Safe to add soil to 10 day old tomato plants?

Discussion in 'Seed Starting / Propagation' started by TonyZ, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. TonyZ

    TonyZ New Seed

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    Hi all,

    I have not posted here since 2011. It's good to be back!

    I planted tomatoes from seeds about 12 days ago, and they seem to be doing well.
    They are indoors in my window, getting as much sun as possible, but it's really only a few hours a day.
    So, they are getting lanky, and some fall over during watering. Can I add
    soil and cover, say, half of the stems to shore them up? Or should I just leave well
    enough alone? Thanks!

    Tony
     
  2. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    Tony, welcome back! If your tomato plants have their first set of true leaves (and after 12 days this isn't terribly likely) you can add soil. Until then, just leave well enough alone.
    If they fall over during watering, are you watering from overhead? If so, get a tray under them and put water in the tray. This helps develop deep roots. Seedlings aren't sturdy enough to withstand overhead watering, no matter how gentle. Misting, yes, watering, no. I use those cute little styrofoam trays meat, etc. comes in from the grocery store under my seedlings. The Beefsteak tomatoes especially seem to like the trays;);).
     
  3. TonyZ

    TonyZ New Seed

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    marlingardener, thanks for your help! My seedlings are getting stronger :). True leaves are developing nicely. Bottom watering sounds like a great idea, but my plants are in a tray with no holes on the bottom. So I'll try that next year, for sure. As far as watering goes, do tomatoes like a lot of water? Or should I wait for the soil to feel dry before watering? Thanks! Tony
     
  4. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    Tony, take something small but pointed (awl, metal kabob skewer) and poke holes in the bottom of the tray. Hold the tray up, poke from the bottom to the top, and you'll have drainage holes.
    Few plants like to sit in wet soil, so you really need drainage. When the soil feels dry, water, but water from the bottom and not from the top. I'm glad your seedlings are getting stronger.
     



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  5. TonyZ

    TonyZ New Seed

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    Thank you, I'll do that!:)
     
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  6. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    Totally agree with MG . If no drainage and the the roots stay wet,,this could be the reason your plants are not stronger. It will make them rather delicate and easily damaged. One thing that may help is a gentle breeze blowing on them. Toughen them up a bit.
     
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  7. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    When my toms are 12 days old they are moved along to the next size pot and buried in soil up to their leaves. I do this each time I plant them on until it is 2 weeks or so before I plan to plant them in the greenhouse, because I want them lanky and a bit bowed.
    I am in total agreement with the watering suggestions of my fellow Stewbies above.

    BTW---how are your toms getting along now?
     

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