transplanting tomatoes early

jimmcquade65April 28, 2009

I live in Victoria BC Canada and want to plant my tomatoes out in about a week. The reason is I started them a little too early and they are over 1' tall already. Most people here plant out around the May 24th weekend. The plants will be too big for their containers by then. They are already too big for them now. I have large cloches covering my 4'x 12' beds and am wondering if they will survive if I plant them out at the beginning of May. I could re-pot them if I absolutely had too, but I have 50 plants and I don't have enough grow lights and space for the larger pots. If I keep them frost free, will they be OK? Thanks


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If you cover them at night, they should be just fine. That is, unless you get really really cold temperatures. In that case, your plants are probably screwed.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 2:03AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Cloches are great provided they are tall enough.

If you must purchase something, cheaper and more versatile is hoops and row cover/sheets/blanket, which will allow you to get down to ~ -3º C, using plastic + row cover and using jugs of water warmed in the sun. More info on this setup here.

Much much more effective and easy and longer-lasting (less versatile and more costly tho) are Walls O' Water, which allow you to set out 30-45 days early - my toms have been snowed on 3x since I put them out in WOWs (14 inches overnight recently).

You can do it, no problem (so can my lurking buddy Wes in Coquitlam ;o) ) If you invest in WOWs, you can set out first week of April next year and your toms will leap out of the ground when you take off the WOWs.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 10:55AM
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We had a major freeze here about two weeks after I transplanted my toms. Yes, I rushed the gun. I covered them in straw and then in a plastic bag. I then put a five gallon bucket over the top of them. I left them covered for most of the morning to warm up and they came through just fine. They looked a little sad for a few days, but they recouperated fine.

Here's a post about it and some pictures on the blog.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Corner Yard

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 4:25PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Let me also say my two vars of habanero are out now under WOWs as well. I gladly pay the money for them as once they are out, they are out until last frost is over. Zero work after I place and fill. The insurance is worth the few dollars per WOW, and amortized over the life of the product, don't know until you know. I get a lot of wind here and the hoops are problematic wrt wind. Good in the fall for frost protection tho.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 10:18PM
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