I am getting all my supplies and seeds ready to start my tomato season of 2012.
I will use ROOT ORGANIGS soil medium and my heating mat to start my tomatoes seedlings.
This year I will start the larger tomatoes first and after the cherry size ones (which they have no problem on our hot weather). The larger tomatoes will not take the heat like the smaller ones, so I am starting them earlier.
The date below are suggested by the "2012 North American biodynamic sowing and planting calendar" by Maria Thun.
I have been following her calendar for a while now and it works like "magic"
December "FRUIT crop" planting dates:
15, 16, 17 December 2011: I will plant my larger size tomatoes (ex. Celebrity, BHN444, Black Krim, Cheroke Purple ...)
24, 25 December 2011: I will plant my cherry tomatoes (ex. Sweet 100, Gold Nudget, Sungold ...)
You sure don't waste any time getting started do you.? If I had to handicap our little zone 8a and 8b contest for first ripe tomato next spring, (see Tomato forum), I would probably give you 2 to 1 odds to be the winner. I wonder if we could get Vegas to lay odds and take bets on the outcome? It might make it even more interesting (ha)!
However, I too will be planting seeds on Dec. 15 if, when I consult my book, that is when Maria Thune tells us it's time to plant. So, may the best man/woman/tomato grower win! And I won't be cheating by buying transplants with the tomatoes already on the plant like last year.
Have just now started my tomatoes, heirloom cherokee purple which is our all time favorite and a plum heirloom called principe borghese- new for me but we love roasted tomatoes with goat cheese so thought I'd give it a try. eggplant and peppers I have also started hoping to get a jump on their producing season- july and august they literally go dormant until about late september. I fed most of my neightbors off of 2 each plants.
You Texans have a jump on me but lets see who has the first tomato!
I have started a forum dedicated to growing tomatoes on zone 8 here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1233680/
Please post your success.
I have found out that I really need to start tomatoes early here in Dallas ... otherwise the heat just kille them.
I will start peppers and eggplants in January.
In June 1985 my husband sent me to Texas City, Texas from Philadelphia while he was on deployment. I was used to having tomatoes in September ( I picked from a u-pick farm and canned 150 qts each year) Didn't have tomatoes to can that year!!!