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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 August 12, 2017   #16
MissS
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Your seedlings did fine in their pots. The up-potted young plants did well too. Their roots filled the pots well, so perhaps it is the dryer drums that are inhibiting your root growth.
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Old August 16, 2017   #17
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Default I have found Sterile Moss

Hi ..I have been in contact with this company and have ordered some of their moss to use in a "Recipe" as I really need to start my seeds..
http://www.magicmoss.co.nz/magic-moss-and-mulch
....My plans wether right or wrong is to use Moss with Perlite and Vermiculite plus some additives like calcium (yet to be determined ) this is a recipe from Cornell University ...this will be for my propagating cells ....I am going to try and germinate my seeds on a damp paper towel which is rolled up and put in a lock tight bag and put on a heating mat ...checked everyday till a root shows which I understand is usually pretty quick and then carefully each one will be put in the moss mix in individual propagating cells .....until 1 - 2 sets of true leaves appear .....They will then be put in a pot each of seed soil or Tomato Mix (with Mycorrhizae ) and put in the Growth chamber for 2 - 3 weeks for hardening off.....and then out into the glass house into a Washing Machine drum each (as long as the frosts are over ).......


Having carefully looked at the root systems of each of last seasons plants as they were taken out of the soil ...There is a huge difference in the Tasty Tom root structure of the Plants I got from a growing company through a garden centre (special Order ) and other plants wether they are my own attempts at raising seeds or normal plants purchased via the grower and gardening centre and this really concerns me ...Clearly something happened that I do not understand and have answers too ... My seeds and the growing companies normal plants were simply not growing properly ....they produced some fruit but slowly ...by then it was too late for them to ripen ...However .I do recall buying my Black Cherry and Campari which were bought very early when the plants first arrived at the garden centre..Initially I grew both inside but after they were bleach sprayed and were not looking good they were taken outside into the greenhouse and that revived them...I did get an excellent crop from each and I noted that both had an excellent root structure.when I inspected it as they were pulled out.......Now it may have been due to them being planted early because it was not a good growing season and my other plants that were grown later suffered because of the weather etc....

Now I did get excellent results from growing laterals from the Special Tasty Toms ....and presently I am trying to establish if the Growing Company are going to have any "special" plants available later .especially of Tasty Toms....as I could use this to my advantage...

My real concern now is the Moss/Perlite/Vermiculite Mix ..as from CornelUniversity ..Its in parts and they mention 1/2 teaspoon of Calcium but of course this must depend on the quantity of the parts ???....I wonder if anybody could help me here ....Would Calmag be appropriate and is their anything else I can put with it ...Should I weigh the

Moss/Perlite/Vermiculite Mix first then work out the volume of additives....

Patti....First there will be less than 28 plants this season....I wondered about the washing machine drums also but I have spoken about this before ....I thought the root system would grow out into my washing machine drums..What I mean by this ..on transplanting I put some soil mix in the bottom of the drum with some calmag ...take my plant out of its plastic container and put it on the soil and fill in around it ........But at the end my plant roots never grew out into the surrounding soil that I put in...So my plants that I transplanted from for instance a small pot clearly kept its root shape and never took advantage of the new soil around it...Of course this never became evident until I removed the root structures from the drums three weeks back....IMO the root structure clearly defined the quality of the plant .....Big Root structure healthy plant....The 6 Tasty Toms I bought were in a much bigger pot than I was using and that could also be a lesson for me IE maybe transplant quickly into a larger pot before the root structure has time to constrict itself.....I feel I may have transplanted "too slowly" and damaged the future development of the plant no matter how much fertilizer I bought and put on......This season I am months ahead of where I was last season when my Greenhouse had not even been started at this time...

My greenhouse has been washed out and I will spray with bleach ....I have been told to burn sulphur in it to get at any nasties although I have only found the odd spider ...Powdery Mildew was a problem for me but only in certain varieties and I think it came from the garden centre ...I will not be growing any variety this season that was afflicted with powdery mildew...??...

Again thanks for all the info ...Any advice always welcomed...

I have attached photos of the good root structures ...others were terrible with a stem and barely any roots at all .....

Regards Ron...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Roots_a.jpg (44.4 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg Roots_b.jpg (59.3 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg Roots_c.jpg (46.2 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg Roots_e.jpg (28.2 KB, 89 views)
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Old August 16, 2017   #18
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The 'poor' roots seem fine to me. There are many small roots that break when you pull the plant. If Tastytom are Campari, these are 1 euro per seed bought in bulk of thousand seeds. They're a premium hybrid, and probably have a very good vigour during all growing season for greenhouse growing.

On the bag of moss it should state the pH. If it's normal range (at least 5.5 I guess) than you shouldn't add any calcium carbonate. Not sure what you use for fertilizer (organic or inorganic), but calcium nitrate and magnesium sulfate are very useful additives for container gardening, and I would use those. You should note that there is probably quite a bit of calcium carbonate in the water (my tap water for example has 300ppm calcium carbonate).
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Old September 3, 2017   #19
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Default Still Searching for an answer?

Hi..I have my Sphagnum Moss and I need to plant some seeds but I would like to get a recipe for the additives I should use for my Sphagnum/Perllite/Vermiculite mix.....for example if I make up say a litre of mix what else is required and at what volume...I presume a small amount of Calcium is required ,maybe some Miracle Gro etc....Thanks Ron
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Old September 3, 2017   #20
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I routinely use a peat moss based seed starting mix. For the first two weeks I do not add a single Amendment just moistened mix and the seed. The seeds cotyledons have enough nutrients in them to feed for the first 2 weeks. After transplant they get some small amount of fertilizer and a little bit of calcium.
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Old September 3, 2017   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger2778 View Post
For the first two weeks I do not add a single Amendment just moistened mix and the seed. The seeds cotyledons have enough nutrients in them to feed for the first 2 weeks. After transplant they get some small amount of fertilizer and a little bit of calcium.

Same here. I start seeds in straight DE which provides nothing but moisture--that's all they need to sprout and start growing.

About two weeks after germination I start giving them a weekly dose of a liquid fertilizer at half the recommended strength.
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Old September 3, 2017   #22
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Tomato seeds should be started 6-8 weeks prior to your last frost date. I think that you are a little late again. Seeds should have been sown 4-6 weeks ago. The garden centers should have their nice big plants ready to grow in a week or two.
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Old September 4, 2017   #23
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Hi....Thankyou all for the comments...I presume I make a mix up of Sphagnum/Perlite/Vermiculite and hopefully I can adjust PH by adding Calmag using my Ph meter..

Patti ..Yes I am a little late cause I have been finishing my Growth Chamber which I wanted to have ready prior to my propagating seeds..Everything is controled and I have some 120mm LED (red and Blue) computer fans still on their way from China??? ..These will hopefully strengthen my seedlings by blowing air across my plants as well as supplying light supplementing 10 x 150cm LED tube lights .. it may pick up some time for me ..They should make the chamber attractive when the lid is lifted...The temperature will be set at 10 degrees celcius till its time to raise it...My friend an electrician has done an amazing job on the control unit...which sits beside the actual chamber..
I will post some photos when its all set up..
I bought two Tasty Tom plants today ($8 each)..Plants have just started arriving in from the growers for the new season..(have been told the seeds are $1 each). I have decided to buy more of the more mature 1/2 grown Tasty Toms as soon as they are ready in October...They will be expensive but at least they will have been expertly looked after as they have been growing....I have actually just eaten the last two TT fruit and they are still as crisp and tasty as they were back in February /March...If I could have got help and lifted say two drums inside (out of the cold in the greenhouse) I am sure they would have still been producing..
In the meantime I will be now concentrating on growing my own Tasty Tom seeds??(to see what happens).. NBfT ,Indian Stripe,Missouri Love Apple,Sweet Scarlet etc...as well as doing some minor changes to the greenhouse ...The growth chamber will be a new experience for me as long as it works?

I have slowed down a lot and get tired far more quickly as I get older ..I am hoping warmer weather will arrive soon for myself and my plants....because being honest apart from Tasty Tom,Campari and Black Cherry last seasons fruit tasted terrible ..they just would not ripen and gradually rotted..however I have been told it"was the weather"? so I will have to retry some varieties....EG I was so looking forward to tasting Indian Stripe but it was a fizzer so because so many people rated it I will give it another go.....What spoilt Black Cherry was the uneatable skins...I certainly hope somebody develops a larger fruit with a similar taste but softer skin....
Regards Ron
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Old September 4, 2017   #24
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What do you mean by Calmag Ron? Is that a Calcium Nitrate/Magnesium Nitrate formula? If so that will not adjust the PH of your mix. Dolimite Lime is used to adjust PH upwards. That is Calcium Carbonate/ Magnesium Carbonate.
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Old September 4, 2017   #25
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RayR...Thankyou for putting me right .....I am now trying to recall what Calmag is for...Cheers Ron
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Old September 4, 2017   #26
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Ron what is the pH now?

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Old September 5, 2017   #27
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I probably have said this before but usually bought peat moss (even if without other additives) is pH adjusted unless it's labeled for special purposes, at least that's how it is here in Europe.
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Old September 5, 2017   #28
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Hi Worth1....Do you mean the moss alone or the mix if the moss/perlite/vermiculite? I still have not opened the Moss package yet.....???? .. Thanks Ron...
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Old September 5, 2017   #29
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Hopefully I will get away with another short post....I have often read that many growers take off the bottom leaves...Now when I mentioned doing this at the garden centre I was informed that this was wrong...so now I am wondering what is right.....
As I understand I have two options take of the bottom leaves and plant deep or leave the leaves on and plant deep in the drum but with minimal soil and AS the plant grows I add more soil ....They do look slightly spindly to my eye...
I wish Amazon will get here as soon as possible..Maybe then they will be allowed to sell some of the US pro mixes w mycorrhizae... Thanks Ron
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Old September 5, 2017   #30
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The one to the right might be a bit spindly, sure, you could bury it a bit deeper. Adding stuff later seems like a waste of time, but there could be more beneficial overall, in the way that the plants probably don't like being planted deeper, they will be delayed due to having to develop new roots.
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