New to growing from seed... Advice much appreciated

CavemanDave5March 21, 2013

New homeowner, second year gardening, first year growing from seed.. Bought organic seeds online, did a little research on this page and then planted a few tomato seeds in 8 separate approx 3" cut paper towel tubes filled with ground coconut fiber.

I have 10 very small plants growing in my kitchen a few inches under 2 fluorescent tube lights for 16.5 hours a day. There are plants growing in 6 of the tubes and 2 plants in the other 2 tubes. All are growing nicely (at least I think) with small true leaves starting to show in most. I water only when the soil is completey dry and try not to wet the plant itself.

Am I doin this right?

When should I re-pot?

Should I be fertilizing?

Any answers, help, advice, or tips would be great. Thanks for your time.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Have you checked out the Growing from Seed forum here? It has several good FAQs that cover all the basics and many discussions that cover all your questions. The basic techniques apply to all seeds, even tomatoes.

There is also a How to grow tomatoes from seed FAQ. I linked it below.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: FAQ - How to grow tomatoes from seed

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 10:29AM
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CavemanDave5

digdirt - I did a Google search prior to planting which brought me to the page that you linked. I dont remember it being very specific on how far to allow true leaves to develop before potting up but I will reread it. I will certainly check the forum that you recommended. Thank you for responding.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 3:34PM
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CavemanDave5

digdirt - I did a Google search prior to planting which brought me to the page that you linked. I dont remember it being very specific on how far to allow true leaves to develop before potting up but I will reread it. I will certainly check the forum that you recommended. Thank you for responding.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 3:39PM
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CavemanDave5

digdirt - I did a Google search prior to planting which brought me to the page that you linked. I dont remember it being very specific on how far to allow true leaves to develop before potting up but I will reread it. I will certainly check the forum that you recommended. Thank you for responding.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 3:45PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I dont remember it being very specific on how far to allow true leaves to develop before potting up but I will reread it.

Not really a specific time. It depends in great part on how you germinate the seeds - cell packs, yogurt cups, plug trays, etc.

For example if you germinated 20-25 seeds in one yogurt cup or 4-5 in one Jiffy pellet as many do then you would likely need to transplant them before any true leaves developed. You want them separated before the roots get too badly tangled.

If you only do 1 seed in each cell in a cell pack then they can wait until they are about the size in the "Potting up" photo on the FAQ I linked - the true leaves are still pretty small.

Ultimately it boils down to transplanting them as soon as you are comfortable working with them IMO. I transplant all mine before any true leaf development. But I do staged transplanting - from bulk seeded trays to 6 packs to 4" pots.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 5:17PM
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