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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 October 6, 2017   #16
murihikukid
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Hi..Sorry I posted the same message having lost Mozilla firefox ...It reappeared and it seemed my message had not been sent ..So I sent it ???
Cheers Ron

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Old October 6, 2017   #17
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Sorry to hear of your troubles Ron. As far as the root orientation it doesn't matter whether it goes down or sideways not one bit. Anyway you want to do it is fine. As far as the spindle Enos I have a question for you, are you growing with the use of a grow light? The reason I ask is because without a grow light they will get longer and thinner stretching to reach the light. The grow light allows them to have enough light that the stems grow thicker and not so long.
And remember about using vermiculite, it retains a lot of water and you don't want to have soaked roots, you just want to have moist roots so you have to be careful with your quantities of it unless you have an instance where it dries out an awful lot.
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Old October 17, 2017   #18
murihikukid
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.Ginger ..Thanks for your reply ....I just spent an hour writing a response and lost it when I went to advanced to post pictures so I have to do it again...I do note that I get very few notifications of replies to my threads and wonder whether gmail is spamming them...
Anyway I am now at a crucial point of my tomato season....All my seeds have germinated using the paper towel method and each put in a "jiffy "pot (which is a peat pot) filled with a Sphagnum Moss/Perlite and Vermiculite mix (3-1-1)....and dropped in a foam cup with the bottom cut out and top cut to reduce height so as it can go in a propagator which is self watering by way of a capillary cloth........
I now have my first seedlings with True leaves appearing ....and plans ( from Google articles and some ideas of my own ) are to remove the "jiffy "pot from its foam cup at the appropriate time and put it in a larger container..and into my growth chamber which is a mini cool room?? with self watering capillary trays for the pots to sit on......With a Temperature of 10 degrees C ..10 hours a day of intense light provided by 10 LED 150cm bulbs as well as some Red and Blue light that comes from 6 x 120mm computer fans which will blow air across my plants ..After 2-3 weeks I will raise the temperature inside the chamber before they will be transplanted out into my growing drums out in my greenhouse..
So I feel I really require if possible expert comments on a couple of points I am unsure about...They are should I use seed raising mix or normal tomato Mix in the Pots my jiffy pots will be put into ...I intend to put soil in and use a foam cup to make an indent and just drop the Jiffy pot with plant into the indent ....PLUS at this point I presume I have to introduce my seedlings to fertiliser....Seeing I bought Mycorrhizae I will be sprinkling this around where the jiffy cup sits so the roots will get at it .....but what else....I have Calmag,Dolomite lime ,Miracle Gro plus many more probably useless foods I have purchased...and i wonder if anything else should be applied along with the mycorrhizae.....I will point out that whatever soil i use I will ensure that I get the PH correct first......
I have been held back by seeds....Seeds I saved myself from earlier in the year have germinated within 48 hours with no problems but I bought some seeds from a supplier and I wonder how old they are ....It seems to me that having to check the paper towel every night one soon gets a sense that most of these seeds are dormant and not worth persevering with...Any variety that I find I like I will be saving my own seeds from now on.....Thank goodness I am using the paper towel method and not looking at a propagator cell everyday waiting for a seed to appear ???....
Plus my washing machine drums with the plastic water tank at the top ....(aprox 2 litres) seems to be working for self watering using 3 rope wicks .......hanging over the side into the soil??I have attached Photos,,,,Regards Ron
PS..the two tasty Toms were purchased from a gardening centre but are looking pretty good so far..
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg DSCN3196.jpg (438.6 KB, 81 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN3197.jpg (271.2 KB, 81 views)

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #19
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Miracle Grow at half strength along with 1 tablespoon Epsom salts to the gallon.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #20
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I forgot, your conditions are a little different. 1 week to 10 days later water with Calmag as directed with 1/4 teaspoon of Epsom Salts added to the gallon.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #21
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Patti...Thankyou for your reply ...Is that for application to the soil that I use to put in the larger pot for my peat pots to go into? prior to going in my growth/hardening off chamber ..I went out to a local gardening centre today that will answer questions ( i wait until real customers have been attended too first) ...I took out my Tasty Tom seedling (photographed in previous post ) for advice on on what size pot and soil to use...and they told me its "Blind"......Well I never knew what that was so my feeling satisfaction over growing some Tasty Tom seeds has turned to dust...as apparantly a "blind" seedling is no good......It hope its not the same for all the seeds I bought ..I found most are probably old and unable to germinate ..however I have all the seedlings I want and will get my own seed bank.. ....I am waiting for the "mature " varieties especially Tasty Toms to appear ..They told me October but I think this is incorrect ...I will use laterals from them but I have two Tasty Tom plants that I can use laterals from them right now....I bought 2KG of Mycromax ?? sold 500grams so better advertise it again to get it sold...I figure 500grams is more than enough for me ....I have several NBFT (renamed Myra's Delight after the lady who gave me the seed ) and I am really going to have a good go at these cause I know how tasty they are.....No Sweet 100's and other cherry varieties although I am germinating a couple of Cherry Dot seeds...Anything that had powdery mildew last season is off the menu...I am trying Midnight and some other black varieties including Paul Robeson that just never produced fruit for me...

Once I put some pots in my growth chamber I will post photographs ..its simply a freezer chest with a special lid that raises and lowers ...it has 10 x Led 150cm tubes on the underside of the lid providing intense light and 3 computer fans at each end of the lid that have 33 red and blue LED's on each fan so that is 4 x red fans and 2 x blue fans......they will blow air from each end of the freezer chest across the seedlings....The chest itself has an outside separate unit that feeds coolant through pipes and tubes into the freezer and this is adjustable ..My readings tell me 10 degrees for 2 - 3 weeks before raising the temperature is the norm so I wonder what my seedlings will grow like????..I always have the Tasty Toms coming later as back up ....

Regards Ron
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #22
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Begin using the Miracle grow after the first true leaf appears, no matter the pot that the plant is in.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #23
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Notice that he's already got time-release ferts in the soil.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #24
murihikukid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmforcier View Post
Notice that he's already got time-release ferts in the soil.
Hi..I have no Time release ferts in my seedlings..only sphagnum moss/Perlite and vermiculite ...I have mist sprayed with a weak solution of Miracle gro (I thought that may give them some Trace Elements??)....The photo I posted is not representative of all my seedlings because there was a couple of seedlings that just would not stand up in my mix so I carefully put some other seed raising mix on the top round the stem to hold them upright...I cannot recall now but having scraped most of my initial seedlings off the floor and then later sifting through the mix to "recover" them and repotting its quite possible that is why I had to prop a couple up...
I am waiting for the opportune time to get most in my so called growth chamber which as i understand will "harden off" my seedlings and make them into super plants??......
My present plan is to make up a mix of Tomato soil in a container and test its ph and add dolomite lime if required ...then I fill the new pots and make the indentation in the soil so the Peat Jiffy cup can be just dropped in ...I will sprinkle Mycorrhizae in the indentation and I thought of some light calmag also.....and spray some Miracle grow at say 1/2 strength for moisture and just drop the jiffy cup in....i have read that the soil level should actually fully envelop the jiffy cup so that may require some careful work ....
The repotted seedlings will be sitting on a capillary cloth drawing water from a tray while enclosed in the chamber ...So I think I have everything covered...I have no way of seeing my plants within the chamber once the lid is lowered ...So I will check them every couple of days by raising the lid and could mist spray the top of the soil in each with Miracle Gro..
Because this is all unknown to me I just have to work out a daily time table for all the lights to be on
Plus The Fans ..I wonder if they can be on with the lights ....I presume the seedlings do not need air flow when they are sleeping? Or do they..

As usual I am always grateful for comments ....Thanks Ron
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murihikukid View Post
Hi..I have no Time release ferts in my seedlings..only sphagnum moss/Perlite and vermiculite ...I have mist sprayed with a weak solution of Miracle gro (I thought that may give them some Trace Elements??)....The photo I posted is not representative of all my seedlings because there was a couple of seedlings that just would not stand up in my mix so I carefully put some other seed raising mix on the top round the stem to hold them upright...I cannot recall now but having scraped most of my initial seedlings off the floor and then later sifting through the mix to "recover" them and repotting its quite possible that is why I had to prop a couple up...
I am waiting for the opportune time to get most in my so called growth chamber which as i understand will "harden off" my seedlings and make them into super plants??......
My present plan is to make up a mix of Tomato soil in a container and test its ph and add dolomite lime if required ...then I fill the new pots and make the indentation in the soil so the Peat Jiffy cup can be just dropped in ...I will sprinkle Mycorrhizae in the indentation and I thought of some light calmag also.....and spray some Miracle grow at say 1/2 strength for moisture and just drop the jiffy cup in....i have read that the soil level should actually fully envelop the jiffy cup so that may require some careful work ....
The repotted seedlings will be sitting on a capillary cloth drawing water from a tray while enclosed in the chamber ...So I think I have everything covered...I have no way of seeing my plants within the chamber once the lid is lowered ...So I will check them every couple of days by raising the lid and could mist spray the top of the soil in each with Miracle Gro..
Because this is all unknown to me I just have to work out a daily time table for all the lights to be on
Plus The Fans ..I wonder if they can be on with the lights ....I presume the seedlings do not need air flow when they are sleeping? Or do they..

As usual I am always grateful for comments ....Thanks Ron
I was trying to stay out of this. I'm going to sound a bit negative, bu it is not personal, Ron, you are making it hard on yourself to grow tomatoes.

Seeds generally WANT to grow, that is the whole purpose of a seed. So, for tomato seeds, give them the right conditions, a LITTLE food and a LITTLE water with the right temps and plenty of air exchange, you'll get sturdy tomato seedlings and then plants.

Closing them up in a tight container with moisture seems to be a recipe for damping off and for sick or dead seedlings. Why such extremes? All this building things to start the seeds.

A shelf rack, with lights close to the seedlings, good drainage and letting them dry some between waterings, some heat early on for sprouting, and bang, you will have seedlings that should be healthy. Not complicated.

I am not getting it as to why all the making it more complicated on yourself? You've spent a lot of money the last 2 years to get very few tomatoes to eat.

Not that everyone doesn't make mistakes, but the more you choose to complicate any process, the more chances there are for failure or less than desired outcomes.

Look at the other threads on here, on how many others start the tomato seeds and grow their plants; there are many ways, but there are common things we all do pretty much. Read those threads, learn from things that did not work for you, for instance crowding too many plants in your greenhouse last year and disease taking over - and keep it simple.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #26
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Hi..Well I can see the points your making but you are in Texas in the USA and I am in Invercargill New Zealand ..the two locations are incomparable plus what Tomato growers can buy in the USA is simply not available here which means I spend a lot of time reading articles on Google and doing my best in many cases by improvising....I presume you can buy seeds in the USA ...here in NZ we have a few companies that sell seeds but the range is extremely narrow so if one wants variety one goes to Trademe...our equivalant of Ebay...but what is one buying ....and how old are they ...Why do I have no more that a 10% success rate on germinating using a damp paper towel....when seeds I saved myself from last seasons crop I got nearly 100%...apart from Indian Stripe that is really proving difficult ... I may have one seedling touch wood.
Growth chambers are used around the world for seedlings but probably not required in Texas.and I do not understand where the " Closing them up in a tight container with moisture seems to be a recipe for damping off and for sick or dead seedlings." comes from.....but the proof will be what comes out after 2 - 3 weeks in my chamber under special conditions..... My readings suggest I am doing nothing wrong apart from growing Tasty Toms that are blind?? But that is learning ..I knew there could be problems growing Tasty Tom seeds from the fruit.
..
Yes I admit I had far too many plants in my green house last year but did I lose any from disease ...No I did not because I spent the time and looked after them all after being told to throw them out and start again...I did get powdery mildew but that came from plants I bought at a local garden Centre and only affected certain varieties...This season I will have a quarter of the plants I had last season ....The seeds I am growing are for varieties not available from garden centres ..The Tasty Tom Seeds were just an experiment to see what happens...I have 6 "mature" Tasty Toms that will be put in my greenhouse as soon as the growing company notifies me they are ready ...They will provide me with plants way ahead of anything i would have and I could use laterals to grow even more so even if my Tasty Tom seeds are all blind its no great loss...and I would have learn't something...So basicly I think I have everything under control apart from knowing some basics like ensuring i give my seedlings the best soil to grow in....
If my memory is right this time 12 months ago i had not even started building the beautiful greenhouse I now have...

Regards Ron
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #27
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Okay, I give up, do it any way you want to and I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murihikukid View Post
Hi..I have no Time release ferts in my seedlings..only sphagnum moss/Perlite and vermiculite ..
And green beads. What are the green beads?

I see no perlite, unless those two little white bits are supposed to be the perlite?


Ron, you ask for advice and then don't follow it. I said you don't need vermiculite. Why are you using it?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #29
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Hi Ron, once again you seem to have a few problems and you don't seem to take peoples advice, Well here is my comments,. It is now just coming in too summer in new Zealand now So why do you need to put grow lights on and for the life of me why put plants in washing machine drums ??? ,When you have a greenhouse , why not grow plants that suit your climate in the greenhouse were there is plenty of natural light and warmth,save yourself a lot of money
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #30
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Ron I have read through this and I can help with one of your questions.
It is about the fan and airflow.
You presumed they dont need airflow while sleeping.
Yes they do and plants dont sleep.
One nasty stuff grows in the dark and plants grow in the dark.
They store energy from light and will grow over night.
In my opinion plants need a fan all the time.

The other advice is you are mixing methods you cant do that many times.

Where you live you would have better luck getting a penguin that you would good gardening stuff.
Learn how to use what you have.
Best of luck and great job.


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