This is a companion article featuring photos to go with my post Growing Tomatoes in a Short Season Climate. The pictures show the rapid growth of the plants better than any amount of writing can possibly do.
I planted the tomato seeds March 14 or March 15, I have forgotten exactly which day. I photographed the first seedlings March 22. I should have gotten them out sooner, but was busy.
The first photo shown is a double. The top half shows the germinating flat with the dome lid removed. The bottom half of the picture shows the leggy seedlings planted into their pots so they do not have to go back into the dimly lit hot frame.
Initially the plants grow relatively slowly. April 6 was the day I potted them up into the taller pots. The photo above shows the plants with the right half in their new pots and the left half waiting to be potted, which I did immediately after photographing.
I discovered something was wrong with the first pack of Stupice, my favorite early tomato. Germination was poor, which is not typical. I tried a different packet and planted them along with a few other varieties about March 30. Germination was excellent.
Although I was annoyed at the delay, it provides a great example of the difference in two weeks growth in the plants. The middle flat shown above holding the shorter pots is the two week younger flat. This photo was taken April 21 immediately prior to potting them all up into larger pots. Notice the typical large leaves of the Stupice tomato plants.
On May 2 the younger plants were ready to be planted in the gallon containers like the older plants. I did not pot up the older plants as they are difficult to handle in the larger containers when planting. This photo shows the two sizes of the tomato plants with the younger ones on the right in the green pots.
Four days later on May 6 you can already see greatly increased growth in all the plants. The little plants in the front on the right are rose bushes started from seed that don’t really belong in the photo, but there they are.
The most definitive photo showing four days growth is this one. Click on the photo for a larger image if needed. The first tomato to form on one of the Stupice plants is shown here with my hand behind it in each of the two shots. On the left is May 2 and the one on the right is May 6.
As another comparison of interest, I had exactly two dozen little tomatoes formed on the four Stupice plants before the first tomato formed on an Early Girl. These plants were all from the first planting and therefore the same age. Stupice tastes much better too!
At this point I think I will manage a ripe tomato by June, which is not easy in this climate. We will see if all goes well with this project. I am impatiently tapping my foot, waiting for more growth and that lovely red color to appear!
If you are using any of my methods, let me know how it is working for you. And if you are using other methods, let’s hear about that too!
The My Favorite Plant Carnival, featured this article along with some other articles of interest.
Copyright © Lexi Sundell 2007. All Rights Reserved.