Question about tomato seeds started in milk jugs

joellenh(6b Jenks)June 25, 2010

Someone here (Soonergrandma)? Gave me very good directions on sowing saved tomato seed outside in milk jugs.

However I have a couple of questions.

#1 can I plant a few seeds per 2 gallon milk jug? Because I did. I put 5 seeds in each. Mistake? So far I only have 5 jugs and soooo many tomatoes I want to try to grow this fall, so I seeded one variety, but multiple seeds, per jug. (for example I put 5 Juan Flammee in one jug, 5 Cherokee Purple in another jug, etc).

#2 she said:

"When they get their first real leaves, you can transplant to cups or pots until you are ready to put them in the ground" (I copied her instructions to a word doc so I cannot find the original post).

Can I just put them in little plastic Dixie cups with drainage holes until ready to go into the ground or do I need something better?



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You did right and you can put multiple seeds in each jug. The closed jug is for germination only, so after they come up you can open up the jug. Young tomato seedlings will get leggy if they don't get enough light, but the outside light available to them is much greater than what you could provide through artifical means although it is in shade. Because of the hot weather, that jug will overheat easily so it will need to be open as soon as you have germination, but it will also need to be watered frequently. You can transplant them as soon as you can handle them easily, but I normally wait until they have real leaves so I can hold them by the leaf, and not take a chance of crushing the tender stem.

Yes you can put them in Dixie cups with drainage holes for a few weeks.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 11:52PM
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joellenh(6b Jenks)

Thank you so much! You will make an expert out of me yet. :)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 9:15AM
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Did you just plant some seeds for a fall crop? I was just wondering bcz I was going to but thought it was too late.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 9:01PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

It is pretty late to start seeds for a fall tomato crop if that's what y'all are doing.

The OSU-recommended planting dates for fall tomato PLANTS are July 1st through July 15th, with the earlier date being more appropriate the further north you are and the later date being more appropriate the further south you are.

When you are starting tomatoes from seed, you need to start 6 to 8 weeks before your targeted transplant date.

Fall tomatoes are very iffy even in the best of circumstances since an early frost can wipe them out in the blink of any eye. You must plant them on time to have the best chance of ripening fruit before the freezing weather arrives.

Don't know the date of your average first freeze of fall?

Check the linked map from the OCS, and remember that half the time your first freeze will fall before the average date and half the time it will occur after that average date.

Here is a link that might be useful: OCS Average First Freeze of Autumn

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 10:00PM
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joellenh(6b Jenks)

Well, poop. I thought I read that I could start SEEDS through mid July.

Okay, no fall tomatoes for me this year. (Crying).

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 7:59AM
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Look at it this way - you have more time to collect milk jugs for next year!

(Hi Jo!)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 2:08PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Don't be silly. You have tomato plants growing now? Root cuttings now and you can plant them before mid-July. It is the easiest thing on earth to do.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 7:06PM
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joellenh(6b Jenks)

I am rooting some cuttings in glasses of water on my kitchen window sill. I think I will go take some more!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 7:36PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

See there. Problem solved.

Some stores get fall tomatoes in during the very end of June or early July---at least they do down here, but sometimes they arrive later than the recommended planting dates. I never count on them, but sometimes I'll pick up one or two if they are healthy and I have space for them.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 9:04PM
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joellenh(6b Jenks)

I got all anxious to try Remy's they will have to wait until spring.

However, I have 10 or 12 cuttings now popped into water, so we'll see what they do.

If my current tomatoes live through the summer, will they keep producing in the fall? Funny, that never occurred to me!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 9:39PM
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