ETSSS, The Addiction, PHASE 2...

BUda, TX(Zone 8b)

Figured it was time to start a new page...

Let's keep it going...


Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Here are the tomatoes hardening off outside, in the shade of the back porch.
She box is helping to support the plants against the wind. They will come indoor at night.
I will gradually move them under the sun.

These are 2/3 of my tomatoes. They all have maturing days higher than 70 days.

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Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

These are the short days varieties to be plat out on the 24th.
Growing together with peppers and eggplants.

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

nice pic's love em I surely do!!!

Nothing near that ,only here is one of mine , It is in a tree pot,, good thing since it will be three or four feet tall by the time the garden gets it..

This message was edited Feb 7, 2013 8:20 PM

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Chico, CA

It has really become an issue - I now have 314 seedlings and 9 more varieties to 'pot up' tomorrow. Can't wait to get some in the ground in about 3 weeks.

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

So you are all doing salsa and ketchup , market gardening , or tomato kitchen ? My goodness all the plants sound like a lot of tomatoes ,Tons of them in fact!!!!!

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

oh oh ... I just checked the weather ... oh oh
We must have the worst weather man in Dallas ... he keeps changing his mind ...
I might need to wait .... grrrr

Carrollton, TX(Zone 8a)

Thank you for saying it again. One of my pet peeves and a topic I have delved into before. How can we gardeners plan our activities when we have such unreliable weather persons (not just weather men) who get it wrong so frequently?

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I knooooow
I am sure he will change again his mind ...
Anyway, I am still hardening off the tomatoes plants when the day temperature will be higher than 60F.

I am harvesting all the lettuce, cauliflowers and radishes that are in the future tomato area.
Putting down a layer of compost and preparing the cover with the perforated plastic.

Carrollton, TX(Zone 8a)

I harvested my first cauliflower this morning but it was one of those green ones (I bought a transplant that must have been mis-identified) that I don't think looks very appetizing. I like the traditional white ones. Also spinach, broccoli and lettuce but the brussel sprouts, purple cabbage and the rest of the cauliflower are not close to being ready. I'm ready to pull up everything and start preparing my beds for tomatoes. Can't wait.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

I've been fighting the addiction! I bought all my seeds in December, but I kept fighting the urge to start the seeds. I finally gave in today. My plan this year is to transplant the seeds directly from the Jiffy pellets into the garden. Rather than growing seedlings 10"-12", then planting, I am going to plant much smaller. My dad always planted using seedlings in a nursery six-pack, which were much smaller than I've been growing the past few years. I'm going to give that a try. I'm also trying to grow fewer seedlings. This year I only planted 108 pellets. That will still give me way more plants than I need.

This year I am experimenting with determinates. I figure that with our heat, I may be able to harvest more if I can get the plants to bear fruit all at once. I have six different red determinates: Bradley; Celebrity; Homestead 24; Marglobe; Phoenix; and Rutgers.

I also am planting Bloody Butcher, Big Beef, Jet Star, KBX, Indian Stripe, Ozark's #3 (orange), and Mrs. Maxwell's Big Italian for some variety of sizes and colors. Finally, I'm planting SuperSweet 100 and SunSugar for cherries. They were the best of the red and orange cherry tomatoes that I grew last year.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

David I've started and grown, Marglobe, Rutgers, and Homestead 24. I didn't think the taste was anything special but the yields were fantastic all summer long. Bloody Butcher produced until the heat set in but it has a short DTM.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

If you want a tomato that will produce through the heat of the Texas drought, try SIOUX. Not Super Sioux -- just plain 'ole SIOUX.

Tried it for the first time last spring, and that tomato cranked out beautiful tangerine-sized red tomatoes ALL SUMMER LONG, in the drought, and even when I didn't get out and water it.

I finally had to rip it out, cause I got tired of looking at it getting all ratty, and still cranking out tomatoes, and I needed the space for my fall crop!


Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

I started tomato plants extra early in a small lean two greenhouse. They were very slow for several weeks because we had continous rain and cold cloudy days. There was a heater in there but nothing like it would of been if we had sunshine. They are 8weeks old now but they won't bloom for 2 more weeks. Next time......I will use a grow light. Never know what the weather is gonna do.

Dreaves....I been thinking the same thing about determinates and an early heavy production before the dog days of summer set in. Celebrity is the only one on my list. After the summer heat sets in, it's just a waste of time and effort trying to keep the plants alive and wishing for more production. Best to start a whole new 2nd crop that will set fruit on fresh new plants during the last couple of weeks of summer for one more heavy healthy crop. (all for canning) Gotta have a some plants for those summer mater sandwiches too and I have a plan for that on a small scale.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I visited a friend from garden club yesterday and I was in shock when I saw her huge English style glass green house - what a dream!!
She must had 15 tomatoes plants in a 1 gallon container each. She saved them from her compost pile and she is also started some from cuttings.
She is keeping them 2' tall.
Each plant had multiple branches, a lot of flowers and many green tomatoes. Her green house is heated at night and during cold days.
Her tomatoes have been green for at least 2 months. She doesn't know which varieties she has either.
Last year she had red tomatoes in April (inside the green house) ... that when I normally start to harvest my tomatoes in the garden outside ...
She transplanted out those huge tomatoes mid April and she had no success. Few tomatoes and a lot of diseases ...

Too me it was a lot of wasted of time ...

This year I gave 8 of my tomato plants and told them to plant end of February or early March at the latest, because she keeps complaining that her tomatoes don't taste so good .... duuuuhhhh

Still ... I wish I had such a beautiful green house

Carrollton, TX(Zone 8a)

Greenhouse envy is a terrible thing to suffer from, much like ETSSS. I have it too and would like a small one, like the one from Harbor Tools that is 6' x 8' but alas, I don't have room for it.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

My fall crop is usually my best crop but I would never bother starting all new plants and try to acclimate them during the summer. I just leave the plants from spring. They get huge during the summer, with very little care and have more "plant" to produce more tomatoes when the temps cool down. But I've never had my plants completely shut down, except during 2011. I do direct sow some seeds during the summer, nothing planned just if I feel like it.

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

I have tomato seedlings coming up in my garden from last year. They actually look really good, and I almost hate to pull them up. Has anybody had any luck with tomatoes that are volunteers? I don't know what they are, because I planted several varieties last year. But I was happy with all of them, so it probably wouldn't matter.

Chico, CA

Happy - I think it would depend on if the tomatoes you grew last year were hybrids versus heirlooms (OP). If they were not open pollinated types the resultant F1 plants may not be what you hoped for.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Dallas weather man keeps changing is mind !!
I will keep hardening off tomatoes in my back porch and I hope that I'd transplant out on February 15th !!
I just need the night temperature to be higher than 40F and they will be ok!

By the way, if you are in the Dallas area - zone 8a - enjoy this "TONS OF TOMATOES" video ... John Walls always cheers me up.
He has an "accent" just like me. He was my mentor on growing tomatoes.

This message was edited Feb 10, 2013 10:06 AM

Carrollton, TX(Zone 8a)

Really, you have a Texas accent like John Wall’s? I would have guessed that you might have an Italian accent, like the man in this YouTube video on making spaghetti sauce like he used to do as a youngster back in his “old county”.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

si, just like that !

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

Almost all of mine were OP varieties last year, so maybe I will just hold on to a few and see what happens. It was 70 degrees here today. Makes me want to chance putting some of my little seedlings out already, but I know better.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I would have to leave a few, just to see what they are. If the "volunteers" are in the way you can always move them to a better location. I've grown many of my volunteers and they did great, except that they come up so late, sometimes not until the beginning of May, that they don't get much of a chance to produce.

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

Mine look better than some of the seeds I've started. Nice strong stems and a full set of leaves. No doubt we will have more frost, but I have some heavy duty covers that I can use to cover them.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, sounds like you are going to have to keep them. Lol let us know how they do. I always love to see what type they turn out to be.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I just checked the weather for Dallas.
Definitely Friday will not be a good day ... but I think Saturday will be just perfect (from 2 to 5pm) to transplant out my tomatoes.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I was looking at some older pictures of my garden and all of a sudden I remember that I have WALL O WATER.
I Went down in my garage andI just found my WALL O WATER.
I have 21 of them ... yuk ... I used the once and half of them are still new and never used.
D-MAIL me if anybody will be interested on those.

These pictures are from 2009 - when my garden was born ... wow ... so empty

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Carrollton, TX(Zone 8a)

I guess I should just factor into my spring garden planning that I will miss at least four to five weeks of time dealing with surgery on one of my feet followed by being confined to a wheel chair until the foot heals. This is my sixth year in a row and I really don’t enjoy it since it always puts me behind. The rest of the year goes fine except for springtime, my favorite time. Today I will sit out on my patio in my wheel chair and try to instruct my DW in how I want my tomato seedlings planted out. This could get interesting since it is the first year I have entrusted her with this task and sometimes we butt heads on how to do things. For example, I have a little tool I use with a fork ting on the end I use to dig up weeds to make sure that I get the roots and all. She insists that she can grab a weed with her gloved fingers and pull up the entire plant. Yet I watch her and about one-half of the time she gets the entire plant but the other one-half of the time only the top comes off leaving the roots. I tell her that I’m only thinking about saving her time by getting her to use the tool, otherwise in another week she will be back pulling up that same weed again.

It must be a thing with city girls from New York. :)

Carrollton, TX(Zone 8a)

Today my DW, with my close supervision, finally got my first 6 tomato seedlings planted in a raised bed. Now I only have about 25 more seedlings to go. Not including my dwarf tomatoes which are still coming along very slowly and it will probably be the 1st of April before they’re ready to be planted out but they’re going into containers. The wind today was only a slight problem but it was rather comical watching my DW and son struggling to wrap clear plastic, not perforated, the kind you buy at U-Haul that I had left over from last year, around the tomatoes and hoop covers. I won’t be too surprised if in the morning there will be replacement plastic covering needed as I wait for my order for perforated plastic to arrive from Territorial Seed Company.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Great job !
The wind is amazing during tomatoes season !
What did you put in the planting hole?

I will post pictures of my tomatoes soon. Right now my main computer is at the doctor with a virus .... grrr
I removed the heavy frost cloths and right now I have only the perforated plastic.
I will cover the hoop house again in the few following nights with blanket. During the day the sunshine is welcome !

I am amazed on how well those tomatoes are doing.
The lowest temperature I recorded was 32F and they survived !

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