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LucyL

Hi everyone, The tomato pugs that I had ordered have arrived

I have the following (The others are going to a friend)

- Gardeners Delight

- Green Zebra

- Black Opal

Since i received them 2 days ago, I have potted them up into small individual pots, and are now sitting on the base of one of my propagators so that i don't end up over watering them, they can just soak what they need.

When do the above need supports? I read in one of my books that Tall Cordon Cultivators need training up supports but bush and trailing don't. How do I know what they are? and how soon do they require staking?

yes i really should have done a bit more research before buying ... but bought in the hope that my partner would be interested in growing them as he always says picking of the plant is the best.

How big will each get? Will any of them be ok to go outside in a few months?

As always thank you for you're advice and help

 

Mark 499

I would give the Black Opal to a friend, grew them last year, very bland almost tasteless.

 

Ceres
All of these will require support and you will need to pinch out the side shoots. The growing tip will need to be pinched out once the plant has five flower trusses by which time the plant could be five or six feet tall. The company from which you bought them should have cultivation advice on its website, or look on something like the Mr Fothergill's site for information on growing the different types of tomato.
Italophile

Lucy, all 3 varieties are indeterminates, meaning they will need staking further down the track.

At this point all they need is as much light (preferably natural sunlight) as possible and some reasonable warmth. The aim is to let them develop under their own steam, building up their strength for the season ahead.

Take them out of the propagator. Water them only when necessary. The mix must not be permanently damp. It should be allowed to dry out between waterings. Toms are very sturdy things and shouldn't be mollycoddled.

If you have daytime temps into double figures, put them outside in a sunny spot, moving them to catch the sun if necessary. Bring them inside at night if the temps drop overnight. If your dayime temps are lower, put them on a tray or into a small crate and cover them with something like bubblewrap which will keep them warm while letting in any available sun. 

My seedlings live in 3" pots until they're ready to plant out. They're ready to plant out when they reach around 6" in height though obviously the timing depends on (a) your temperatures; and (b) where you're going to grow them.

You don't need to worry about staking till they're planted out. In good growing conditions expect the plants to grow up to 6', though the Green Zebra will likely be a bit more compact.

LucyL

Thank you Italophile, Ceres and mark 499, I will do as you all say, and stake them further down the line. I am going to keep all these 3 varieties as they are all slightly different n' its the one's my partner chose out of the 5 kinds

I am pretty good at not mollycoddling plants (most of the time they get neglected and forgotten about) but i will try to keep them given enough care but not too much.

They are not covered by the lid of the propagator, just sitting on the base to allow them to take as much water as they require (i can be a bit heavy or too light with the watering) this way they won't drown or dehydrate

6' is a fair size, so they will be living outside when they get this big, but by the sounds of things i will be having to tidy shed so that they can be put in there at nights where we have a heater on the stat so they will never get too cold.

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Italophile

Tomatoes thrive on controlled neglect, Lucy. Ovewatered and overfed are the worst things for them. 

I would still take them out of the propagator. The plants can't decide when they do and don't want moisture. If the soil in the pot has access to water it will soak it up regardless. It has to be allowed to dry out.

Sounds like you will be growing them outdoors in containers? 

LucyL

Yes since they will get a fair size they will be grown outside in containers, but will only go outside when too big for indoors glad they thrive on controlled neglect - my type of plant. I will take them off the propagator n' allow them to dry out.

I have no space in my garden for them not to be grown in containers as all the garden is gravel and ground under is majorly stony and near impossible to dig up

Italophile

Lucy, they will be much better off outside as soon as the weather allows. Toms need at least 6-8 hours a day of direct sunlight to perform at their best. They will produce with less but the results will be correspondingly less.

What are your tems at the moment - day and night - and what are your usual (if there's such a thing) temps - day and night - in summer?

LucyL

Well today the average is about 9c  and night is roughly 4c, is 4c too cold for them at the moment?

They will be potted up again i think tomorrow - i don't want them getting pot bound... but are they big enough at the moment to be potted up again? With some the roots have just reached the bottom


 



 

 Just looking at them, and noticed the end of this leaf looks a bit odd - whats wrong with it? (one on the right, slightly lighter in colour)


 

yours look pretty good to me, lucy! I think they've reached a similar height to mine. I seem to have ended up with about six or seven varieties and I can see that the leaves vary from variety to variety in terms of shape and size of leaves and colour. I wouldn't worry at all if some look a bit different.

In terms of potting up, I tend to follow italophile's advice i think! Mine will ultimately go into 15 litre pots outside so i just keep them in these 3 inch ones until that point. I'm in Southwark, London, so cold nights aren't too much of an issue but I know putting them out too early can cause problems. So, even though I'll get into trouble for keeping them in the house, I imagine I'll leave them indoors at least until the end of the month. I've got a small coldframe they can go in to harden off for a few weeks. If they get too big and the weather's ok, I may try and get them in the coldframe earlier. My wife will appreciate it...

I think last summer, I was a little too cautious about putting them in their final positions so I may be a little braver this year... Or hedge my bets and split my plants by putting half into the coldframe earlier...


 

Italophile

Lucy, they're fine in those pots. Mine live in smaller pots than that till they're planted out. A tad pot-bound doesn't hurt them.

They're established seedlings, 4C won't particularly hurt them. You'll have to wait till it's warmer overnight before planting them out, though. Bf (above) goes for 15 litre pots, which is fine. Personally, I'd go a bit bigger.

I can't see anything wrong with that leaf.

They're 20 litre actually! I upgraded last season on someone's advice - probably yours!

Yes I guess I'll keep an eye on nighttime temps as we get into May. The problem is I've already got a small forest of tomatoes in my living room! Maybe if I can get through to May without them jeopardising my marriage too much, then I can get them in the coldframe for a few weeks and then into their final positions by say mid May.

At least being in central London, temps shouldn't be dropping off too much at that time of year.
Italophile

Are they spending any time outside in any sunshine during the day? Might be the light but they look a bit on the pale side. 

I think in that shot they're 'back lit' with the sun directly behind! They look pretty green but will definitely watch out for them getting light starved. The room they're in is South facing and the bifold doors make it like a greenhouse...
Well, I've just checked the forecast for the week... 23C by day by midweek, lows of 10C... Maybe I should just put them out now?!

Maybe not...

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Italophile

Forecast is looking pretty good. Same here. We've been getting 20C by day but cold overnight. Last night was 10C. I think I'll wait another week.

Dovefromabove

Down to 2.6C here overnight Brrrrrrr!

Dovefromabove

Don't tempt me ................

But what would my robins and hedgehogs do without me