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I caved cause I'm scared!

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I caved cause I'm scared!

Post  jerzyjen on 5/1/2010, 9:47 pm

My biggest disappointment from my first year of SFG is the horrible tomato experience I had (just a few to harvest and didnt taste great). So... I turned to my alma mater for my maters, Rutgers tomato (our county extension is through Rutgers). So I ordered 2 seed varieties, heirloom jersey tomatos Ramapo & Moreton. I started my seeds because I figured this was probably the only way I would be able to get these varieties. So today during my shopping trip at the local plant roadside stand, I found seedling starts of the Ramapo - same exact seeds! I had to pick some up, cause I had a really really hard time with my starts, especially with the ramapos.

My Ramapos from seed


The purchased Ramapos


My Moreton starts did a little better so I'll give them a shot. Besides they didnt have them in starts and those are early producers and indeterminate, Ramapo is semi determinate. As I was browsing the plants I just started to panic that I would have another horrible tomato harvest. I decided to add two more square worth and also picked up a lemon boy for something different from a start. Wish me luck for some yummy Jersey tomatos!
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Re: I caved cause I'm scared!

Post  camprn on 5/1/2010, 10:07 pm

I do not think you caved at all, you simply bought insurance, and they are lovely :!:
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Re: I caved cause I'm scared!

Post  jerzyjen on 5/1/2010, 10:10 pm

I really wanted to do it from scratch. I think for next year i need to warm up the starts either with a mat or something homemade. My basement is too cool and i think its stunted their growth. The cool crop starts from seeds did great.
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Re: I caved cause I'm scared!

Post  sceleste54 on 5/1/2010, 11:00 pm

This is the first time EVER I have had sucess with seeds...I invested in a seedling heat mat and a shop light, flourescent sunlight bulbs. I have several varieties of Tomato, Eggplant, Poblano Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, and Straightneck Squash all ready to go into the beds now.. I think it was a good investment..Smile

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Re: I caved cause I'm scared!

Post  timwardell on 5/2/2010, 10:28 am

Good for you. I agree that you simply acquired "insurance" -- and I honestly don't think one can have too many tomatoes in an SFG (but I'll keep pushing it until I find out for sure!). Very Happy
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Re: I caved cause I'm scared!

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/2/2010, 10:55 am

You didn't cave at all! I usually use a mixture of my own seedlings and purchased. I tend to only seed those things I don't think I can find easily locally. There's nothing "better" about growing your own seedlings except for more variety. I'm in a race with Tim to see how many tomatoes I can grow. 9 different kinds, 15 plants so far. But I just ordered 10 more varieties from Wintersown and they sent 12 -- but these are for next year. Too late this year.

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Re: I caved cause I'm scared!

Post  Shoda on 5/2/2010, 11:09 am

We frequently purchase starter plants from the nursery. We always try to start them ourselves but our starts have always been pretty pathetic. Perhaps we are still learning but this year we tried the lights, fan, seed warming mat and we still ended up with undersized, spindly and pale seedlings. So, while the plants are on sale at the nursery, we pick up a few to augment our seedlings.

I guess I am not a "purest" in thinking everything has to be started from seeds. We grow a lot of variety and often a package of seeds costs as much as a starter plant. And some plants, like tomatoes, take a pretty long time to start. (Not to mention the fact ours just don't look as good!)

Enjoy your garden and don't worry about it!
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Re: I caved cause I'm scared!

Post  Wyldflower on 5/2/2010, 11:52 am

Hey... don't feel that you're 'cheating'!

The plants you're putting in your garden WERE started from seeds! It's just that the seeds were started by someone else!
I've got some seedlings started, but have decided to go with nursery starts for some of my babies, because the nursery has better control over the temp, humidity and light than I have, and their plants are well established when I am ready to put out in the garden.
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Re: I caved cause I'm scared!

Post  Mirjam on 5/2/2010, 3:41 pm

purchased plants are just grown in ideal circumstances, in a greenhouse with optimal feed and watering etc.etc., you can hardly expect your own seedlings to grow like that in a windowsill or something similar. I also mix and match my own seedlings and plants from a gardencenter, as our growing season is awfully short for tomatoes and such, so the plants can really use the headstart. This year my "own" tomatoes are doing reasonably, or anyway, the flesh tomatoes are...as my cherry tomatoes almost all died out on me on a unexpected hot day...they just shrivelled and died..... I only have one of those left, but that one is doing fine now. I don't have a very large garden (48 squares in total), so it's ok to not have all my seedlings planted, but it's still sad when they don't make it.

Having plants in different stages of growth will also lead to a longer harvest period, I think.
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