tomato plants

I've just started my tomato seed indoors (zone 8).
Each year, my tomato plants do not have that "thick trunk", like the tomato plants sold in stores.
How do I grow tomato plants with thick trunks, for transplanting after frost?
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (rose) wrote:

You probably don't have enough light, which gets you "leggy" plants. I first thought you were starting _way_ too early, but I'm zone5/4 oriented..... (Envy is on the list, right?)>
A bit of air motion around the plants will help too, both to reduce diseases and to make them more sturdy. But light is probably most of it.
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at www.albany.net/~gwoods Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
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Seems a bit early. Depending where you live, tomatoes shouldn t be transplanted out earlier than late April or May.
Many people try planting tomatoes too early. A cold snap that hits after being transplanted can damage the plants roots and the plants will not grow well after that.
rose wrote:

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My tomatoes always split open before they are ripe and then they rot. What could be causing this?

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Most likely it is from too much water.
We usually cut way back on watering or stop watering completely after they start producing tomatoes.
Aria wrote:

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Funny thing--for me, I read that too much water during final growth & ripening reduces flavor, so I backed off. That's when I started to get cracks. The tomatoes that had ripened prior to the lesser water were flawless. I think if you back off from watering, mother nature may cause cracks if you have a heavy rain. DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, 1 mile off L.I.Sound 1st Year Gardener
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Uneven watering is a common cause for splits, like watering only once a week with drying out in between. Keeping the soil evenly moist. Water plants deeply, making sure that water is reaching down 12 inches deep, and add a layer of mulch on top of the soil to help maintain moisture. It isn't always avoidable. When the tomatoes are ripening, you could get hit with heavy rains and the influx of water will cause a growth spurt. The ripening tomatoes have tougher skin and will split from pressure.
Insufficient foliage cover with high hot sun may result in concentric cracks around the shoulders. The tomatoes are protected enough from the heat and expand.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, 1 mile off L.I.Sound 1st Year Gardener
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">> I've just started my tomato seed indoors (zone 8)." Seems a little late to me. I'm a bit of a renegade though. I had broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in the ground in the heat of summer in this zone 9 (Tampa) and was harvesting them. My red leaf and other lettuces didn't do so well though. Maybe this year I'll plant some under a tree.
I'm a zone 9 and I have had some of mine in the ground for a couple of months now and have flowers and green tomatoes on the vines now. Last year I got hit by a frost but I already had plants to replace the ones I knew I would probably lose. I have green peppers and cucumbers too. Depends on the year, I suppose.

It'll kill the plants above ground too and they won't grow at all. I tried waiting to see if they would come back last year. They did, but the growth was little and not very healthy. Some times you just have to take your chances and have another set ready just in case the first gets frozen out or for a later planting.

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (rose) wrote in message

you get the thick trunks by starting later, giving them more light, and never exposing them to temps below 45.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (rose) wrote:

I grew pepper transplants and they were thin-trunked too. Not enough light. You want the light close and running 16 hours a day. I didn't realize mine were scrawny till I purchased commerically grown tomato transplants.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, 1 mile off L.I.Sound 1st Year Gardener
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