Useless Tomato Seedlings?


Before I had some idea what I was doing I started some cherry tomato seeds indoors, in egg cartons. They all sprouted and are all growing now. In the meantime I bought some whole plants which I have planted in my garden, knowing that I won't be getting much out of the seedlings. Is there anyway I can get any use out of them so I can plant them next year? Is it possible to keep them alive, maybe grow them indoors with enough lighting? Or should I just can the project and wait until next year. Would hate to get rid of all those little baby tomato plants!
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Is there some reason you can't plant them outside in your garden?
Brigitte
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On Fri, 28 May 2004, Brigitte J. wrote:

I guess I thought that was self-evident so I didn't acutally say it, but I guess it isn't! I simply thought it was too late to plant them now. They are only tiny seedlings. If I put them out they will likely grow, not produce anything, then die, correct?
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What have you got to lose by planting them? I'm new to this gardening thing too, and would consider it a learning experience.
Brigitte
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On Sat, 29 May 2004, Brigitte J. wrote:

Well, the plants! :) I just wondered if I could keep them alive for next year since, from what I have heard, I won't get them to produce this year. Just kind of keep them on the respirator so to speak..
I'm new to this gardening thing

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On Sun, 30 May 2004 09:00:26 -0400, David Kotschessa

Tomatoes are an annual in temperate climates. That is, where summer and winter are roughly the same length and freezing temperatures or below in winter are the norm. So if you start tomatoes from seed, you can expect the plants to grow, produce tomatoes, and die in one growing season -- that is, from last frost to first frost. Your plants won't produce this year not because they are small, but because you didn't plant them and let them grow. As I and others have said, depending on the length of the growing season where you are, you may get tomatoes if you plant them now. Keeping tomato seedlings indoors for a year may be possible, but not practical or particularly useful.
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Got about 50-60 days till killing frost? If so, plant them out. They'll produce.
FWIW, I used to plant tomatoes from direct seeding in central Iowa when the soil temp hit about 60oF. They produced well, and first tomatoes on those plants were often about even with "set out" plants -- at most a couple of weeks behind.
Kay
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Good observation! Seems to hold true with other plants too. Still after winter I tend to err on the side of being impatient.
We use to plant only tomatoes that self seeded about our compost. Marglobe's and something else lost for now.
Bill
--
"No Progress without contraries" William Blake.

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On Fri, 28 May 2004 17:25:17 -0400, David Kotschessa

No, there's little point in trying to nurse your tomato plants indoors for a year. But there's no reason not to plant them outdoors now, if you have a reasonably long growing season.
Recommendations for growing tomatoes from seed usually say "start inside 6-8 weeks before last frost date." This means sowing the seeds and nurturing the small plants indoors or in a greenhouse so they will be a healthy size (8" or more) for 'setting out' when it's warm enough.
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