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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 January 22, 2016   #61
tomtomato
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Craig I noticed you wrote you put your plants in your cool garage once they are up....the cold weather doesnt hurt them? Ive always kept mine in the spare bedroom about 70 degrees most days.....but I sure would like to move them to the garage....(and my wifey as well)...
thanks
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Old January 22, 2016   #62
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Craig I noticed you wrote you put your plants in your cool garage once they are up....the cold weather doesnt hurt them? Ive always kept mine in the spare bedroom about 70 degrees most days.....but I sure would like to move them to the garage....(and my wifey as well)...
thanks
chuck
Im glad I read this it will make them stronger as long as it doesn't get too cold.


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Old January 22, 2016   #63
UFXEFU
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Craig I noticed you wrote you put your plants in your cool garage once they are up....the cold weather doesnt hurt them? Ive always kept mine in the spare bedroom about 70 degrees most days.....but I sure would like to move them to the garage....(and my wifey as well)...
thanks
chuck
Chuck, keep is posted on how your plants and wife adapt to the garage.
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Old January 24, 2016   #64
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tom - nope - they are fine in there. In fact, in the early spring they are outdoors (no greenhouse) and I've had thousands of them make it through temps down in the mid 30s. I've used a double layer of Reemay and had them out at 30.
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Old March 5, 2016   #65
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Old March 5, 2016   #66
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Old May 18, 2016   #67
TFdaggar03
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Default Advanced Grow Lighting Technology

We have been growing tomatoes from seed for the past 5 years with moderate success. We read everything that we can get our hands on to try & improve the structure of the plants & overcome the difficulty that I will get to in a moment. What we grow are Heirloom's, Hybrids, determinate & indeterminate's. Our success in the early stages is fine, but as the plants develop further & show promising growth patterns, our nemesis of tall, spindly, leggy stalks becomes evident. Foliage is adequate to the plants size, color is rich green & the overall health of the plant is good.....except for the tall, spindly stalk. We are using fluorescent fixtures w/ Agro lamps. Additionally; the temperature of our growing space is kept between 52-58 degrees, Lastly; within the space is a North facing window directly in front of the plant beds. At this point we are of the opinion that the artificial light source is not producing a quality of light adequate to promote more robust plants at an earlier stage. So the idea that we have been toying with for next season is to take a page from the marijuana growers play-book & switch to full spectrum LED's. 2 questions for the community in closing: First; is anyone else using LED's as a light source & Secondly; based on the limited information that I have posted, does anyone see problems with our current protocol & in your considered opinion, is it a light source issue at all or something else entirely? Please bare with us as we are new & while our intentions are good, tend to ask many questions. Thank you all.
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Old May 19, 2016   #68
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How close are you keeping the lights? I use T8 fluorescents and I have no idea how the compare to the Agro lamps you are using, but I know if I don't keep the bulbs about an inch away from the tops of the plants, they start stretching out in search of light.
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Old May 19, 2016   #69
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We have been growing tomatoes from seed for the past 5 years with moderate success. We read everything that we can get our hands on to try & improve the structure of the plants & overcome the difficulty that I will get to in a moment. What we grow are Heirloom's, Hybrids, determinate & indeterminate's. Our success in the early stages is fine, but as the plants develop further & show promising growth patterns, our nemesis of tall, spindly, leggy stalks becomes evident. Foliage is adequate to the plants size, color is rich green & the overall health of the plant is good.....except for the tall, spindly stalk. We are using fluorescent fixtures w/ Agro lamps. Additionally; the temperature of our growing space is kept between 52-58 degrees, Lastly; within the space is a North facing window directly in front of the plant beds. At this point we are of the opinion that the artificial light source is not producing a quality of light adequate to promote more robust plants at an earlier stage. So the idea that we have been toying with for next season is to take a page from the marijuana growers play-book & switch to full spectrum LED's. 2 questions for the community in closing: First; is anyone else using LED's as a light source & Secondly; based on the limited information that I have posted, does anyone see problems with our current protocol & in your considered opinion, is it a light source issue at all or something else entirely? Please bare with us as we are new & while our intentions are good, tend to ask many questions. Thank you all.

My thought is get them outside as quick as possible after germination. These are intended for gardening, right? the temperature fluctuation and air movement makes for a huge difference in the plant growth than babying them under grow lights. I have mine in a greenhouse ( I sell) and I let them wilt continuously on the bench (I spray water over the foliage and don't saturate the media). I want to keep them sturdy and tough so when they go "home" to their new garden they won't keel over with the wind and lack of moisture in the new environment. in your window area also place an oscillating fan to mimic wind movement or gently brush your hand over them several times a day to move them about..it toughens up the stem and makes it sturdier.
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Old May 19, 2016   #70
TFdaggar03
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How close are you keeping the lights? I use T8 fluorescents and I have no idea how the compare to the Agro lamps you are using, but I know if I don't keep the bulbs about an inch away from the tops of the plants, they start stretching out in search of light.
The light source is never more than 1" from the foliage. The Agro tubes are the more antiquated T12 design & have less horsepower than your T8's.
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Old May 19, 2016   #71
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Originally Posted by TFdaggar03 View Post
We have been growing tomatoes from seed for the past 5 years with moderate success. We read everything that we can get our hands on to try & improve the structure of the plants & overcome the difficulty that I will get to in a moment. What we grow are Heirloom's, Hybrids, determinate & indeterminate's. Our success in the early stages is fine, but as the plants develop further & show promising growth patterns, our nemesis of tall, spindly, leggy stalks becomes evident. Foliage is adequate to the plants size, color is rich green & the overall health of the plant is good.....except for the tall, spindly stalk. We are using fluorescent fixtures w/ Agro lamps. Additionally; the temperature of our growing space is kept between 52-58 degrees, Lastly; within the space is a North facing window directly in front of the plant beds. At this point we are of the opinion that the artificial light source is not producing a quality of light adequate to promote more robust plants at an earlier stage. So the idea that we have been toying with for next season is to take a page from the marijuana growers play-book & switch to full spectrum LED's. 2 questions for the community in closing: First; is anyone else using LED's as a light source & Secondly; based on the limited information that I have posted, does anyone see problems with our current protocol & in your considered opinion, is it a light source issue at all or something else entirely? Please bare with us as we are new & while our intentions are good, tend to ask many questions. Thank you all.
I have no issues with legginess under my high output t5's except with a few cherry varieties that i attribute to genetics. I don't think LED's would be necessary unless you plan on taking them all the way to fruit indoors (although it sounds like you are?). If you do complete the grow cycle indoors then yes, those old flouros are insufficient.

LED's are effective but you have to purchase a quality setup in excess of $1,000+ to reach the efficacy that standard HID's provide for a quarter of the price. The only problem with HID's (Metal Halide & High Pressure Sodium) is the heat that they produce.. They will most likely need to be air cooled, but then again, with temps 52-58F they would be a welcomed heat source as your current temps are a little too cool.. You should be somewhere between 65-80F during the light cycle, and around 15 degrees cooler during the dark cycle. You could get away with a good HO T5 or T8 setup for vegetative growth, but you'll want at least a 600w HPS for flowering (wattage is determined by the number of plants and size of the space you are growing in).
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Old July 1, 2016   #72
Okami0731
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Default First time from seed

This is going the be my first experience, being that it's July in Florida cold is not going to be an issue, but what about the heat? I don't plan to start until about mid August or Sept 1, but what should my biggest concerns be?
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