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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 1:58 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Little Elm, TX
Any pointers in starting tomatos from seed. When's a good time to start them here in the north Dallas area.

Thanks,

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Lee Harris
Little Elm, TX


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:49 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Dallas TX
leeharrisz7b wrote:
Any pointers in starting tomatos from seed. When's a good time to start them here in the north Dallas area.

Thanks,


I don't know if it's ok to post a like to a different site but I am using the basic version of the GardenWeb FAQ at:

http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/tomato/2005015135020413.html

I think possibly the only thing Howard's book disagrees with is the living soil vs. sterile soil thing.

As to when to start...I started all my seeds that I plan on transplanting in March yesterday.

You can certainly space things out a bit by starting the larger fruited varieties now and wait on the small to medium ones later. That way they all get going at the same time.

I'm in the process of finishing my new homeade cold frame/light box. I'll post pics later next week so you can see if it's something you might want to attempt or buy.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 4:33 pm
Posts: 526
Location: parker county, texas
I have finally started having success with planting tomatoes from seed over the past three years. I use good quality potting soil, and put them in a mini-greenhouse environment. In other words, I plant them in small (4") pots outside in Jan or Feb, place them in a wood frame structure covered with clear plastic (I bring them inside if a freeze is expected), and leave them outside day and night when our temps are expected to remain above freezing. The light they get is what happens naturally. When they are too large to keep in the small pots, they go into the garden, and I cross my fingers that we don't get a late freeze. Starting your own seeds is the only way to try some great varieties, imo. Most nurseries carry all the same varieties in transplants.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 4:52 pm
Posts: 147
Location: Dallas,TEXAS
A new maneuver I am trying this year with tomatoes is I saved the seeds from the "heirloom" tomaotes I bought at Whole Foods and I now have 2" seedlings under a fluorescent light - but I think I am going to try your mini-greenhouse idea, to get the seedlings "hardened off" a bit as well as getting a more natural cycle of light. Thanks for the idea of a mini-greenhouse!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:49 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Dallas TX
Beware of crosses when using store bought seeds. It is a risk you run.

I added an image of my little lighted cold frame I finished today to a photobucket account.

http://photobucket.com/albums/v731/culdeus/


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 4:33 pm
Posts: 526
Location: parker county, texas
drchelo, you're welcome. I have been using this method for the past few years and it's great. I especially like it for planting out flowering annuals because many of them are more cold hearty than vegetables. I've had a very low loss rate from cold snaps, and it's much more affordable than relying solely on transplants from the nurseries. I think the method also produces generally heartier plants.


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 10:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 7:37 am
Posts: 127
Location: Denton,TEXAS
A friend in Krum plants the most interesting and unusual varieties of tomatoes I've ever seen, all from seed. When asked where he gets his seed from, he pointed me to

http://www.tomatogrowers.com/

And speaking of seed, he also plants some interesting native flowers from these folks:

http://www.seedsource.com/

The humming birds really love the standing cypress.


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