Early tomatoes

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Early tomatoes

Post: #272520 Odsox
Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:24 am

This post is primarily for Green Aura but may be interesting to others.
Diggernotdreamer very kindly sent me some Aurora & Latah tomato seed, both of which claim to be cold tolerant and early to fruit.

I sowed some on January 2nd and potted up a couple of times before placing in a hydroponics unit in my unheated conservatory. Both are thriving but are very different in appearance. The Aurora are sturdy healthy looking plants and are just about to start flowering but the Latah are spindly looking plants with the tips of the leaves dying back, but despite that have been in flower for a couple of weeks and one has a pea sized fruit. The leaf die back looks like a deficiency problem, but can't be as both varieties were potted with the same compost and now the hydroponic medium is totally balanced.
So it may well be the cold causing it, the overnight temperatures have dropped to around 4c and most of February was very overcast, so daytime temperatures were not much higher. So far then, the Aurora (2 on the left) look happy bushy plants that are just about to flower and the Latah (on the right) looks rather unhappy but producing fruit 8 weeks after sowing.

Maggie.jpg (109.18 KiB) Viewed 1334 times

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Re: Early tomatoes

Post: #272527 Green Aura
Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:56 pm

Thanks Tony, I'll watch these with interest. We sowed our tomatoes - Marmande, Red Pear, Moneymaker, Gardeners delight and Tamina (? - something like that) (and a few hopefuls from supermarket toms :roll: - a bit late this year due to certain upheavals on the home front. TBH, although they're healthy looking plants, they're far behind yours and I'm not expecting huge returns.

But that's them pretty much finished now and OH has agreed we'll look specifically for short season replacements for most of our seeds from now on.

I found an interesting seed company in the US who specalises in such things. I can't remember their name at the moment but when it comes to me I'll share it.

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Re: Early tomatoes

Post: #272536 diggernotdreamer
Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:27 pm

Those Latah always look a bit sick and spindly, I thought it was just me neglecting them, but they produce early and then just keep on going, they do seem to perk up a bit later on, but I guess a lot of energy is going into fruit production. I will try starting them off a bit earlier next year, now I have better facilities I can look after things a bit better. We had -5.6 last night, really horrible hard frost, but the early potatoes in the tunnel were ok, keeping them very cosy under lots of layers every night.

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Re: Early tomatoes

Post: #272544 The Riff-Raff Element
Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:09 am

Good to see! I'm just starting the sowing now, but we have a longer season here. Hoping for an improvement over last year's climatic gyrations...

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Re: Early tomatoes

Post: #272545 oldjerry
Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:04 am

Amen to that.

Mind you,not a great start here ,desperately cold for mid March,the cordoned apples(all 20 of them) I've set out at the back are still sound asleep(at least I hope it's sleep!)but I'll settle for a late spring if we can avoid a rogue frosty night at the end of April.

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