small tomato seedlings

tucker46060March 23, 2012

All-

New to seed starting.

I started 48 cells of tomatoes 2 weeks ago today. Using the APS system and the organic seed starting mix from the same retailer.

The seeds started well, and are under 4 x 48" shop lights. However, they seem to have stopped growing ... they have been ~1-1/2" tall now for 4-5 days and don't seem to be doing much.

Temps are 65F or so, they are getting 18h of light and 6h of dark. The mix is compost based, so I have not fertilized yet (bag says don't need to). I am running a fan to strengthen them.

It looks to me from browsing the web that seedlings are usually bigger and usually getting their second set of leaves by this point. Any thoughts? The only thing I can think of is that the APS system gives continuous moisture, which seems to be against lots of stuff I have read. However, the seedlings otherwise seem strong and hardy and have good color.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

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

Yes that particular system gets regularly panned over on the Growing from Seed forum here for just the reason you mention - keeps the plants too wet which can lead to root rot and stunted growth. The system is good for germination, reports say, but no so much for growing on. How much of a problem it is depends in part on which mix you use in the cells.

The recommended solution seems to be to remove the wicking cloth from the water tray once they are watered and let them dry out more before letting it water them again.

Personally when I gave the system a try several years back I found it better to just transplant them out of the APS into normal pots or cups with a good soil-less potting mix in them. The plants took right off again.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 5:14PM
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