[tomato] Re:Tomato Fruit Set & Cold Weather

Poris@aol.com (Tomato@GlobalGarden.com)
Sat, 24 Apr 1999 11:26:21 EDT

Chuck wrote:

Hi Jaime,

You have an interesting system.  The water temp, however will probably skew
your results. They will be far earlier than otherwise.  I also think you
give too litle credit to the Wall O' Waters.  I used a max / min
thermometer a ciuple of years ago and found 10 -15 degrees of improvement,
depending on how sunny the preceding day was.  The water temp in the WOW is 
VERY significant as is the temp of your circulating water.  The proximity
to the Ocean will also raise night temps in most cases.


   My hydroponic solution is outdoors in a 250 gallon tank and not heated.  
Right now at 8AM the air temperature is 47F but the hydroponic solution is 
57F.  It has warmed up dramatically the last week here.  My  plants get fed 
for 30 minutes 5 times a day from 10AM to 4PM.  The thermal inertial of the 
hydroponic beds is not that high, they are 12 inches above the ground.  I 
should stick the probe into the perlite early in the morning to see what the 
temperature is  compared to the air.  A 5F improvement is what I have 
randomly measured with my min max thermocouple probe.   Also, by late April 
the Kotlas and Stupice are above the top of the WOW and need support.  I 
usually have to remove the WOW before I want to so that I can tie up the 
plants and not damage them by removal of the WOW.  The other unfortunate 
problem that I have is that my garden  is at the northern side of my house 
and I only get 5 or 6 hours of sun a day.  A couple of big redwood trees are 
in the way as well as the house.  Time to get a chainsaw!  (just kidding).  
Maybe I should consider an earlier feeding to "warm up" the roots of the 
plants at 5 or 6AM.  Thanks for pointing me in a new direction!
   When I got tomatoes at the end of April at the beach, it was a "normal" 
spring, but you are right, it was much warmer than here in the hills. Still 
only a 5F improvement with the WOW and temps into the low 40s at 6AM.


Chuck again:

You might consider "Mountain Princess" and "Early Maturing Siberian" in
your trials.  I've had good results with both.  I didn't particularly like
"Sasha's Altai" and find "Dr. Carolyn", a sport from "Galina", to be more
stable than it's parent.  I'm trying "Clear Pink Early", "Early Wonder" and
"Prairie Fire" this year.  "Grushovka" is another long time favorite early
variety for me.


me again:

   I seem to have ignored determinate tomatoes for a long time now.  I think 
my Green Grape may be determinate, it has been described both ways.  I tried 
Oregon Spring a long time ago and did not think much of that species.  Maybe 
I should try determinates for my early species since  my goal is to get 
tomatoes early before the "regular" tomatoes start producing.  Looking in my 
Seed Saver's 1999 Yearbook:

Grushovka- pink-purple plum shape determinate
Mountain Princess- red determinate from West Virginia
Early Maturing Siberian- couldn't find this one

   I will save this information and give them a try next year.  Thanks again 
for the information.  I should sort out Sasha's Altai and Galina this year.  

Jaime (in the Santa Cruz Mountains of N. CA USA zone 15)