Senior Member
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:13 pm
Location: Middle Georgia USA

Does anyone have any good guidelines or a website with pics on how to start your tomato seeds. Or a website. I too have had problems this year I have bought seeds from two different places and I got 3 seedlings out of probably 50 seeds. Not very good odds in my opinion.
Any help is much appreciated.

Full Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:17 pm

Tempreture is the key

What is your room tempreture? Tomato seedings need at least 80F. If the tempreture is lower than that, roots will develop very slowly. If you get lava of fungus gnats (which are common) in the soil, they will eat the tiny roots in a faster speed than the tomato can grow. Enventually, your tomato will stop growing or die gradually.

This year, I made a large glass tank with a ceremic heating system to keep the tempreture in 80F. I also used Scan Mask in soil for killing the fungus gnat lava. I did not use extra light. My tomato seedlings of various kinds have been very healthy so far.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

I've found that about 8 to 12 hours of light suffices and I use grow lights on shelves in my house.

Window sills are definately not adequate and I agree with you there. I have used window sills for various plants in the past but, they do pose a threat to plants, especially perennials that are kept in window sills. I would think that something as tender as a seedling would be equally vulnerable to the vast temperature shifts that occur in window sills as well.

Anyway, a good grow light works best and you can buy little apparatie that clamp onto shelves and what not to screw the light bulbs into. I have tried the conical shaped bulbs and found that they only last a few days. The regular incandescent bulbs last a very long time, I have had my current bulb going constantly for a couple of months now and I still is going strong.

Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:49 am
Location: Laurel, Md

tomato from seed

I can't say what the problem is, but i think it's from a lack of some nutrient. i would suggest adding 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt to a gallon of water and feed that to the plant. if that doesn't work, :evil:

Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:33 am
Location: Eastern Massachusetts

Seedlings not growing!

I'm in my first year of growing beefstakes and cherry tomatoes from seed (at the moment, I don't remember the varieties). I have lots of interest, but little experience gardening.

The seeds came up well, planted 3/11 in organic garden starting soil and kept in a plastic covered seed starter in the south facing window sill. I noticed some whiteness in the soil, recognized it as a little mold growth and removed the lid on the seed starter to dry it out in late March- and I just water carefully now.

But in the last few weeks they just aren't pushing up, and while they have gone from two to four leaves, they are still about 2 inches high. Is this unusual for seedlings to have a dormant phase or is something wrong? If something is wrong, can the seedlings be salavaged or will I need to buy starters this year?

User avatar
Cool Member
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:19 pm
Location: Atascosa

ml2620..as soon as the seedlings come up, remove the plastic cover..which ya did..ambient temps affect seedlings..4 leaves is about the time to introduce them outside at short intervals..to harden them off..put a fan on them to stimulate the roots and stems to grow stronger.
NOTE..keep outside time to a minimum as not to burn the tender leaves..
try a lil shade and a lil sun..

happy gardening.

Full Member
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 12:26 pm
Location: Wisconsin

This year I tried winter sowing my tomatoes and I suspect I will have a bumper crop.

I took 2-liter plastic soda bottles, about 1/3 the way down I cut through the plastic, nearly all the way around but not quite (leaving a "hinge"), punched holes in the bottom, added potting soil, planted my seeds, sealed the incision back up with packing tape, watered well, and put the containers outside ... in February.

The seedlings know when it's time to sprout. I kept my winter-sown containers in a 2-flat arrangement -- a flat with holes nestled in a flat without holes. This allowed me to bottom-water them. It also allowed me to lift out the first flat (with holes) if it rained a lot and I needed to drain the containers.

Last weekend I planted them (most of them anyway ... I ended up with over 50 seedlings so will give the rest away), carefully removing each seedling from its soda bottle and transplanting as usual. No hardening off required, since they've lived their entire lives outdoors. The cold Spring temperatures have prevented any significant growth spurt so far, but once we have consistently warmer conditions I'm sure they'll take off.

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