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Tomato plant in container

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Tomato plant in container

Postby Godslamb » May 14, 2011 6:39 pm

I just bought a "Fantastique" tomato plant in a 3 gallon pot, and a nice large container for it, as I wanted tomatoes this summer. I am in Calgary, and I was wondering when I can plant it safely? I have surgery May 20th that will keep me pretty much bedridden for upto 6 weeks. I was wondering if it would be okay to plant it now, and keep it outside? Or can I get my husband to bring it inside until it gets warmer at nights, or what? I know...I should have asked *before* I bought. :roll:

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
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Re: Tomato plant in container

Postby B_BQ » May 14, 2011 7:20 pm

If it has already been hardened off by being put outside for a week or so, (bringing it in at night), then you should be OK to go ahead and get it planted in its permanent pot. Just ask whoever is going to be looking after it for you to keep an ear tuned to the weather forecast, and get the tomato plant brought inside if there's the risk of frost.
You will need to water the tomato plant far more frequently than if it is in the ground. About once a month put about 2 TBS of Epsom Salts into a 5 gal container of water, and use that for watering. The Epsom Salts help the plant to take up whatever nutrients there are in the soil. You will also need to fertilize regularly as tomato plants are quite heavy feeders.
As you probably already know, tomato plants love warm soil, so put it into a nice warm spot. It should do very well. I grow several tomato plants in pots every year, and it's certainly worth the extra attention they need.
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South/Central Ontario

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Re: Tomato plant in container

Postby dorab » May 23, 2011 1:39 pm

If you're waiting for consistently warm nights in Calgary, that happens only one month of the year, so your tomatoes might as well get used to it. The cold nights help to develop sugars. I'm still hauling in the ones that are really small to help them grow faster because they don't grow below 10C but the big ones are on their own.

Like BBQ said, try to find a warm sheltered spot. Tomatoes develop their flowers and fruit within a fairly limited range of temperature somewhere around 20C. They will still develop fruit in cool temperatures, just not as many.

Indeterminates like Fantastique can be grown in pots - indeterminants continue to grow and set new vines as opposed to a determinate tomato which just grow to a small size. It is helpful to prune the plant so it ionly has one or two vines. Otherwise it puts its energy into producing green stuff and not fruit. You do that by pinching back the little shoots that develop at the base of existing stems on the plant.

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