Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Growing Tomatoes From Seed, Part Three: Getting Their Second Leaves - and Their First Fertilizer

This year, I set myself the task of learning how to grow tomatoes, from seed to harvest. I've never had any luck with them, but others succeed, so surely I can figure them out too.  If you want to follow along, here are the links to Part One and Part Two of our thrilling adventures in Tomato Land.

When I planted my sprouted tomato seeds, I put them into Dixie cups in new potting soil that supposedly had fertilizer in it, so I did not think I would need to fertilize the seedlings until they had grown a bunch of

I had two groups under the lights: the first, large batch that I had put in baggies about Feb 15th to sprout, and three other varieties that I ordered late, and didn't get sprouted until about 10 days later.  As of today, those last three seem to have caught up with the first batch, and about as many are sprouting second leaves on all of them.

The first batch grew like champs for a while - most sprouted within a week. I planted the ones that had not sprouted along with their precocious neighbors and most of those finally stretched and woke up too. I moved
them into little cups and they bounced right up and looked strong.

But then it was like time stood still. They reached a point and just stopped. I thought it might be a water issue, since the air and weather are so very dry here, so I stepped up their watering schedule. They still didn't improve.

Many of them started turning yellowish. So I read my little guide from Park Seeds, which said to fertilize them, and I read my fertilizer label, which listed a dilution for seedlings, and fertilized them.

The next day they were not improved - but they were no worse - so I diluted a half tsp of ammonia in a gallon of water and gave them that. (Not the whole gallon, but they each had a drink.)

Still no change the following day. So yesterday I watered them with fertilizer water again, just drenched them. FINALLY, today they are looking greener and starting to move forward with their second leaves.

Now to keep watching them. If it ever stops freezing at night, I will move them back into the sunny, South-facing laundry room, where they can get daylight. But for now, we are still alternating between 80 degrees one day, 30 degrees that night and 50 the next day. Springtime in Texas! LOL!

 Tune in again in a couple of weeks for the next episode. :-)

UPDATE: The results were fantastic!  Here are photos of some of the harvest!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails