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Got my WFET's Today

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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  duhh on Fri 5 Nov 2010 - 22:59

I would also like to hear your opinion on this. I started some toms from seed figuring that maybe I would have some bigger plants come febuary to put in my spring garden. I was told be one of my gardening clients that bigger plants get way more shocked when they are transplanted and take longer to recover, so I shouldn't waste my time and just plant smaller plants.


Thanks fo all your info btw!

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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  acara on Sat 6 Nov 2010 - 3:22

@middlemamma wrote:(don't hit me) But that isnt really what I was asking. hiding

What I was asking and did a poor job doing so is:

My seed packets for tomatoes for instance say start indoors 8-12 weeks before last frost. So for me that would be March (for ease of numbers). So I start the seed and follow your instructions March 1st.

What my question is....could I concievably have bigger, stronger transplants ready to go in the ground if I strated them now? That would be like 28 weeks before my last frost. Or would they die or something before I got them in the ground....is there a shelf life before they can go in the ground?

:?: :?: :?:

So I just typed all that and then it occurred to me maybe your post wasn't to answer my question but maybe someone else's... hiding


LOL ..sorry.

To answer your question ...... I don't know

I'm new at this whole "seed" thing.

I can't ever remember a point in my life when someone in my family didn't have tomatoes growing, so when you wanted to start your own, you went over with a sharp knife & a container of water and asked to go get some cuttings.


However, my "guess" would be that ...it shouldn't matter at all, as long as we're talking about indeterminate tomatoes.

Since indeterminates can be pruned, you could keep the plant trimmed/sized & eliminate the growth/flowering triggers (excessive full sunlight, warm temps, fertilizer & polllination). Tomatoes are really picky about when they will set flowers/fruit.

FWIW, I have kept tomato plants (and other plants) alive in coffee cups, or root trays in artificial light, for almost 5 months before replanting outdoors.

If I can keep them alive in a submarine for a couple of months & replant them ..... I dont suspect you would have any problems with what your trying.

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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  acara on Sat 6 Nov 2010 - 3:48

@duhh wrote:I would also like to hear your opinion on this. I started some toms from seed figuring that maybe I would have some bigger plants come febuary to put in my spring garden. I was told be one of my gardening clients that bigger plants get way more shocked when they are transplanted and take longer to recover, so I shouldn't waste my time and just plant smaller plants.


Thanks fo all your info btw!

I would agree with that, but for different reasons.

You can transplant about anything, at any size, if your roots are in good shape (structure), and you don't damage the roots when you move it.

1) Larger plants require larger root systems


2) You run the chance of damaging roots when you transplant.


3) Timing is important when you transplant


4) Previous watering technique has a huge impact


If you direct the watering (drip irrigation, mechanical dam, self watering boxes, etc), your roots will be concentrated, your root ball will be more compact/centralized. With careful handling, proper root structure, and proper timing (see below) .... the plant should barely know you've relocated it.

If you just pour/spray water on top of the soil, the roots are "lazy" and will form a large/wide mat at the surface and down the sides of the container (where the water runs, when you pour it on top of the soil). it's about impossible to not damage this type of root structure when you transplant. You will also see this condition when you leave a plant in a container too long.

Easiest way to identify this is when you pull a plant out of the container & see "root lock". The roots are thin, numerous (almost looks like netting or a spider web) and look like a second container for the plant. This is recoverable, but count on losing a lot of the current plant growth when these are removed at transplant time.

Container size is also important ...I always try to transplant into something at least twice the size of the original. For the WFET's I'm growing in the pictures above I started with peat disc (about 1"), transplanted to 2" jiffy pots, transplanted to 5" jiffy pots, and will go to 10" or 14" pots this weekend. With proper root structure and if the plant isn't to old, you should minimize any existing root damage when you transplant.

So ... I agree larger plants can sustain a greater degree of damage when transplanted; I'm just saying that it's avoidable, and has more to do with the root condition, than the plant size.


I've got some pepper plants outside that a friend brought me earlier in the week (that I'm almost positive are root locked). I'll get some pictures or those & some pictures of my WFET's that I'm transplanting this weekend ..... probably easier to explain what I'm talking about with pictures.


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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  acara on Sat 6 Nov 2010 - 4:01

Oh and BTW MM ....

Don't forget ...as long as it's daylight out, I have nothing to do BESIDES type long replies to your questions (or the wrong question...LOL). ..

So it's never a problem or inconvenience, during daylight hours.... as long as it's not too much trouble for you to wade through all the babble What a Face

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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  middlemamma on Sat 6 Nov 2010 - 8:28

LOL...never too much to wade through.... Very Happy

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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  Furbalsmom on Sat 6 Nov 2010 - 10:32

This has been a great discussion on growing tomato from seeds and subsequent transplants. It kind of makes sense to me and this coming spring will be the second time I try tomatoes from seed. The first try (years ago) was such a miserable failure that I have not tried again and always purchased plants. Thanks again!
thanks

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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  acara on Mon 15 Nov 2010 - 18:11

Current pics of the WFET's ...













Good news is ... I think I found a home for the late sprouters ...Graficow from the forum may be taking a few to a new home, a little North of me cheers


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Impatient WFET

Post  acara on Tue 16 Nov 2010 - 3:01

My second early-sprout WFET decided it was tired of waiting for me to put it in it's final pot & decided to throw bloom, in order to get my attention ..




So for a timeline (for the early sprout ones)....

Germination/sprout at 7 days

Transplant #1 at 17 days

Transplant #2 at 30 days (went outdoors)

Final transplant at roughly 55 days

Maturity at 61 days (total)


Final transplant pic;




I went with a 12" pot, stake & cage on this one (will add second triangular cage a little later). I also remembered to "collar" this one, in order to focus the root development.

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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  acara on Mon 22 Nov 2010 - 8:39

Update;

1 early sprout WFET that I gave to my parents in Sebring (2 hours South) is almost 2' tall and has a string of fruit on it. Hopefully they will bring up pictures when they come for Turkey-Day.

2 late sprout WFET's given to Graficow for a new home, just North of me. Graficow caught that both plants we budding when I delivered them.

2 early sprout WFET's transfered(3rd), staked(6'), collared(4") & caged(52") in their final homes in 10" pots (filled with MM), complete with rubber mulch;







Both early-sprout WFET's are blooming !!!

Balance of six, late-sprout WFET's transferred to their own 1x8 SFG box (pics coming tonight).

So all total, I was 11/12 from the initial seed planting in September.

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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  acara on Mon 22 Nov 2010 - 18:26

WFET SFG 1x8





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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  Megan on Mon 22 Nov 2010 - 20:05

Okay.... I am going to embarass myself and ask you what those collars are for? Is it just to keep the mulch away from the stem, or??? Embarassed

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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  acara on Tue 23 Nov 2010 - 4:10

@Megan wrote:Okay.... I am going to embarass myself and ask you what those collars are for? Is it just to keep the mulch away from the stem, or??? Embarassed

1) Pest control
2) Focused watering to make the roots grow down instead of a outward in a thin mat on the enire surface of the pot/container.
3) Minimizes evaporation from the soil (less surface area of direct soil)
4) Allows direct application of side dressings/supplements without losing everything to absorption the mulch

Those plants in the SFG are planted 1" from the bottom, so there is approximately 10-11" of stem in the ground on the final transplant (bury approximately 70% of plant at each transplanting). The collar forces the water nutrients straight down, so that the stem sprouts roots. Makes for a more stable, healthly and productive plant.

Basically the top growth is now supported by a 1/4" to 3/8" diameter, 10" deep, 'tap root' with a 4-5" root ball at the end, right from the start in the box.

Or so the theory goes Very Happy

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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  acara on Thu 25 Nov 2010 - 15:04

Tee-hee ..... told Dad he wasn't getting any Turkey today unless he brought me up some pictures of the WFET's I gave him to grow down in Sebring..... so I can see what the fruit looks like;

Snuck the card out of Dad's camera while he's napping between dinner and dessert Twisted Evil

Here are what the WFET's look like with fruit ... Dad says they are EXTREMELY tiny, cluster-type fruit. He took a look at my plants & said I should be expecting fruit in 1-2 days ....






No, thats not snow in FL .... they have "white sugar sand" down there Very Happy

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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  acara on Sun 28 Nov 2010 - 15:15

Well, looks like dad was right ... I've got fruit today (Day 73); Man....are these things tiny






The rest of the late transplants are now in "THE WFET Wall" ..... mama likes cherry tomatoes ....so ths should work out great.


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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  Furbalsmom on Sun 28 Nov 2010 - 17:40

Yeah Fruit! Glad to see your tiny baby tomatoes, I know you are so proud.
And look, you grew them from seeds.
cheers

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Beautiful Plants !!

Post  bettyd_z7_va on Mon 29 Nov 2010 - 10:19

Thanks for the time you take to share the garden experience you have with us.

Next spring will be the first time I try to start tomatoes from seed and I don't see how I can fail, if I follow your example.

Looks like you went with the PVC collar rather than the tuna fish can, right?

Homegrown tomatoes in the winter....umm...You're a lucky Duck!

Betty

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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  acara on Mon 29 Nov 2010 - 11:41

Looks like you went with the PVC collar rather than the tuna fish can, right?


Yes, but only because the box is slightly visible to the HOA-secret police, if your at the correct angle from the front yard.

I think the Tuna can (or any other can) is probably a better idea ..... cans are cheaper Very Happy

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The survivors

Post  acara on Sat 29 Jan 2011 - 8:49

Well, our "winter" has been "rough" ....honestly we've only had 6 freezes, but the wind and squalling rain have really taken their toll.

The SFG WFET's didn't make it, but two of my container WFET's did ..... so here is a day 135 update;


Here are the survivors (a little dwarfed from spending a lot of time indoors);










Here they are blooming (still haven't got the good camera back from repairs, so sorry for the blur on the close ups);




The green fruit is about dime-size;



Ripening fruit;








The mature fruit isn't much bigger;




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Re: Got my WFET's Today

Post  Furbalsmom on Sat 29 Jan 2011 - 9:09

Fresh ripe tomatoes drooling

Sorry about your SFG WFET's, but it only takes a bit of frost to send them to that big compost box in the sky, especially when those HOA Secret Police frown on letting you put up the necessary protection. But, you were able to save those two container WFET's. Once they get acclimated to the outdoor sun and warmth, bet you are gonna have a bumper crop.

And you grew them from seed cheers

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First WFET Harvest

Post  acara on Tue 1 Feb 2011 - 17:36

Well,

I'm not going to feed any starving countries with my bountiful harvest ....

I'm not going to win any productivity awards from...

12 seeds planted
9 seeds survived
3 transplants given away
4 plants lost to freeze
2 "noahs' ark" containers surviving to the 137 day mark

With a total yield of .................

Enough fruit to make a single side-salad Embarassed LOL





But I did learn a lot from the process.

Ending thoughts ...

The WFET's are easy enough to grow, but other than the "uniqueness" and/or novelty, it's not much different than a MWC "Matt's Wild Cherry".

From a size perspective ...a little smaller than I predicted.

From a shape perspective ...very globular for a currant variety & not what I expected.

From a taste perspective, they are good, but no unique taste/texture/body (unlike a yellow cherry, or some of the whites). Skin is medium thickness & fruit has a very nice texture. Acidity and flavor are very similar to a Roma.

Like most currants, they are very good seed stock (very large/numerous seeds...relative to the fruit size).

A couple of things that did stand out ....

Good disease and pest resistance for a heirloom ..... reallly didn't have to apply anything to the plant & no infestations.

Quick ripening .... from color change to "ready-to-pick" ...about 72 hours affraid

Extremely temperature sensitive .... couldn't keep track of the growth at 70+, extremely obvious effect at temps below 50F & definatey doesn't like temperature swings/variations.

Not as pickly about consistent watering ... could take a couple of days without water with no ill effects & didn't evidence any ype of split/crack/blemishing when you dumped a ton of water on it, after a few days without watering.

Not very responsive to fertilizer .... seemed to do equally well with or without it.





Overall .... did it once, no major desire to do it again. Not a bad experience if this is your first time growing tomatoes (would actually recommend it for anyone in the Southern climates who is just starting out with tomatoes) ....but nothing that really justifies the 3x//4x pricetag for the seeds.


However, I grow tomatoes almost exclusively, and have for years ... .so don''t let me jade you from trying these ...... they are very hardy, low maintenance and forgiving .... they just aren't a 2+# slicer that will make you taste-buds dance IMHO Very Happy

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Re: Got my WFET's Today

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