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Old June 6, 2017   #1
oakley
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Default DFollette's 11x-F4-1,6,8

I set out my winter-grown micro/dwarfs a month ago and they seem to be enjoying a
more natural environment. Nights have been 45-55 and days vary from 60-80.

Tough plants. I let them cascade and do as they want. Massive bloom. Some young fruit.

Not bothered by any sunburn or the tortoise beetles some other plants have suffered.
Unheard of for me to have fruit forming early June.

The smaller gallon pots have a selective micro/hunting still F4, but have some F5's
about ready to pot up...
(the gallon pots have bloom already at 5-6 inches)

A RedRobin in the mix and a RL unknown but in my files...will know when it fruits as
i only grew two others.
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File Type: jpg cascading.jpg (661.9 KB, 205 views)
File Type: jpg stems.jpg (441.0 KB, 203 views)
File Type: jpg bloom.jpg (470.6 KB, 202 views)
File Type: jpg fruit set.jpg (438.4 KB, 200 views)
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Old June 6, 2017   #2
oakley
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Down the pike, a fifty ft ledge, some other dwarfs are being eaten by the tortoise beetles
but not bad enough to spray. I just pick them off. They had some sun damage but
recovered.
We're planning to build a tall raised bed for my parents, 90 and 89, and let some dwarfs
cascade over the sides...no bending over or much tending. Great plants for their yard.
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Old June 6, 2017   #3
Salsacharley
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They look really great.
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Old June 6, 2017   #4
dfollett
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Interesting. Those on the left certainly aren't micros. It will be fascinating what else we encounter as we micro hunt. How was the flavor when you grew these inside? And the color - purple or red?

They sure seem healthy. How have you fertilized them?
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Old June 7, 2017   #5
oakley
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We had a few 90* days in the middle of Winter. That's when i set up tables outside and
cleaned out the grow room. (fungus gnats, aphids)
Everyone got a bath and a peroxide dip.
I had not planned on keeping that 'heap', 'cluster f*k' in the pic, but they were producing
some fruit, though a bit stingy.
So i just piled them into a transparent crate and set them on the kitchen floor in a South
window. I only saved seed from the two true micros. Reds, deep color. Rich flavor.
I have 12 F5 seedlings. 2 per cell 6 pack. 100% germination.
The 4 one gallon pots in the pic are F4. Some are off camera.

The crates are only 10" tall. So the toms were about 18-20" back then. But not micro.
When i set them out a month-6 weeks ago i was still undecided if i wanted to keep them
but just let them be to do their thing. Like a tomato window box.

I'm stingy with ferts. I've had a worm composter going for years so they get that black
tea, gulp of TTF, and now getting some Neptune. (the red label for tomatoes-new to me)

Good weather and lots of thunderstorms. Have not set up the drip system yet.
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Old June 14, 2017   #6
oakley
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The new this season F4's look good. 4 of them.
Taller one is about 8inches, the one with the flower cluster is about 5-6inches. Planted
at the 4inch pot level but now can add some more soil since the have some height...
lots of strong root hair/nodules an inch up the soil level.
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Old June 14, 2017   #7
oakley
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I need to get the F5's potted up. (not as large as they look...about 2inches maybe)

All 12 seeds germinated, one is very tiny buried under its neighbor. No room for all of
them but i can tend 4inch pots for a while.
*i do have more seeds from the same tomato. Rarely plant all just in case.
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Old June 21, 2017   #8
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Up-date on one of the micros. Three are this size but this one has the early blossoms.
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Old June 29, 2017   #9
Sherry_AK
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Pictured are two of the 11x-F4-6-2 plants I'm growing. Plant ET4 is 13" to the top of the plant, and the blossom clusters shoot up to 22" total. Somewhat odd-looking. Plant ET1 is 21" tall.
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Old July 16, 2017   #10
greenthumbomaha
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Those plants are beautiful. I am going save some potting mix to winter grow the micros on a sunny window sill with supplemental lights if needed.

Questions/feedback on starting for indoor winter growing Zone 5:

I am assuming they will not reach this broad and lush growth in the winter months. I remember seeing mid winter pictures and they were tiny in stature. How would you compare the growth habits if anyone is growing out the same seed?

When would be the ideal time to start the seedlings for winter harvests? Is it better to begin indoors when the days become shorter, or start seeds in the summer and let the young transplants get robust and adapt to the shorter days and indoor environment.

- Lisa
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Old July 17, 2017   #11
oakley
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I'll be growing indoor winter again. Last year was my first trial.
I over did it a bit but hilariously fun...it was a jungle down there.

I think the experience will be different for each individual trying it.

This year I might start earlier like the end of August instead of early October.
(don't have last years notes with me...out of the country now)

Most important is to start plenty of seed. Like half a 1020 of more than one variety.
That would be Minimum 36 seed of each and cull. Looking for the strong but small and
dense. 2-3 seeds per cell you could fit 4-6 different varieties. And all be contained
in one tray.

I cull/slay heavily. Will pot up max 36 in 4inch pots, cull again, no doubt a dozen will
shoot up around the 6-8 week mark. A nice blossom cluster at 12-15 inches is a keeper.
Loose plan but last Winter about 6 went into small gallon pots. The rest stayed in the
4 inch.

An earlier start date will take advantage of a warm Sept. sun. Then once the leaves fall,
the South window holds a dozen and I rotate under lights during grey skies.

I also grew dwarf sunflowers I need to start earlier so they bloom for Thanksgiving.
4 varieties that bloom at different times keeps me in flower for a couple months.

Even if you just want 3-6 plants, do start many seeds and cull. Seeds are basically
free. I purchased a few varieties from SampleSeedShop and will save the best from
the summer crop. I only save for flavor and good cluster set.
Same with the dFollettes. If the flavor is there on the F5's I'll save plenty and offer up
with Dan's permission when the time comes.
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Old August 1, 2017   #12
oakley
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F-5's are looking great. All eight of them micro. I'll pot up the ones in the 4inch pots.
They survived neglect while out of town all July.
Fed them. Only 7 hrs sun but may have kept them healthy in all the heat.
The smaller 5 were partly shaded under foliage of neighboring plants.
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File Type: jpg dFollette F5.jpg (642.8 KB, 67 views)
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Old August 13, 2017   #13
oakley
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All look great. Best F-5 circled will save seed if taste is as good as the F-4's.
Then grow out F-6 this winter.
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Old August 13, 2017   #14
dfollett
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Good work. Thanks for the reports. I hope the taste is still there.
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Old August 25, 2017   #15
oakley
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The old winter-grown plants, started near 10 months ago, are still pumping out fruit!
Cut off old dying stems and new suckers are going for more. We have had steady
tomato salads from these plants. Since early June.

Pic. One the left, F5 from 6-8 is a beauty still, at 8-9Inches

On the right is an F4 6-2, with large dark cherries

Great taste
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