Brandywinegirl
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My Tomato Seedlings Snapped in Transit!

This is the third time in 12 years that I have grown tomato plants from seed in my home. This year I had to transport them in my car to an outdoor space to get them ready to be put in the ground in my community garden plot. After all of that hard work, most of them snapped at the base! I am heartbroken - I had to go and buy some plants, which killed me! :eek: :eek:
Any suggestions moving forward as to how to transport them and secure the stems without them breaking? Maybe sticks and string?

Thanks so much! :)
Brandywine

Eat, Sleep, Garden and ... then Eat What You've Grown!

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applestar
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Re: My Tomato Seedlings Snapped in Transit!

Aw. Bummer. That must have been very disappointing.

I do have some ideas, but let's review what happened first.

- How big were the plants? How many pairs of true leaves? What kind of containers were they in? Did you uppot them once or twice already?
- Did you grow them under lights so they were sturdy and not weak/thin stemmed?
- Did you harden them off at home so they were ready to be planted outside? They didn't need supports during this process?
- How did you transport them? What made them break?


Also, while "snapped at the base" sounds serious, the tops could have been made to grow roots, and the bottoms may have grown new shoots depending on where they broke -- of course they would have been set back until they grew back to size. If they had been unusual/special varieties, that could have been an option to consider....(?)
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ElizabethB
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Re: My Tomato Seedlings Snapped in Transit!

DITTO Applestar. Important questions.

I was late tying up my tomatoes and snapped a couple of them. I stuck the broken off pieces in the soil, kept them moist and they survived.
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Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

imafan26
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Re: My Tomato Seedlings Snapped in Transit!

That is disappointing. I lose a few plants in transit too. Usually, they are orchids getting them out of the car. I have to be more careful packing them in and supporting the tops. I tried wiring and I tried them loose. what worked best was to get a taller box. I had them in trays so they were not falling over, they were breaking getting them through the door of the car. The taller box helps protect the spikes better. I now have a van so it makes it easier to get plants out the back door without hitting the roof or the sides of door when I take them out.

Try to plant out the tomatoes when they are less than 8 inches tall and use a taller box. If you can find a box with partitians, then you can keep the pots from moving too much inside the box. I have a tray but if the box is smaller, I use newspaper and overturned pots to take up the extra space and keep them from moving.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Brandywinegirl
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Location: East Coast

Re: My Tomato Seedlings Snapped in Transit!

The pants were 6-8 inches tall. I had uppotted them twice and they were in pretty large pots. They were grown under lights. I think the problem was how I transported them. Like imafan26 said, a taller box - maybe from the wine store - with sections would have been a better choice. I think the plants were so tall that any quick movement killed them.
I did stick the broken stalk in soil and water hoping to save them, but it didn't work. I have three left - one is VERY tall - but I am going to stake them before I move them again.

Thanks so much - glad I'm not the only one that happened to!
Brandywine

Eat, Sleep, Garden and ... then Eat What You've Grown!

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applestar
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Re: My Tomato Seedlings Snapped in Transit!

Yeah tomato stems are brittle and unforgiving -- they are actually a little bit easier to handle when slightly wilted and soft.

But the fuzzy stems and leaves turn them into Velcro -- they CLING to each other, so they need to be handled delicately. If you have steady patient hands, you can take advantage of that particular tendency and simply bunch and tie them loosely together -- but you do need extra patience to separate them apart.

I find tall paper bags are good way to give them light support, too. In the summer, plastic bags can be a source of problems -- you really have to watch out that they are kept out of direct sun.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Brandywinegirl
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Location: East Coast

Re: My Tomato Seedlings Snapped in Transit!

Thanks so much Applestar - I did get one in the ground. I planted it deep over the weekend - I have 2 more to gingerly transplant. Next year I will support them better! :)
Brandywine

Eat, Sleep, Garden and ... then Eat What You've Grown!

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