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Guess the tomatoe

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Guess the tomatoe

Post  Barkie on 6/8/2011, 11:02 am

My neighbour and I swop spare plants. She has given me a couple of 9 inch high tomato plants in small pots and they look ready to be moved into bigger pots. We have no idea of the name or the type. So could I/you guess or tell from looking at the plant if it is a bush or cordon / determinate or indeterminate type. How can I grow these two hairy stemmed babies? I think they will have to be kept in a plastic house for warmth and shelter and grown in pots of MM. Should I plant them deeper in their new pots? I'm a newbie with toms so I'll apologise now for my viscosity.

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Re: Guess the tomatoe

Post  quiltbea on 6/8/2011, 1:43 pm

Why can't you just transplant them out in the garden? To be prepared for anything, place a 6' stake beside each plant and allow it to grow. If its a determinate, it won't hurt to have a taller stake for support. Better safe than sorry.

Yes, you plant your tomato at least 4" deeper than it was in its pot so the root gets big and strong to hold up the plant. Nip off any leaves that would be under the soil. You can plant that root and stem either vertically like normal or horizonatally if your bed isn't too deep. Roots will form along the buried stem regardless of if its upright or lying down. If planting horizonatlly, just lift the top of the plant upright at soil level.

Tomatoes can take temps in the 50s evenings quite well, so I wouldn't put it in a greenhouse unless you have one handy and make use of it for others.

Just be sure to 'harden off' the plants before putting them outdoors. That means putting them out in the shade for an hour or so the first day, increasing the time outdoors and the time in the sunlight as well untill they are outside overnite. You can take 1-2 wks hardening off. Then you transplant it outdoors in the garden.

I don't think you can tell a determinate from an indeterminate until its growing.

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Re: Guess the tomatoe

Post  Barkie on 6/8/2011, 3:36 pm

Hi Quiltbea, a couple of nights back the temp was under 5C - 40F and the nice Basil I had hardened off suffered. It's about 10C - 50F not much more during the day. Feels colder, I've got the heating on!

Yes, I have enough portable greenhouse space now. I tried outdoors last year and got fruit but none ripened, a local chap says his didn't ripen either. I could try one outside but unless I can cover it over the birds will have it. Besides my house sparrow "Dweep" which comes to tweet at me (red listed endangered species) I've now got a blackbird that appears every time I set foot outside. Today he had a fat green cabbage worm to show me he's doing his job.

Ok, I'll repot it like you say. Thanks.

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Re: Guess the tomatoe

Post  quiltbea on 6/8/2011, 3:49 pm

I love your bird stories. Cute.

To pollinate your tomatoes all you have to do is tap the branches every couple of days. They self-pollinate.

Our temps here are just making it in the 50sF and now an occasional 60sF at nite. Until this week they'd been in the 40'sF. A little too cool for warm-weather crops.

I still don't have my eggplant seedlings planted outdoors. The nites are too cool.
I'm seriously thinking of transplanting them anyway and covering them with heavy towels during the evenings until it warms up more.

Good luck with your tomato.

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Re: Guess the tomatoe

Post  WardinWake on 6/8/2011, 4:21 pm

@Barkie wrote:My neighbour and I swop spare plants. She has given me a couple of 9 inch high tomato plants in small pots and they look ready to be moved into bigger pots. We have no idea of the name or the type. So could I/you guess or tell from looking at the plant if it is a bush or cordon / determinate or indeterminate type. How can I grow these two hairy stemmed babies? I think they will have to be kept in a plastic house for warmth and shelter and grown in pots of MM. Should I plant them deeper in their new pots? I'm a newbie with toms so I'll apologise now for my viscosity.

Howdy Barkie:

Until the tomato grows out I don't know any way to tell what the plant will do. If you can plant it out in the garden as a bush/determinate and put in one of the extra tall tomato cages that many big box stores sell. If you find that the plant is going to grow past the point of easy harvest you may want to prune the top of the plant to force it to stop top grouth. In any case it will be exciting to see what the plant does.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.

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Re: Guess the tomatoe

Post  Barkie on 6/9/2011, 4:56 am

Howdy Ward and Mary,

You have seriously good stores! On my travels all I could find were teeny little cages for such as peonys. But I have an idea. This is one of the empty portable greenhouses minus the removable plastic cover and shelves, it is 5ft high. I have two this size.



Would it work to string them up or tie the stem in if needs be to the central horizontal strut and let the trusses flop over the outer bars or support them as necessary? I can leave the plastic cover off and I could sit them in the sunniest spots. I don't know which is more essential sun or warmth to a tomato but with a choice of the site I can give them both. I've only got one bed so far. They say necessity is the mother of invention.

Yeah, it'll be fun seeing what these grow into.

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Re: Guess the tomatoe

Post  walshevak on 6/9/2011, 7:42 am

Barkie,

I think you've hit on a great solution. Based on some of the pictures I've seen on the forum, you can tie twine to the highest middle strut and drop it straight down, wrapping around each strut on the way down, until you get to the bottom one where you can tie off. Then just wrap a tomato around the dropped strings. Then later in the year put the plastic back on.

Kay

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Re: Guess the tomatoe

Post  walshevak on 6/9/2011, 7:57 am

cutesie green with envy over that gorgous brick wall. That whole area is has soooo much potential for a functional and decorative garden

Kay

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Re: Guess the tomatoe

Post  Barkie on 6/9/2011, 8:45 am

@walshevak wrote: green with envy over that gorgous brick wall. That whole area is has soooo much potential for a functional and decorative garden

Kay

Hee-hee you just wait and see what a fine mess I can make of it!

I like the wall too. So much of the lime mortar between the bricks had gone we could see through to next door so how it was still standing was beyond me but we have repaired it.

Thanks for those tips. You know what silly weather we can have so it may call for some judicious covering now and then. Vienna will be much warmer and nicer can I fit in your luggage?

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Re: Guess the tomatoe

Post  walshevak on 6/9/2011, 9:37 am

Actually I was wishing I could pop over to Wales to visit you. Unfortunatly with Uncle Sam paying for my ticket, I can't make changes. I actually hope Vienna is a little cooler than it is here.


After looking at the size of that mini greenhouse again. I belive you can tie twine to each of the outside struts and have double the tomatos or tomatos on one side and cukes or climbing beans on the other. It looks to be about 2' deep. Keep the branches pruned to inside and cover when the weather starts to cool off again. You might be able to extend your season. Laughing

Kay

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Re: Guess the tomatoe

Post  Barkie on 6/9/2011, 12:22 pm

Ta for putting your head to this but it's unfortunately only 18" deep I'll need the cover on to keep em warm right now.

You'd hate Wales Kay, really you would, all the hills and valleys, the twisty, narrow, little roads, you can't get a thing done for someone you know passing and holding you up talking for half an hour .... and the noise of all the sheep! Smile

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Re: Guess the tomatoe

Post  Furbalsmom on 6/10/2011, 7:29 pm


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Re: Guess the tomatoe

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