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Old 12-04-2021, 01:03 PM
 
1,624 posts, read 2,053,079 times
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I am always experimenting with tomatoes. Over the years I have gone from not growing any successfully to getting a nice crop. This year, for the first time, I am trying to overwinter tomatoes indoors via rooting cuttings. I have a heat mat and a full spectrum LED grow light.

I tried cutting from six different plants. My most successful was from an unidentified cultivar supermarket cherry tomato. It is vigorous, bushy and constantly throwing off new flowers and developing tomatoes.

I also tried cutting and rooting various full sized interminate tomatoes. My cuttings from my best beloved Mortage Lifter all died, but the cuttings from Brandywine, Black Prince, and German Princess appear healthy. What shocked me were my cuttings from Purple Cherokee. Those have doubled in size each week. I had several cuttings originally about two inches in early November. They are already knee high and covered in new foliage and some flowers. My original Purple Cherokee plant was over 8 feet high. My indoor ceiling is only 7 and a half feet high, so I am a bit concerned.

Have any of you successfully grown full size indeterminate tomatoes indoors over the winter? Did your plants fruit? How did you keep them successfully under control in order to prevent them from squeezing you out of your home? I can Google for myself, so I would appreciate any advice you can provide me based on your personal experience.
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Old 12-05-2021, 09:07 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
6,383 posts, read 3,580,804 times
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Last winter, I started my seeds indoors at the end of Jan. In Zone 4, we can't transplant outside until the last week of May. They grew well (I use regular LED "shop lights"-- no significant advantage to using more expensive grow lights.) and flowered, but not early enough. No fruiting before they were ready to move outside.

This year, I started them in November. They're just starting to show some buds now...I'll let you know how they do.

You've got to use, of course, larger pots and not just seedling trays or 3 in pots, and probably have to pollinate manually....I give mine a good shake every day to encourage thickening of stems. I wonder if that'll shake enough pollen loose to be effective?
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Old 12-06-2021, 09:29 AM
 
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I plan to try growing next summer's tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets. My garden tomatoes have been repeatedly ravaged by burrowing rodents even though I grow them in crop cages. The animals burrow under the cages or chew through them. I have wondered about grow bags vs buckets but due to my varmint problem, I don't think that would work out.

I don't think grow lights are that expensive. I have been very impressed with the broad spectrum grow light https://www.amazon.com/Lights-Spectr.../dp/B085CDPSMR. I dug up and brought in my pepper plants the night before our first hard freeze. All the leaves fell off within 24 hours. I wasn't really expecting much but the peppers under the grow light have responded by regrowing vigourous foliage. I have one plant that has several stems - the stems under the broad spectrum grow light have bountiful foliage, the stems that fall under the illumination of my red/blue LED light have no new leaves at all.
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Old 12-06-2021, 09:47 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
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The tomatoes we grew this past year were from seeds that the wife got, apparently, from the old lady that sold Jack those beans. I've been growing tomatoes for 60 yrs and have never seen vegetative growth like this-- too much to keep up on stakes or trellises.

We're also loaded with rodents (rural site) but have never had any trouble until this year-- the fruits that were mantained up off the ground were, as usual, not touched-- just those on/close to the ground. Do you lose fruit that's off the ground?

Given the price of green peppers, I wish I could grow them indoors. Zone 4 here. Short growing season. Bell pepeprs don't do very well. Ive brought mature plants in from the garden last two yrs-- 1st year no fruiting over winter inside, but excellent fruits the next summer back outside. This past year, we got many small peppers over the winter and started to do well last summer, but they got smothered by those out of control tomatoes....The problem I see with indoor pepper plants is that they take up so much room when mature....Tomatoes are like weeds. You can cut them back and they still grow.
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Old 12-06-2021, 04:48 PM
 
1,624 posts, read 2,053,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
The tomatoes we grew this past year were from seeds that the wife got, apparently, from the old lady that sold Jack those beans. I've been growing tomatoes for 60 yrs and have never seen vegetative growth like this-- too much to keep up on stakes or trellises.

We're also loaded with rodents (rural site) but have never had any trouble until this year-- the fruits that were mantained up off the ground were, as usual, not touched-- just those on/close to the ground. Do you lose fruit that's off the ground?

Given the price of green peppers, I wish I could grow them indoors. Zone 4 here. Short growing season. Bell pepeprs don't do very well. Ive brought mature plants in from the garden last two yrs-- 1st year no fruiting over winter inside, but excellent fruits the next summer back outside. This past year, we got many small peppers over the winter and started to do well last summer, but they got smothered by those out of control tomatoes....The problem I see with indoor pepper plants is that they take up so much room when mature....Tomatoes are like weeds. You can cut them back and they still grow.
I am no garden expert but I have been doing a lot of online research this year. If you have a lot of vegetative growth, but not commensurate fruiting, you may be fertilizing too enthusiastically by introducing a lot of nitrogen into the soil. Commercial fertilizers, such as Miracle Grow, can do that.

I almost always lost fruit low to the ground when I grew tomatoes outside of crop cages - it is amazing what one hungry tortoise will do to tomatoes - they take exactly one bite out of each tomato in reach and munch their way down the row to make absolutely positively sure they ruin them all. I still lost fruit inside my crop cages - the mice would swarm up each stem and gnaw on anything they could reach. I tried tomato cages and trellises but achieved my best success this year by using strings. I tied strings to anything that would anchor them - bushes, fences, the gas meter, the telephone service entrance - anything. My garden looked like a bunch of really huge spiders had been busy. I plan to use bamboo stakes on the 5 gallon buckets next year - make a teepee out of four bamboo stems and then use them to anchor a modified Florida Weave.

I live in Zone 7b. I have noticed that next to my brick home exterior, the growing patterns seem to be closer to Zone 8. I dug up and brought inside my Ghost Peppers, Hungarian Hot Wax, Poblano, Jalapeno, and Mad Hatter peppers. The ones under the broad spectrum grow light seem to be doing well. Like you said, most of my peppers got shaded out by the tomatoes, even though they were planted several feet away. I think I shall try putting the peppers in 5 gallon buckets too, and move them around to catch the best sun opportunities in the spring/summer.

I am going to experiment with pruning while my tomatoes and peppers are indoors. I don't have the answers yet, but I enjoy experimenting. Live and learn.
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Old 12-08-2022, 05:05 PM
 
Location: deafened by howls of 'racism!!!'
46,657 posts, read 28,527,796 times
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seems like indeterminate tomatoes - at least in my experience - would be way too 'leggy' for indoors growers. the bushy, compact ones they ended up with sound ideal, i need some like that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Last winter, I started my seeds indoors at the end of Jan. In Zone 4, we can't transplant outside until the last week of May. They grew well (I use regular LED "shop lights"-- no significant advantage to using more expensive grow lights.) and flowered, but not early enough. No fruiting before they were ready to move outside.

This year, I started them in November. They're just starting to show some buds now...I'll let you know how they do.

You've got to use, of course, larger pots and not just seedling trays or 3 in pots, and probably have to pollinate manually....I give mine a good shake every day to encourage thickening of stems. I wonder if that'll shake enough pollen loose to be effective?
interesting. the non-plant-spectrum lights are way cheaper. did you discover this by experimentation?
just curious.
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