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First year success

Posted by esteban_2009 6 ( on
Sat, May 24, 14 at 21:14

Hi folks,
My first year winter sowing was a success. I used 1 gallon milk containers and put 9 seeds in each, most were tomato's. I planted 12-21-13. When they broke ground this spring it became very crowded.
Next December I plan on using half gallon milk containers and planting only one seed in each container, that would leave plenty of room for the plant to grow and would eliminate one transplanting.
Please share your comments pro and con on this method.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: First year success

Hi Steve,
I have just shaken the whole packet of seeds into a gallon size container. Then separate them out when they are large enough. Also you could put paper cups in each gallon if you don't really want to dig each plant out of your potting soil.


RE: First year success

Hi Mary,
Thanks for your response, your ideas sounds great. I will plan on trying the paper cups in gallon containers next December.
I see you live in NW KS, I was born and raised in Hutchinson, many, many years ago. I now live in Rogers, AR

RE: First year success

Hi Steve,

Congrats on your success in your first season! Having too many seedlings germinate in a container is a great problem to have!

I also usually put about 9 seeds (for tomatoes, at least) per gallon milk jug, and for me, I don't find it overcrowded. I plant my tomato seedlings out when they are only about 3 inches tall. If I have any concerns about the weather or high winds, or see proof of critters in the garden, I will cover the seedlings with the top half of a soda bottle with the cap taken off, like a little cloche. I might do this for a week or so if needed. In other words, I don't "pot up" before transplanting, which it sounds like you might do from you saying "eliminate another transplanting". Just thought this might be another option for you if you felt you had to wait to plant out.

If you prefer, you can certainly do one seed per half gallon jug. That would indeed give you more time to let the seedling grow before transplanting. You will of course go through more potting soil (and need lots more jugs, lol) but if that's okay by you, go for it!

Enjoy your tomatoes! Can't wait for that first one to be ripe!


RE: First year success

Hi Steve, I would put at least a few seeds in each. What if your one seed doesn't sprout? You can always thin the container down to the strongest seedling later.

Personally I would grow 2 or 3 seedlings in a container that size, because it is more efficient to get more than one seedling per container, and a 1/2 gallon jug can easily accommodate more than one seedling. Unless for some reason you are planning to grow out the single seedling to a large size while still in the container?

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