Transplanting Tomato Seedlings

It is now time to transplant my tomato seedlings, as they are big enough to handle with nice strong stems for their size. So here are my tips which should save you losing any small plants. This is all just common sense, which I am sure most of you will already know.

1.Try to choose a dull day, or transplant them when the heat has gone from the sun later in the afternoon. This will stop them getting too stressed. For the first few days, try not to let your greenhouse get too hot.
2. Water your seedlings and compost,before you start, allowing time for the water to drain.

 3.Make sure that you use a good quality potting compost, do not try to make it go further by adding some soil. There will be enough balanced  feed in a good compost to last until you plant your plants into the soil.
4. Fill up enough pots beforehand and dib a big enough hole.

5. Only hold the seedling by a leaf to save damaging the stem. Drop the seedling into the hole and very gently squeeze some compost around the plant to fill in the rest of the hole. If it is a warm day, give them a small drink with a fine rose on the watering can.

The purchased plants that I transplanted last week are looking really healthy. So just a reminder to keep them well spaced. Watering can be tricky this time of the year, so the best way is to feel how heavy the pot is, you will soon learn what weight it should be if it is getting too dry.
Also, go by the colour of your plants. If they are starting to turn light green at the head, then you are over watering. If they are very dark, then obviously they could do with a little more. 

Now my plants are established, I tend to let then dry very slightly before watering, as this will encourage good root growth. But they should never be allowed to wilt.
If it is a really dull day, they might not need any, yet on sunny days I tend to give them two small drinks of water twice a day. But if you are not about, a good drink early in the morning is fine.

This is how I like my plants to look, a good dark colour, a nice compact plant, and the first truss is well formed. As soon as I see the first flower starting to open, I will plant it in the soil, which will not be too long.

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  1. I must get mine potted up soon! I heard somewhere that ground up eggshells under a tomato plant gives extra calcium and helps prevent blossom end rot. What do you say Mr Tomato King?

  2. Thanks for the colour tip - didn't know that. Interested to find out about the eggs shells as we have loads!

  3. Hi Matron and Jacqui
    I have never used egg shells, but I see the logic. So it will do no harm.
    I did a post last year about BER and 99% of the time it is because the plant was not getting enough water, especially if grown in pots.
    Also an unbalance of other chemicals can stop the uptake of calcium, so adding extra, will not always help solve the problem.
    Many people try all sorts to feed their plants, but commercial feeds do have the right balance of NPK with added trace elements.
    Some varieties are more susceptible to BER. I did have a little last year, and it was lack of water, a good soaking of the soil cured it, but the damaged tomatoes will still have it sometimes for a few weeks, because the damage was done when they were smaller.


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