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gixxerific
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Little help with my tom seedlings please

I'm sorry I would think this has been covered but I need a little help.

Below you will see a pic of my tomato seedlings. First real time with this you know. It seems they are taking forever to get any where. I have them on heat pad still, is this bad? I have them close to lights, my lights, doesn't matter what type. :wink: No fert yet, watered to what I think is right. There are some of the peat pots that have 4 in them. My feelings are to separate them and plant them separately. Not sure if that is right or not. They are just now producing there first true leaves. They were planted 2/12/2010, I would think they would be bigger by now. I could be wrong, they are not going backwards but I still feel they are not doing what they should.

Am I crazy, don't answer that, or am I on track here? Little help and I'll figure this out and won't bug you too much more.
:lol:

[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC03359.jpg[/img]

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Ozark Lady
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Personally, I think they look fine.
They are infants.... give them some time to grow some roots.
Once they do they will speed up, but until they develop the roots and some real leaves, it will seem they are standing still.
They are growing... just where you can't see it.
Think about it... two weeks ago, they were still in the package!
You are just eager...
Give me a week, and I will be the eager one, panicking! ha ha
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Duh_Vinci
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Re: Little help with my tom seedlings please

gixxerific wrote: Am I crazy, don't answer that...
nutz:

Fine looking seedlings, so stop worrying! :wink:

Now, as you already know, we all have slightly different approaches to the seeding and seedlings. I these were mine - I'd give them couple more days, and then the ones are showing some size to the first true leafs - transplant into individual pots, remove the netting, and bury them all the way up the the cotyledons.

Separate or not the "multiple" seedlings - yes, I would. Wet the pods liberally, let sit for 30 min or so, remove the net, and pry a part with a pencil! Or you can transplant as is if you don't want to disturb them, let them grow for a week, then snip off the weaker...

NO fertilizer for 2 weeks after transplant...

And post pics when you done!

Regards,
D

P.S. The ones where you can barely see the true leafs (later germinated I guess) - leave them alone until you get those true leafs a little larger.

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hendi_alex
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I am no fan of peat pots. If those were my plants, I would separate them into individual three inch pots and would use a fairly light soil mix that has a fair amount of perlite to keep the soil from staying too wet for too long. Once they are put in individual pots with fresh soil, I believe that the plants will jump almost overnight. After about two weeks, plan on sizing the pots up to four or five inch, or go all the way to a six inch pot which is the progression of mine when sizing up from a three inch pot. Also, IMO it is best to put the plants out in the natural light on any day that gets up to sixty degrees or warmer.
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Duh_Vinci
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As Alex said, I too like to transplant at least 2 times for the very early planted seedlings. Really does seem like they just jump in the matter of days after the transplant, specially after the second one...

Regards,
D

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applestar
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You wouldn't give them a bit of weak solution AACT? If I had AACT brewing, I think I would. Color of weak tea, foliar spray strength.

I don't like those pellets either (I bought a pack of them two years ago, thinking I would use them, but after one small experimental batch, it was thumbs down. I just found the remainder in the bottom of one of my gardening stuff 5 gal buckets....) In the past, when I did use them, my test was to pick them up and check underneath. If roots are starting to grow out, it's time to pot up. I think they're just too darn short for the larger seedlings.

I'm thinking of using them for propagating cuttings. Anybody try using them for that?

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gixxerific
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Thanks to you all very much for the quick responses.

Nothing about the heat pad though. Still a good idea or not.

Yes I have no patience, so still holding on strong, thanks.

But I'm down with what OL and D_V said about waiting, but than there is the H_A part of me that say's separate them because they are suppressing each other. It's at the crucial time were they are at that point where something needs to be done even if that thing is nothing.

:?

I will give the another day or two and than I won't be able to hold back, or will I? We will see.

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gixxerific
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applestar wrote:You wouldn't give them a bit of weak solution AACT? If I had AACT brewing, I think I would. Color of weak tea, foliar spray strength.

I don't like those pellets either (I bought a pack of them two years ago, thinking I would use them, but after one small experimental batch, it was thumbs down. I just found the remainder in the bottom of one of my gardening stuff 5 gal buckets....) In the past, when I did use them, my test was to pick them up and check underneath. If roots are starting to grow out, it's time to pot up. I think they're just too darn short for the larger seedlings.

I'm thinking of using them for propagating cuttings. Anybody try using them for that?
Already hit them with AACT, and this will be that last time I use peat pellets. Actually these were the first things I ever planted in them you can see from my other pics that nothing else was planted in them again. Just experimenting you know. Live and learn.

Of course I already took some of seedlings that I started in paper cups (not a good idea either I bought the wrong kind) and planted them in 4 inchers but they seemed to slow down as well. I'll be alright though, just need to take it easy.

Got too much stuff going on now, broccoli etc coming up like crazy. :lol:

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Heating pad -- depends on how hot it is at the root level. I would remove if you've got it cranking at upper 70's~80ºF. We plant out tomatoes after last avg. frost (supposedly) when the soil is still around 50's or so. I'll be aiming for air temp of about 50ºF at night and 65ºF~70ºF day for my tom seedlings. Soil temp will probably be in the 60's with constant bottom heat from holiday lights in the freezing garage.

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gixxerific
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applestar wrote:Heating pad -- depends on how hot it is at the root level. I would remove if you've got it cranking at upper 70's~80ºF. We plant out tomatoes after last avg. frost (supposedly) when the soil is still around 50's or so. I'll be aiming for air temp of about 50ºF at night and 65ºF~70ºF day for my tom seedlings. Soil temp will probably be in the 60's with constant bottom heat from holiday lights in the freezing garage.
See that's what I'm kinda thinking, getting cool at night. Not having it on all the time. Good thing you said something Applestar, just checked soil temps were 80+-. No more neat at night. We'll figure this out, can't be too hard can it?

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rainbowgardener
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Here's my tomato seedlings, Early Girl and Big Beefsteak (or something like that, my mind just went blank)

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/tomato_seedlings2.jpg[/img]

They (coincidentally?) were also planted on 2/12 and have not been touched yet. They are still on the heat pad, (doesn't show because they were pulled forward for the picture) which is on all the time. I don't have a thermometer but I would not guess that it is as hot as yours. They are planted thick in the little cells and are just getting their true leaves.

I'm leaving things alone right now, because Sat I'm teaching a little seed starting workshop at my house (informal just for people from my church), so I want to be able to show the transplanting process. After that I will pot all those up and get them off the heat mat.

Here:

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/tomato_seedlings3.jpg[/img]

are the ultimate openers that were planted 2/3 and have been potted up. They are short because they were buried up to the cotyledons when transplanted. Not a great picture, but they are sturdy, healthy little plants.

I posted some pictures of other stuff in my seed starting operation thread here:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=113803#113803

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applestar
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Wow, looking GREAT, rainbowgardener!
I wish I had your set up, I have to try to time it just right so once they start getting big, they can survive outside for the most part, and the peppers and eggplants can take over. I'm currently on a hunt for at least another set of lights, more if possible. :wink:

Gixx, if you have a spare drip tray, you could use it upside-down to raise the toms higher above the heating mat, that way, they'll still get a little extra heat without cooking the roots. Then, you could probably leave the heat on 24/7 until they're uppotted and moved on. If you feel that a drip tray is too high, a cookie sheet pan or a broiling pan works too, but you'll have to sneak it out of the kitchen :lol:

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The heating pad is unnecessary, and is only really helpful to speed up germination. You will get the strongest seedlings and promote better flowering by giving them a cold treatment in the mid-upper 50Fs for about two weeks starting about the time the true leaves come out, but most people just keep them at room temperature because it is so much easier to do. Peppers on the other hand love the heat.

Fertilizing must be taken on a case by case basis depending on what nutrients are available in the starter mix. Peat pellets usually don't have much in them, but some starter mixes have enough that you never need to fertilize. In my case if I notice that the seedlings seem to be stalled they usually are and really benefit from an application of dilute fertilizer. The plant is growing on stored material in the cotyledon leaves until the firts true leaves start to grow. If the cotyledon leaves shrivel up that means the plant really could use some fertilizer. A seedling in a nutrient rich environment will often hold onto the cotyledon leaves even when it is large enough to be put in the garden.

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applestar
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Thanks, TZ! That's good news for me since my issue is always worrying about supplying enough heat so they're warm enough. Could you perhaps give us the same info for peppers and eggplants? I know they need to be warmer and I was thinking 60 or above at night, 65 or above and less than 80 during the day.

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Thanks TZ, I have plans to move my seedlings to another area, and they will be cooler than my inside temps.

I really appreciated the heads up on the pepper seedlings, I guess, that I will need to make them a growing spot here inside the house.

I have noticed that often, my seedlings are small when I need to transplant them. Perhaps it is the temperature requirements that are slowing mine down... like too warm for some and too cold for others?

I know that I usually start about a month later than this year, so we will see if the earlier start and this jewel of a tip will help me to get them larger.

Honest, often I start seedlings, then, I direct sow tomatoes and peppers, and they all come out about the same... same growth and size in a few weeks.
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seagullplayer
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The growth will also depend on the type tomato you plant.

I posted some pictures of mine today in a seperate thread, mine where planted 12/9. I transplanted into homemade newspaper pots last Friday, they as starting to take off.
My Mountain Princess is more that 2x the size of my ground cherry's, all planted the same day.

I really like the home made newspaper pots, easy to make and cheap. The watering from the bottom is the bomb! I don't have to worry about drainage or over watering or...

(Nice pictures) I also used the pellets. My main planting in a month I think I will skip them and plant ringh in the news paper pots
Moved on.

Best of luck to all.

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gixxerific
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Thanks all again.

Your plants are looking good Rainbow. I think you invite for the transplant must have got lost in the mail so send another thanks. :lol: But really have you thought about having someone take video and putting it on you tube or something? I will be keeping an eye on your thread like I have already been.

TZ I already have started giving them the "Cold Shoulder" a little at a time. They have actually came pretty far since last night when I took the pic. Right now they are in the sun and loving it.

Apple we think too much alike. I am using an upside down flat to raise them to the light but not for heat issues. I also have a little electric heater down there that I put on when it gets real cold down there.

I need to get another level of lights like RG. I have two 4ft. 4 bulb lights but it's gonna get crowded here real soon. Hmmm! Freecycle here I come.

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gixxerific
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seagullplayer wrote:The growth will also depend on the type tomato you plant.

I posted some pictures of mine today in a seperate thread, mine where planted 12/9. I transplanted into homemade newspaper pots last Friday, they as starting to take off.
My Mountain Princess is more that 2x the size of my ground cherry's, all planted the same day.

I really like the home made newspaper pots, easy to make and cheap. The watering from the bottom is the bomb! I don't have to worry about drainage or over watering or...

(Nice pictures) I also used the pellets. My main planting in a month I think I will skip them and plant ringh in the news paper pots
You were posting when I was but I feel ya on the different growth times. I have new sprouts just now breaking out next to 2-3 bigger ones. And some that haven't even come up yet. I don't want to tell you what to do, but I will not be using the peat pellets anymore. I have a bunch of flats now, If I had them before that's what I would have use with P-soil. To tell the truth when I bought the dome kit with the pellets I thought the tray had deeper cells and was going to use soil in place of the pellets anyways.

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hey Seagull, how do you make the newspaper pots? thanks!
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rainbowgardener wrote:Here's my tomato seedlings, Early Girl and Big Beefsteak (or something like that, my mind just went blank)

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/tomato_seedlings2.jpg[/img]

They (coincidentally?) were also planted on 2/12 and have not been touched yet. They are still on the heat pad, (doesn't show because they were pulled forward for the picture) which is on all the time. I don't have a thermometer but I would not guess that it is as hot as yours. They are planted thick in the little cells and are just getting their true leaves.

I'm leaving things alone right now, because Sat I'm teaching a little seed starting workshop at my house (informal just for people from my church), so I want to be able to show the transplanting process. After that I will pot all those up and get them off the heat mat.

Here:

[img]https://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/rainbowgardener/tomato_seedlings3.jpg[/img]

are the ultimate openers that were planted 2/3 and have been potted up. They are short because they were buried up to the cotyledons when transplanted. Not a great picture, but they are sturdy, healthy little plants.

I posted some pictures of other stuff in my seed starting operation thread here:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=113803#113803

Hey RG, I really like your seed starting set up. Tell me, though, what size pots are those in your second picture? Are they the 3 in. or the 4 in.? It looks like you can 18 of them into a 1020 flat. At least, that's how many I counted in the flat in you "Seed Starting Pics" post.

I've been hearing from several members that I better pot up from my seed-cells or I could have some pretty stunted plants. Do you continue to grow your toms and peps in those larger, square pots until you transplant them? Do the plants still need supplemental light after they have been potted up? I'm pretty sure they do.

Thanks for any help.
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rainbowgardener
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Hey RG, I really like your seed starting set up. Tell me, though, what size pots are those in your second picture? Are they the 3 in. or the 4 in.? It looks like you can 18 of them into a 1020 flat. At least, that's how many I counted in the flat in you "Seed Starting Pics" post.

I've been hearing from several members that I better pot up from my seed-cells or I could have some pretty stunted plants. Do you continue to grow your toms and peps in those larger, square pots until you transplant them? Do the plants still need supplemental light after they have been potted up? I'm pretty sure they do.

Thanks for the compliment. I've built it up gradually over the 9 years we've been here. The pots are 3" square at the top (3.5" deep) and 18 of them do fit in the flat.

Yes, I just leave them in those pots til transplant in the ground. By that time the tomatoes are outgrowing the pots, but I don't have anywhere to put big pots under lights indoors.

Yes, they definitely still need the light until they can go outdoors.

garden5
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Yes, they definitely still need the light until they can go outdoors.
That's what I was afraid of; I have enough floor (table) space, but not enough light space. I'll have to perhaps acquire another light by pot-up time or possibly find some pots that are deep, but not that wide.

Thanks a lot for the reply.
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