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Meaning of true leaves

Posted by 67jayhawk none (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 29, 11 at 15:20

I'm a newbie. Am growing tomatoes from seeds. I hear the term true leaves. Is that the two leaves I first see or the leaves that are starting to grow in between them? My plants are about 2-3 inches high and I've transplanted about 25% to larger 16 oz. cups. Am I too early for that? I'm in mid-Kansas and don't know my zone. Will probably have more "dumber than dirt" questions. Appreciate any advice.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Meaning of true leaves

Jerry, the first pair of leaves you see are the "seed leaves" or the cotyledons. The next pair of leaves are the true leaves. Usually it is safe to transplant when you get 2 sets of true leaves.

RE: Meaning of true leaves


RE: Meaning of true leaves


No question is "dumber than dirt". We were all beginners at one time. I consider myself to be an intermediate now, but still have plenty to learn. (In fact, that's one of the best things about gardening, there always seems to be more to learn!)

A few tips for "potting up" (transplanting to a larger container before their final home) tomatoes:

1) when transplanting tomatoes, any part of the stem buried under the ground level will grow roots. Therefore, it is often best to bury them right up to their seed leaves when transplanting. This will help to bolster the root system.

2) when transplanting tomatoes, be sure to handle them by the "seed leaves". DO NOT HANDLE THEM BY THE STEMS! The seed leaves are less delicate, and are temporary, so if any damage is done to them during transplanting, it is not that serious. If any damage happens to the stem, it is more than likely permanent.

3) a little known fact by some beginners is that an indeterminate tomato can be "cloned". When the plant starts to grow, it will put out "suckers" these are side branches off the main stem, and will grow into "main stems" as well. If pinched off, and placed in a container of water when they are still fairly small, but handleable, they will put out roots, and can be transplanted into the garden later. (I did this one year when I lost a few tomatoes to birds, rabbits or other critters. It works great.) I don't generally do it as a plan, but if I need to replace a plant that is lost for whatever reason, it is a nice solution, and it can grow quite quickly (much quicker than starting from seed again, and much cheaper than buying replacements.

RE: Meaning of true leaves

I learn some thing every day.

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