Heirloom Seedling planning

readheads(6)December 19, 2011

I am getting ready to start seed over the next month. My standard approach is:

Start seed New Years, pot up twice, put in ground April 15 (in cloche) by then the plants are 3 feet tall with baby tomatoes. I get ripe tomatoes by July 4th. I only get ~6 hrs of sun and if I don't do this I get ripe tomatoes in the middle of August.


1. The above timeline is ~100 days to 3 foot from seed and then another ~100 days to ripe for a total of 200 days from seed to ripe. This seems excessive, what do you think ?

2. When raising the seedlings, I do NOT remove the flowers nor pea tomatoes because they will be my first ripe. Do you think this inpacts my yields ?

My yield from 20 plants over the years varies from 400-800 tomatoes although 2011 was only ~200 due to the hot weather messing with polination.

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I'm hesitant to comment since your methods are a bit controversial, yet somewhat what I've been doing for many years. The biggest difference is that I transplant 10-12 week old plants in a greenhouse soil in early March.

In essense you need to really pay attention to pot size and light intensity after seedlings reach the 8-10 week stage of growth. Depending on variety you will likely only need to wait 50-70 days from fruit formation til ripening.

Those first tomatoes are worth their weight in gold and I would suggest merely thinning the first few blossom clusters to 2-3 fruits if plants are displaying good growth at that stage. Keeping temperatures optimum is important once flowers are forming but you need to arrange for more sun. We have adequate sunlight in March & April at our latitude but 6 hours of it is hardly enough. Cut that tree down now.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 10:07AM
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I agree with the above. However, I have seen firsthand from seed that things are never accurate or accountable when it comes to growing life seed.

Take care,

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 1:45PM
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