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Tomato Tues in New England

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Tomato Tues in New England

Post  walshevak on 5/17/2011, 12:55 pm

Hope nobody minds that I started this thread for New England. There is no regional host and I had the time so I stole this from Pattipan.


Welcome to the first installment of Tomato Tuesday 2011!!



First off you are probably wondering what Tomato Tuesday is, right? It's simply a weekly report or update on how our tomatoes are progressing. Join in and post your reports . It doesn't have to be a long drawn out report and it is not required, but I think it wll be fun and informative to read about how other tomatoes in the region progress throughout the season. It's one of the thing we hold in common as a region.

Very easy guidelines for posting your Tomato Tuesday reports...


•Have fun with this!

•Report only on Tuesday if at all possible.

•Use this same thread to post your reports through the end of the season. In other words, don't start a new thread each Tuesday. That way it will be easy to find the next week. It will be one looooong thread by October.

•There is no regional host, so somebody start on each Tues. Don't wait.

•Other regional forums may start Tomato Tuesday as well, double-check that you are in the New England forum when you post your report.

•Refer to first guideline.



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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  quiltbea on 5/17/2011, 3:19 pm

I thought camprn was our regional host so I PM'd her to see if she would start this thread. I like the idea of watching our toms grow and posting pictures of the different varieties growing, etc. This is our 'bragging page' for our darling babies.

Anyway, I'm glad someone took the initiative to start this thread.

Due to lots of rain and cold weather her in Maine, my seedlings are on hold.
I had hoped to put them out this week to harden off, but that's not going to happen, at least not today. Maybe if we get a little sunshine and it warms up a bit tomorrow I can begin the process.

My tomatoes are really needing to get outdoors. They are getting thicker and taller and they are just as healthy as can be, but needing more room to spread their roots.

Here's more of them. I noticed the ones in the 4-5" air pruning pots are growing thicker than those in the 16-oz cups.

With the rain and me having to stay inside, I took this as a good time to make my net/mesh bags for saving tomato seeds. I had yards of orange netting leftover from a Halloween project some years ago and it was just going to waste. So I started making the bags.


These are to put around newly-formed blossoms so they cannot be cross-pollinated. I've been researching about saving seeds and this seems the only way to be sure one can save true-to-variety seeds. So I'll be playing Sherlock Holmes when the blossoms are due so I can wrap up an early tom blossom or two until they begin to form fruits, at which time they are pollinated and I can remove the bags and place a marker beside the chosen fruits to save them in the fall.

Last year I only grew a few different varieties so was able to keep them at least 6 ft from another variety and tapped the branches to pollinate them so the seeds I saved I hope bred true. This will be more insurance that the seeds till be true.

Anyone else have pictures of their darling 'babies' to show us?
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  Tril on 5/17/2011, 4:15 pm

My babies are outside today... hardening off. They seem to like this misty rain, but they have to come in tonight.

I heard something about... possibly... hitting SHHHHHHH... seventy........ on Sunday??? Still cloudy with showers, but warmer!!! Smile
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  camprn on 5/17/2011, 4:43 pm

Hey there my fellow New Englanders! Sorry Quilt, it was a wicked busy day at work and I didn't have much of a break to check in to the Forum, and as you have probably figured out I am no longer the Regional host. So, I am glad to see Walsh took initiative and began the NE thread!!!
My toms are in a holding pattern. I transplanted them last week into tall plastic cups and hoping they really crank out some good roots as I wait for the warm weather to come to us. Photos to come later. Cheers!
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/17/2011, 7:40 pm

Ditto on the holding pattern, I did up-plant into plastic cups, and there they sit, looking at me like: We're bored. When do we get to play outside?

And - sniff - if it rains one more day I'm going to burst....

Anyway, they're there. They haven't moved. And we are patiently waiting until this weekend for the warm, sunny weather. Hope to have more of an update next Tuesday.

(Quiltbea, I think I'd like to save seeds too. But if mine get cross-pollinated, I may just be in the tomato plant breeding business. It might be kind of fun to see what different combinations you get every year...) (unless that makes the seeds not able to germinate?)
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/17/2011, 11:35 pm

Quiltbea, your tomato plants are GORGEOUS and so much nicer than mine.
I have to admit I am a bit jealous but, I will be able to live with it Wink
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  Kelejan on 5/17/2011, 11:44 pm

quiltbee or someone:

Can you explain "air pruning pots" for me.

thank you,

Kelejan
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  Tril on 5/18/2011, 7:31 am

"(unless that makes the seeds not able to germinate?)"

I'd be more concerned about it making the plants sterile. You wouldn't know until the plants were grown and not producing.
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/18/2011, 8:17 am

About making the plants sterile - Oh! I hadn't thought of that. That would be terrible.

Well, I'll read up on saving seeds as my next project...
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  quiltbea on 5/18/2011, 11:49 am

Kele.....look for a PM from me. I don't want to use this thread. Its now Wed.
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Tomato Tues NE 5/24

Post  quiltbea on 5/24/2011, 11:29 am

Another week has passed, it being May 24th. Its still dismal and gray and often drizzly or misting and sometimes downright rain showers. Ugh!
Under the circumstances, all I can do is put my tomato seedlings out to harden off a bit between rain storms. There's no way I can plant in the wet ground for most except I did get 2 tomatoes into my A-frame this week.

This is inside my A-frame. The toms in the center are the ones going into pots soon and I'm still hardening them off until it gets dry enough for me to work outside with out it drizzling or misting all over me. The cauliflower is awaiting a drier opportunity to get planted and the basil will be potted on the deck and by my kitchen doorway very soon.

Here's one Beaverlodge Slicer on the right. I've got sturdy poles beside the toms on which to tie them as they grow.

These are the ones going into my raised beds, to my daughter, and the community garden plant sale.
They really need to get into the ground. They are sturdy and robust but are eager for transplanting.
So how was your day!
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/24/2011, 12:02 pm

Okay, here are my tomatoes so far. Please don't laugh, and don't yell at me. Yes, I pushed them outside too early. But I think I should get partial credit for the beautiful crop of dandelions I'm growing! Smile (I have a pile of woodchips ready to spread between the boxes...)





By the way, the barrier material I used is that flimsy sheet styrofoam. I had to use it because we staked the boxes to be level and there was a large gap between the bottom of the box and the ground on a few sides. My husband is a little worried styrofoam might be too toxic to use with vegetables, I'm hoping it's not. I think he's planning on replacing the styrofoam with the chips, but I didn't tell him that I wrapped the styrofoam all the way under. affraid
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  quiltbea on 5/24/2011, 5:20 pm

NH....They're lookin' good.

I went back outside to plant some bush beans, paper and layer straw between the raised beds so its neater, and I also transplanted 3 of my determinate tomatoes into 12" pots.

from left to right: Glacier, a potato leaf variety, Ensalada and Early Cherry. I have 5 more to transplant into pots but I'm too tired right now and rain is coming....I can feel it in the air. We don't have too many hours between more rain, drizzle, mist or fog so I'm thrilled it reached 77 today and we got bright sunshine for almost 3 hours. Hooray. If only it would cooperate again in the next few days.
I want to get my other determinates in the pots at least and them some of my others on the strings.
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  camprn on 5/24/2011, 5:31 pm

Jeeze! Tuesday again, already? Shocked My tomatoes are still in holding, but have progressed to the out of doors, off the 3 season porch. I was just mixing Mel's Mix for one of the new tomato/pepper/aubergine beds when I was sidelined by a pop-up T-storm. I am so so so so glad it's not snow! Photos to follow. Very Happy
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/24/2011, 5:55 pm

quiltbea - Will you leave those tomatoes in pots, or transplant them into beds?

A headline in our newspaper today was: At least you don't have to shovel rain.
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  quiltbea on 5/24/2011, 6:13 pm

NHG....No, these detrminates will stay in these pots all season. I did this last year and they did well in the pots.

It wouldn't work for the indeterminates that are vining and grow like crazy at least 6 ft tall, but the determinates I have are anywhere from 18"-24" tall to 36"-48" tall so they're fine living in pots.
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/24/2011, 9:23 pm

Wow - they'll grow in the pots? In the book it says to leave 9 sq. feet for each tomato bush - I would've thought they would've needed something bigger than a pot. Good to know.
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  quiltbea on 5/24/2011, 10:47 pm

The 9 sq ft is when you allow your plants to sprawl. You only need one sq ft when you grow vining toms on string, trellis or staking.

You can do the bush ones in a pot because they are upstanding and though bushier and needing more than a sq ft in a bed, they are fine in a pot without any other plant nudging them.
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May 31st Tuesday

Post  quiltbea on 5/31/2011, 12:11 pm

I finished transplanting the rest of my tomaotes into my SFG this morning.

Here's Yellow Brandywine, Valencia, DeBarao, and Black Prince behind the insect barrier in this bed. I planted 10 transplants today.

These are the only toms in pots for me this year:
Bellstar, Ensalada, Glacier, Early Cherry, San Marzano Nano, Siberskij Sokorspelyi, and Sophie's Choice.

Its another warm and sunny day today so I got out early before it got too warm for me to work outside. Yesterday we broke records, at 91 degrees, yet it wasn't humid so it didn't feel as bad as I expected.

Now we wait for tomatoes. Hooray!
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  quiltbea on 5/31/2011, 12:15 pm

In the first picture above in front of the tom Valencia, there is a Bloomsdale spinach. I accidently sowed spinach seed in that square in April before I realized I had it in a planned tomato square. I transplanted 3 of the spinach plants to the coldframe but left the one in the front feeling that it wouldn't be in the way and would be harvested before the tomato needs the room. We shall see if that's wise or not later.
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/31/2011, 8:51 pm

They look beautiful quiltbea!

I forgot to take pictures of my tomato plants today, but they're doing pretty well. I bought a nice big Big Boy tomato plant for my empty square, and I have one square with a tiny seed-grown plant, we'll see if that catches up to the rest. Other than that, they're still about mid-sized and they're looking greener than they were when I first transplanted them and we had all that chilly rain. I didn't they'd make it, but I think they will. So phew.

Next Tuesday I'll try for photos.

I still have some leaves with pinholes in them, but they don't seem to be dying, so maybe they'll just grow out of the pinhole stage. I don't see any bugs.
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  martha on 5/31/2011, 9:26 pm

Last year by the time I transplanted my tomatoes, they were six inches tall, had been transplanted with roots laid down twice, and their stems were about as thick as a pencil. This year, they range from 2 - 3 inches tall. I planted later, and as all you New Englanders know, there wasn't that much sun this year. They were "okay" from plant lights, but nothing like the real thing.

I went to Russell's Garden Center in Wayland, Mass yesterday. Most of their tomato starts were only 2 or 3 pairs of leaves ahead of mine (aside from the ones that were started forever ago that already had green tomatoes on them.)

So, do you think it is too late? Should I go to my other favorite garden center (West Groton Nursery) and buy some plants?

(Photos tomorrow.)
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  camprn on 5/31/2011, 9:50 pm

I thin it is not too late, the old timers swear that Memorial Day is tomato transplanting time. Wink
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  NHGardener on 5/31/2011, 11:00 pm

Martha, I don't know how much space you have, but it would be nice to have staggered tomato plants anyway so they all don't come in at once. I bought my Big Boy at the farm store, and that thing is 3 times the size of my seedling starters. It even has blossoms already. Plus it's insurance in case mine stay too pokey. It hailed from Massachusetts. Smile
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Re: Tomato Tues in New England

Post  martha on 6/1/2011, 12:35 am

NH, that is what I am seriously thinking of doing, is getting the larger plants from the nursery as insurance.

Camprn, the question is more accurately, are they too small, not am I too late.
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