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Argh... Tomato redo... Again!
I'm not sure what happened this time.
Something in the ground, too much water, too little water, something else?
Two out of three of my beefsteaks flopped. I'm strongly considering going out and buying some seedlings, if I can still find any available.
I planted the seedlings, they were a little over an inch tall. I put a cut toilet paper core around the little guys to avoid any issues with cutworms, I watered them when they needed it. They still died. I don't know why. When I was working on the fence in that area, I did find a couple of cutworms, but they didn't look cut. They looked like they either died from lack of water, or too much, or something with the underground environment. I don't know what happened. I still have one healthy one left.
Just as a note -
Adjustments for next year:
I will plant the seeds, in seed starting soil, in my egg carton/chinese food container mini-greenhouses but next time,
I will cut the bottoms of the egg cups to leave a hole for the roots to grow through more freely.
At the same time, I will set small pots up with potting soil and a spot in the center where the egg cups will go once the sprouts are ready.
Once the sprouts start to grow to about an inch tall, I will put the egg cups into the pots. I WILL NOT WAIT AT ALL. One inch. No procrastinating.
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The seedlings were an inch talal when you planted them "out"? Out where--in the ground or into a larger container than the egg carton cups? Those are wee babies at 1"--let them grow up a bit before introducing them to the wonderful world of outdoors. We start tomatoes in January and when they are at least 5-6" tall, plant them into the garden. Tomatoes here go into the garden in March, and we are picking now in early June.
Beeker, this year I sprouted the tomato seeds in a moist paper towel in a zip lock and left them against a sunny window. They sprouted in 4-5 days and I sowed them in small container and left them on the deck in full Sun. They came up in next 3 days and there was no need to harden them off. As soon as the first set of true leaves appear I gave them some organic fertilizer with high potassium number in order to develop the strong root system before they went in the raised bed and faced all the bugs there. I agree with Marlin on waiting till the plants are 5-6 inch tall and in the meanwhile keep them fertilized. Good luck.
Thank you for the info.