Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tomato Tuesday: Get Ready...

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I'm sure I spaced these seeds better...

It's the time of year to start your tomato seeds and other tomato-y fruits too. I have a whole flat of ground cherries, litchi tomatoes and a new one called golden berry (I'll report back) seeded, watered and waiting. I've already started my eggplants and peppers but that's another story.

They're sitting in my sweltering greenhouse at the moment germinating one by one. I feel like a kid finding easter eggs each time I spot a new sprout. They'll be spending cold nights and days inside of course but that's not necessary during this misplaced summer we're having this week. I take them in whenever the weather is predicted to be too close to 4C and leave them out as long as it's not frosty - in a greenhouse of course. I used to put them in a plastic tub and prop the lid open when it got too warm. It will warm up, even getting way too hot, in surprisingly cool temperatures with the lid securely fastened so err on the side of caution if you use this trick. Closer to planting date, they'll be moved outside to face their new friend - wind - in full force.

Someone asked on a forum if anyone used cold treatment for their tomato seedlings. According to this explanation, it helps them to flower earlier. Because I tend to leave my plants out during passable weather - not hail, gale or frost - from the beginning, I guess I do. Can't say as I notice super early flowering plants or at least flowering time seems to be quite variable. I'd love to hear other people's experiences.

4 comments:

CallieK said...

I have my tomatoes outside as soon as they have their first set of true leaves in most cases and I've never noticed earlier flowering either. I notice that mine are able to withstand lower temperatures tho. But I sometimes have issues with BER even tho I use plenty of eggshells when I pot them up and I've read that cooler temps can affect how much calcium the plant is able to absorb so I may have to adjust for this.

Daphne said...

I'd think early flowering isn't good for most tomato plants. I would think they would have a better harvest in total if they got a lot of vegetative growth first before the fruiting stressed them out. I've never tried cold treating them though. If I were eating tomatoes it would be an interesting experiment to try.

Lynne said...

I started mine a few weeks ago, and now I've got nice six-inch tall sprouts :) I only have three viable ones (of four - not bad, really), since I only have a shared balcony to grow them on :) I can't wait until I can transplant them and they can move to their permanent homes on the balcony!

Maddie said...

I live in Ottawa too, and I'll be planting my heirloom tomato seeds in a few days (when I've finished up a pesky essay). It's my first year starting from seed and I'm very excited to watch them grow. Let the easter egg hunt begin!