Friday, April 27, 2007

Early Girl Extra Early Tomato Update

Early Girl was the first tomato variety listed on my last post. With this variety, I am trying to have ripe tomatoes by my birthday on June 24th. Normally I don't get ripe tomatoes until early August. I wrote an extensive post about this about 3 weeks ago.

To update their progress, the extra early tomatoes are still inside, but they have outgrown the light table.

I was hoping to have them outside by now, but the weather hasn't cooperated and I want to construct a mini greenhouse covering to put over and around the plants once they are outside. I don't want to put them out unprotected too early.

If you didn't see the previous post, here is the photo montage I displayed of their life so far:

Then I put the plants back under the lights like they were in picture 8. It wasn't too long before they grew to this:

They had to be moved down to fit under the lights.

From there, they weren't getting enough direct light so I moved them to the floor and moved a light down to them.

They have now begun blooming, which I had hoped wouldn't happen until I got them outside.

Today is already April 27th. The normal safe from frost date to plant tomatoes where I live is May 15th and most people will plant them on Mother's Day weekend on the 12th or 13th. With any luck, I will get mine outside in the next few days. I hope that's soon enough to still get ripe tomatoes in June. Cross your fingers for me!



Your 'Early Girls' look great! I planted some, too, but not nearly as early as you (March 4 was when I planted) I've never done the super early tomato thing, mostly because Michigan is so crazy weather-wise. Ripe garden tomatoes in June sure does sound tempting, though :-)

Gotta Garden

Okay, here's a good tomato post! They look simply marvelous!! And since they do, here's my question:

Can (will) a tomato plant grow a new leader?? I'm hoping so. I had this terrible accident with one...Last weekend I went to his herb festival thing and found this cool (I think) heirloom I wanted to try...Eva's Purple Ball.

Don't even ask...but I managed to knock off the very nice top of it...It still has some nice, do you think one of those joint sucker deals can/will take over??

I mean, if it were something else, I guess we could say I pinched it (not) and it would get bushier (I wish). I am so mad at myself! Why couldn't it have been something common I could easily replace???!

Of course, I am STILL meaning to start some tomato seeds and even went so far as to sort seeds and decide which ones!! In the meantime, though, I've bought a few plants...hehehe!

Please tell me all is not lost...


Normally a tomato plant can lose a limb without any problem. Since it is the top of the central stem that you lost, the plant may act differently. First of all, YES I think the plant will survive and you will still get some tomatoes. But you may only get a few tomatoes.

The thing that I'm worried about is that your Eva's Purple Ball tomato is probably an indeterminate type, meaning it continues to grow taller as it fruits. If you cut the top off, that signals the plant to stop growing and put its energy toward making fruit. I sometimes cut the tops off at the end of the season to force the green tomatoes to ripen faster.

So it’s possible that your plant will act this way too. On the other hand, since it is so early in the season, it may "ignore" the damage and continue growing like you are hoping.

Definitely still plant it! Keep track of its progress. Look on the bright side - this will make for a good blog entry!

Good luck!

Gotta Garden

It's not dead yet, so I'm hopeful! Thanks, Marc, for your advice and help!


You made it look so easy for us how to grow tomatoes, by looking at your record photos. I just wonder how you can speedy grow it once you move it outside? We have a strange spring weather this year, ,more wet and cold compare to other years, that Im afraid my tomatoe will not have enough time to produce fruits, but thanks for that pinch off top tip, to speedy rippen the fruit.


I know this post is a total year late! But I read somewhere that by letting the sucker stem (growlng between a branch and the main stem) grow a little and clipping it off and planting it you may be successful in getting another clone of the plant!

If this is so, why not plant the top if it breaks off?

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