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New to growing your own tomatoes? This is the forum to learn the successful techniques used by seasoned tomato growers. Questions are welcome, too.

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Old December 8, 2012   #46
Hotwired
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I love Metro Mix 360. That's all we used when I worked at a commercial greenhouse. I have to admit that there were occasional twigs, but not bad. The local Nursery changed potting mix, so I just got 2-1/2 pallets of 3.8 cu.ft. bags of Metro Mix 360 donated for our "Gardens for Low Income Families" project. Cornell is picking it up for our program. I still have 3 bags in my shed left over from last year.
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Old December 10, 2012   #47
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I wish they would sell here in North East
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Old January 12, 2013   #48
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Thank you for your step by step info on starting seeds. This year will be my first time in over 25 years of veggie gardening that I am planting my entire garden from seed. I have only done this with Armenia Cucumbers before succssfully. I will be planting Pomodoro Tomato seeds both slicing and plum type for canning. As I progress, I will post my journey if you feel it will be of benefit to the Tomatoville Forum.

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Old January 12, 2013   #49
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http://tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=437
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Old January 12, 2013   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenthumbroy View Post
As I progress, I will post my journey if you feel it will be of benefit to the Tomatoville Forum.
Cool. Best of luck!
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Old January 13, 2013   #51
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Good gardening Greenthumbroy! This is the best learning and sharing place in all of the world wide web me thinks.

Check out the thread about growing in DE as well. That is the way I'm going to go this year. Just because there is so much information and support about the method.
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Old January 15, 2013   #52
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Since I don't know my around the site, I hope its alright to post right here. The first step in showing my journey planting my garden this year from seed is to show how it looks in a before picture. My before picture is my avatar. Once I learn how to upload photos, I will be able to show my progress.
There are some more raised beds behind the orange tree also. Everything is irrigated by drip, timer, and fertilized by a pot feeder. All the main lines are underground. I also use shutoff valves on the raised beds.

Last edited by Greenthumbroy; January 16, 2013 at 11:12 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old February 2, 2013   #53
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I'd like to invite everyone to read through the seed starting info on my website.

http://www.selectedplants.com/seedlings.htm

I would also like to emphasize two critical points about growing seedlings.
1. Always start with sterile seed start mix.
2. Always cover the planted seed with a sheet of plastic or a bag or a plastic cover to prevent evaporative cooling.


One of the little "GOTCHA'S" addressed by Craig's method is that he covers the trays with saran wrap. This does two things. It keeps the moisture where it is needed next to the seed and it prevents evaporative cooling. If you do not cover your seed after they are planted, the soil surface can easily be 15 degrees cooler than the ambient temperature. This can take your 72 degree home temperature all the way down to 58 degrees which can be the death knell for tomato seed.

DarJones

Last edited by Fusion_power; February 2, 2013 at 09:32 PM.
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Old February 2, 2013   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
I'd like to invite everyone to read through the seed starting info on my website.

http://www.selectedplants.com/seedlings.htm

I would also like to emphasize two critical points about growing seedlings.
1. Always start with sterile seed start mix.
2. Always cover the planted seed with a sheet of plastic or a bag or a plastic cover to prevent evaporative cooling.


One of the little "GOTCHA'S" in Craig's method is that he covers the trays with saran wrap. This does two things. It keeps the moisture where it is needed next to the seed and it prevents evaporative cooling. If you do not cover your seed after they are planted, the soil surface can easily be 15 degrees cooler than the ambient temperature. This can take your 72 degree home temperature all the way down to 58 degrees which can be the death knell for tomato seed.

DarJones
I like that link Dar. LOTS of things in there that I always did because I knew they worked, but I wasn't sure really why they worked. Now I know the method behind my madness!
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Old February 2, 2013   #55
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Thank you to both Craig and Dar for this great information, I will use it wisely.
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Old June 6, 2013   #56
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I was using this method to grow from seed and had one question. When you keep the flat in the window with saran wrap cover, the temperatures inside the plastic would go quite high when sun comes in through the window. Are we supposed to keep it where sun is not coming? or open up the plastic during "sunny" time?
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Old June 6, 2013   #57
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Quote: "Once again this year I am getting great germination, healthy seedlings and no damping off at all - and probably have 6000 or so babies growing. I am going to try to point out what I think are the specific success factors."

6000? Yowzers! How many transplants do you make and how long does it take?

This is my 2nd year of serious effort in growing more tomatoes. I sowed 180 Jiffy plugs with 2 or 3 seeds each of 95 varieties, and I got an insane germination percent just in the Jiffy planter trays. It must have been about 98%. I ended up with 260 viable plants after transplanting, and after my embarrassing damp off attack. My big mistake was in transplanting where I separated the seedlings from 2 or 3 per plug into their own 4" pots. I used a Mel's Mix formula in the pots that included steer manure to which I attribute my damp off problem.

The plants did well for the first couple of weeks but then started damping off.
I salvaged many of them by cutting the plants off right above the damp off and re-potting them deep in clean potting mix. This did retard their growth compared to the other plants, but they are doing well now that they are in the ground.

I wish I would have found this thread about 5 months ago.

Thanks for the great info.
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Old June 7, 2013   #58
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I end up with a total of 5000-6000 transplants when all is said and done - I am up to about 200 transplants from dense planting into 3.5 inch pots per hour.
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Old June 7, 2013   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nctomatoman View Post
I end up with a total of 5000-6000 transplants when all is said and done - I am up to about 200 transplants from dense planting into 3.5 inch pots per hour.
That is amazing. That is better than one plant transplanted per 20 seconds.

Do you sell your plants, or grow your tomatoes commercially? How many varieties do you have in that 5 - 6K mix?

Sorry for all the questions.

Thanks,

Charley
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Old April 9, 2014   #60
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Using Epsoma Seed-starting mix here with 24 different heirlooms. Seem to be germinating ok and are out in pots under lights.....except for Mortgage Lifters. Not sure what's up with those. Re-seeded twice now over three week period. Used seeds from two different sources.
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