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Strong stems for tomato seedlings

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Strong stems for tomato seedlings

Post  dixie on 2/25/2013, 3:15 pm

I remember seeing this idea somewhere, but have no idea where. They used a fan set on low speed blowing on the seedlings to make the stems stronger.

Has anyone tried this and did it work? You would really have to be vigilant about keeping them from drying out. My first seedlings are up & still waiting on eggplants and peppers to sprout.

COME ON SPRING!!
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Re: Strong stems for tomato seedlings

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/25/2013, 3:33 pm

I looked at a little fan yesterday at the $1 store for that purpose, but decided I didn't want to rely on electricity...in case the power goes out. I blow on mine. I figure the carbon dioxide can't hurt, and they don't complain about the garlic and onion breath. Rolling Eyes

CC
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Re: Strong stems for tomato seedlings

Post  dixie on 2/25/2013, 3:45 pm

LOL!
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Re: Strong stems for tomato seedlings

Post  camprn on 2/25/2013, 3:58 pm

I have not tried the fan but I do run my hand over the seedlings several times a day for a similar effect.

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Re: Strong stems for tomato seedlings

Post  elliephant on 2/25/2013, 5:31 pm

I have a fan running on my indoor seedlings this year. I figured it was a good idea since they will be going out to a very windy environment eventually. Of course I didn't NOT put the fan on any, so I can't tell you if it made a difference.

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Re: Strong stems for tomato seedlings

Post  quiltbea on 2/25/2013, 6:52 pm

I either run my hand over the seedlings when they are a little bigger or I push a piece of printer paper across them back and forth a couple times when they are younger. I don't want the fan going because it'll cool down the area too much. I like to keep my growing area in the 60-64 degreeF range while they are smaller.
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Re: Strong stems for tomato seedlings

Post  LikeToGarden on 3/7/2013, 12:53 am

I haven't tried the fan but brush them with my fingers from time to time.

I have been using Saltwater Farms SeaStart-PGR
"SeaStart was developed at the request of growers who wanted a seaweed product with enhanced vitamin supplements. SeaStart begins with a true liquid seaweed extract that has been condensed to a level many times more powerful than our regular extract. To this we add Vitamin B1, B2, B5, B6, Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Biotin and Pantothenic Acid. SeaStart is diluted with water and applied as a soil soak or most effectively as a foliar spray."

I bought an 8oz bottle and only use it for seedlings as a foliar about once a week until plant out at this time I stop using it. I have about 2/3s of a bottle going into this season - third year so it lasts using it this way - I find the stems thicker and greener.

NOTE- I don't mix up a gallon (1oz to make a gal) I usually mix a quart 1/4oz to a quart. Depends on how many seedlings you have - could do 1/16oz to a pint (I think- re-check the math)
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Re: Strong stems for tomato seedlings

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 3/7/2013, 7:16 am

Hi,
I use a fan on seedlings. I find that it helps greatly with dampening off disease. I have my seed starting stuff on my kitchen counter and the fan sits about 3 feet away and happily works away on it's slowest speed. I cannot wait for spring.

Patty in Yorktown
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Re: Strong stems for tomato seedlings

Post  dixie on 3/7/2013, 9:58 am

I have been using the fan and I can tell a difference in the stems. I've not had to move my lights up as often and the plants are looking really nice. I'm sure it will help with damping off too.
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Re: Strong stems for tomato seedlings

Post  snowboarder on 3/11/2013, 6:32 pm

If you're looking to grow a really thick stem tomato plant. The best way is once they have 2 or 3 sets of leaves, I place mine in my garage under a shop light fixture with 2 6500k bulbs. The slow growth is what allows the stem to thicken. I still start my plants under an array of t5 HO bulbs. The plants are then using energy to grow in all directions thicker and taller but at a much slower pace. They are also hardened for the cold simultaneously. I picked this up from greenhouse farmers.
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Re: Strong stems for tomato seedlings

Post  dixie on 3/11/2013, 8:04 pm

Thanks. I use shop light fixtures, but don't know what wattage bulbs. I've also been putting them in my cold frame when the nighttime temps are above freezing & they are doing very well. I just know they are not as spindly looking as usual & I always use the shop light set-up. I possibly have brighter bulbs this year, regardless, I'm pleased.
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