Tomatoes from seed?

BigN_187(9)March 15, 2013

Hello, this year I've planted a variety of vegetable seeds (cucumbers, zucchini, corn, peas, etc.) including a couple varieties of tomatoes. I've been taking the exact same care of them as all the other kinds of vegetables, and many have germinated and are progressing nicely, but not any tomatoes. Is it normal for tomato seeds to take longer than, for example, cucumbers/lettuce/peas/corn?

Also, my jalapeños seem to be at the same spot as my tomatoes, even though this is the tomato forum. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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

All you list except tomatoes and peppers are normally direct seeded. Tomatoes and peppers are normally grown as transplants.

So are we talking about direct seeded tomatoes and peppers? Or are all these seeds being grown indoors? If so then many possible issues raise their heads for both. Need more clarification please..

Pepper and tomato seedlings look just alike at first.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 3:10PM
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Sorry for not clarifying more! Well they all are technically outdoors, in biodegradable pots which I will transplant into the ground as soon as they are mature enough. However, they all are in a greenhouse at night since the nights are still fairly cold here (at least until the last few days). I leave an indirect, incandescent bulb burning on cold nights just for additional warmth inside. When I water the seeds (all of them), I use a light mist, but I make sure to saturate the soil. Recently, since the days have been warm and sunny, I have opted to move them into natural, warm light during the day, making sure not to let then dry out at all.

And if it matters, the tomato varieties are Brandywine and Early Roma. Neither are hybrids, in fact all of the seeds are open pollinated. I know some hybrid seeds can be expected to grow vigorously, so I thought I should mention that.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 3:41PM
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A tomato will not grow nearly as big as fast as a cucumber or squash. Also, tomatoes will not really grow at all when nights are cold. Given that you are leaving them outside in a greenhouse, you are not likely to get much growth. It would be necessary to keep them inside with temps of about 70 to get decent growth.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 4:02PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

As a general rule peppers and tomatoes need much warmer soil temps to germinate 75-85 degrees so without using bottom heat and "in biodegradable pots" which are usually quite deep, then yes it will take them much longer to germinate than their big seed cousins. It takes a lot of heat to warm up that much soil.

The problems with the peat pots (if that is what they are) aside, shallow plastic containers with no more than a couple of inches of soil work better. Check out the Growing from Seed forum here for more details.

Further, misting alone, especially with peat pots, is usually not sufficient since the pots wick the moisture out of the soil rapidly and then dry out quickly.

If you use these pots then I assume you already know you need to strip off the pot before transplanting.


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

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 4:21PM
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I am aware of the temperature requirements, when I say greenhouse I mean a very small one inside which the temperature can be easily raised. However, now that it is later in the day I actually see seedlings JUST starting to emerge I believe. What can I do to ensure they stay healthy if they do in fact continue to emerge? I planted all the seeds I had so I want to make sure at least one plant of each variety survives.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 4:48PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Once they emerge, uncover and immediately under max lighting.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 4:51PM
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Sorry if consecutive posts are against the rules, but I did not see Dave's last post before I wrote my response.

They are not peat pots, I used natural paper to make my own "cups" perhaps you might call them. They contain less soil than large store bought pots, so perhaps those concerns are not valid? I just thought I'd mention it. Thanks man!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 4:52PM
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