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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 23, 2017   #46
dmforcier
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Originally Posted by murihikukid View Post
In the main they have been growing out in my greenhouse in a Propagator under normal light.
What's "normal light"? Sunlight? Incandescent bulb? What?
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Old October 23, 2017   #47
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Yes correct your PH with the lime and add the mycos. That's it. Feed them with the MG with Epsom salts and 7-10 days later use a dilute Calmag and see how they look.

I will say that I do have 2 friends from NZ. One lived in Kingston and the other in Tamaru. They both grew their tomatoes outside without a greenhouse and they were happy with their crops.

Tomato seed stays viable for 10 years. Yes, they will take a little longer to germinate but they will. I have grown my hybrid Compari seeds out to F4 or F5. I have not seen much of a difference from the original F1 plants. Growing a seedling from a hybrid does not mean that they will be weaker, it just means that you may get a fruit far from what it was that you expected.

I am another one that will not use vermiculite to start seeds. It gets too wet and as it decomposes it tuns into clay. I use peat and perlite or a product called Optisorb which you can not find there. I use quite a bit of perlite as it adds air to the soil.
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Old October 23, 2017   #48
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I tried hosing etc 4 years ago and it kills them by drowning or especially spreading disease ....
Cheers Ron
The conclusion that the technique is to blame is fallacious. You're describing the results of keeping the pots too wet. That could be the result of poor soil (vermiculite) but more likely that the hoser did not yet understand how much to hose.

Completely changing your technique to one that your equipment doesn't support is just likely to make things worse. Instead, learn how to be a better hoser.





You Canucks - stop laughing!
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Old October 23, 2017   #49
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What's "normal light"? Sunlight? Incandescent bulb? What?
Hi.. Sunlight if there is sun....or daylight...However Lately I have bought a lot inside and have them under my 10 LED tubes..i do put them outside if its fine and I try to give them 16 hours of light a day which means if they are outside they come inside around 7.30pm ,put under the LED's till 10pm- 11pm.....Thanks Ron
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Old October 23, 2017   #50
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Originally Posted by dmforcier View Post
The conclusion that the technique is to blame is fallacious. You're describing the results of keeping the pots too wet. That could be the result of poor soil (vermiculite) but more likely that the hoser did not yet understand how much to hose.

Completely changing your technique to one that your equipment doesn't support is just likely to make things worse. Instead, learn how to be a better hoser.
You Canucks - stop laughing!
Hi..I never knew what Vermiculite was til last year ....I always have various theories about failures every season including right now ...Cheers Ron
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Old October 23, 2017   #51
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Yes correct your PH with the lime and add the mycos. That's it. Feed them with the MG with Epsom salts and 7-10 days later use a dilute Calmag and see how they look.

I will say that I do have 2 friends from NZ. One lived in Kingston and the other in Tamaru. They both grew their tomatoes outside without a greenhouse and they were happy with their crops.

Tomato seed stays viable for 10 years. Yes, they will take a little longer to germinate but they will. I have grown my hybrid Compari seeds out to F4 or F5. I have not seen much of a difference from the original F1 plants. Growing a seedling from a hybrid does not mean that they will be weaker, it just means that you may get a fruit far from what it was that you expected.

I am another one that will not use vermiculite to start seeds. It gets too wet and as it decomposes it tuns into clay. I use peat and perlite or a product called Optisorb which you can not find there. I use quite a bit of perlite as it adds air to the soil.
Patti....Thanks ..I will certainly do as you say...I intend to make up a small mix and repot the 4 Tasty Toms today and see how they go...Kingston is north west from here at altitude so no doubt get much better and warmer weather ...Tamaru (I presume you mean Timaru) is on the South Island east coast north of here and I lived there once.....I would have thought a greenhouse would be required there...

Re Campari ..They are so close to Tasty Toms I often wonder if they are the same ...A friend and myself both think Tasty Tom is just slightly more of a Tomato taste but both varieties are so similar in every way including the small peak on the end of the fruit..If I never had Tasty Toms I would be growing Camparis and they are 1/2 the price..Forgive my ignorance ...I know F1 has something to do with disease resistance but I wonder what F4 and F5 relates too..

Yes I remember you telling me about Vermiculite and in my latest mix I have not used it....In fact I am reconsidering my method that I have used so far...I am looking at the water content in the pots and I am wondering if Vermiculite in the mix put in Peat Jiffy Pots sitting on a Capillary cloth could be a real problem ....maybe they are just too wet....I presume the peat draws up water and with the Vermiculite holding it could be a problem....All my seeds have a root exposed and then are laid on the mix so they have all germinated ..I have round 75% success so far the rest could be just slow but I note a darker colour of the jiffy pots that have not produced a plant and I think the colour may relate to the amount of water contained within the pot and in the pot itself...ALSO I am using a wipe cloth that I tested for a capiilary and maybe it is holding too much water so there are several factors here that I have to address and try and work out....and there is the sphagnum moss ...could it be a problem?

I will be glad when everything has some true leaves cause then once repotted I think from past experience they usually take off ...Regards Ron
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Old October 24, 2017   #52
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Hello Ron,
I've started started using the same method to germinate seeds this year and have found my germination rate much better. Seems to work for all my vegetable seeds. If the roots get a bit too long before transplanting I just place the whole paper towel onto some compost, a fine layer then on top and they grow fine from then on.
From your last post, I don't think Vermiculite is your problem, vermiculite doesn't hold onto water it helps the drainage, I'm guessing that the peat pot is drawing too much water. Instead of the pots sitting on a capillary matt, I use the Eartainer method but with each seedling pot sitting above the reservoir with a small strip of capillary drawing the water up. Works great for me.
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Old October 24, 2017   #53
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Hi kevrow,,,,I am just watching the earthtainer videos on Youtube...and yet to see the finished product...At this stage I am struggling to get my head around how it works ....I am glad you see the advantages that I see in germinating on paper ....
Although my seeds have germinated when I lie them in my moss mix I am sure there are failures (ie there is no growth showing ) but it could still be early days..I presume some seeds are a lot slower than others so I have not given up on any of them...either germinating or propagating....but it is near the time to do do a back up ...I can give any surplus away....
Now this is my first experience of using Peat Pots and as I now realise they do draw a lot of water and I have of course put them in foam cups that has the bottom cut out so as they sit and draw water from the capillary ...also I can mark on the foam cup what variety each is.......I could try a 12mm hole in the foam cup ..put a small amount of mix in the hole and then put the peat pot into the foam cup.. it might restrict the amount of water transfer from the capillary ....In saying this I am having a fair amount of success and cannot work out why some are just failing ...I can only think its got to be the water??
It could also be worth trying with no capillary cloth and simply mist spray them through this period of their lives ...Using a moss mix in a jiffy cup I would think that the seeds would get enough water using a mist spray...

I am really interested on how the next stage goes IE applying a hardening off procedure to the seedlings ... BTW hows that Rugby team of yours going.....??? My provincial team has not won a game ...I told a coach many years ago to play in slippers ...he thought I was mad ...The secret in Rugby IMO is too retain possession and recycle the ball ..not too KICK it away and give it to the other team ...and thats what we are doing in Southland...
Cheers Ron
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Old October 24, 2017   #54
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I hate Peat Pots. They should rename them Root Restrictors. And, as you noticed, they lose moisture at a fast rate. So much easier - and cheaper - to transplant from a plain old plastic pot that you can reuse next year.

(To be fair, I've spoken to Europeans who say they their peat pots are much thinner and less restrictive so they don't need to remove them. Maybe yours are like those. But I still don't see that they gain you anything.)

You have your peat pots sitting over a water feed? That sounds like a recipe for disaster.
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Old October 24, 2017   #55
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Hi..Are they root restricters...I did ask one of the garden centres if it was OK to use them and they said "of course".....I thought that by putting the seed in a peat pot using a Sphagnum Moss mix that it would grow (within a foam cup with variety written on it) and when it got its first pair of true leaves I could just push out the peat pot from the foam cup and replant it in a larger pot with a different soil.(which I have done 4 of last night.)....No using the end of a fork or a spoon to remove the plant from a growing cell in a propagator when root damage to me is always a probability...However I could try with no Peat pot and carefully open the foam cup with a scalpal to repot it... but because of the mix I used ..I doubt if it would hold together...But I am taking everything on board especially your comments which I enjoy...
Thanks Ron
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Old October 25, 2017   #56
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Styrofoam cups are fine by themselves, but they do tend to hang on to the soil a little too much. I hear you on the starter cell surgery. I have developed a surgical technique involving sliding slices from a plastic cup down two or three sides, then teasing the the little slug out with a miniature (toy?) shovel. One key is to make sure that the slug is moist - not dry or soaking wet - so it holds together. But the truth is that it doesn't matter if it falls apart and you have to plant a naked-root seedling. Seedlings are tough little bastids and will grow despite your mistreatment. You can cut off the leaves and half the roots; just be careful not to bruise the stem.

My primary objection to peat pots is that they pretend that you can transplant the whole thing and the pot just "goes away". It don't. I've pulled many plants potted that way and the root mass is essentially the same as when they went into their new homes - inside the peat pot and not outside it.

Now don't ask me what I think of the opinions of garden center employees. I just might have to tell you.


Do you have a pet, Ron?
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Old October 25, 2017   #57
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[QUOTE=="http://s.igmhb.com/click?v=Tlo6MTM3OTA2OjE5Njc2OmVtcGxveWVlOjExODAzZm JmOTRkND
My primary objection to peat pots is that they pretend that you can transplant the whole thing and the pot just "goes away". It don't. I've pulled many plants potted that way and the root mass is essentially the same as when they went into their new homes - inside the peat pot and not outside it.

Now don't ask me what I think of the opinions of garden center I just might have to tell you.


Do you have a pet, Ron?[/QUOTE]


Hell..You have saved me ..I asked that question at the Garden centre and i was led to believe they disintigrate,,,If they do not I have a problem and have to review everything ...I repotted 4 last night but they are expendable although I will try to get rid of the Peat tonight BUT I cannot take the risk of all my seedlings having the root mass restricted inside the peat pot.....so have you got an answer ??? Perhaps cut the bottom of the peat pot off while it is supported within the foam cup then somehow take it out of the foam cup and some how get rid of the outside of the peat cup.....or perhaps hold the foam cup around it for support and make one or two vertical cuts through the foam and peat cup and hope that they fall off and everything else holds together ....I am a great one for checking root mass at the end of the season and I am sure this answers a lot of questions ..I found the poor plants were still in a ball the shape of the pot pre transplant and they were the ones that produced nothing...I know liitle about growing tomatoes but I do believe its crucial that one gets the root structure right...
So Now I have to figure out another problem....Never Mind ..any advise as usual would be welcome...

Yes I have a 9K plus Ginger Male Cat asleep right behind me ...it adopted me after living in the next door house where it was basicly uncared for...After a rocky beginning it is now the most beautiful and loving of cats...It took a long time to gain his confidence and he now surely realises that he will be loved and looked after til he dies ....even if I go first...

Being smart??? I got some 120mm Computer fans sent over from China with 33 LED's on each ..I thought that would give my chamber air flow and extra spectrum of light....BUT now Worth1 tells me the fans should be going 24/7 so now I have to try and figure out how to switch the LED's off and keep the fans going....??? REgards Ron
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Old October 25, 2017   #58
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I hate LEDs in computers. Mostly they just look cheap, though I have seen some stunning setups.

Well, I'd say that the LEDs won't provide enough light to make a difference except I understand that plants are quite sensitive to light during their "dark" cycle. Yes, disable them if you can.

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I posted a pic of my current POSSLQ (person of opposite species sharing living quarters) in the Canning thread. Here is my late lamented big boy Hoover, taken by coyotes before his time. As you can see we had an .. interesting .. working relationship.
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Old October 25, 2017   #59
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Hi he is absolutely beautiful ...Hell you must have been devastated losing him...I know I would have been ...Thank goodness we do not have coyotes here although we have some 2 legged ones running around ....I just found a couple of photos....of roots from last season....These are Tasty tom roots and the plant was purchased from the grower via a garden centre as mature plants about a metre tall ...They were expensive but I believe they are cost effective so while I fiddle round trying to grow seedlings I have a number of these on order again when they become available...See how when I pulled it out it bought most of the soil with it...It took all my strength to lift it ....The plants from my seedlings had miserable root structures and I knew then I had to address this..

It alerted me to the fact I could not grow seedlings ..Although late my last seasons effort was pathetic...All the time effort and money hardly produced any fruit ...I am still late this season but I am hoping that I can get some decent plants for my efforts ...I just cannot believe the difference between the growers and myself...I am told its the hardening off process so hopefully I will find out if the growth chamber will make the difference...I can only try....Regards Ron
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Old October 25, 2017   #60
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Originally Posted by kevrow73 View Post
Hello Ron,
I've started started using the same method to germinate seeds this year and have found my germination rate much better. Seems to work for all my vegetable seeds. If the roots get a bit too long before transplanting I just place the whole paper towel onto some compost, a fine layer then on top and they grow fine from then on.
From your last post, I don't think Vermiculite is your problem, vermiculite doesn't hold onto water it helps the drainage, I'm guessing that the peat pot is drawing too much water. Instead of the pots sitting on a capillary matt, I use the Eartainer method but with each seedling pot sitting above the reservoir with a small strip of capillary drawing the water up. Works great for me.
Kevrow, with respect you are mistaken about vermiculite. It's sole purpose is to hold water. You might be confusing it with Perlite which is for drainage.
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