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Old February 8, 2006   #1
Plantersville
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Default How Much Cold Can A Tomato Take?

Well, wouldnt you know it. The weather has been mild all winter long so I went out last weekend and got some plants in the ground. Since then, temps have been near freezing, forcing me to go out every night and cover them. Does anyone out there have any feeling as to how cold a tomato plant can take? I realize that plant size and the length of cold has a lot to do with it. I guess its a good thing I have an extra 300 plants coming on if these dont make it.
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Old February 8, 2006   #2
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plantersville.... hey...good to see your posting. Last season I transplanted hardened-off tomato plants earlier than I've ever tried before (April 30 here) and all 23 of them survived several cold nites that dipped into the 30's!!! Surprised me!!! They are unbelievably hardy and I would say they are OK, if properly hardened-off, to about 37--38 degrees. These are just my observations. Perhaps other folks will "chime in" with their experiences.
Good Luck!!
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Old February 8, 2006   #3
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Plantersville...i dont know on what scale you are askin about, whether you got 10 plants , or 100. If you talkin bout a few, you can protect them down to brief temps of 30 degrees, provided they were hardened off, by using a hay or straw mulch that encapsulates the plant, and surrounding this with a sheet. Even regular fiberglass insulation will work, if thats what you have., for a temporary plant-encompassing mulch. The key...is Time....how long did temps remain under 32. A digital max/min temp thermometer is great for ascertaining such, an you can buy one for 10 bucks at a Lowes store. Also, there are ways such as wall o'waters, or other retaining mediums that one can employ, to gain a few degrees of protection...research will reward you ...possibly...at least towards future actions. Best wishes...))) In my opinion, it takes 2 hours or more, of sub-32 temps, to bite a hardened tomato transplant. Good Luck... :wink:
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Old February 9, 2006   #4
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If we speaking about midseason or late varieties I have information that they can survive min at +1 +2 C (+ 34 +36 F), plants stop growing at +10 C (+50 F), at +15 C (+59 F) they stop blooming.
But there are many cold tolerant varieties hardy enough to survive in at - 1 -3 C (+27 +30 F). And I know one Russian tomato variety O-33 which was developed with hardiness about -10 -15 C (+5 +14 F).
Of course you can use extra tools for protection and make special "warm beds" out of compost ingredients for your tomatoes.
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Old February 9, 2006   #5
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Andrey- I realy do like your personal Avitar its very sharp and almost magic like in appearence I dont know where you found it but its very good.

Regarding cold tolerant tomatoes, a lot of people have had phenominal success by using seaweed meal worked into the top soil of either pots or ground especialy in the high mountain areas of america, and they say there is something in the trace elements it contains that goes into the plants and stops cell damage so that ordinary varieties of tomatoes can withstand many degrees colder than they could tolerate normaly even mild frost once or twice and still come out of it alright.

I couldnt vouch for it personaly its only what I have read is possible, even though I do use seaweed meal as a top dressing and lightly fork it in.

Andrey- there is just one more question that I have been dying to ask you since you joined Tomatoville, out of your long list of available varieties you have from eastern Europe /Russia/ etc, the 64,000 $ Dollar question is - if you were to pick just four of those varieties out of all that lot, which ones would you pick as your personal preference for ( 1 )- Flavour and taste, ( 2 ) preferably tall determinate types with easy managment and good production .
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Old February 9, 2006   #6
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Sorry I made a mistake in my last post to Andrey.

It should have read Tall Indeterminate types, not determinate types.

( Not being quite sure how to go about editing my posts after I posted them )
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Old February 9, 2006   #7
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Michael,

To edit a post, simply click the small edit button in the upper right-hand corner of your post, make your changes, and then click submit.

You'll get the hang of it
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Old February 9, 2006   #8
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Garrett, I've got to say that when I saw your name just now as posting in a tomato thread my heart went flip flop flip flop, for I thought to myself what on earth does Garrett know about tomatoes other than eating them.

It's OK folks, Garrett is related to me as you can see from his initial introduction post so I can say anything I want to to him without fear that he'll contact his co administrator, Mischka.

Aunt Carolyn, who had nothing at all to do with Garrett being here, but I'm so glad he is b'c he and lots of folks know I'm pretty much computer illiterate and Garrett helps me when I ask him for advice, thank heavens.
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Old February 9, 2006   #9
Mischka
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Blood is indeed, thicker than...tomato juice.
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Whenever you visit my grave,

say to yourselves with regret

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"Here lies one who loved us and whom we loved."


No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you,

and not all the power of death

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Old February 9, 2006   #10
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OK, got 32 plants in the ground, about 1/2 mid to late season. Its expected to get down in the 20's Saturday night for about 5 or 6 hours. I will cover them with 5 gallon buckets and making sure that the leaves dont touch the plastic buckets (my wife owns a restaurant and I have plenty of pickle buckets). Hopefully, they will make it but if they dont, I will just replant. Next year I will be better prepared to combat the cold with mini-hothouses for them.
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Old February 10, 2006   #11
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Chuck, here's what I'd suggest -- pick up a bale or two of some wheat straw mulch to (gently) 'encapsulate' the plants like Gimme suggested. Should take you an hour or less to perform this task for 32 plants. Then use the buckets on top. It will really make all the difference. I've had a situation before where some plants were just covered, and others were covered after being gently surrounded w/straw mulch. Guess which ones did much, much better? The insulative properties of straw are just excellent.

Good luck getting through next weekend.

Edited to provide additional detail -- the night I was referring to got down to 22F according to my max/min thermometer.
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Old February 10, 2006   #12
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Thanks Garrett - isnt it funny how you can be staring at a page for days without actualy seeing the small edit button, I felt pretty stupid after you had pointed it out to me where it was.

I had been looking all around the page, down and along the bottom, up the sides and so on and partialy along the top but still I missed it, if I had just glanced a couple of inches to the right I would have seen it.

I think I will make a trip along to the local health food store today and buy some Billberry juice extract as its supposed to sharpen the eyesight no end, it became famous during world war 11 - when the pilots of the war planes and bombers used to take it on a regular basis in the uk, as it made a vast difference to their night vision as well.
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Old February 10, 2006   #13
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Thanks. I just want my avatar to be friendly and self-speaking
Quote:
Originally Posted by michael johnson
Andrey- I realy do like your personal Avitar its very sharp and almost magic like in appearence I dont know where you found it but its very good.

Unfortunaely we have no seaweed meal here.
Regarding cold tolerant tomatoes, a lot of people have had phenominal success by using seaweed meal worked into the top soil of either pots or ground especialy in the high mountain areas of america, and they say there is something in the trace elements it contains that goes into the plants and stops cell damage so that ordinary varieties of tomatoes can withstand many degrees colder than they could tolerate normaly even mild frost once or twice and still come out of it alright.

I couldnt vouch for it personaly its only what I have read is possible, even though I do use seaweed meal as a top dressing and lightly fork it in.

I know it. You are very fond of any kind of Top of the tops in America :wink:
What can I say. Flavor and taste are very subjective question. But I can say about productivity even if there is always more hard work with indeterminate/vine tomatoes. Most productive varieties I have are Yubileyny Tarasenko, Pertsevidny, Cosmonaut Volkov, The King of Giants, Novikov's Giant, Unikalny and Vezha. The King of Giants and Novikov's Giant have the biggest fruits among them.
Andrey- there is just one more question that I have been dying to ask you since you joined Tomatoville, out of your long list of available varieties you have from eastern Europe /Russia/ etc, the 64,000 $ Dollar question is - if you were to pick just four of those varieties out of all that lot, which ones would you pick as your personal preference for ( 1 )- Flavour and taste, ( 2 ) preferably tall determinate types with easy managment and good production .
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1 kg=2.2 lb , 1 m=39,37 in , 1 oz=28.35 g , 1 ft=30.48 cm , 1 lb= 0,4536 kg , 1 in=2.54 cm , 1 l = 0.26 gallon , 0 C=32 F

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Old February 10, 2006   #14
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Chuck, if you can set some jugs of warm water around the plants and cover the whole kaboodle to keep the heat in, that should help. The coldest temps usually occur right before sunrise, so if you're up early Sunday morning you can check the temps under your coverings and set out more warm water if needed.
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Old February 11, 2006   #15
michael johnson
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Thanks Andrey for the information, it was very helpfull I would be most interested in obtaining some of your varieties but with such a long list to choose from it was quite difficult knowing where to start.

I should like every single one on your list but its just wishfull thinking as I just dont have the room to plant too many more as I am already up to about 100 varieties already, which I change almost yearly in some cases, but I can probably squeeze in another 10 or so if I run a row of 12" inch clay pots along the garden border.

I use clay pots because it was discovered that clay pots are frost proof and save any root damage to plants other than tomatoes by winter frosts such as as patio plants and so on.
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