Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

General discussion regarding the techniques and methods used to successfully grow tomato plants in containers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old March 16, 2017   #1
agee12
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 59
Default Transplanting or Direct Sowing

I did not do indoor sowing for my warm weather crops like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, flowers, etc. I just did not have the right conditions and equipment and was actually able to keep myself busy and got my gardening fix with cool weather crops. So now we are approaching the last frost date in my area, the days are lengthening and it is getting warmer, although we are presently going through a freaky cold snap.

So how should I plant my warm weather vegetables? Should I do the seed starting method and plant them in cups or cells and then transplant or should I "direct sow" in the container.

My main question is will they get to maturity faster if I direct sow? If they won't then I probably prefer to do seed starting in cups and cells and then transplanting. But if they will get to maturity significantly faster then that will trump my preference to do seed starting.

I am pretty sure that if I do direct sowing that there are other considerations like protecting the seedlings from pests and dealing with adverse weather and I have questions about that but I will hold off discussing that aspect until I figure out which approach to go with. Of course I can do both and see what happens but I still want to find out more about direct sowing in containers if such a thing exists. There is plenty of info about seed starting, although I have questions about doing it at this point in the planting calendar, particularly about indoor time versus outdoor time.

I live in Georgia and my USDA Hardiness Zone is 8a.
agee12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16, 2017   #2
PaulF
Tomatovillian™
 
PaulF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Brownville, Ne
Posts: 2,522
Default

Even way up here in the semi-frozen north there are crops that get direct sown. For me, cucumbers and melons all get seeds directly planted. Likewise green beans and sweet corn, mostly because they do not transplant well. Those all catch up anyway. As it is the only early starters are tomatoes and peppers. If I did cauliflower and broccoli, they also would be early started.

At this point in your growing season it is most likely too late to start indoors, you may as well direct sow or purchase plants.
__________________
there's two things money can't buy; true love and home grown tomatoes.
PaulF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16, 2017   #3
sdambr
Tomatovillian™
 
sdambr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 308
Default

you should look into winter sowing method, works well for starting seeds outdoors and there is still a bit of time left this year.
__________________
Sue

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. - George Bernard Shaw
sdambr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16, 2017   #4
MissS
Tomatovillian™
 
MissS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Posts: 2,022
Default

I really do not think that it matters all that much if you start them in cups or in pots. I have volunteers that start much later than those that I start indoors and they catch up and often surpass their coddled siblings of the same variety. The only supposed difference is in that the long tap root of tomatoes that are direct seeded are curtailed and made to spread out more if they are started in small pots. This might be of importance if you had your plants growing in a bed, but yours are in containers so their roots are controlled by the situation that they are growing in.

I would try both and see what you think. It sounds like a fun experiment.
__________________
Patti
Zone 5
MissS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16, 2017   #5
dmforcier
Tomatovillian™
 
dmforcier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 2,269
Default

Starting in small pots or cells makes it a lot easier to handle the seedlings. Also lets you pack them to apply the auxiliary boosts like artificial lights or warm rooms.

Just in terms of convenience it's a no-brainer. But if you're not using auxiliary boosts, there won't be a practical difference in how the plants grow.
__________________


Stupidity got us into this mess. Why can't it get us out?
- Will Rogers


dmforcier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17, 2017   #6
carolyn137
Tomatoville® Moderator
 
carolyn137's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Upstate NY, zone 4b/5a
Posts: 19,268
Default

I think very useful to read this link,just scroll down until you come to tomatoes'


http://soilandhealth.org/wp-content/...010137toc.html

Yes, from 1927 when the basic traits of tomato growth were studied.

Carolyn
__________________
Carolyn
carolyn137 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17, 2017   #7
jtjmartin
Tomatovillian™
 
jtjmartin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Williamsburg Zone 7b
Posts: 292
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
I think very useful to read this link,just scroll down until you come to tomatoes'


http://soilandhealth.org/wp-content/...010137toc.html

Yes, from 1927 when the basic traits of tomato growth were studied.

Carolyn
Great read. Looks like the more you transplant, the lower the yield. May have to rethink my regimen. I usually increase pot size 2 or 3 times before planting out.
jtjmartin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17, 2017   #8
carolyn137
Tomatoville® Moderator
 
carolyn137's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Upstate NY, zone 4b/5a
Posts: 19,268
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtjmartin View Post
Great read. Looks like the more you transplant, the lower the yield. May have to rethink my regimen. I usually increase pot size 2 or 3 times before planting out.
It's the difference between a fibrous root system and a tap root system,the former being desired.

I never potted up sequentially, just transplanted the seeds directly to 6 pak plastic and let them grow up to maybe 4-6 inches and planted them and yes originally outside in a field but where I am now into containers.

Carolyn
__________________
Carolyn
carolyn137 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17, 2017   #9
dmforcier
Tomatovillian™
 
dmforcier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 2,269
Default

The article cited (very good, thanks) seems to be analyzing a commercial operation. (A similar article I saw earlier definitely was.) Commercial operations don't have the time to be particularly careful when transplanting.

But I do. A transplant - particularly from a starter cell - is practically a surgical operation here. As far as I can tell, roots are rarely if ever damaged (other than the cramping inherent in containerization). Later transplants are even more protective of roots, moving the entire padding root ball. The article clearly states that because roots are damaged at every transplant the lifetime yield of the plant decreases with the number of transplants. Reasonable, but remove the precondition, you remove the effect (or so it seems to me).

In fact, as I read it, the article is suggesting that the grower intentionally damage the root system to change its nature. But wouldn't that have the net effect of lowering lifetime yield?
__________________


Stupidity got us into this mess. Why can't it get us out?
- Will Rogers


dmforcier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17, 2017   #10
Jimbotomateo
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Santa Maria California
Posts: 830
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
I think very useful to read this link,just scroll down until you come to tomatoes'


http://soilandhealth.org/wp-content/...010137toc.html

Yes, from 1927 when the basic traits of tomato growth were studied.

Carolyn
My seedlings are in solo cups. At what stage should I transplant to raised bed. Is there a certain age or is it mainly heighth? Also how much moisture should be in transplant and do you water with anything special to prevent shock. Last year I planted the seeds directly into the containers. . Jimbo
Jimbotomateo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17, 2017   #11
dmforcier
Tomatovillian™
 
dmforcier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 2,269
Default

Depends on how deep the containers are. I would want to transplant before the roots become too bound, and the deeper the soil in the cup the longer the plant can go before getting there.

In order to keep the root ball coherent, I make sure it is nice and moist before moving it. then water in pretty well. If you are careful there should be very little shock from the transplant itself. Thing is, people put the new pot in different surrounding conditions, e.g. sun instead of artificial light, or outside to wind, and this can cause a modicum of shock.
__________________


Stupidity got us into this mess. Why can't it get us out?
- Will Rogers


dmforcier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #12
carolyn137
Tomatoville® Moderator
 
carolyn137's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Upstate NY, zone 4b/5a
Posts: 19,268
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmforcier View Post
The article cited (very good, thanks) seems to be analyzing a commercial operation. (A similar article I saw earlier definitely was.) Commercial operations don't have the time to be particularly careful when transplanting.

But I do. A transplant - particularly from a starter cell - is practically a surgical operation here. As far as I can tell, roots are rarely if ever damaged (other than the cramping inherent in containerization). Later transplants are even more protective of roots, moving the entire padding root ball. The article clearly states that because roots are damaged at every transplant the lifetime yield of the plant decreases with the number of transplants. Reasonable, but remove the precondition, you remove the effect (or so it seems to me).

In fact, as I read it, the article is suggesting that the grower intentionally damage the root system to change its nature. But wouldn't that have the net effect of lowering lifetime yield?
No, not a commercial operation,look at the authors, both were from the U of Nebraska,I think,and both listed their titles,which back then would put them in the Dept of Plant Biology.

(A transplant - particularly from a starter cell - is practically a surgical operation here. As far as I can tell, roots are rarely if ever damaged (other than the cramping inherent in containerization). Later transplants are even more protective of roots, moving the entire padding root ball. The article clearly states that because roots are damaged at every transplant the lifetime yield of the plant decreases with the number of transplants. Reasonable, but remove the precondition, you remove the effect (or so it seems to me))

Thats not the way that I or others have read it,the difference being between a tap root structure if seeds are directly sown or a fibrous structure if transplanted just once.

Carolyn








Carolyn
__________________
Carolyn
carolyn137 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #13
AlittleSalt
Tomatovillian™
 
AlittleSalt's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Zone 8A Texas Heat Zone 9
Posts: 8,034
Default

agee12, this is the thread I was looking at when TV crashed. I had written a reply and it wouldn't post.

I am also in zone 8A. I have noticed that volunteer tomato plants don't come up until the soil temperature is warm enough. Those volunteer tomato plants quickly catch up to the ones I start inside in January. (I'm pretty sure most will agree with that.) If you notice volunteers starting - I would imagine you could start seeds directly at the same time. Or you can put a soil thermometer in the ground. I notice tomato germination at around 70 degrees both in starter cells and volunteers.

Direct seeded volunteers grow a deeper tap root. Seeds planted in something like the 2" transplant cups or party cups can be moved to safety in case of a bad storm or cold. Here's a link that might help - http://homeguides.sfgate.com/big-tom...get-56153.html
__________________
Salt, AlittleSalt, Robert
AlittleSalt is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:34 PM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2016 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★