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Posted on 30 May 2011 by tomatocasual.com

Moving On Up – Transplanting Tomato Seedlings

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Tomato seeds that were planted in January are in a dire need to be moved to a new location.

A good way to tell if they are ready to be transplanted is if there are two to three sets of true leaves on the tomato seedlings.

If the plants have the correct number of leaves, it is time to move on up.

While one may feel the best approach is to move up to a very large container, this is not the best choice. A larger container provides too much room for proper root development. The best approach is to upsize to a 4 or 6-inch container.

Before doing the move, a soil mixture will have to be made. This is made from 4 parts compost, 2 parts peat moss, and 1 part each of vermiculite and perlite. Mix this soil mixture in a large bucket and place a cover over it until ready to use.

Next thoroughly wash the containers that are going to be used. Place them in a solution of one gallon of water to one cap full of bleach. Rinse the containers completely in clean water and place outside to dry in the bright sunlight. Allowing the containers to dry Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 20 July 2008 by tomatocasual.com

Great Sources for Tomatoes

By Kira Hamman

Did you somehow never get around to starting seeds this year?

I’ve been there.

The year my daughter was born in early spring, for example, and the year I moved halfway across the country in June.

But this does not mean that you can’t have homegrown tomatoes! You can still buy plants from a nursery or mail-order source and have your very own tomatoes by the end of the summer.

Here are a few places to try:

Seeds of Change
Great collection of six different tomato seedlings, billed as Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 13 May 2008 by tomatocasual.com

Too Many Tomato Seedlings?

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By Kira Hamman

If you’re anything like me, you started just a few too many tomato seeds.

They’re so little, really, and it always seems like an extra flat or two is no big deal.

I somehow manage to ignore the little voice reminding me that an extra flat or two when I sow the seeds translates to, oh, about an extra 300 square feet of garden space and at least that many extra pounds of actual tomatoes.

Then it gets to be the end of April and the plants (now in 4-inch pots) are covering every horizontal surface in my home. My kids have nowhere to do their projects. Or brush their teeth. Or sleep. My husband says it’s him or the tomatoes.

Happily, the same principle of three Rs that every self-respecting environmentalist has memorized applies here, too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 16 April 2008 by tomatocasual.com

Guide to Starting Tomatoes from Seed – Part 3

seedlingPart Three: A Working Person’s Guide to Hardening Off (See Part One)

By Kira Haman

So you’ve successfully gotten those tiny little seeds to grow into strong, healthy plants.

This always seems like a miracle (and, in fact, it is), but now they’re getting cramped in their little pots, and it’s time to get them into the garden.

But wait!

You can’t just plunk them out there — they’ll wilt dramatically and die before you can say “sun-worshipping prima donna.”

No, you have to perform the gardening ritual known as hardening off, in which you Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 12 April 2008 by tomatocasual.com

Guide to Starting Tomatoes from Seed – Part 2

How to Choose Good Tomato Plants for Transplanting by Flirting - TomatoCasual.comPart Two: Sowing the Seeds of Love (See Part One)

By Kira Hamman

Now that you’ve ordered your seeds, it’s time to get ready to plant.

First, assemble the things you’ll need:
– A flat of teeny pots for starting the seeds. Get one that comes with a tray to sit in that will catch drips.
– Larger (2”) pots for transplanting.
– If you live in a cold region, even larger (4”) pots for transplanting again (if you ever have snow in April, then you live in a cold region).
– Sterile seed-starting mix.
– Good-quality potting soil.
– A spray bottle for water.
– A supplementary light source — this does not have to be an official grow light, but has to be adjustable so you can keep it about 4 — 5 inches above the seedlings as they grow.

Once the seeds actually arrive, Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 08 April 2008 by tomatocasual.com

The Tomato Whisperer

Tomato WhispererBy Michael Nolan

Mother Nature just doesn’t seem to want to agree with my timetable for planting tomatoes this year.

Severe thunderstorms and sporadic tornado warnings notwithstanding, the temperatures will go from a balmy and beautiful 75 for several days and then plummet rather suddenly to the 30s overnight.

As any true tomato gardener knows, these conditions are just not helping me start this year’s crop.

It was just last week that I finally started the first of my tomato seeds indoors. Yes, I realize I’m late, but you seriously wouldn’t believe the weather.

Thus far this year I hope to enjoy: Read the rest of this entry »

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