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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 February 21, 2006   #31
veggiecanner
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wow that is a lot of plants. we are making some extra for sale this year too, but I am just going to try 400 mixed plants for a starter. Maybe next year I'll go for more.
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Old February 21, 2006   #32
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Thanks for putting things in perspective Craig.
I have agreed to sell 100 extra seedlingss this year, plus am growing about 150 extra for myself. When I start to feel overwhelmed, I will just refer to your pictures.
Very nice, but I would hate to be there on transplant day...

Jeanne
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Old February 21, 2006   #33
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Transplant month!?!?!?!

If I write the labels out ahead of time, I think I can do something like 150-200 plants per hour. So, the pictures show 200 cells by ave 20 plants or 4000 seedlings - at 200 per hour, works out to 20 hours - or 5 days of 4 hours. it really isn't all that bad, esp. when my wife is helping me!
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Old February 21, 2006   #34
veggiecanner
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How do you label them for sale?
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Old February 21, 2006   #35
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Sharpie markers, 5 inch plastic labels that I purchase in boxes of 1000. Sit on the couch when watching movies and just write 'em! sure, I would be more high tech, but this works fine for us.
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Old February 21, 2006   #36
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very nice system Craig!

I use cheap vinyl blinds for plant labels (I can usually get
my hands on used ones for free). I cut each strip into 5 inch sections for individual labels. I assign the task of writing the names on the labels to my kids for 'handwriting practice'.

I don't acclimate my plants until after I've transplanted them into the 4 inch pots. I like the idea of hardening off the seedlings while still in the flats. I'm going to try that. During cold spells, I slide the trays containing 15 4-inch pots under mini-greenhouses constructed by covering concrete wire 'hoops' with plastic.
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Old February 21, 2006   #37
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What's good about hardening while still in flats is that they can live outside on good days, it frees up room under the shop lights for more...and, most important, those certain tomato varieties that get the "crud" on cotyledon and first true leaves (heart shaped varieties especially, but also a few others, such as Mortgage Lifter and Kellogg's Breakfast) do much better in sun than under lights.
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Old February 21, 2006   #38
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Thanks for the info, Craig.

I haven't experienced the "crud" in the past, but I am planting a LOT of 1st-time varieties this year. Now, I've been forewarned!

Bill
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Old February 22, 2006   #39
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Thanks craig for the info, I couldnt see the heat pads before as they were hidden under the trays,

Granulated styrofoam - thats a new one on me, but obviously it seems to work ok.

Hot Peppers:- I cant understand what all you chaps out there do with all your hot peppers obviously you sell a few but surely you dont eat lots and lots of them as well! , I tend to throw in the towel after eating about half of one in a cooked meal, then only now and again, otherwise I am reaching for glasses and glasses of cold water straight away, I once bit into a larger bit of Habenero pepper by mistake and it took me all of ten minutes and five glasses of water to recover.

So now I tend to wimp out on eating most hot peppers and stick mainly to sweet peppers which I realy like.
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Old February 22, 2006   #40
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Just a note to say that the white stuff in Fafard 3B is perlite, not styrofoam.

Craig, have the pinebark slivers in the Fafard mix ever given you trouble? I've had them slice off roots when the plants are little and roots are extra tender.
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Old February 22, 2006   #41
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Yes, you are right about the white bits! No, I've not had that problem - though it is a risk, since there are some of those in there. I guess that I am just particularly gentle!!! Actually, I much prefer MetroMix 360, but it was hard to get last year - a bit finer.
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Old February 23, 2006   #42
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Amazing! First post I have read here and I feel like I have learned so much. I had no idea you could grow that many tomatoes all together like that. I only grow for myself but have a very small greenhouse and this could definitely save me some space.
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Old February 24, 2006   #43
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Michael
Here I am a Texan and it took some time for me to be able to pick up a Jalapeno and eat it. You have to work your way there over time but once you get the hang of it you've got to have your fix every now and then. I now eat peppers with just about everything. Pinto beans, cornbread and a jalapeno with a cold glass of milk. MMMM! There are some milder peppers you can start with and scrape out those seeds and you wont have a problem. Also cooking them seems to knock out the heat punch. I have been eating meatloaf mixed with jalapenos for years and my wife thinks I'm crazy. Also, sliced down the middle and grilled, then filled with your favorite filling is the best thing before a steak.
Opps...........I forgot, this is a tomato forum.
I am trying some tomato stuffers this year. Anyone have any experience cooking with this tomato?
Thanks
Chuck B
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Old February 27, 2006   #44
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Craig,
I was looking at your seedling schedule and I am wondering how tall your tomato seedlings are on April 15th?
Nice pictures!
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Old February 27, 2006   #45
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Hey Clay - the aim is to have seedlings at around 6 inches tall on April 15 - by the time May 15 hits, they are nearly 12 inches tall, so my window of good looking seedlings is about one month. The issue are the peppers - some of them stay so small for so long - so I gave them a good head start this year.

When I get home from my business trip, I'll take a few more pictures. It is transplanting time!
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