Transplanting tomatoes

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AGMSgardener
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Transplanting tomatoes

Many northeasterns grow tomatoes and since the planting season begins so late a lot of varites of tomatoes don't fruit until august.

 My thought is to start the plants indoors, in an aerogarden,  earlier in the season and give them a headstart. The problem is that the roots grow in 1 long strand. What is the best way, if any, to bring that mature plant outside? 

John 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ginger
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Hi John,

Hi John,

The tomatoes get pretty big pretty fast, with flowers by 6 or 7 weeks from seed. Yes, I start them from seed. Here are some pictures from last year's tomato starts. Two or three feet is awfully large indoors, in terms of how much light each plant needs - like 8 x 23W bulbs, or equivalent. So that's why I make the tradeoffs I do. Try to transplant them outside as big as practicable, without investing a mint in indoor lighting space. I plant 6 tomatoes outside. They do take up space. ;)

Last spring was cold, so I transplanted out late. I got a few early grape tomatoes by the end of June, beefsteaks toward end of July. That's shoreline Connecticut, which runs chilly in spring and never hot the way it gets inland.

For what it's worth, the plants I grow to more adult-sized indoors are peppers. I've started my 'spring' peppers as early as September for the following year. Our season just isn't quite long enough for peppers, so the yields triple or quadruple from putting out mature plants in the spring, ready to ripen. Peppers aren't quite such light hogs, and stay a more manageable size.

My notes say I should plant the 'smaller' tier of tomatoes today. I probably will... Feels too early, though.

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AGMSgardener
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Thanks for your reply. Good

Thanks for your reply. Good advice about not starting tomatoes in an Aerogarden. I was thinking of starting them in another hydroponic container that would allow them to grow much taller than an Aerogarden would but I understand your reasoning.

I'm still a bit unclear with how tall you let them grow before you put them outside. I wanted them to grow 2 or 3 feet indoors under lights. It seems to me, from your post, that you are still transplanting them outside when they are still pretty small. I  may be a misunderstanding your post. From what I understand what you're doing is not much different than buying them at the nursery already 4 to 6 inches tall, except you start them from seed. Am I correct?

Once again I hoped to get a really good jump on their growth before putting them outside allowing me to get tomatoes in late June early July, especially beefsteaks which I normally wouldn't see till August.    

Are you starting them from seed?  

Thanks again 

John 

Ginger
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Hey John, in fact I'm

Hey John, in fact I'm planting my first round of tomatoes today. :) (Waves at you from shoreline Connecticut.) Actually starting my second round of peppers today. I pot up the first round in their final outdoor containers weeks before they can move outside full time.

The truth is that I don't bother with the Aerogarden step of the tomato-and-pepper-start process. For the peppers, it would save save space for a good long time, and keep them warm for germination (peppers germinate awfully slow if they're not warm enough). But, they'd need to move to pots for a few weeks anyway, for 4-to-7-week size.

Tomatoes, I don't see an advantage to starting in the Aerogarden. I have tried it, but won't bother to waste sponges on it again. By age 2-3 weeks, they need a pot, and the early guys can't go outside until they're 6-8 weeks old, and it's a nuisance to transplant them twice. So I fill pots (like 6" pots for the first round of slow or beefsteaky, 4" for the earlier-bearing round 2 tomatoes) about 1/3 full with potting mix, perlite, a dusting of limestone - or just potting mix. Then when they're big enough, bury the stem the first time (3 week point? something like that). Tomatoes get biggish kinda fast. (Compared to peppers, at least.)

Starting tomatoes in an Aerogarden doesn't solve the fact they need potting up and supplemental light, before they can go outside. It's just less effort to pot them in the first place, and use the Aerogarden to grow greens.

 

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