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

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Old January 14, 2017   #31
murihikukid
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Patti..All my seedlings are inside rock'n'rolling with 2 fans blowing them around ..I wonder if there is a time limit for this...To be honest I am fearful putting them in the greenhouse... the heat out there can change so rapidly if for example there is a break in the cloud cover and the sun takes over ....I have seen how quickly the young ones suffer when this happens ...I could put them under cover to stop the direct sun on them...Still so much to learn ....I also see signs of pwdery mildew on some young ones so i presume the Sopper and Sulphate spray will help them...al;though in saying this the 12 plants in a polystyrene box in the greenhouse that I gave an 8 part water to 1 part milk single spray showed no signs of powdery mildew and that was over two weeks ago...relly surprising.. ...WHY use baking soda when I could have used milk....however it has reduced the number of plants ....most of the baking soda ones will not make it..

I think my seedlings will take a stronger mix of MG now...so its 10 days since they were done and they are the ones that have to be really cared for ...I must mention to a guy I know who has degrees in plants if he knows anybody at the growers and if so find out what they are using to get the stems as they are...it surely cannot be natural..

Its still blowing with huge gusts ...I wonder if it will ever stop..I have to bike up to the supermarket soon to get some liners for my polystyrene trays...I should put lights in the greenhouse as the wind lightens down at night...I still cannot get the back door fitted due to the weather.. Cheers Ron
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Old January 15, 2017   #32
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Ron, the tomato growers that mass produce do use hormones to control plant growth. They do this to make the plants appear lush and strong. It also produces uniformity so that the plants do not get too tall to ship and will fit onto a trucks shipping shelves. You DO NOT want to use these on your plants. You will not get a good crop of tomatoes. It takes a plant some time to recover after being treated with hormones to catch up to those plants that a grower started from seed without any hormone treatments. These plants usually will not produce as well either.

Take a look at this thread http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=36429 Look at how sturdy and stocky these plants are. They are quite healthy and have not been treated with any hormones. It is quite possible to have plants just like these if you do as everyone here as suggested.

Milk is a good preventative for SOME varieties of mold, but not all. Yes, do spray those plants that are in your boxes and then it is time for you to re-pot those and spread them out. They are far too close together. Your seedlings will do best if they are under the fans until it is time to pot them up into their final home. The fans will also help to prevent and molds from taking hold. It will not stop them, but it will help. You need to use your judgement on whether or not to put the seedlings in the greenhouse. Of course they will get the best light in there, that they would not be getting while in your house. I would put them out and be sure to keep the greenhouse well ventilated (perhaps open a door) and if necessary give them a light cover of shade.
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Old January 15, 2017   #33
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Patti..Thanks but it leaves one question for me...Do I keep the fans on all the time IE while the lights are on...I must change all my fluoro tubes over to LED ...The LED do not produce heat so one can lower them right down till they are nearly touching .most of my seedlings are looking really good..Patti..No trouble opening a door cause I have not got doors on yet...Waiting for a non windy day to do it...Its amazing in this weather I just cannot get my body and mind to get going ...I have also ordered 4 of the LED octopus lights just to try them out...

I have done some lower pruning on the TT's ..I will do more and send photos ...I do note a number of my plants have new growth at the soil line ...I presume that has to be all pruned....I found the youtube video of the lateral being done with the split soda bottle...so tomorrow I will be in the supermarket scouring the shelves for something cheap that has a clear plastic container ...I also need baby diapers ...apparantly if you take the plastic off they have the best absorbant material to use for wicking..???I will be lucky to get one Popentate from the six i had..The baking soda has made them lifeless or was it the copper/sulpher spray I sprayed everything with a few days back ...cause I thought they were showing signs of surviving but not now and the only thing I can think of is the Natures Way Fungal Spray.. which contains copper and Sulpher.... of course its much easier doing away with plants when one has 40 -50 seedlings coming along which will require a place in a month or two to grow......My Black from Tula and Stump of the World both were sprayed with Baking soda and new seeds for them were first in my propagator along with Stupice ....But remember I had trouble with a seed supplier last season with mislabeled seeds and then horrific diseease and i wondered if the seeds could have been responsible?? well the only seeds I used from that source this season was the Stupice and I think they have all failed...I must try and propagate a Kiev from the same source as they turned out a very small cherry fruit which were actually quite nice but of course not Kiev..Still a lot of work to do ...I think my brother in law was impressed with my greenhouse and the knowledge i had acquired since I last saw him...IE ..Perlite "never heard of it"...Milk" your joking".........
Regards Ron..

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Old January 15, 2017   #34
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Hi Ron, you can keep the fans on 4-6 hours a day to create stem strength. If you are afraid of molds due to the temps and humidity then I would say keep them on all of the time.

I do believe that you and I have spoken about air layering before, which is what you will be doing with the soda bottle. You could also wrap coconut coir or moss around the branch and then wrap it with plastic and fasten. I think that it would weigh less than adding a cumbersome container around the plant. Diaper material holds a LOT of water, so if you do use it be aware of that so that you do not cause rot to the plant.

I am off to work, so will try to answer the rest later.
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Old January 15, 2017   #35
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As soon as the dome comes off my starter tray the fan runs 24/7 and stays on until everything is outside.

How much distance do you have between your fluorescent tubes and plants now? T12s are cool enough to contact leaves without damage. T8 and T5 you want some separation, but a few cm enough.
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Old January 15, 2017   #36
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Patti...I suspect my seedlings may have powdered mildew so I will spray them with milk??The diaper material or whatever I can find that works is just to raise water a few inches to the soil..in my experience its amazing how soil will water itself as long as it has a contact that it can draw water from ..What I want is a method that supplies fresh water every day by simply turning a tap on for a few minutes...I have a round tray that fits more or less exactly around the bottom of my drums ...the tray will hold the water but I need a wick material to take it from there up to the soil through the centre hole in the washing machine drum...The drums will be connected to a single water supply via T pieces...I have the tubing and the T pieces so I might as well use them...
I have read that some 1/4" braided polypropylene tent peg cord at Walmart ($1.48/ 50ft.) wicked to a height of 9" above the surface of the water. and that worsted wool will also work...(whatever that is )...So I need to make some phone calls..Regards Ron
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Old January 15, 2017   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmforcier View Post
As soon as the dome comes off my starter tray the fan runs 24/7 and stays on until everything is outside.

How much distance do you have between your fluorescent tubes and plants now? T12s are cool enough to contact leaves without damage. T8 and T5 you want some separation, but a few cm enough.
Hi..I have my t8's about 2 -3 centremetres above ... My LED tubes as close as I can get...But I just realised I should sort out my seedlings by height in my self watering trays.......The seeds are waving around quite happily in the wind provided by my fans..although I had to move one as it had blown right over?? .I intend to spend a lot of time today giving some MG to each...a milk spray and sorting them out by height.....

So what about the propagator ...should the seeds have a fan on them when they are about an inch high ...I would think that could be a problem because of the iregular growing of the seeds IE some take a few days others a few weeks ..Thats why next time I may propagate in small pottles so as I can sort them out properly by growth at propagation....My propagator is a 40 cell one with self watering via a capilary mat...and LED Grow lights above ...These are on about 16 hiours a day but I worry about the heat from them and the lack of air around the small ones... Cause the propagator itself sits inside a drum??
I will take some photos later...

Cheers Ron
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Old January 15, 2017   #38
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It's never too early to use a fan, provided the fan isn't too strong. (I'm using an 8" fan less than a meter from the flat.)

Remember, in the wild the seedlings will get wind as soon as they're above ground.
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Old January 15, 2017   #39
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Ron milk has, as far as I know, worked on tomatoes as a preventive treatment. Once powdery mildew has set in it was not effective for those that I know of who tried it. Given that, I would suggest using your copper/sulfur at the lowest does on your directions and see how that goes.

I do start each variety of seeds in separate containers due to the exact reason that you mentioned. Each variety germinates at different times, so if you have a multi-cell starter then one variety is up and going while you are still waiting on others to germinate. It makes it difficult to deal with each of their needs. Seedlings should be placed close under lights from the day that they germinate. Legginess can set in within the first two days without ample light.

I'm glad to hear that your Brother in Law came to visit. Did your sister come too?
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Old January 16, 2017   #40
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OK I have a small fan and will set it up on the side of the drum that surrounds the propagator..my seedlings have had a milk spray and a 1/3rd of a cup of MG....and I think they are looking better still so I wonder what else I can do???? I see a slight yellowing of some lower leaves ...I wonder if its the variety
but I will give any of these some epsom salts..
Been biking all over the city trying to find something that will draw water up ...the bike ride did me good cause it cleared my mind and I got thinkling why dont i just use a piece of PVC pipe with a foam sponge plug at one end and just fill the rest up with soil... it will sit through the hole in the centre of the drum against the botton of the round tray and the water will just go up through the sponge to the dirt to then to the dirt above that surrounds the top end of the pipe just below the roots....easy especially as the drums are a perfect design for this.......the sponge plug should prevent any dirt going into the water tray and by replacing the water everyday or two there should be no disease......I even found a couple of round trays for $1 each to try out....they are plastic Laundary tubs but I will cut them down and the drum will hopefully sit on their upper edge and they are often available....
I also got my small clear plastic bottles for the laterals from the recycle centre ...I am really eager to try this method ...I see no reason after the bottle is round the lateral and the two halves taped ...that the bottle then can be taped to the stake or to the stem itself and then the cotton buds and the dirt can go in,some water and just let nature do its work...
I must take a note of all my plants in the greenhouse...I know I have far too many Tasty Toms and people want them so I will keep the good ones and get rid of most of the others ..at a cost of $2 for the pot they are in.....Russian Red is popular here and they are doing well also...I have to make sure I only get rid of the ones that are not my special plants .. Eva Purple Ball , etc...will be guarded...

I will post some photos of my seedlings so you can see at what stage they are at...

Cheers Ron
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Old January 16, 2017   #41
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Quote:
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Ron milk has, as far as I know, worked on tomatoes as a preventive treatment. Once powdery mildew has set in it was not effective for those that I know of who tried it. Given that, I would suggest using your copper/sulfur at the lowest does on your directions and see how that goes.

I do start each variety of seeds in separate containers due to the exact reason that you mentioned. Each variety germinates at different times, so if you have a multi-cell starter then one variety is up and going while you are still waiting on others to germinate. It makes it difficult to deal with each of their needs. Seedlings should be placed close under lights from the day that they germinate. Legginess can set in within the first two days without ample light.

I'm glad to hear that your Brother in Law came to visit. Did your sister come too?
Patti..>>My Plantlings have now dried and I love how they look But I presume in a few days I can give them a Copper/Sulphur spray ....Yes I am going to try and find a couple of round trays 3-4 inches deep that fit inside my stainless drums I have..I could put a polystyrene base to sit in the tray ,put capilary cloth on it with water in the tray and then sit individual seed pots on it ...(with grow lights and a fan) ..then I can move the pots depending on the growth ...I am not happy with the way I do it now...I end up in no mans land ...3/4 of my cells are up with growing leaves and 1/4 ...well there is no sign of them ...Tomorrow I will look at what has yet to appear and if there are any crucial ones I will have to reseed some spare cells as backup...
Yes my sister did come but it was too cold for her to get out of the mobile home..my brother in law is a great person...She was lucky catching him many years ago...He went out and inspected the greenhouse and the plants ..Although he grows tomatoes he had never heard of Perlite or milk treatment ...They live at the top of the South Island where its extremely beautiful and great weather and there is huge greenhouses up there ....I should have moved up there many years ago ..
Now LED grow lights...I thought these would not create heat but they really do ...I have my Chinese hat reflector with the bulbs sitting on top of the drum with the propagator in it and when i move the hat the heat from inside the drum hits me in the face ... I do give my seedlings a mist spray at night after I switch the grow lights off and another light spray in the morning before I switch them back on ...Just as an insurance in case they are not getting water from the capilary cloth but its amazing when I transplant how wet the bottom of each cell is..
I still have not got my procedure right for my young ones...More reading required..

Regards Ron..
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Old January 16, 2017   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmforcier View Post
It's never too early to use a fan, provided the fan isn't too strong. (I'm using an 8" fan less than a meter from the flat.)

Remember, in the wild the seedlings will get wind as soon as they're above ground.

Hi...I would appreciate your advice on Fan Placement ...I have a smaller Chest freezer Stainless steel lined which I could use a propagator with lights and fan(s) ...there would be huge advantages in this for me as I could propagate in single movable cells....
But
I wonder where would be best to place fans ...downwards or at the side across the plants...

At present trying to figure out LED's ...what a minefield...

Thanks Ron
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Old January 16, 2017   #43
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Patti...I am sure my seedlings have grown 2 inches overnight ...must be the MG...The wind has died but its raining so another miserable day ...I started reading your link on post 32 ...what are all those words?? Thank goodness I have a 2nd computer to look each word up ....Now I know what basicly Plantmate etc are....but I have to find out if any of the products mentioned are available here in New Zealand..

I have a Black Cherry lateral encapsulated so I can sit back and see what happens...I hope I have it right..and I think i will bring another small freezer in from outside and remove one of the larger ones... the smaller freezer can be set up for propagation with lights and fans in it and space to propagate in movable single small pots/cells..It seems to me that the quality of propagation etc is the way to get top plants..

I am just not happy with the way i am propagating at the moment...

Now to read some Govt papers on the various pruducts available here for tomatoes ...maybe I will find some of the names mentioned in the link you sent me...

Regards Ron
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Old January 16, 2017   #44
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What do you hope to gain by propagating inside a freezer chest? It doesn't make any sense to me.

As for fan placement, put the fan anywhere so long as it makes the little guys wiggle.
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Old January 16, 2017   #45
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Patti...If I recall I had problems with the weakness of the eve ste wendell seedling ...What did I do?? Look at it now (in photo).. Really thick stem and looking good...So I must be doing something right ..I have 18 Russian Reds,,7 TT's apart from my 6 drumed ones ,6 Sweet 100's , 6 Early Girls and 6 "dwarfs" thats 43 plants??? so I will keep 2 of each and the rest have to go...I will bike up soon and put them in the paper....I also have 3 unknowns and this has occurred during my repotting and I failed to write on the pottle?? so I will try and work them out but I have to keep them and wait for them to grow...
I am surprised mostly I only have one of the main varieties so thank goodness I Reseeded most of these...EG I only have one Sungold

There is another factor here ...It could be me but it seems that the plants repotted in the new soil with the perlite and a 6.5ph are doing far better than plants in the previous mix ...I see the mega 10 have buckets @ 1.39 each so I will buy some of these and drill drainage holes and repot my most important plants in them with the new soil...I do not think I should expect to put everything in drums and I have just noticed Paul Robeson is not on my list so surely it has to be one of the unknowns...

Regards Ron
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