Full Member
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:23 am
Location: Northern illinois

tom seedlings

Well I started my seeds this year for the first time ever. I bought this slick set up from gardners supply that has a built in watering system that wicks water up from the pond it sit in via a mat that lays under the seedling openings. Well everything is working great and laast weekend I decided to transplant because I felt it was time and because my germination ratio was so good. In most cases I had more than two plants in each pod. Well I went to remove the plants and the roots were already intertwind into the wicking mat!!! I was able to transplant about a dozen plants and am wondering if I should just give up and go buy some that are already started. I will find out more about the transplanted ones when I get home today. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to give up on these.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:29 pm
Location: Central PA

if the roots have ventured beyond the cell, odds are you can just rip them off the mat without great harm. once transplanted/moved into bigger pots, give them several days of protection from wind and direct sun to recover.

I always put two seeds per pot/cell/whatever, after the true leaves are out, I whack the weakest looking seedling and move on with the strongest.

resist the tendency to 'save every seedling' - in the end it generally works to the detriment of both/all.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

Any time you have a moist surface under the pots roots are going to grow into it ASAP rather than run around inside their own pot, which is one reason I bottom water my pots in a separate container.

I just got done separating (tearing apart) 50 seedlings out of one 4" starter pot. They don't need much in the way of roots to transplant successfully as long as the soil in the new pot is moist and you don't stress them with wind and bright sunlight for a day or two.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:40 pm
Location: ohio

Well, put it this way. I actually took some of my tomato seedlings, when they were barely showing their true leaves, and cut the stem halfway up and just replanted a bare stem with no roots at all (they were leggy).

Now, about a month later, they are all growing fine. They are about a few weeks behind the others (sine a whole new root system had to be established from the stem), but I've no doubt that they will catch up.

Even if you get a few roots still attached to yours, they will surely do great; those tomatoes are pretty tough.

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