tomato weather question

I know you are supposed to wait until night temps are in the 50s F before planting tomatoes. My question is this: what happens if you don't? I mean, if night time temps are in the 40s when you plant, does that mean you're doomed, or does it just take longer to mature, or what?
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snipped-for-privacy@hillary.net (Hillary Israeli) wrote:

Personally, I never worry about night temps unless there is a possibility of a freeze. ;-)
It's been unusually cold here in Texas this spring, but I've got plenty of sets already and my plants are anywhere from 12" to 24" tall.
K.
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snipped-for-privacy@hillary.net (Hillary Israeli) wrote in message

they will slow down, and produce later than if you had followed proper procedure. it also depends on the tomatoes. cherry are more cold tolerant than others. now, if you were to set out eggplant, okra or basil at those temperatures the first two would stall for months, and the basil would die.
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* snipped-for-privacy@hillary.net (Hillary Israeli) wrote in message
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Hillary Israeli wrote:

Hi there,
I have a very similar scenario as you have described.
I grew my tomatoes from seed indoors and then put them outdoors onc they had germinated. ( only two leafs though)
Temperatures outside were still cold so I bought only half of the indoors again due to space not being available.
Indoor temperature in my room has been a constant 18 - 22 degrees mos of the time. The tomatoes indoors are now two inches high.
However the tomatoes outdoors, where the temperature has been varyin from lows of 8 degrees to highs of 21 degress odd (mostly staying lo though) are still the about the same height as they were when I pu them out a few weeks back.
They are not however dead, they have just slowed down I think. recently put a plastic box over them and they have now started to gro again. The true leaves are begining to emerge now as the glass mus have raised the temperatures - domm ----------------------------------------------------------------------- posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
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dommy wrote:

domm ----------------------------------------------------------------------- posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
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Hillary Israeli said:

Assuming that the early group doesn't actually get damaged by frosts (which have occured in my garden in the last half of May) they will not bear any earlier than later planted tomatoes.
Personally, rushing them out has no gain with the potential for loss or having to do a lot of extra fiddly work protecting them from frost. So what's the advantage? I start my plants late enough indoors so I'm not forced to rush them out, and set them out when it's warm enough not to check their growth.
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*Assuming that the early group doesn't actually get damaged by frosts *(which have occured in my garden in the last half of May) they will not *bear any earlier than later planted tomatoes.
Well, I wasn't hoping for earlier bearing. I was just WONDERING if they'd be permanently stunted or anything, or if they'd just grow normally (again assuming no actual frost) or what.
*Personally, rushing them out has no gain with the potential for loss or *having to do a lot of extra fiddly work protecting them from frost. So *what's the advantage? I start my plants late enough indoors so I'm
Yes, it actually has a lot of advantage for me. We don't all have the ability to grow inside. Frankly, between the 3.5 year old and 1.5 year old humans and the two cats, I'm lucky if anything manages to survive germination inside. It is MUCH MUCH safer for plants outside at my house. Trust me.
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snipped-for-privacy@hillary.net writes:

Hillary,
I plant both early and late. Whether the tomato plants set out earlier bear significantly better (two or more weeks) is totally dependent on the weather as well as soil conditions, water and sunshine. There is a guideline I heard several years ago - by June 1st, you cannot tell which plants were set out in March, April or May. Though mine go into the garden in various sizes and at various times, that guideline seems to pretty much bear out.
Tomatoes are warm weather plants, in that they bear better in warmer weather. I've helped mine along with the grass mulch (put on right out of the mower bag) which keeps the soil warm as it decomposes. The difference I see in the plants is the mulch, not the air temperature, as the mulch keeps the ground warmer which helps root growth hence soil nutrient uptake and water uptake. The soil temperature seems more important in my own garden than air temperature though both certainly matter. Year after year, the plants that do not get mulch, or as much mulch, do significantly less well than those that do though all do well.
Your mileage may vary.
Because of not being able to get the several loads of horse manure this year, I'm doing things differently regarding how I plant so time will tell. (The grass mulch will be the only non-variable from past years.) I'll report back about it in mid-summer.
You should not see earlier plants bear later than later plants; the worst that should happen is they all bear at the same time. This assumes the plants are healthy and cared for.
Glenna
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*I plant both early and late. Whether the tomato plants set out earlier *bear significantly better (two or more weeks) is totally dependent on the *weather as well as soil conditions, water and sunshine. There is a
Well that makes sense :)
*guideline I heard several years ago - by June 1st, you cannot tell which *plants were set out in March, April or May. Though mine go into the *garden in various sizes and at various times, that guideline seems to *pretty much bear out.
THAT is the kind of answer I was hoping for! :) I'm one of those people who just can't help herself with the early planting. I know it's not what I'm "supposed" to do, but I keep doing it. I was just wondering if I were truly crippling my plants or if it would all come out in the wash. I've never actually planted "on time," always early! * *Tomatoes are warm weather plants, in that they bear better in warmer *weather. I've helped mine along with the grass mulch (put on right out of
Right. Well, we do certainly have PLENTY of warm summer weather here in the Philadelphia area (I'm in a slightly north/west suburb, but literally within walking distance of the edge of the city), just not yet :)
*the mower bag) which keeps the soil warm as it decomposes. The difference *I see in the plants is the mulch, not the air temperature, as the mulch *keeps the ground warmer which helps root growth hence soil nutrient uptake *and water uptake. The soil temperature seems more important in my own *garden than air temperature though both certainly matter. Year after year,
Well, I do do all of my veggie planting in raised beds, which I'm sure makes some difference as well. Anyway thank you for the reply!
-h.
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snipped-for-privacy@hillary.net says...

you get warm daytime soil temps earlier, but warm nighttime soil temps later.
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On Wed, 05 May 2004 15:28:03 -0700, Larry Blanchard wrote:

Why would they cool down quicker? Seems to me they would get no cooler than the flat soil surrounding them. Having gotten warmer during the day, they should maintain a slight temp advantage through the night, too.
Is there a study somewhere you could point me to?
Bill
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On Tue, 18 May 2004 01:18:25 -0400, Anonymous

More exposed surface area? The surface absorbs heat during the day and flat ground radiates in one direction (up) at night. A raised bed loses heat up, and from all sides.
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Israeli) wrote:

My grandmother planted stuff any which time. By midsummer the only thing you could point at and say "you planted that too late" (if she had) was corn. "Too early" never seemed to bother stuff so long as it didn't hard-freeze.
Some plants can go dormant for a while if they take a chill, and I imagine that affects some varieties of veggies as well as anything else. And those might take a while to get moving again.
Which reminds me, if I want to get a proper case of zucchini poisoning this year, I'd best plant a few :)

Gives you better control over the drainage and soil, eh?
~REZ~
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snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote:

I have two here in pots, different varieties, which we got at a garden show about 6 weeks back. They've been sitting outside in partial shade (hot desert sun will cook potted plants otherwise) with no care other than water every couple days, in temps varying from 40F to 100F. They were originally the same size (likely all the seeds were planted at the same time, as this was a bulk giveaway thing). One grew faster for a bit and bloomed first. The other was smaller at first, but all of a sudden it is the bigger, bushier plant, and it is starting to bloom and dangle roots out the bottom of the pot, while the one that *was* bigger is now a little behind.
I think the diff may be that one is a hot weather variety, and the other would prefer cooler weather, as it did better then, and now that we're hitting 100F, the 2nd one is happier.
(One is "Champion" and I can't remember what the other is, or for that matter which one was which.)
~REZ~
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snipped-for-privacy@hillary.net (Hillary Israeli) wrote in message

I always wondered about this, so I did an experiment.
I put out plants in one week intervals, the first batch one month before the last frost, the last batch at the end of the frost date.
I have a big tarp that I just cover the plants at night in case of frost warnings (about 5 times in a month).
This is what I found: 1) the plants that went out first seem to stopped growing, while the inside plants kept growing at a steady pace. 2) Actually the first plants set out didn't really stop growing, but were becoming thicker at the stems, when I put out the new plants, I noticed that the new plants were taller, but thiner. 3) At about 2 weeks after the last frost date, the plants that went out first were the biggest, with thicker stems and growing like crazy, the other plants that went out later could never catch up (even throughout the season.) 4) The first batch of plants had the earliest fruit, but not too many, their major production of fruit occurred at about the same time as the other plants (in August). 5) The first batch of plants produced many more tomatoes then the others, mainly because they were about 3 feet taller and wider.
I suspect the first batch of plants were developing a big root system underneath in the warm soil (since they had the room), when warm nights arrived they could really take off.
Now I always plant one month before last frost date and use the tarp at nights, why, I don't know, guess I want the biggest plants on the block and I get working in the garden a month earlier, I could just plant more tomatoe plants later and get the same amount of production, but I don't!
Of course, each spring is different, warm springs means the first batch out is going to be really bigger then the others, cold springs means the first batch out will only be slightly bigger then the others.
steve
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*I always wondered about this, so I did an experiment.
<snip> Thanks for the interesting report!
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