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Tonight my partner brought home 6 2 inch tomato plants from aldi. He thought these were a bargain at 1.99. We potted them up about 10 minutes ago and have them a water. They are now sat on some capillary matting in a tray in my unheated conservatory. Do you think they will be ok. I somehow think its very early for tomatoes! They are gardeners delights. Should I cover them with cut off pop bottles or anything? I usually buy more established plants 5-7" late April and put in a pop up greenhouse! Anyone got any thoughts....
flowering rose

if your conservatory is unheated you could try the plastic bottle thing,but with the weather as it is it might be a little early.


It is a bit early for tomatoes in a cold greenhouse-providing the conservatory is frost-free they should be ok as regards surviving -it is more a case of see what happens?

Mine are still in the conservatoty, I wouldn't put them in the green house yet.

These plants would have been germinating around 16c so keep them inside till it warms up when it does start hardening them off I grow Gardeners Delight in my green house they do well outside they can be dodgy especially up here in the north.



Couldn't you bring them indoors for the night?

I have put an oil filled radiator in there and turned it in low around 1-4am. Think this will do the trick??

They're going to need light as much as warmth, RD, as much light as they can get. Preferably sunlight. The longer you can keep the temps in the low to mid teens the better. But light is the absolute key.

They are in the window of the conservatory and the blinds are up so its as close as I can get to being outside without putting them out. Just hope they don't draw!

That's probably as good as you can do under the circumstances. Just try to keep them as warm as possible.


Good morning Italophile  

 I've not dared start any of mine off yet this year - thought I'd be brave and do it this coming weekend - the thing is once they've outgrown the windowsills I've only got a mini greenhouse and a plastic growhouse to move them on to.  

I'm afraid this is going to be a short season - I'm wondering whether I should save my heritage seeds for another year and go for some modern types in order to be more likely to get a crop?  What do you think?

Oakley Witch

Well, I planted my tomatoes on January the 1st as was tradition with my grandpa and mine are sitting on my kitchen windowsill at a very proud 7 inches They are very happy and even the cat leaves them alone now lol


Morning Dove! Happy - belated - New Year. It's still bizarrely chilly and grey and damp here for the time of year. We should already be comfortably into the teens C with plenty of sun.

I started my seeds about six weeks ago, as per usual, and everything germinated, as per usual. On dry days I put them out on the terrace in a crate wrapped in bubble wrap, but, at 7C and overcast, they're only puttering along. They're probably about a fortnight behind where they would usually be.

Heirlooms or hybrids, the only difference is the flavour. Growing circumstances are identical. If you're bothered about length of season, the only factor you need to take into account is their days to maturity. Both Anna Russian and Camp Joy (the cherry, I think I sent some, didn't I?) would be fine. They won't take any longer than your average hybrid.

The larger beefsteaks, which need longer, might be more problematic in a short season. I'd try some anyway. You don't know what summer will bring and what have you got to lose? I can always send more.


My tomatoes have germinated over the past couple of days. Do I take the cover off them now?


You're a star Italophile, and a Happy New Year to you too!   I had thought that maybe the Anna Russian  would cope with a shorter season (DDIL isn't at all fazed by snow in March) - it is the days to maturity I'm a bit concerned about.

It is still absolutely perishing cold here so my toms will be confined to the kitchen and dining room windowsills for quite a while unless we get a sudden heatwave

You sent me Jaune Flamme which I think are the smaller ones?  You also sent Golden Queen, Soldacki and Marianna's Peace - as you said ' the decision making is hard'.  

I shall start them off this weekend and hope for the best 



@ tattiana

Once germinated, they need light. Preferably sunlight, but as much bright light as they can get for at least 12-14 hours a day. You can take the cover off providing there's still reasonable warmth.

@ Dove

Ah, Jaune Flammée. Forgot I'd sent those. They're the gold French golf ball-sized ones. They'll likely be the quickest of the lot. Golden Queen is medium-size, obviously Soldaki and MP are beefsteaks. Start them all, see what happens. They're only seeds!

Here's Jaune Flamée. Lovely citrusy tang to them. They look like cherries in this photo, in reality they're a bit bigger, golf ball-sized:



Oh my gosh!  They look so delicious - what I wouldn't give for some warm ripe tomatoes, basil and EVOO with a sprinkling of sea salt* right at this very minute - at the very least the vitamin C would help get rid of this virus 


*maybe some good mozzarella too 


Here are my wee 'uns currently. Outside, under bubble wrap in a rare moment of sunshine:

And you can see how pale they are from the lack of sunlight:


You're in Lincolnshire. a long way from t'north where I am.  But I agree with other posters, good light is essential.  A few years ago I experimented with grow lights and a heated bench to grow Gardeners Delight through the Winter.  I got about 3 tiny tomatoes!  My GD's were sown in January on a heated bench this year and are about 4 inches high.  Even with the snow recently, we've had the odd bright day, and they've done ok.  But they definitely need both heat and light.  In a normal year (ahem, if we ever get one again) I would expect ripe toms from GD by late June in the greenhouse, after planting them out in a cold greenhouse early to mid May (in Cumbria).  Up till that point they were in a frost-free propagating house (soil warming cable plus thermostatic fan heater). if you're using windowsill/conservatory, I'd suggest turning the plants every day to stop them bending towards the light, but try to avoid them getting cold, they don't like it.

I plant seeds my toms on cristmas day and do not think you need the lenth of sunlight you say all I do if they become lrggy is repot them on but pot them on deeper this as the added affect of giving a better root ball wene it is time to put them in the greenhouse I have done this for 3 years now and my father as done the same for I dont know how long, my tom plants are now in 9cm pots and are about 7 inch tall