"hardening tomato plants"

Discussion in 'Food Preparation, Camp Cooking and Recipes' started by Rhino, May 9, 2012.

  1. Rhino

    Rhino Spike

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    Sorry for the novice question.. Best way to harden tomato plants?? Have seedlings that were started indoors that need to get planted.
     
  2. pentail

    pentail Bacon Staff Member

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    Just put them out. Might wait till the weekend, they are giving 40s for the next few nights in central ky
     
  3. barney

    barney 12 pointer

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    Like pentail said, plant them they will harden in the garden.

    I grow alot of mater plants and have to harden them in order to handle them and also to halt growth to make them manageable. I hate big tall plants! Over the years I have migrated from the big, "textbook perfect" plant in a big deep pot to basically a 7 or 8 inch tall plug plant. I have also found small plants set faster and more easily than larger plants. They also establish themselves faster and take off like a rocket due to the root ball being in the upper few inches of warm soil instead of the cooler, often wet deeper soil.

    Heres what I do to harden plants. Once plants are near my ideal size, I start withholding water and fertilizer for a few days. If they are really lush, I move them to a shady spot outdoors protected from wind for a day or so, then to full sun until ready to plant. If they are just growing slowly, I just put them in full sun protected from wind for a few days. You will see them begin to get a lighter color, and become stiffer as they harden.
     
  4. Rhino

    Rhino Spike

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    Thank ya....
     
  5. new guy

    new guy Banned

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    i hardened some matoe plants in that cold snap we had. now they are almost 3 foot tall and have flowers on them. they will be ok
     
  6. barney

    barney 12 pointer

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    Must be shady where you live..by the time mines 3' tall I've been eatn' BLT's for a week:)
     
  7. new guy

    new guy Banned

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    they arent quit 3 yet. id say 2 and a half. im expecting an early matoe tho. i do lose direct sunlight about 3 pm tho.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  8. tyshe17

    tyshe17 12 pointer

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    can someone enlighten me here: how does less sun=taller plants, and what is this hardening you speak of? I always produce pretty good tomatoes, but know nothing of this high level horticulture y'all speak of. Thanks for the info boys.
     
  9. msu_hunter

    msu_hunter 6 pointer

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    I to am lost on all this Voodoo stuff. Hardening?
     
  10. pentail

    pentail Bacon Staff Member

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    Tomato seedlings tend to stretch toward available light. If you have them in a window or any area that only gets sunlight part of the day, you will end up with tall narrow stalks that aren't strong enough to hold themselves upright. Years ago, greenhouses were able to spray with growth regulators that kept the plants short and stocky, even over cloudy periods. Those chemicals were outlawed 15 or 20 years ago. Now they use sunlight and moving air to help strengthen them up. Hardening off is just the gradual introduction to outside environment for seedlings started and grown indoors
     
  11. new guy

    new guy Banned

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    toughen them up for the real world
     
  12. quackrstackr

    quackrstackr Welcome to Fantasy Island Staff Member

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  13. new guy

    new guy Banned

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  14. tyshe17

    tyshe17 12 pointer

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    Ok, see you at the house!
     

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