Heirloom tomatoes from seed

redgreentomatomimono(5-7)March 18, 2013

Hey guys I am new to this forum. I am fifteen and started gardening a few years ago, I thought this would be a great place to seek advice. I am 11234 but my zone varies. I tried paper towel germination this year. I have a whole list of things I planted or am going to plant but this is focusing on the ones grown in paper towels. I am growing three different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, Green Zebra, Yellow Jubilee, and Tigerella, as well as Ruby Moon Hyacinth Bean from paper towel germination in plastic bags on top of the heater. The hyacinth bean did wonderfully and I now have three plants in terra cotta under a small lamp indoors (as a side note for my indoor plants I am using lights not specifically made for growing things, is this a problem?) in 65-70 deg temps. The tomatoes came out very leggy. I knew I had to transplant them. I prepared an egg carton, I punched holes in each compartment with a pencil then covered the holes with porous cotton fabric then placed Jiffy seed starting mix on top. A small percentage of the plants were too weak to withstand the moving around for transplanting. The rest survived but kind of flopped around. For everything excluding the Yellow Jubilee I had extra seeds so I put some in for good measure. Now the carton is sitting on my mantle under a bright lamp in room temps as well. I would like to emphasize that I do not need or even want a hundred plants. I would be happy to get two to three of each variety. Last year I was unsuccessful because my plants were neglected after I was not home during spring break. Can anyone help?

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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

Welcome to the forum redgreenmonotomato,that is one hell of a name you got there my friend! I recommend you post your question in the vegetable forum, be brief and to the point.. Near the top of the page there us a "forums" tab, click on it and it will bring You link of all the forums, near the botten right it will say "kitchen garden" or something and that is where you will see vegetable forum... Anyways since your here I'll help you.. To start seeds I would get the brightest light you can, you don't need a special grow light, just a shoplight that is bright... I have a 4 bulb stoplight pushing with cheap flourescent tubes from hardware store.. That Is more than enough for seedlings... I wouldn't bother transplanting then to a bigger pot, why not just start in the pot it's going to be in until you transplant in the garden, it's going to take up the same space in the long run, with less stress on the plant...

Here's my advice

1. Get seed starting trays big enough for the plant until you transplant them in the garden.. Dont use that real small crap

2. Use a good seed starting mix. I use peatmoss, it is cheaper than any other...

3. Bright light.. Put the light as close to the plant as possible with harming the plant.. Leggy plants are inadequate light and the plant is reaching for more light.

4. Have a fan on the seedlings as soon as they sprout.. Every vibration tells the plant to strength... The sooner you put the fan on the spouts the less leggy there are going to be...

5. Water, I use a spray bottle to lightly mist seedling until they germinate.. After they sprouted increase your watering slightly, but always light the soil dry out slightly... Overwatering is the main cause for killing seedlings..

6. Fertilize with kelp or something lower in nitrogen.. Nitrogen makes the plants more leggy... Go easy on the fertilizer you don't need too much..

That should get you off to the right direction.

Hope it helps,

Here is a link that might be useful: Vegetable Forum

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 9:26PM
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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

I just read your post again, an I want to tell you I'm proud of you taking the initiative to grow your own food! We need more kids like you! You dont know what a good thing you are doing for your health and wellness overall.. Don't give up even if you don't have success initially, keep on growing! You could post a reply to this page anytime you need help, I'm here for you!

Keep of growing,

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 9:34PM
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There is also a forum specific to tomatoes.

The above advice about light and pot size is good. To adequately grow two or three plants of several varieties will require a tube light source about four feet long, or two tubes that are two feet long, and arrange your seedlings in two rows. A normal light bulb will not evenly light the area. The tube lights need to be kept very close to the plants and adjusted upwards as the plants grow.

Start your seeds in pots that are two or three inches on a side. Once the plants are several inches high, they will tolerate a transplant to a 6-inch pot, if done gingerly.

You can plant two or three seeds per pot, but once one seedling has formed true leaves, pinch off the other seedlings in that pot at soil level.

Can't help you on the Spring Break thing. Better find a plant-sitter.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:09PM
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Dear red green you're in the wrong forum, go to tomatoes and vegetable gardening. They are great forums that will really help you. Good luck with your veggies!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:27PM
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