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is this the problem?

Posted by joytwo1839 z6 TN (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 21, 10 at 9:58

Every year I put my seed trays on heat vents and they sprout in 3-4 days but it seems they sprout at an inch tall. This year I didn't have enough room so I place one tray in a window with just afternoon light. Ut has been 7 days and I was begonning to worry but I have them under lights this morning and I noticed they were just beginnning to break the surface.
I think germination on tomatoes is supposed to be somewhere around ten days. Do you think by forcing them to germinate so quickly could be a factor in being so tall and skinny? I think the others are going to be better - they haven't just jumped out of the ground.

Thanks for all your help in the past. Forgive the spelling - got to get ready for church!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: is this the problem?

Remember, after they've germinated, take the heat off 'em. They may have sprouted when you weren't looking and were reaching for the light. They only needed the heat to germinate. And if your lights are too high off the cell packs, they're stretching. Are your lights on a timer? Don't leave 'em on 24/7. Don't sweat the 'germination' estimates... things can go all over the place. Remember, also, that tomatoes are tall anyhow. You don't have to toss the tall fellas, once they stop reaching, they'll settle down. And if they get too big, I use old tin cans with 3-4 holes around the OUTER edge at the bottom and transplant up to their little necks. Good luck!


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RE: is this the problem?

The lights are all but touching the tops - should I wait to see if they thicken up or go ahead and transplant? I'm afraid I won't have enough light for all of them.


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RE: is this the problem?

Stems thicken out as they grow taller, not after. So once you have a long leggy stem about all you can do is transplant them deeply - bury the stem right up to the base of the top set of leaves - and then hope you have enough light to keep them from stretching out again. Cooler air temps also discourage leggy stems so lots of light and 65 degrees max if possible is the ideal.

Dave


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RE: is this the problem?

Once again I am wrong-I thought they neede lots of hest so I've had it about 72. So lots of light (14 hrs?) and low heat, Rights?

Thanks so much!

Joy


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RE: is this the problem?

Heat is needed just for germination. Once germinated cooler temperatures are needed for growing on to insure sturdy, stocky seedlings.

Dave


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RE: is this the problem?

Thanks, again, Dave. You are very kind to help us all.

Joy


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RE: is this the problem?

Additional heat is not *needed* for germination but it does help tremendously! Dad use to sow tomato seeds in the tobacco bed in the middle to end of March and we always had plants to set out in May. I can remember trying to fit 15-18" very bushy plants into the tobacco setter, making sure not much besides the heart was above ground.

Mike


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RE: is this the problem?

Mike, that is very interesting. First was he in NC or Ga and second were the seed sown with the tobacco seeds under cover or in the field?.


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RE: is this the problem?

YES Dave, thanks again, your information to Joy is helpful to me also.
Tim


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