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tomato transplant/seedling question

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tomato transplant/seedling question

Post  hillcountryhick on 3/31/2013, 6:48 am

I started several varieties of tomatoes indoors from seeds under growlights 1st week of feb. some are "60 day" "68 day" . Well, it is now 8 weeks later and they are 10 to 12 inches tall, without flowers. I will put them in the ground in a few days, after 1 weeks of "hardening " them off. Does this seem like they are not doing well, growing too slowly, possibly from less than optimal light strength? they are technically 56 days old already......
I have had a problem with fungus gnats but have controlled them somewhat with sticky strips. I wonder if they are stunting the growth of the plants.
I was ready to put the plants earlier into the ground if they grew faster. I had collected milk jugs, hot caps and was ready to go if the seedlings were ready to go into the ground 2 or 3 weeks ago....
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Re: tomato transplant/seedling question

Post  TN_GARDENER on 3/31/2013, 7:23 am

It sounds as if they are doing just fine.

I've never understood where they come up with those X-# of days to maturity anyway. Like you, I've never seen a red tomato 70 days after the seed emerged.

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Re: tomato transplant/seedling question

Post  camprn on 3/31/2013, 7:24 am

Those days until harvest generally are given to mean that that is the amount of time from transplanting to harvest.

If all risk of frost is past, plunk those babies in the ground and you will be on your way! alrighta

Once they get outside the gnat problem should subside.

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Re: tomato transplant/seedling question

Post  quiltbea on 3/31/2013, 8:46 am

That's an easy mistake to make I think. When I started gardening, I, too, didn't realize they meant "# days from the day they are transplanted outdoors."
I guess they think everyone who gardens must know that, but when we're new, we don't.
Any plants you start indoors or normally buy from seedlings, start counting from the day they are transplanted out. It takes at least 6 weeks (42) days just to grow a tomato from seed to healthy seedling but those days aren't counted.
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Helpful Info

Post  AppleJack2! on 3/31/2013, 6:38 pm

That clears up a lot for me and my garden too. Thanks!
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Re: tomato transplant/seedling question

Post  hillcountryhick on 3/31/2013, 11:17 pm

Great thanks everyone for taking time out to answer. Lots to learn about gardening. my 3rd year so far, but went all in with growlights, growbeds, drip irrigation from the BigBox store, etc. neat hobby, lots to learn, but Mother Nature still the deciding factor here.
Love all those seed catalogs! but learning that I can't buy every seed packet if I don't have space to grow the plant. Oh well,....
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Re: tomato transplant/seedling question

Post  jazzycat on 4/1/2013, 12:11 am

@hillcountryhick wrote:I started several varieties of tomatoes indoors from seeds under growlights 1st week of feb. some are "60 day" "68 day" . Well, it is now 8 weeks later and they are 10 to 12 inches tall, without flowers. I will put them in the ground in a few days, after 1 weeks of "hardening " them off. Does this seem like they are not doing well, growing too slowly, possibly from less than optimal light strength? they are technically 56 days old already......
I have had a problem with fungus gnats but have controlled them somewhat with sticky strips. I wonder if they are stunting the growth of the plants.
I was ready to put the plants earlier into the ground if they grew faster. I had collected milk jugs, hot caps and was ready to go if the seedlings were ready to go into the ground 2 or 3 weeks ago....

I've been having a gnat problem as well. At first I thought it was the sand gnats that live here, but now I think it's the fungus gnats. Are they causing the leaves to yellow on some of your plants?

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Re: tomato transplant/seedling question

Post  hillcountryhick on 4/1/2013, 1:05 am

thankfully, the gnats seemed to lay eggs on the underside of sweet pepper leaves and left my tomato plants alone. Only 1 or 2 of the leaves turned yellow, but after I blasted those plants with I. soap! I removed the most heavily infested leaves, but I can really tell the difference between the affected and the nonaffected plants by their rate of growth. The ones with gnats are seriously stunted. I have tried to nurse them along but now that they are in the "ground" garden beds, they still haven't grown so they will get yanked out and trashed tomorrow. My gardening books say the same thing...don't get attached to stunted seedlings, just start again.
I have my seedlings indoors in the laundry room by the kitchen so I really had to control the gnats. I did a lot of price checking on fly ribbons, fly paper, traps, etc. Even checked agricultural and veterinarian websites for stuff they use in barns around livestock. The cheapest by far are Raid brand Fly ribbon. 10 rolled up 18 inch ribbons that cost $2.49. you hang them near your seedlings with a tack, that's included. They catch dozens and then I throw them away. I got them at Home Depot. Lowes and others only had 3 sheet little fly papers that were $6 or more.

by the way, really recommend looking at the website

plantanswers.com .. it is extremely in depth, by a local Texas A&M guy. A &M , San Antonio, and central texas has put out some famous gardeners that really know what they are doing.....

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