to choose ... and a few nurseries nearby to fall back on if needed.

You're good for having kept notes! Very valuable. Didn't do that last year, have started for this year and hope to keep it going.

Di

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 7:49PM
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njtea(NJ Z6)

I used to start tomatoes in February - and then plant them out in walls of water in April. The plants did very well. Now, however, I'm too lazy to deal with setting up the water walls so I'll wait until sometime in March to start mine.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 8:33AM
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tomstrees(z6 NJ)

Di -
Yes much different in county ~
I hear ya about it being a jungle in there ; just take a look at this !

~ Tom

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 11:17AM
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Loretta NJ Z6

njtea, how early did you get tomatoes that way?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 7:23PM
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evan1(z6nj)

I'm in Somerset county- my peppers were started two weeks ago, germination times can be so slow with them. I start my tomatoes 2nd Saturday in March every year- plant out 2nd or 3rd Saturday of May every year, never been dissappointed. I always keep some extra in case of a late frost.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 8:50PM
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njtea(NJ Z6)

Loretta, to be totally honest, I don't recall specific dates. However, I do remember always trying to get a ripe tomato before my uncle, who lived in Buffalo, did - and his target date was the 4th of July!

I do know that I had tomatoes earlier than I do now that I'm not fussing with the water walls.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 6:19AM
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tomstrees(z6 NJ)

never tried W.O.W. ~ but they sound cool ~ maybe next year I'll give them a try ~ With snow today ~ not sure what the weathers going to be like this spring :0( ~ Tom

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 9:12AM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Seems endless doesn't it. My tomatoes come in late every year, not until August.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 8:13PM
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tomstrees(z6 NJ)

Day 5 Germination : We have tomatoes !

Black from Tula
Black Prince
Amish Paste
BrandyBoy
TomCat

20+ more varieties to go ! lol

Most herbs are up ! ~ Tom

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 1:47PM
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bmerboy98(z 6 NJ)

tomatoes and planting tip
i started my toms and pepepers during the blizzard on 2/11/06..i was bored and anxious..they may get a little leggy but i like planting my toms very deep so to me its ok

LOL no peppers up yet but the toms are up

i know it might be a little early but..
heres a little tip that i found makes your tomato plants grow and
supposedly become less acidy or bitter...when i plant my tomatos ,,i dig the hole and put a handful of oatmeal, 1 anti acid tablet (cheapest you can find) and a pinch of human hair...i was told this was an old american indian method..and ill tell you..my tomatoes seem to love it..there is some kind of reaction between those 3 items that provides protien, and the anti acid tablet supposedly makes the tomatoes less acidy...ive done this 3 out of 4 years, this being the fourth year..in years 1 and 2, i used the oatmeal method and had great results..last year (04) i didnt and i had the worst crop in 30 years..so i did it again last year (05) and my tomatoes were so vigorous and healthy ...i had a lot of tomatoes... so give it a try.. maybe on just a few of your plants and see if you notice a difference..also plant your plants as deep as possible, even if its 3/4 ths of the plant..note when using oatmeal i find its best to make sure its down deep, at
least 10 inches, otherwise it could attract squirels or other animals

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 7:30PM
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sugar_magnolia(z6 Hamilton, NJ)

Another option to the walls of water are row covers or cold frames.

I started seeds indoors for the first time this year. I'll see how it goes and if all is well, I'll invest in grow lights and stuff. My lavender came up great, buttercup squash doing OK (maybe half germinated) the spinach is disappointing to date, and the rosemary just isn't coming up.

Why do they sell so many seeds in a packet??? What am I going to do with 100 seeds for the one variety of tomato???

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 8:12PM
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MLcom(z6NJ)

Today started 14 different types all out side. Oh just cant wait till they start and with this strange weather it may be sooner then later.

ml

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 6:10PM
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goodground(z6 NJ)

I live in Morris County. I put my tomatoes out last year in mid May and had great results. My dad put his out earlier and suffered for it. He's in Essex County. I think starting them around April 1st or a little earlier is just about right, to get them outside when they're about 6 weeks old. I had bought small plants last year and kept them inside for about two weeks before letting them out and it paid off. This year I'm gonna start from seed. Actually, I'm planning to start practicing today to try to germinate some Brandywine seeds from Wal-Mart. I'm also gonna order some other varieties online today, so I hope they don't take too long to ship. Happy Growing Everyone.

Paul
Lake Swannanoa
Oak Ridge NJ

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 3:52PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

I read somewhere where the author wraps his tomato cages in plastic and then puts a few gallon bottles of warm water in it with the tomato plant. Never got my act together to try it but sound like a cheaper alternative to wall of waters.

bmerboy98, did the indians have anti acid tablets back then?

Sugar Magnolia, tomato seeds live several years.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 9:55PM
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njtea(NJ Z6)

I started mine yesterday. A very paltry 2 containers (recycled yogurt cups with clear plastic cover)each of Dr. Wyche's, Persimmon and Brandywine Suddeth, plus one container of ground cherry seeds.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 1:11PM
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tomstrees(z6 NJ)

Paul -
I used to live in White Rock Lake - up from the A&P ~ small world ; drop me an email if you need seeds - I have some I could mail to you ~ Tom

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 2:44PM
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gardenstatelarry(z6 NJ)

I started my 14 varieties of tomato seeds yesterday. I usually plant the first weekend in May for the past 8 years and have had no problems. I live in Berkeley Heights in western Union County bordering on Morris county.
This years list includes:
Prudens Purple
Riesentraube
Black Cherry
SuperSweet 100
Cherokee Purple
Box Car Willie
Ildi
Azoycha
Taiwanese
Stupice
BrandyBoy
Bloody Butcher
Sun Gold
And I usually check the local garden centers for any other interesting varieties around planting time. I miss the old NJ Botanical Garden heirloom sales on the Duke Estate.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 3:58PM
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sugar_magnolia(z6 Hamilton, NJ)

gardenstatelaryy, how do you like those super sweet 100s? i am thinking about planting in a patio container.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 7:36PM
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gardenstatelarry(z6 NJ)

I love supesweet 100 and they are one of the few varieties I grow every year, but I think they get much too big for a patio container. You may want to check out some smaller/dwarf varieties for your patio. Check out the tomato forum on this website.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 12:45PM
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njtea(NJ Z6)

I've had great success growing the sweet 100 family in the large self-watering patio garden tubs that Gardner's Supply sells. I've also grown them in the 25-gal.(?)containers that previously held trees. Of course, they don't have any aesthetic qualities, but they do a fine job of growing tomatoes.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 1:31PM
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tomstrees(z6 NJ)

nice list gardenstatelarry !
~ Tom

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 11:53AM
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JerseyJohn61(z6b NJ)

Here in Franklin Twsp(southern Somerset Co.), I sowed
about 70% of my toms. yesterday with more soaking now.
....JJ61

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 10:33PM
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tomstrees(z6 NJ)

nice to see you chimming in over here
Mr.Jerseyjohn61 ~ lol ~ 70% ? What did you leave out?
~ Tom

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 3:51PM
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tomstrees(z6 NJ)

Has anyone set out plants with or without WOW yet ??? ~ Tom

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 11:58AM
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charlocott(7a N.E. Ga.)

I have started a few hot peppers,tomatoes, and garlic in small pots in my garage for fun.It may be too early but we'll see by March.I'll be shopping for larger potted veggi's come spring.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 9:17AM
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