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Question about tomato seedlings

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Question about tomato seedlings

Post  milaneyjane on 4/11/2011, 11:33 pm

My tomato seedlings got a little leggy. I am transplanting them to 3 inch pots, which I normally don't do. Can I go ahead and bury some of the stem already so they aren't so spindly??? They are only a few weeks old.

TIA!
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Re: Question about tomato seedlings

Post  quiltbea on 4/11/2011, 11:49 pm

Yes, plant them a little deeper than they were in their last container.

I personally like to go to a 4"-5" pot after their 2" block so they are cozy there until they need to go outside after the last freeze.

When you transplant outdoors, bury them to within a few inches of the top leaves and they'll have strong roots.
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Re: Question about tomato seedlings

Post  acara on 4/12/2011, 6:55 am

Definately.

Tomatoes like it when you bury some of the stem at each sucessive transplanting.

Those little "hairs" you see on the stems will turn into roots.

They used to actually print on the transplant lables "bury 70-80% of plant", but recently I've noticed that they now say "plant deeply".

When doing containers, I've actually put foot of more in the stem underground ..... so you wont hurt anything but burying some of the stem on your seedlings.
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Re: Question about tomato seedlings

Post  martha on 4/12/2011, 12:46 pm

Last year was the first year I had real success with growing tomatoes from seeds, because it was the first year I knew about this trick. Makes a huge difference.
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Re: Question about tomato seedlings

Post  Glendale-gardener on 4/12/2011, 12:50 pm

Does that apply to cherry tomato plants as well? My cherry tomatoes are super tall and skinny.
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Re: Question about tomato seedlings

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/12/2011, 12:53 pm

Glendale-gardener wrote:Does that apply to cherry tomato plants as well? My cherry tomatoes are super tall and skinny.
Yes, any tomato can benefit from being buried deep, up to the first set of leaves.
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Re: Question about tomato seedlings

Post  Glendale-gardener on 4/12/2011, 12:57 pm

sweet. I just potted up a bunch more yesterday, I guess I'm headed back out to the garage with my tomatoes!
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Re: Question about tomato seedlings

Post  acara on 4/12/2011, 2:30 pm

I just cleared a tomato box over the weekend & if the trash guy doesn't come early, I'll grab a set of roots from a transplanted/buried tomato plant, when I get home.

I can show ya exactly how much difference it makes.

BTW ... I wouldn't rip out any plants because of it .... tomatoes grow fine from seeds without transplanting .... some peeps think they do much better (healthier, more production, better size fruit) with transplant/bury method....
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Why that silly man buries his tomatos....

Post  acara on 4/12/2011, 7:16 pm

Okay ... trash man wasn't early.

The root ball is a little dried/shriveled, but still works ....





You can see where the root ball would be normally (root structure is very narrow due to my collars focusing the water/food/side dressings).

You can also see where the additional root structure is augmented by sucessively burying a portion of the plant at time of transplant.

Theory is that you make the plant healthier with a stronger root system and it bears more/larger fruit. Also, by "stunting" the development of the plant & keeping it from flowering low/early, the plant can focus on fruit production, instead of early growth +fruit production at an early age.

The top end of the root growth is the approximate soil line & I keep another 12" above the soil trimmed, before I let the plant flower/bud. That way I have room to work around the base of the plants, I''m less prone to splashback and soil-borne fungus/bacteria & get a higher development/survival rate with my fruit.

It takes me a little longer to get my first harvest, but I think it's worth it for the end result.
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