Winter Indoor Giant Tomato Contest

Winter begins and my compulsion to grow continues to manifest:

I managed to make space, about 2′ X 3′, on a shelf for three large pots with three seedlings of these three varieties: Big Zac, Domingo and RW Cephei.  This third one is growing best so far:

This project is for the Winter Indoor Giant Tomato contest which is being conducted through

Pots are about 2/3 full with Foxfarm Ocean Forest potting soil – the very expensive, and hopefully very good stuff.

The are getting light and heat from a 400-watt metal halide light, with a sheet of mylar fabric (space blanket) wrapped around the area to help reflect both heat and light back onto the plants.  At night when the light is off, I plug in the heating cable.  My goal is to keep the plants always in the 70-90° F range.

The 1020 tray shown contains 18 pots planted with the variety Venus, a micro-dwarf tomato variety that produces delicious, tiny orange fruits.  The first seedling is just emerging right on schedule, 3.5 days after sowing.  Here is a picture, taken on November 02, 2016, of a Venus plant in a 1-gallon pot which produced fruits intermittently over a 6-month period:

Here is the final ripe tomato of the 2017 growing season, consumed 10 days ago – a bit of a sad loss every year:

Already there are more than 300 tomato varieties on the list as “must grow” in 2017, 140 of these from a huge seed trade with Natalia Khilenko of Russia.  A couple of related short videos that may be of interest: