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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 25, 2017   #1
AKmark
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Default 2017 greenhouse tomato plants

I started my first batch, and most are up. I use pro mix HP as usual, and HPS lights to start the seeds and grow the seedlings. The germination rates are excellent, 7- out of 306 have not sprouted yet, but they may still poke up. I think the warm lights are key, as well as keeping the media moist.

Next batch will be started in a couple of weeks, more tomatoes and will start peppers. All plants go in the GH on March first. Yippee, I have plants to look at. YAY....

I am doing some new things this year, we will see how it pans out
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Old January 25, 2017   #2
bower
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Mark, whatever you do I'm sure it'll be an inspiration!
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Old January 25, 2017   #3
Rajun Gardener
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Looks good Mark. I'm late this year, yesterday I started 126 MORE seeds. I see the tiller in my future and a bigger garden.


I see you have those in a 4 pak, do you sell them in those? If not do you transplant twice or do they go straight into the pots you use?

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Old January 25, 2017   #4
KarenO
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a sight for sore eyes. looking forward to watching their progress Mark.

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Old January 25, 2017   #5
AKmark
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Originally Posted by Rajun Gardener View Post
Looks good Mark. I'm late this year, yesterday I started 126 MORE seeds. I see the tiller in my future and a bigger garden.


I see you have those in a 4 pak, do you sell them in those? If not do you transplant twice or do they go straight into the pots you use?
I put them in 4 packs to save space, then they will be transplanted into skinny tall containers until they go to the GH in their final containers.
I sell plants in 4" pots, gallon containers, and 3 gallon containers. Those won't be started until March 1st or so, and they are planted in several different batches until April 10th, or so. Those will be decent around May 15th, after May 15th, putting out dinky starts usually means minimal harvest for most people in the fall. Anyway, I want people to get tomatoes so April 10th is as late as I start them for plant sales.
Expanding huh? You know Rajun, for several years I had one 12x16 GH, then I got a bigger one, still not enough space, then another, and another, now I have nine. I think tomato growing may lead to mental disorders.


Thanks Bower, the main difference will be two plants per most bags, and how I lower the plants. I am finally doing the system I have been told to do for five years, I'm not stubborn or nothing like that.

Karen, I have been following your project, it is very interesting, you ladies are having way too much fun. We crossed Green Giant and Juane Flammee, the F2's had crazy segregation too, red, orange, yellow, GWR, different shapes, I didn't even know where to start. I may pass those along to some others to play with, I am up to my ears in projects.
Take care everyone, the season is right around the corner

Last edited by AKmark; January 25, 2017 at 07:46 PM. Reason: missed word
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Old January 25, 2017   #6
MissS
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Such a wonderful sight for my sorry eyes.

Enjoy!
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Old January 26, 2017   #7
FourOaks
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AKmark...

Great photos. Im just curious if you hand seed or via vacuum?
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Old January 26, 2017   #8
Jimbotomateo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKmark View Post
I started my first batch, and most are up. I use pro mix HP as usual, and HPS lights to start the seeds and grow the seedlings. The germination rates are excellent, 7- out of 306 have not sprouted yet, but they may still poke up. I think the warm lights are key, as well as keeping the media moist.

Next batch will be started in a couple of weeks, more tomatoes and will start peppers. All plants go in the GH on March first. Yippee, I have plants to look at. YAY....

I am doing some new things this year, we will see how it pans out
That's pathetic Mark. Don't give up yet, maybe the other seven will sprout! . Jimbo
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Old January 26, 2017   #9
AKmark
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AKmark...

Great photos. Im just curious if you hand seed or via vacuum?
I hand plant them, it does not take that long.

Jimbotomateo, I promise I will pick it up a notch. LOL
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Old January 27, 2017   #10
AKmark
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Now we will start adding a weak solution a couple times per week until the plants are transplanted. By weak, I mean 600-800 ppm. Flora Nova Grow is a great one part that is complete for tomato seedlings. For hobby gardeners this will get you through the season, and I advise when using containers, a couple 3-5ml doses of Calmag per week too
I left one cell dry so you can see how much I let my seedlings dry out between waterings, I never get pythium.
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Old January 27, 2017   #11
Rajun Gardener
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Good info Mark. I think people water too much. Let them dry, they won't die!!!
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Old January 29, 2017   #12
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how far away do you have your HPS bulb from the seed trays?
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Old January 29, 2017   #13
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Hello Mark, for the hobbyist like me....I am just confirming if you have used Floranova Grow though out the whole season without the bloom nutrients.....cheers....
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Old January 29, 2017   #14
BigVanVader
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Yeah I toured a greenhouse several years ago and they let all their tomato seedlings start to wilt before watering. They said it saved them money and improved plant vigor so a win-win. I did the same last year and my customers were all coming back saying the plants they got from me outperformed all the others they had bought from other market vendors, Lowes etc. It seems like tomatoes really respond well to hardships early on which makes them a lot less wimpy later, but overall I think it boils down to proper management at all stages of growth.
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Old January 29, 2017   #15
AKmark
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Pecker88, they are about 3 feet away, I could put them a little closer, which makes pretty seedlings, but I need a wide footprint to reach all of the trays. I will put up another light in about 10 days when I start another batch. Those are 600 watt.

Righand, the grow formula is a better formula for tomatoes. I use a 4 part fertilizer once plants get to the greenhouses, but for the seedling stage in the house FN works great. I have also used it on mature plants with Calcium- Magnesium supplements. However, it is not as perfect as the 4 part stuff, and is much more expensive. Lets say I can do 500 gallons of water with a gallon of FN, I could do 2500 gallons with the dry at about the same price.

Bigvanvader, I don't let them wilt, but I will let the top of the media dry out, this way I do avoid Pythium.
You have to watch letting tomatoes wilt, that will cause a disorder with the uptake of Ca, then you get a bunch of BER on your fruit. I am not sure if there is a link to that disorder with seedling wilt, but it is for sure linked to the wilting of fast growing plants with fruit on them, so I just avoid that at all stages.
I sell lots of tomato plants too, I have heard and seen some interesting things people do. Anytime I even think I am getting blamed for their gardening habits, I just take them to the production GH's, then they listen. LOL
You are spot on, it is all about management, every day.
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