This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Monday, April 28, 2008

keeping my tomato seedlings warm

thermometer hoop house
tomato seedlings seedlings
We're having some cool, wet spring weather this week. I was worrying about my tender little tomato sprouts that have been out in my mini hoop house all last week.

I looked up the minimum temperature for tomato seedlings. 50 degrees F. I also put a little temperature probe in the outdoor hoop house. Its 49.8 F out there this morning. So I brought the tomatoes seedlings inside.

I don't have much table space inside, especially with bright light. But I gave the tomatoes seedlings the good spot with the lights (its 71F under the lights) and moved the peppers to an east window sill. My recently seeded beets, basil, cukes and squashes are near the tomatoes, as close as I can get them to the lights. In the hoop house are marigold, cosmos, aster, lettuce and onion seedlings.


Blogger Flax Hill Gardener said...

I was wondering how your tomato seedlings were going to fare with this colder weather. My local garden center even warned me not to put out my lettuce plants, yet. Personally, I think they'd like a little fresh air!

April 29, 2008 10:11 PM

Blogger kathy said...

I have two patches of lettuce out in the cool air since April 11. I agree, they need the air. Our local CSA farm has lots of lettuce out too. Its fine now. I'll show a photo of mine soon. In zone 6, lettuce is good outside now!

If you have tender lettuce from a garden center/green house that is used to warm, humid air, you should harden it off first. One week of days outside in the pots, inside nights, leaving it outside the last two or three nights. Then transplant to the garden. Be careful of the soil drying out, and gradually expose the plants to more sunlight. Try to transplant on a day when clouds and rain are expected.

April 30, 2008 9:50 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Oh, about my tomato seedlings, they are being babied now. I have 72 beautiful little ones still in trays. I don't let them go below 50 degrees F. But I bring them out for the sunlight whenever its above this temperature. I put them in my little hoop house. The temperature out there went up to 70 F in the nice sun today! I am trying different ways to raise the temperature out there so they can stay out more.

I don't expect to transplant the tomato seedlings until May 15 in my home garden. May 30 in the wide open community plot. No sense in rushing it and loosing plants!

April 30, 2008 9:55 PM

Anonymous Janet said...

I am delayed in getting my tomatoes in the ground. I really should have done it last weekend, but it was very yucky and rainy. I plan on it this weekend though! I have two Mr. Stripey tomatoes to put in, plus one called Kellogg's Breakfast, which is an heirloom yellow. I also got some white ones from Burpee which arrived by mail yesterday. That will give me a start!

May 01, 2008 3:56 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Wow. Those are unusual varieties. Sounds like fun.

May 02, 2008 1:41 PM


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