Monday, May 11, 2009

Tomato Transplants

On Saturday we did two things to help the tomato plants, which seem to have been stuck at the seed leave stage for the past month. First of all, we replaced the florescent lamps in the seed starting set up. We bought one plant/aquarium bulb which is at the red end of the spectrum and one natural daylight bulb in the blue end of the spectrum. I also transplanted the seedlings into larger cups. I split up the pairs of seedlings of each variety. One will remain inside under the lights, and the other will go out into cold frame. I'll know the lights helped if the ones inside do at least as well as the ones outside.

I may have to resort to planting seedlings from a friend and give up on mine if they don't take off soon.


Cheryl said...


I had good luck using a heating pad for my tomatoes and peppers. They like a lot of heat to get going.

Good luck with everything.

David in Kansas said...

I planted some tomatoes outside 3 weeks ago and they sprouted over a week ago. I have the same problem you're having and A) It's been raining buckets lately B) It's been cool. So it could be a combo of over-watering and low temps.

Keith said...

I highly doubt it's your florescent lights. I can get tomato seedlings to sprout even without light, and if they were needing light they would start to stretch out and get long and lanky looking for light.

More likely it's overwatering or temperature... anything above 50 degrees F should be fine after they have sprouted (I usually keep them at 65-75 before they sprout.)

Let them dry out a bit. The soil looks soaked, and plants need air in their soil just as much as they need water in it. Once they are just barely moist, set them in a container and put water in the bottom of the container and let the cup "wick" up the water into the plant and then get the plant out of sitting in the water. You do have holes poked in the bottom of those cups, right?

Best of luck, I enjoy reading your blog!

Dan said...

The seed leaves look healthy, I bet they will do fine once they get outside. Maybe start slowing putting them out in your cold frame on any warm days.

Emily said...

Thanks for all the helpful comments. I'm definitely guilty of over-watering. I let them totally dry out in peat pots before I transplanted to a new soil mix (which I'm less than happy with). I'm going to be a more restrained with the watering can from now on.

Low temps are probably a factor, too. Currently the house hovers between 60 and 65. The warmer cold frame might be better for them during the day.

The lights seem to be making a difference with everything greening up more. We have no idea how old the original bulbs were because we salvaged them from our rental's basement. So there is probably a lot more light now.

Rabia said...

My tomatoes just recently got going. Based on the other comments I'm going to keep them warm and moist, but not soaked. Hope yours start doing better soon.