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tomato: transplant vs. seed

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15607
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
In the series of wanting to see big innovations in permaculture, I hereby announce that I'm going to give away a $1000 gift certificate to best proof/example of starting a tomato from seed rather than a transplant.

This test requires a side-by-side test. At least two plants are required: one that is started from seed, directly in the soil, and one that is started from a transplant. It is important all of the plants/seeds must be of the same variety of tomato. Lots of experimenting is encouraged.

One desired test is that a demonstration of a cloche (plant the seed, outdoors, several weeks before the transplant, and cover with a cloche).

The $1000 gift certificate will come from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply.



This is the place where I buy most of my seeds.

I wish to be clear: I think that volunteer tomatoes *usually* outperform transplants. And the real measurement is in things like total tomato harvest and the size of the plant at the end of the season. In visiting with dozens of people that have allowed volunteers to reach maturity, about 90% have reported a better harvest from the volunteers. This means that 10% of the people out there had a lessor harvest. Rather than explore "how to have a lame harvest with volunteers" I wish to explore "how to have a magnificent harvest with volunteers or direct seeding". (since volunteers are difficult to measure in a variety of ways, let's stick to direct seeding)

On October 10th I will pick the winner. All entries must be embedded in this thread.

Please feel free to ask questions about this in this thread.

sign up for my daily-ish email / rocket mass heater 4-DVD set / permaculture playing cards
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4329
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  65
Would you prefer heirloom varieties ? Hybrid seeds and starts might perform similarly on year one, but seed produced this year would not likely produce a suitable tomato next year.


Dale's picks - These are some of my favorite threads. Greed - http://www.permies.com/t/10736/md/unbridled-greed-ambition-compatible-permaculture My garden - http://www.permies.com/t/27910/projects/Dale-Day-Garden ethics - http://www.permies.com/t/11534/permaculture/frustration-ethics Good wood bad wood http://www.permies.com/t/12206/hugelkultur/Hugelkultur-Good-wood-Bad-wood Alder - http://www.permies.com/t/10609/plants/Alder-nitrogen-fixation-native-tree Bees - http://www.permies.com/t/10917/bees/time-replace-European-honey-bee Pulling nails - http://www.permies.com/t/10249/natural-building/Removing-nails-recycled-wood-techniques
Jennifer Wadsworth
steward

Joined: Sep 24, 2013
Posts: 2455
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
    
146
Alas, here in the desert all our tomatoes are in and some are a several feet tall! Gotta beat the summer heat. My toms rarely survive August.

As a side note. I love yellow pear cherry tomatoes. I usually buy them as transplants. However, for a couple of years a rogue yellow pear grew along the south side of my house against the brick wall. There is no water system there. I used to recycle the greywater from washing my dishes in that area (using bio-compatible Oasis dish soap). That yellow pear tomato managed to climb up the side of the house and get onto the roof - probably about 13 ft tall - before weeks of 105 - 115 degree heat beat it back. That plant was CRAZY! And it DEFINITELY out performed the yellow pear tomatoes that I got as transplants.

No volunteer yellow pear tomato this year - I have a new water harvesting feature for my kitchen sink water. I miss that plant.

Thanks for concocting this experiment, Paul. Looking forward to the results.


http://abundantdesert.com
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Elevation: 1090 ft
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Mar Barak


Joined: May 21, 2012
Posts: 72
Location: NYC
    
  10
NICE! ,
I just learned that some veg plants poop out after a while of transplanting. I never transplanted a tomato. I have always just thrown the seeds of my farmers market tomatos in the back yard by the house where the rain gutter floods. Well, after three years of throwing seeds, last year in NYC, I had the most amazing crop of my favorite cherry tomatos come up! Now I wish I had a pic to share...
This should be an easy project to complete. Just time consuming..


If you want wealth, help others to grow wealthy.
Who said that?
Sarah Loy


Joined: Jan 28, 2014
Posts: 14
    
    1
It will be interesting to see how this varies by zone. I am in zone 4 in NH. I can start tomatoes in 8 inch pots in my greenhouse on April 10 and plants them out on June 1 when we have passed our last frost. They are nice really big plants. Ssems like the soil before that are usually so cold that any tomatoes planted out much before that just sit there and turn yellow from the cold roots. Our volunteers don't start sprouting til about the last week of May or early June. Good luck to the folks who try. I hope folks let us know where they live as well.
brad millar


Joined: Nov 20, 2013
Posts: 55
Location: Menifee, CA
    
    7
Any bonus points for polyculture 15 tomatoes? I don't know if I have any room for this experiment but I'll give it a try. Sounds like fun.


David Goodman
volunteer

Joined: Dec 14, 2011
Posts: 362
Location: Zone 9a/8b
    
  15
Dang. Too late. Tomato season started in January/February here.

I did try a crazy method this year, though. I made piles of rotten veggies and mulch in my food forest, then threw tomatoes all over them. Multiple plants have shown up and some of them really look good. Direct seeded via chucking, no watering, no care, and no pests thus far.


Permaculture, bio-accumulators, rare plants, tool reviews and lots and lots of gardening inspiration - a new post every day: http://www.floridasurvivalgardening.com
David Goodman
volunteer

Joined: Dec 14, 2011
Posts: 362
Location: Zone 9a/8b
    
  15
@Mar Barak

Oh yeah. You know how to do tomatoes.
Nick Kitchener


Joined: Sep 24, 2012
Posts: 352
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    
    6
Well, we're still under a few feet of snow. I planted some seeds indoors just yesterday, and will plant out around June 1.

My question is, do you want a side by side comparison when the seeds are planted at the same time? I could try that shortly with a clouche. I'll use the first rain of spring as the start gun

Around here, my volunteers pop up around mid to late August and die with the first frosts in late Sept.
A.J. Gentry
volunteer

Joined: Feb 13, 2012
Posts: 154
Location: Ohio
    
  40
I was just about to update this other thread showing that I had 'officially' planted my cloches last week...

Last fall I listened to one of the podcasts and was intrigued by Paul's comment that one wouldn't have to start seed indoors. He suggested starting tomatoes (direct seed) in place, 6 weeks early by using milk jugs as mini cloches. I was super excited about this idea so I decided I would do it. And I really wanted to do a comparison between tomatoes started in place versus a transplant.

Before testing my plants, I wanted to do a bit of pre-work to help with the micro climate. The raised bed is south facing. So I built a two foot tall windbreak in a crescent shape hoping this would help with catching and keeping the heat while keeping the wind off the area. The suburb is set up in such a way that majority of the west wind is blocked by the houses... so I really only had to contend with the north wind. (I think...)







Even though I started before I knew there was a contest -- can I still participate?

A.J.


Location: Ohio, Zone 6a
Suburban lot (for now)
charlotte anthony


Joined: Mar 12, 2010
Posts: 68
    
    5
hello paul.

paul i do not know if you remember the time at the first inland permaculture convergence when you and i were debating about transplants. after a lot more consideration and communication with my plant friends (here i mean the plant spirits) decided that i agreed with you. seeded trees are more vigorous. even more important here in india that seeded plants, especially trees, have a far greater chance to grow in dry land conditions without the usual 2 years of watering if we plant from seeds. we are also using seeds for all our plants including tomatoes, specifically nonhybrid seeds. here in india hybrid seeds often mean gene spliced seeds. i was not aware that that was happening when i was in the u.s.

i am so glad to see that you are doing the tomatoe transplant project. i have grown tomatoes in the u.s. as a dry land crop so am looking forward to planting from seeds here.
our website will also be brought more up to date. sorry funds in the way of everything. this is at handsonpermaculture1.org

Charlotte Anthony
The Mother Who Plants Trees

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-mother-who-plants-trees/x/6482952
Berry Buiten


Joined: May 30, 2011
Posts: 28
Location: Worldcitizen
A friend of mine shoveled out his humanure toilet in spring and spread the manure out so the portuguees 50c summer sun could kill/uv radiate off any remaining pathogens. He was happilly surprised to find a tomato seedling there one morning. He'd water it once a week on the way to the toilet and he said it was his best tomato plant of the year! Best in taste, vigour and yield.


The Felt Presence of Direct Experience
Berry Buiten


Joined: May 30, 2011
Posts: 28
Location: Worldcitizen
ps.

This year i will try and DS all my greenhouse crops as well. I already have great results DSing nearly everything outside in Hollands wet temperate climate. Perhaps i'll experiment with direct outside seeded pumpkins.
Cj Verde
pollinator

Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 3235
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
    
  54
Berry Buiten wrote:Perhaps i'll experiment with direct outside seeded pumpkins.

It's actually easier to direct seed pumpkins than to transplant.


My project thread
Agriculture collects solar energy two-dimensionally; but silviculture collects it three dimensionally.
Berry Buiten


Joined: May 30, 2011
Posts: 28
Location: Worldcitizen
Cheers! That post quenched it, no more indoor propagation for me Beyond the few things i've got going already!
Julie Zeh


Joined: Apr 04, 2014
Posts: 1
Location: Richmond, VA
I'm up for the challenge!! It's ALMOST too late here in Richmond, VA but I will plant 2 sets of identical organic tomato seeds: 1 outdoors with plastic bottles as cloches, 1 indoors to be transplanted in a few weeks. Pictures to follow.
Sarah Loy


Joined: Jan 28, 2014
Posts: 14
    
    1
The amount of variability with transplants is, of course huge. I am really interested to see how this comes out but I hope folks give a lot of detail in their method. Good tomato transplants require full sun, should have bottom heat for fast germination and to stimulate root growth. The seeding mix should be well aerated and have good moisture retention. Pot size should be matched to the length of time that the plant will be growing before transplanting out so that roots are developed enough to hold together the potting mix at time of transplant but not to the point becoming root bound. Watering should be even so that the plants are not stressed by wilt. Good temperatures for tomatoes are in the 80's F day and 60's F night. Plants should be hardened off in a coldframe for a few days to a week before transplant. Once transplanted in, with as little root disturbance as possible, they should be watered in with a nutrient tea. The reason people started using transplants was to optimize the growing environment to get an earlier start or to prevent the loss of precious seeds. If someone's situation makes it difficult to produce a good healthy transplant then it is unlikely to out perform the direct seeded one. People with long growing seasons have a lot more room for variable conditions. In our short season we need season extension on both ends most years to get a decent crop of tomatoes and a lot of people now grow them in high tunnels for the whole season. It's actually a lot less work for me to raise a transplant in my greenhouse then it would be to be protecting the direct seeded one on a 20 degree F night in May. Tomatoes are some of the easiest things to transplant, luckily since they produce adventitious roots. Cucurbits are a whole different story. They really suffer from any root disturbance so I either direct seed if they don't need a long season, like pumpkins or squash, or seed into jiffy 7's if the seed is super expensive, or needs a little longer season, like melons. Happy growing everyone. Most of our snow is gone other then the shady spots now and I can hardly wait to see some green tree buds.
Peter Ellis


Joined: Apr 04, 2013
Posts: 806
Location: Central New Jersey
    
  26
I've designed an experiment, chosen three varieties of tomatoes and three methods for protecting the early direct seeded groups, data to record, and so forth.
The hard part, of course, will be to follow through with all the data collection and record keeping.

Now blogging at blasphemouspigeons.com
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15607
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Dale Hodgins wrote:Would you prefer heirloom varieties ? Hybrid seeds and starts might perform similarly on year one, but seed produced this year would not likely produce a suitable tomato next year.


While I do prefer heirloom varieties, for the sake of this experiment, I think the most important thing is that each seed/transplant is the same variety.

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15607
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
brad millar wrote:Any bonus points for polyculture 15 tomatoes? I don't know if I have any room for this experiment but I'll give it a try. Sounds like fun.




Maybe.

As much as i think polyculture is the way to go, I think that the experiments could be influenced by different polycultures. Even more important: will other observers be convinced of direct-seeding v transplants if the tomatoes are in a polyculture? Probably not. I think that for the sake of science, this will probably be better as a monocrop experiment.

But I think it is really up to each experimenter. And I will judge the results at the end. But my primary form of judging will be: what do I think is the most persuasive to others?

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15607
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Nick Kitchener wrote:
My question is, do you want a side by side comparison when the seeds are planted at the same time? I could try that shortly with a clouche. I'll use the first rain of spring as the start gun


I leave it up to each experimenter on how they want to prove/demonstrate this. But I think a side-by-side would be stronger evidence than two different pictures.


paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15607
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
A.J. Gentry wrote:

Even though I started before I knew there was a contest -- can I still participate?



Yes!
Sean Henry


Joined: Nov 22, 2013
Posts: 48
Location: Louisville, KY Zone 7
    
    1
This is great we just finished building our new mounds on Sunday and I think we will be planting in the next few days. Now I just need to remember to start some to transplant, grr, we were going to do direct seed except for a few peppers we had issues with last year.


Check out my journey on creating an urban homestead at LouisvilleHomestead it's a work in progress.
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james Apodaca


Joined: Sep 09, 2013
Posts: 44
Hmmm, I have some Russian 117 Heirloom seed I've been wanting to get planted but have been putting it off because I found another nice oxheart variety that does very well in my garden.

Also, if you are looking for in-ground tests there's no way I would be able to trial a monocrop as nematodes run rampant in my garden. That and I don't "plan" anything with the exception of nurturing anything that rears it's little green head. I have to interplant root knot susceptible plants with marigolds or the entire plant suffers.

Relevant Pictures attached although they are two different varieties with possibly different pest tolerance levels and I used pine straw for the full-plant and oak leaves and straw bale for the mulch on the suffering one.. but ultimately, I believe the credit belongs to the marigolds.

Are you setting forth any guidelines as to pruning practices?
-Topping Plants?
-Pruning off Suckers?
-Single Stem Pruning?

Or is the only guideline that everything must be performed to standard on both tests with the exception of the transplant / direct seed and (where appropriate) cloche methods?

I live in Florida - it's already 84 degrees here.. So I have no use for cloches.



[tomato wo marigold.jpeg]


[tomato w marigold.jpeg]

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15607
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I think that anything you might do to your tomato (pruning, fertilizing, caging, etc.) has done equally to all tomatoes in the experiment.
Sherakee O'Riley


Joined: Jan 21, 2013
Posts: 15
I've tried twice to write a post and it didn't take. My corn-pewter has been out of commission for a few days and I'm trying to make do with a phone, so here's my final go at it.
All of my tomatoes are volunteers, or directly seeded every year. Since after the big ice storms down here I've been granted a hefty hand up in the building of my giant berms (huglekulters) and the advancement of your plot for world domination in the deep DEEP south is moving forward.
I'd like to video as much of the major changes as feasible and adding a few tomatoe seedlings in the mix for comparison may be no problem, if you think that may be what you're looking for. I'm here to serve the cause so just let me know and I'll be the "minion with an opinion" if it fits a need.
Your friend,
Sherakee
Cj Verde
pollinator

Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 3235
Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
    
  54
It's handy to copy your post before you hit the submit button. Occasionally I forget but I can still save the post by hitting the "back" button where it's been cached.
Sue Rine


Joined: Mar 28, 2013
Posts: 139
Location: New Zealand
    
    3
Our seasons are wrong for this competition, (am in NZ), but I had to laugh at the forest of tomatoes that came up in the bed where I spread our humanure compost. The heap had been left for a year after any new material was added and still those plants burst out of the ground. I had read years earlier in permaculture one that tomato seeds pass through the human gut undamaged.
Kelly King


Joined: Dec 19, 2012
Posts: 17
Location: North West Vermont - near Saxon Hill
    
    2
Ok, I'm in. I'm already pretty late with my indoor tomatoes.... should have gone in on Town Meeting Day (first Tues in March) so they can go out on Memorial Day. Here in Vermont we sometimes don't even have a long enough season to get many tomatoes, but with Global Weirding, we've had some odd falls so who knows.

I'll start them DS outside, on with a cloche, one with a cloche and remay, and one a single window cold frame. And I'll match them with a batch inside in my aps system.

-Kelly


Kelly in Northwest Vermont
Planting my retirement and my grandchildren-to-be's future on 10 acres of wooded land in my hometown of Jericho.
David Livingston
volunteer

Joined: Apr 24, 2013
Posts: 1048
Location: Anjou ,France
    
  31
Er I don't plant my best tomatoes I just let some of them rot in the ground beneath the plant ,wait until next year when they come again . Sometimes they get some ... er ... Free locally available liquid nitrogen feed I make myself
Not sure how I would get this to be part of the experiment though as I don't have any other seeds .

David


Living in Anjou , France
http://www.permies.com/t/80/31583/projects/Permie-Pennies-France#330873
Chris Dalton


Joined: Oct 07, 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Cole Camp, MO
I look forward to this. I have started massive hugelkultur beds in the past week. We have already started our seeds inside and they are growing. I will get seeds into the ground tonight and cover them with cloches. If this works then I will start my gardens this way in the future. We only have 384 sq ft of house space in our tiny cabin, which poses a challenge when trying to start your seeds inside. I know cold frames would help, but as you all are aware, there are hundreds of projects to do, and only 24 hours in a day.
Lexie Huber


Joined: Apr 11, 2014
Posts: 1
I have always used transplants from the store, but this year I am trying from seed (and failing). I am on my 3rd attempt with seedlings. They sprout beautifully and grow about 2 inches, and have 2 leaves. After that they stall, then turn yellow and fall over to die a sad death. Any thoughts? I really want to use the heirlooms.
D. Logan
pollinator

Joined: Sep 11, 2013
Posts: 337
Location: Deep Southern Texas
    
  38
Lexie Huber wrote:I have always used transplants from the store, but this year I am trying from seed (and failing). I am on my 3rd attempt with seedlings. They sprout beautifully and grow about 2 inches, and have 2 leaves. After that they stall, then turn yellow and fall over to die a sad death. Any thoughts? I really want to use the heirlooms.


This might be dampening off. I've seen a number of plants that were in the early seedling stage with too much water around the roots suffer the yellowing effect you describe. Another might be a deficiency in the growing medium, which I have also seen be the cause of yellowing leaves in young plants.


Outdoor and Ecological articles every Monday at http://blog.dxlogan.com/
leila hamaya
pollinator

Joined: Jun 30, 2012
Posts: 768
Location: northern northern california
    
  32
Lexie Huber wrote:I have always used transplants from the store, but this year I am trying from seed (and failing). I am on my 3rd attempt with seedlings. They sprout beautifully and grow about 2 inches, and have 2 leaves. After that they stall, then turn yellow and fall over to die a sad death. Any thoughts? I really want to use the heirlooms.


random guess - damping off, caused by over watering. but hey thats just a guess, though this is quite common.

wish i could participate in this, but i already planted all the tomatoes, direct seeded some and planted more in pots.

though i will have some of each variety that will be transplants and some that are direct seeded, it will be impossible to tell which variety it is until they actually fruit.
thats actually a common thing for me to do, plant some direct in the garden and then the rest of the pack in flats, but i dont keep track of which ones were transplants. i figure this is a best of both worlds approach.

the transplants do get ahead of the direct seeded stuff usually, but it tends to even out once they are actually transplanted. however the direct seeded stuff tends to get eaten or who knows what, it disappears, so with indoor more controlled environment gets more actually plants for the same amount of seed. which then is probably more evened out by transplant shock and whatever losses and difficulties the plant has from going from the pampered environment to out in the ground.
some stuff needs to be direct seeded, but with most everything else i often do both, though lately do to it being easier, i do more direct seeding.
leila hamaya
pollinator

Joined: Jun 30, 2012
Posts: 768
Location: northern northern california
    
  32
ah funny, same thought, same time of posting.
though actually not so odd, this is basically the most common thing that kills seedlings, like you describe.
its a fine line between too much water and not enough water with seedlings. bigger plants can handle it but seedlings are more delicate.
Miles Flansburg
steward

Joined: Feb 03, 2011
Posts: 2501
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
    
  68
What if I let the fruit from last years plants come up and plant the same plant from a nursery, next to what comes up? Do I have to start my own seeds in doors?

I was thinking it might be fun to see if a seeded plant will catch up with a nursery plant.
Fredrik Lundstrom


Joined: Apr 13, 2014
Posts: 7
Location: Vaasa, Finland
    
    2
Hey guys!

Decided to create an account on the forum just for this topic. Have been reading for a year or so already.

I went out and planted my seedling and seed today in to my raised garden beds and recorded a few videos about it. I will be uploading all the videos to the playlist here:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdoRfWYK9gAWpt5Zimk4htyPlVsczTe8X

The tomato I am using is a Siberian tomato which is cold hardy and it was 9C (48F) today when I planted them. Although I really doubt that the tomatoes from the seeds will produce a better plant I am more than willing to be proven wrong with this experiment.

-Fredrik
Coralee Palmer


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 42
    
    3
We live on the Oregon Coast and would like to enter the competition.

We are experimenting with how best to raise tomatoes next to the ocean. Please review our project to see if it would be fit within the contest guidelines.

We have already planted some Sweet 100 indeterminate seeds in a green house to generate our transplants. We have planted the same Sweet 100 seeds in our TomatoBarrel outside with a Cloche. We plan to move the transplants from the greenhouse to other TomatoBarrels with Cloches outside as soon as they are ready.

Our TomatoBarrel is a modified 55 gallon black plastic barrel. The top half holds 30 gallons wicking media and the bottom contain 23 gallons of water. Since the TomatoBarrels are really containers, they can sit anywhere, BUT they must be in the sun. They can set on a deck, in a yard, on the sidewalk. We do set them on something to keep them from touching the cold earth.

The black barrel collects the heat from the sun and store that heat in the 23 gallons water in the bottom of the barrel. From our research, the water in the bottom is kept between 60 – 70 degrees during the summer. They do need their water replenished once a week.

The secret of the TomatoBarrel is the wicking media. TomatoBarrel growing varies significantly from traditional in-ground in several ways. Unlike conventional soil where worms and other insects provide “channels” for natural aeration, the growing media in TomatoBarrel requires a loose, porous mix to replicate the aeration process with the right nutrients.

Our Media will be Coir, Pearlite and Pine Bark Fine plus a slow releasing organic fertilizer mix. Tomato production on the Oregon Coast is challenging because of the large amount of cold Oregon rain; the Coast’s earth is cold until usually June or early July. Therefore, to get the right mixture of aerated media and nutrients for our coast is extremely important.

Our TomatoBarrel
We have grown tomatoes next to the ocean for the last two years. We have not grown any tomato plant in our TomatoBarrel over 8ft.

Another Tall Tomato Plant
The picture of the tall tomato plant shown above is of another grower, not ours.


This year we are attempting to grow a Sweet 100 tomato plant over 10 feet tall.
If this project fits within the contest guideline, then we will start document and post the progress.
Please advise.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15607
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
It sounds like it would meet the guideline: proof/demonstration that seed started outdoors outperforms a transplant.

If your submission is the only submission, then you win the $1000 gift card from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply.

Of course, I get the impression that there will be many entries. And the thing I am looking for is what I think will be most persuasive. And I think it is possible that people will come up with elements of persuasiveness that I have not yet considered.

I would say that if there are a dozen entries, and one entry shows that their direct seeded plant is twice the size and producing twice the tomatoes with better flavor, then that has a better chance than the exact same scenario where the direct seeded plant is 10% better.

I think a place where direct seeded plants will do better is that they will make a far larger root network than a transplant. Which would be hard to do in a container. But I could be wrong and am looking forward to seeing the results.

Matthew Steffen


Joined: Feb 10, 2013
Posts: 18
Here in Northwest Montana even using Milk Jugs direct seeded maters don't make it to maturity. After 5 years of hauling green tomatoes into the basement in early September i put up a hoop house. I am in the Kalispell valley at 3,200 feet and the ONLY way i have had tomatoes is seeded indoors in late march and transplanted to the hoop house mid to late may. Last year we had a nippy morning in the teens the 3rd week of May and some of the mater i had JUST transplanted in the hoop house (and also covered inside the hoophouse) got bit pretty bad. My heater quit that night. Now i have a temp alarm run to a ringer in the house. If temp hits 35* the ringer goes off.


[mater1.jpg]

[mater2.jpg]

[mater3.jpg]

 
 
subject: tomato: transplant vs. seed
 
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