Tomato seedlings

ComerSmitley

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 26, 2014
14
1
31
Does anyone have some home remedies or special secrets for a baby tomato feed? I'd like the roots to get stronger, no of course bigger thick stems too.

I am growing beefstake and cherry tomatoes from seed this year. This is only my second year of growing from seed, and the seedling are doing well so far. Maybe patience is best home remedy for healthy strong tomato plants?


 

newfoundland

Songster
9 Years
Jul 1, 2010
976
74
151
I am curious about this as I have seen other people on the forum talking about feeding the seedlings. Here we don't feed them until the first truss of fruit is forming as they will otherwise make a lot of leaf. Even on the bottles of tomato food it says start to feed weekly, after the first truss has formed. Difference of opinions I suppose?
 

Mountain Man 60

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 19, 2013
52
5
64
Duncannon, PA
Having a light source close to the seedlings is critical. I use the 48 inch long tubes with the fixture on a chain so I can continually adjust for the height of the plant. This keeps them from growing too tall too fast searching for the sun. The other trick is to have a slight breeze from a fan which makes the stems stronger as the adjust to the breeze. I do not fertilize the seedlings and if you do make sure it is a very very weak solution as too much could kill them.
 

Mountain Man 60

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 19, 2013
52
5
64
Duncannon, PA
Light source should be an inch or two from the top of the plants. Also repotting after the second leaves form and putting all but the top under ground helps make a thicker stem. Do this again at garden planting time and more roots grow from the buried stem. If they are way too tall maybe in the case where you are replanting due to weather or animal damage plant them horizontally underground taking care not the break the stem and they will do fine also. I usually have 75-150 plants per year grown from seed and planted in the garden. This saves a lot of money and I can have any variety I want. Currently planting Opalka for sauce, better boys, Cherokee purple and black krim for the table and sweet millions for treats for the chickens(cut in half).
 

ComerSmitley

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 26, 2014
14
1
31
Thanks so much for the replies! All the tips help in the journey for happy healthy plants!
Thanks MoutainMan60 & Newfoundland

Light source should be an inch or two from the top of the plants. Also repotting after the second leaves form and putting all but the top under ground helps make a thicker stem. Do this again at garden planting time and more roots grow from the buried stem. If they are way too tall maybe in the case where you are replanting due to weather or animal damage plant them horizontally underground taking care not the break the stem and they will do fine also. I usually have 75-150 plants per year grown from seed and planted in the garden. This saves a lot of money and I can have any variety I want. Currently planting Opalka for sauce, better boys, Cherokee purple and black krim for the table and sweet millions for treats for the chickens(cut in half).
I've been interested in the black krim tomatoes but not sure I'm experience enough for those fancy ones. But they sure look good in the seed catalogs!

I think I will try to put their leggy selves into the soil a little deeper and see if I get a stronger root system. I have heard of this before and didn't know if this would be a good stage for them or not. But I'm willing to try it!

The only great lighting source I use is the sunlight in the sun room, and my baby pumpkin plants have no complaints, but I can see that the tomatoes (who are summer lovers) would like a little more boost.

The one and only thing I've found specifically for tomato seedlings is a little sprinkle of powder milk in with the seed starting soil for a little calcium boost. Although with transplant time comes a wee bit closer I have read a couple of tricks.

Gelatin. Regular flavored gelatin (not the artificial sweetener ones) carefully put into the soil with hurting the root system and the burst of sugar feeds the micro organisms in the soil. I've also read you can grow seeds in gelatin for short time at the start. It's suppose be like science project for kids to watch the root system grow. I've never tried jello seed shooters :lol:

Baking soda. Also I've read that tomato plants love a little bit of baking soda in their water (2 tbsp per gallon of water), but this is also recommend for the transplant stage and beyond.
 

Mountain Man 60

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 19, 2013
52
5
64
Duncannon, PA
Light is probably the most important factor. You can buy a 48 inch 2 bulb light ($11) and the plant/aquarium bulbs($10 each) at lowes. Use a chain or rope for adjustment of the light as they grow and you are set. You can automate it with a timer set for 16 hours of light per day. I use a ping pong table with plastic over it in the basement with eight 48 inch lights.

This covers all of the plants and flowers that I want to start inside. Pick any tomato you want as seeds. They all are grown in the same way. A small fan helps the stems thicken in response to the lite breeze. I start them in 72 cell trays then transplant into 8 oz cups burying the stem in the cup. Then bury the stem again when you plant in the garden. I use a little Epsom Salts along with wood ash, mushroom soil and a little fertilizer in each garden hole when planting.

Depending on the temp in your growing area you may need a heating pad for efficient sprouting. Once they sprout you can move them off the mat.
 

vehve

The Token Finn
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
10,940
766
326
Kirkkonummi, Finland
My Coop
My Coop
Any idea how big of a pot a totem cherry tomato plant might need? They're about a foot high and blooming right now, and in 3 liter pots. Any thoughts on how moist I should keep them once they start to produce fruit? Here's a pic of them (They're the smaller ones)
 
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