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Tomato quandary

zakthecatzakthecat Wallasey, MerseysidePosts: 44
Last year I invested in a small (6' x 4') greenhouse in the hope that I would be able to grow tomatoes that taste as good as the ones my dad used to grow - I'm fast approaching 65 btw - and find myself in a state of hopeless confusion. I carefully selected some seeds from Suttons (Rosella, Gardener's Delight and Sweet Millions), sowed them in a windowsill propagater placed on a south-facing windowsill, and waited for them to germinate - which they did: hoorah!

When they produced two sets of true leaves I pricked out and potted on into 7cm pots and placed them back onto the windowsill - so far, so good. I then started the process of hardening off by exposing them to harsh realities of life outside a centrally heated house. The Rosellas were so vigorous I've now (yesterday) moved them onto their "final " pots and gingerly placed them in the greenhouse where they seem to have successfully survived their first night out.
 
Unfortunately the others are not looking quite so happy and I'm wondering what I might be doing wrong. Am I giving them too much or too little water etc? Are they ready to go out to join their chums in the greenhouse or what? My dad is sadly no longer around to provide me with sage advice so I find myself turning to the kindness of strangers for help.





Thank you and stay safe
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Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,245
    edited April 2020
    Hi @perryjohnbev - I think those need potting on too. Are the roots filling the pot? 

    It's often a question of timing with tomatoes. When sown early, they need adequate heat and light, before going out in a greenhouse. It's still very early in the year for them to go outdoors - even in a greenhouse, unless it's heated. They need overnight temps to be at least 12 degrees or so.
    Watering is something that needs to be a regular routine, and it's often better to allow them to dry out a little before watering, rather than overwatering.

    I've only sown mine recently - Sweet Millions haven't even germinated yet, and Sungold are just peeking through  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,531
    Tomatoes won't be happy at temps below 13c so you need to keep them warm and in good light until outside temps get to that sort of temperature level.
    They should recover and grow well.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,245
    Snap @Pete.8  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,531
    Great minds fg :)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • zakthecatzakthecat Wallasey, MerseysidePosts: 44
    Thank you for your replies
    I obviously got a little over enthusiastic with my sowing: I had the seeds, I had the propagator, I had a south facing window so around the beginning of March off I went like the proverbial bull in a china shop. 
    So I think I'll pot the others on and put them out in the greenhouse during the day and bring them back inside at night until the nighttime temperatures get warmer (my max/min thermometer recorded a low of 8.7 degrees last night). Does that seem like a sensible plan?
    Btw, I have plenty of other questions, but one thing at a time!
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,610
    We've all been there ! The first sniff of Spring and out comes the propagator. 
    I'm sure your tomatoes will turn out to be ones that would make your dad proud  :)
    You've definitely come to the right place for advice. 
    I would do that , bring them in to the house at night  - it's cheaper than having a greenhouse heater.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,531
    So long as you can keep them temps in double figures I think your plan will work.
    Rosella is one of my favourites.
    Good luck and let us know when you have more questions
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • zakthecatzakthecat Wallasey, MerseysidePosts: 44
    So I took your advice and re-potted the rest of my tomato plants. put them in the greenhouse until early evening, then brought them inside for the night. They all look pretty happy this morning, so when it gets a bit warmer, out they'll go again.

    My next pressing question is about aspirin. I've seen/read about the benefits of spraying tomatoes with aspirin to boost their defences against many of the common diseases, and even, according to James Wong, making them taste better. What I can't seem to find is information regarding when you should start doing this and how often you should do it. Also does this benefit other plants (I'm also growing a couple of varieties of sweet pepper, aubergines and jalapenos).

    It's all a bit of a minefield for a beginner!
  • SkylarksSkylarks East MidlandsPosts: 379
    Ah, not heard about the aspirin so hoping someone else has experience of this. Basil is supposedly supposed to make tomatoes taste better. My problem was slugs devoured the basil that I planted with my mine last year. I’m going to try protect them with copper ring and egg shells this year.
  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,278
    James Wong mentioned spraying aspirin in his talk at Hampton last year and I was intrigued.  Here is a link with the bare bones  http://www.jameswong.co.uk/tomatoes/4588088979
    I got the impression it was used once the fruit started to form but no details I'm afraid.
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
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