Shiffdaddy
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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:46 pm

Seedling Etiolation

Hello. I started some seedlings a month or so ago and they were kept in an area with low sunlight so developed extremely long stems (etiolation) I then moved them to a spot where they would thrive and they perked up and started growing greener and larger leaves but they are still very long stemmed. I recently planted them in my garder in nice rich soil i buried the whole root ball and almost all of the stem just so the top 3 leaves were out of the ground. (because i heard that the stem will grow roots as well. My question is will this affect them in any negative way? weak root system? fruit productioin? Also could this also be a beneficial way of doing this since the elongated stem will in theory produce roots and give the plant a larger root system making it actually grow better? Thanks Ben

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Kisal
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

I don't know of anyone who intentionally grows tomato plants in low light conditions, specifically with the intent of creating a longer stem. While I doubt the practice would cause major or visible harm to a plant, it seems to me that it wouldn't necessarily benefit the plant, either.

Many people simply remove the lower stems on their tomato plants, and then plant them deeply. Plants handled in such a way develop large root systems.

While I have no scientific studies that I can offer in support of my opinion, I personally feel that stress during the period of developmental growth does, or at least can, weaken a plant by reducing its stored resources, leaving it less able to resist future attacks by insects and diseases. All just my personal opinion, though. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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