Seedlings are sprouting...now what do I do?!!!

Discussion in 'Seed Starting / Propagation' started by poodledoodlemom, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. poodledoodlemom

    poodledoodlemom Seedling

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    My tomato seedlings are sprouting. When do I replant them? How long do I keep the little plastic top over them? I guess I could just google it but what fun would that be? 8)

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    Tomato seedlings ( photo / image / picture from poodledoodlemom's Garden )
     
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  3. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I usually buy tomato plants but this year am starting some from seed that I can't find in stores.
    I have read that you leave them alone until there are at least two sets of leaves on them and I think the plastic top is only to create the humidity they need to germinate.

    But since there are several tomato growing experts in our membership one or more of them should be along shortly to give you the correct advice ;)
     
  4. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    Toni is right--as soon as they have germinated take off the plastic dome. If you've never done this before, you haven't encountered the dreaded "damping off" which causes the stems to bend over, rot at the soil line, and then the plant dies. The good news is that it's very easily prevented. Take a small spray bottle and put one pint of tepid water in it, one teaspoon of baking soda (the amounts aren't critical, "just about" is fine) and shake. Then spray the soil surface with the solution. Once ought to do it, but if you want to you can spray every week to 10 days. It won't hurt the plants at all. If you get some on the leaves it will leave little powdery white dots which aren't harmful, either.
    I usually transplant when there are at least two sets of true leaves (the first leaves to appear aren't true leaves, but subsequent ones will look like tomato leaves and are "true" leaves).
    Oh, and don't worry if the those that haven't germinated yet don't. Even Mother Nature doesn't get 100% germination!
     
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  5. poodledoodlemom

    poodledoodlemom Seedling

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    Awesome info! Thank you! Two more are actually sprouting now. I will definitely try that mixture. Thanks again!

    OMG! I went to remove the plastic cover and those other ones now have two sprouts in them. THAT quick! This is really cool.
     



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  6. calinromania

    calinromania Young Pine

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    Baking Soda ???
    This is new :)
    Would this work on any seedlings? Or just veggies?
    Would it do damage to really tiny seedlings?
    I need to look into this.
    I know about cinnamon sprinkled on soil.
     
  7. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Your seedlings look great! After they all have a true set of leaves, I would move them into larger pots, peat pods and all. Bury the whole stem and leave just the leaves sticking out of the soil. THis will help a good root system form. I have never heard of the baking soda spray, but I have heard that cinnamon sprinkled on the soil would prevent damping off.
     
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  8. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    Cal and Netty, cinnamon works great, too. It's just that I'm frugal (cheap) and the soda is less expensive than the cinnamon.
    The baking soda works on any seedling, and I've even used it on rose cuttings that are rooting in perlite/vermiculite. The spray, if gentle, doesn't harm even tiny seedlings. I usually do a first spray as soon as the first true leaves appear and the dome comes off.
     
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  9. poodledoodlemom

    poodledoodlemom Seedling

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    So I need to wait for the first true leaves before I spray them? Is that correct?
     
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  10. jbest123

    jbest123 In Flower

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    Posted on November 23, 2009 in my journal.

    I have always used the standard seed flats when starting seeds. Last year when I started using soil blocks it became evident that I needed to use the humidity domes. With the use of the domes, most veggie seeds germinate before I need to add water. My current flats and domes are pretty shabby and need replaced. At $7+ per flat/w dome I decided to look for alternatives. I found food containers at the dollar store that are 12” x 8” x 6” high and cost $1 per two containers. An even dozen of 2” blocks fit very nicely.

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    PB220005 by tsebmj, on Flickr

    Posted on January 17, 2010.

    I was loading the wood bin in the shop today and I noticed the humidity dome with soil blocks in it that I had used for a thread about cheap humidity domes on Nov 23, 2009. What caught my attention was all the condensation inside the dome.

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    P1160001 by tsebmj, on Flickr

    Upon inspection the soil blocks were as moist as they were when I made them. That is 54 days without adding any water and I think I could plant seeds in them today and they would go on to sprouting there second set of leaves. I also noticed there was no green scum or noticeable fungi of any kind growing on the soil blocks. John

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    P1160002 by tsebmj, on Flickr
     
  11. poodledoodlemom

    poodledoodlemom Seedling

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    So I'm seriously not sure. Do I water them or not? And if so, how much/often?
     
  12. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    PDM, spray when the first set of true leaves appear. When you repot into larger containers, spray again, just as a prevention.
    Water when the bottom of the little containers feel dry. This doesn't work with the plastic cell containers I use, but with peat pots or the cardboard cells, it does. I use a shallow tray, set the seedlings in it, put enough water in the tray to reach at least 1/4" up the cells, and let it sit for an hour or so. Then remove the cells from the tray. They should not sit in water--leads to root rot and other bad things.
     
  13. poodledoodlemom

    poodledoodlemom Seedling

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    I'm confused by the spraying and watering them. Lol!
     
  14. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    Spray with the baking soda solution when the first true leaves appear, then if you want every week to 10 days. This isn't really necessary, but it won't hurt. This is not watering the seedlings, it is preventing damping off.
    Water when the bottom of the seedling containers feel dry, or if the seedlings seem to wilt a bit. Put the containers in a shallow tray, put water in the tray so the containers are sitting in about 1/4" of water, let them sit for an hour or two, then remove them from the tray.
    I don't see why you are confused about spraying/watering the seedlings. I thought the explanation was pretty clear.
     
  15. poodledoodlemom

    poodledoodlemom Seedling

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    Thank you. I don't know why I was either! Lol! :)

    I appreciate all your help.
     
  16. poodledoodlemom

    poodledoodlemom Seedling

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    03-20-14 - updated pic

    Here are my babies. How do they look? Can you tell by this pic? :)

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    03-20-14 updated pic ( photo / image / picture from poodledoodlemom's Garden )
     
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