It's A Tomatoe!!!!!!!!

luvabasilFebruary 28, 2013

Sooooo: I planted Early Girl seeds with the hopes I could follow in Dawn's footsteps and have an early container of tomatoes going that I could haul in and out of the garage everyday. BTW Hubs is "thrilled" at the thought of doing that everyday, so I pulled out my trusty wagen.
The plants are strong (I brushed them daily) and I have 4 T5 bulbs to their front, to their back, and 4" from their top.
(I am certain the police will be at my door any minute. The windows have this blue glow........)
Anyway, it's too cold to pull them in and out of the garage., at least for another week.
BUT I HAVE A TOMATOE!!!!! We stare at it like it is the golden egg! We talk to it everyday. But that's it. What do I need to do to keep him/her/it happy for the next 10 days or so?
Help me Obi guys are my only hope

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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Pretty cool. That is a lot of dedication. I have a couple plants blooming now in the greenhouse and hope to have some to eat soon.

I wouldnt do anything any different and for sure do NOT watch it. I have learned that watching something grow always makes it stop. I guess they are shy.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 2:20PM
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lovabasil, I think you are doing very well, my tomatoes dont even have true leaves yet.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 3:59PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Congratulations on the "birth" of your tomato!

To keep the fruit growing, keep the plant warm, get it all the light you can and, if you move it outside for real sunlight, throw bird netting or something over it so that a bird or other critter won't come and peck holes in your first tomato. I've had the birds and even a tomato fruit worm beat us to the first tomato on a plant in a container some years, so now I am pretty picky about protecting them.

I take my 5 plants outside every day once the temperature is in the 40s and bring them in before sunset. Of the 5 plants, three now have fruit, the 4th has just started blooming and the fifth one is just beginning to form tiny flower buds. The earliest to set fruit was Bush Early Girl and she has 5 fruit now, with the largest being about the size of a walnut. Better Boy was second to set fruit, but his are marble-sized.

Isn't it fun to have tomatoes on plants in late winter? It gives you something to look forward to.

What it really does for me is it removes the pressure I put on myself to hurry up and put tomato plants in the ground. As long as I have a handful in pots that I know will give us ripe fruit early, I can relax and not feel like it is so critical to put plants into the ground early because I'm feeling desperate for a fresh home-grown tomato.

I put in a long day in the garden today transplanting cool-season crops into the ground, and expect to do the same tomorrow. It was sunny and beautiful, but the wind and wind chill made it really cold.

I always put my tomato plants on the south side of the garage so they are sitting on concrete pavement and have a wall behind them reflecting heat and sunlight onto them. That seems to encourage them to keep on putting on new growth even in marginal tomato temperatures.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 9:23PM
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Thanks all! I am so very psyched!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 1:00PM
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Dawn, when did you start your seeds for your early tomatoes? Or did you buy them? The 6 plants I started last August for the greenhouse have been a mixed bag. It got close to freezing one night and 5 of them got nipped. Only Bush Early Girl showed almost no damage and now has a dozen green tomatoes and one pinky one. The Goliath and Park's Container look bad but I kept them and they are now setting fruit. We've eaten 3 cherry tomatoes from the Chadwick Cherry so far. ANother plant that was supposed to be Chadwick is actually an oxheart type with a tomato turning color now. But as I've said, we don't plan to heat the "hot room" next year until the spring transplants outgrow the plant benches, (which have been staying upper 30s low 40s on these teen and twenty nights. Cooler than I like so I'm going to buy the teeniest heater WM has ($8.00) and tuck into the bigger one.) I love the idea of having early tomatoes so next year it's Bush Early Girl in a smaller pot than the 18 gallon this year's is in so I can move it easier and I will keep it on the porch and carry it out on warm days. What size pots are you using? I'm going to go back to heating the porch because it takes a lot less electricity.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Dorothy, I bought them and I think I found them the third week in January at the Wal-Mart in Gainesville. They were smaller than the ones I usually buy in Dallas in mid-February but they were I bought them anyway.

Had I been starting from seed, I would have had to start them around the beginning of November to have them the size they were in late January. I always intend to do that, but then life gets too crazy with all the holiday and community stuff the VFD is involved in and I never get around to starting seed indoors in November. I usually put my early tomatoes in 5 to 7 gallon pots as soon as I get them, and then they are easy to carry in and out. If they start outgrowing those, I move them to 10-gallon pots. Once it is warm around the time I put the home-grown tomato plants in the ground, I usually either put the early ones into bigger containers or into the ground.

The electricity issue is why I don't heat the greenhouse. It probably is just as well....because you know I'd plant all the tomatoes too early if I had heat out there and they'd start outgrowing the greenhouse and then I'd be in a real pickle!


    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:47PM
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