How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Need to know the best time to plant?

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vivienz
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How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby vivienz » Sun May 27, 2018 6:00 pm

I have just found two packets of tomato seeds that I forgot to sow when I did most of them at the very end of April/beginning of May. Is it too late to be worthwhile sowing any of these? My existing plants are still tiny but I plan to grow them all in a greenhouse and that won't be ready for about 4 or 5 weeks.

Or should I just buy a few plants for red tomatoes (I sowed all the other colours and seemed to mis-place the red ones).
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Re: How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby tigerburnie » Sun May 27, 2018 6:51 pm

I would think it's a bit late now, lack of light and warmth later on in the year could be a problem for ripening, if you like green tomato chutney, then fire ahead.
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Re: How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby Primrose » Sun May 27, 2018 7:15 pm

My vote is for it being too late now. I think this year you'd do better cheating and buying some mature plants if you want to get any sort of crop. My outdoor tumbling plants are just developing their first flowers!
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vivienz
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Re: How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby vivienz » Sun May 27, 2018 9:00 pm

Thanks both, I thought that might be the case so the confirmation is good to have. The toms were only ever going to be a nice added bonus so I'm not distraught.
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Re: How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby Gerry » Sun May 27, 2018 10:48 pm

Self seeded ones are only just showing in my pollytunnel so it may be worth a chance.
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Re: How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby Primrose » Mon May 28, 2018 6:56 am

I've come across quite a number of self seeded seedlings whilst weeding in my tomato border recently. They're only about an inch high but what surprises me is how dark green the leaves are and how much sturdier they seem to be compared with the early ones I sowed indoors. Whether this would make them sturdier plants in the long run if we had long enough summers to allow the fruit to mature and ripen I don't know.
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Re: How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby Geoff » Mon May 28, 2018 7:14 am

Unless they are very expensive seed and you have space, why not? If they grow fast enough stop them at three trusses and hope for a good Autumn.
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Re: How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby oldherbaceous » Mon May 28, 2018 7:22 am

Definately sow them.....early sown tomato plants are often struggling by the end of August, early September, as yours will be dark green and full of vigour....

Another one of those topics where some of us have different thoughts but, that's why gardening still excites me.... :)
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Re: How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby sally wright » Mon May 28, 2018 11:29 am

Dear Vivienz,
sow them, tomatoes can stand cooler temps and lower light levels as adult plants than you might think. As long as they can be kept frost free they will soldier on well into the Autumn. Most of the older varieties of medium round reds such as moneymaker, shirley or harbinger will stand this treatment. Ildi and gardeners delight of the cherries will also do well like this.
Regards Sally Wright.
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vivienz
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Re: How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby vivienz » Mon May 28, 2018 12:45 pm

Once again, thanks all. I shall sow them - I have the seeds and will have greenhouses available in about 5 weeks so I shall view it as an experiment and if they fail, it's hardly the end of the world. I shall hold no-one to account if they fail as it will be interesting to see how they get on compared with my ealier ones.
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Re: How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby Westi » Mon May 28, 2018 6:21 pm

I'd give it a try as well viv! After all we are in the tropical end of the UK & who knows, we may get an Indian Summer, which we usually do. Last year was surely just a blip!
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Re: How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby Colin2016 » Tue May 29, 2018 7:38 am

There is a tomato called 'Long Keeper' which can be sowed in May/June, being ready to eat late September / early October
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Re: How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby Primrose » Tue May 29, 2018 8:51 am

I was thinking about this business of self sown seeds versus human sown ones and how the self sown ones always seem to come through looking much greener and sturdier.

This may be due to lack of good light in early spring of course but I,m wondering whether sowing in 100% compost actually molly coddles them and reduces their strength a little. There must be more minerals and trace elements in soil which perhaps gives them a sturdier start from early on.

Memo to self next year: try sowing some of my tomato seeds in a mix of garden soil and compost and see if it makes any difference to their sturdiness and young leaf colour.
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Re: How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby Diane » Tue May 29, 2018 9:33 am

I'm always surprised at how many self sown tomato seedlings pop up in the greenhouse. Literally hundreds of them. The seeds I plant in trays are cossetted and loved - and sometimes live but I do get losses. Careful watering and exact light levels. The seeds that grow all by themselves in the greenhouse borders get no watering, no care at all, totally ignored, are in deep shade, dry as a bone, vunerable to snails and slugs - but they grow like a little green forest. Ain't Nature wonderful.
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Re: How late can I sow tomato seeds?

Postby robo » Tue May 29, 2018 2:34 pm

I'm sorry I'm a bit late with my two pence worth , I normally grow tomatoes well into November the green ones that I'm left with soon ripped if put into a brown paper bag and stored in a dark room or cardboard box,I use the garage ,I've never scene the sense in growing tomatoes early as they are everywhere when people get a glut this year I'm trying both I've got the early ones in and the late ones nearly ready
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