In past years, I've just purchased tomato starts, but this year I am trying to do some heirloom seeds. I thought to give them a good start by using those Jiffy tomato greenhouse things that came with pellets you soak in water. Most of the seeds germinated. YAY! But what happened is they shot up with thin stems and most have fallen over. A few are now getting the 2nd set of leaves. I have no idea what is going on with the roots. Would it be wise to try and repot these and get most of the stem under the soil? If so what would be the best method?
If variety matters for your responses, we have Amish Paste, Nebraska wedding and Sweet Pea Currant (Cherry type).
I really want these things to make it.
Thank you for any help.
Leggy tomatoes are caused by not enough light. Yes transplant them with them buried all the way to their leaves. I'd also handle them by their leaves and not the stem. If you damage a leaf it will grow more. If you damage a stem them the plant is a goner.
Thank you for your replies. We had set them at a window. They are repotted now as you suggested Doug, with only a couple casualties. I tried... We just started some new ones. And now we have a growing light on them.
We've never used a growing light before. Should it remain on all day and night?
I am finally getting back to this. The bulbs are fluorescent and the light was moved down. And we've been turning it off over night and they look well. So does all the other things the children are planting. We've got maple trees going in the house! :)
GG, just a word of advice. You can try starting your cool weather veggies outside but many of them germinate better under cooler temps. June would be the time I'd start my warm weather seedlings for Fall, those could probably be started outside. My cool weather Market Plants don't get started until August and I'm 2 regions North of you so I would think you could start yours later because you get cold later. BUT if it ain't broke don't fix it.
I discovered something about herbs and rain. I have some herbs growing in the PVC tray. Only the Chamomile and one Rosemary seedling have come up. Basil is doing absolutely NOTHING!
The tray sits under an overhang, but last week they got misted (at least) by some of the heavy rainstorm we had. My Chamomile that was just a 1" sprig jumped up to a 4" plant in 2 days!!! I'm thinking NITROGEN???!!!
All I could say was "WOW!" Same for that Rosemary seedling. It was about 1/2", and after the rain it jumped up to ~2".
GG-I'm wondering about your Basil, I have 8 varieties this year 3 started indoors and planted out as a clump. I started them in aluminum cup cake pans, divided them into 1/4s and stuck them in the ground. Basil likes heat and needs temps above 65* to germinate in a reasonable amount of time. What type are you growing?
Chileybean-sounds like you did fine. A couple casualties is just the way it goes. I would also recommend that you put a fan near your seedlings or run your hand over the tops of your tomato plants a few times a day. This encourages thicker stems the fan keeps the air circulating too. Have you grown NW before? I've grown it before but never got more then a couple tomatoes per plant and they took forever. I hope you have a better experience.
When do you plan on moving the MapleTree outside? Good Luck!