Early Tomatoes

A place to chat about anything you like, including non-gardening related subjects. Just keep it clean, please!

Moderators: KG Steve, Chantal, Tigger, peter, Chief Spud

User avatar
Geoff
KG Regular
Posts: 4982
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 5:33 pm
Location: Forest of Bowland
x 768

Early Tomatoes

Postby Geoff » Thu Dec 08, 2005 9:40 pm

How do you get the earliest tomatoes?
I’m always disappointed with how slowly my first tomatoes ripen, it would be great to have some with the early summer weather in June. Unfortunately I don’t record first tomato in my diary so I can’t quote dates.
I have a heated propagator, a small heated greenhouse (heavily insulated so maybe the light is down a bit) and a large cold greenhouse. I’ve never tried growing lights but could be tempted. I’m looking for ideas on varieties, timing and technique.
Peter Surridge mentions Stupice in this month’s magazine and seems to get them ripe before June 18th (I think in Cheshire though the geography in the article is a bit dubious. Nice to know we are having a fine summer in 2006, page 50. Have we lost the proof reader with the change of ownership?). An old Which? article from April 1999 suggested Red Alert indoors but only for a short crop before they go straggly. It also suggested stopping ordinary varieties after four trusses.
I suspect one of my problems is I am too kind to them.
So what varieties do you sow when, how tough do you grow them, do you stop them, when do they ripen, where are you?
0 x
tony s
KG Regular
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: cheltenham

Postby tony s » Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:37 pm

Hi Geoff.

The earliest I have picked ripe tomatoes was this year on 3rd July.

Sown 2nd April in propagator.
Germinated 6th April and grown under a light (see my posting under Starting a Propogating Area).
Planted in cold greenhouse 10th May - the first truss flowers were just opening then and they were up to 5" pots.
First Ripe tomatoes - Craigella - on 3rd July, followed by Gardeners Delight on 9th July.

Growth is very rapid under good light, especially if it is warm too. With lights AND your heated greenhouse, you should be able to start earlier and plant out in April and hopefully get tomatoes in June.

I dont stop the tomatoes until they reach the roof, which in this particular greenhouse varies between 6 and 8 feet - being a rather rough home made affair that I inherited with my allotment.
0 x
tony s
KG Regular
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: cheltenham

Postby tony s » Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:09 pm

I have just worked out how to enter pictures. Following my message above, here are my tomatoes on 7th July.

Image[/img]
0 x
User avatar
arthur e
KG Regular
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:35 pm
Location: ne scotland

early tomatoes

Postby arthur e » Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:05 am

Geoff
If you are going to grow lights, make sure you plant the ECO variety, you get more watts per bulb.
Arthur :wink:
0 x
Colin Miles
KG Regular
Posts: 1017
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:18 pm
Location: Llannon, Llanelli
x 10

Earliest Tomatoes

Postby Colin Miles » Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:32 pm

Back in 1974 in the bad old days pre-global warming, I managed a ripe Histon Cropper under cloches July 6th which I thought was the earliest, but I see a note that the first Yellow Perfection was eaten June 22nd in 1973 (might have been indoors in a pot). But in terms of numbers of ripe fruits I didn't get much in the following weeks. The sowing dates were Feb 21st 1974 and Feb 16th 1973 and they were raised indoors before being put outside under cloches. Temperature and light levels dictate how they grow initially and obviously eventually in ripening. Best to choose an early outdoor variety for early cold greenhouse crops.
0 x

Return to “General chatter”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: oldherbaceous and 27 guests