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Post by Sonshine on Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:22 am

Got this in an email from a friend. I thought you guys might enjoy it.

Above the subtropics we start tomatoes earlier than our actual growing season, indoors and coddled with lights and containers in a warm special place, in our greenhouses or maybe just a window.

The first requirement a tomato seed needs is warmth, It is best to start your seeds with bottom heat. I like putting a plastic film over the containers until the seedlings peep out.

Your tomatoes need dark until they germinate. After the seeds start growing it will take maybe 5-6 weeks for the plants to grow big enough to set outdoors, so plan well start them 6 weeks before your ‘last frost date’. This date is the one your local area usually begins summer temperatures so then it’s safe to grow outdoors without danger of frost, the frost dates are not set-in-stone, though, so we might bet the occasional dip in the temps so plan ahead, keep sheets, blankets or large pieces of cloth handy to cover them over night just in case. It’s best to wait, regardless of ‘frost dates’, until the soil in your garden is 70 degrees or more for a few days at least, Tomatoes actually do much better if you do wait.

Determinate and Indeterminate

A determinate tomato will get to maybe a couple of feet high and that’s it, it will then grow tomatoes and not keep on vining. Of course the indeterminate is one which will keep growing.

If you do buy the indeterminate and most tomatoes are , you will need to cage them, I recommend caging them immediately, the tines that go into the ground wont damage the plant as you push the tines in the ground and the branches can be more easily be coaxed into the circles of the cage, one more note: keep slipping the branches inside [be vigilant all summer] so they won’t hang over and break.

As to picking those yummy tomatoes you can pick them right before they are fully ripened, many people prefer not to tempt the raccoons and passersby. Then since they ripen best in the dark cover them on the counter [not the fridge] until they are perfect. Keeping them in the fridge keeps them from ripening anymore than they already are, Some purists prefer to eat them warm and never refrigerate them.

One very nice thing to do is to get some advice as to the kinds of tomatoes that will suit your needs and grow several varieties, then decide which ones you like best, then grow those only the next years

Sheep to the right; His Lamb
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength" Isa 30:15 survival seeds storage -food quality barrels biblical survival

He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]

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