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I need some help with a gardening question, I am currently attempting to start tomatoes from seed and as they get about 3 inches tall they become spindly and fall over however I am currently using 2 grow lights apprx. 2 inches above the plants and they are straightening out I have the seed boxes next to a window catching direct sunlight the grow lights are fine but in a grid down situation they will be worthless could I please get some suggestions? thankyou!
Have you tried breezing them? Blowing on them gently, a few times a day, setting up a light fan to just move them a little, or sometimes brushing your hand across them a couple times a day will help. This will stress them a little to strengthen the young stems. The normal air current stress that they would be exposed to if planted outside, they don't get indoors, so you have to artificially create it. Maybe that will help.
The breeze is a good idea. Make sure also that you are not overwatering.
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Sounds like you may be watering them too much. Once the seeds sprout and push up out of the soil you can let the soil dry out and not water every day. The soil should be damp but not soggy so the roots don't drown. Being indoors there is less evaporation from the soil. I plant seeds in Jiffy-7 peat pods and set them in a covered plastic tray placed next to the wood stove. They don't need much light to germinate but warm temps will help with germination and as soon as the plants pop through the soil I remove the top and set the tray on the windowsill and cut back the watering to every third day. Works every time. They sell Jiffy-7 tray kits at most gardening outlets and they last for years of re-use.
I have had a similar problem with them getting spindly when I grow inside. Last year I transplanted outdoors in the middle of April (which is taking a big chance in Zone 6B, southeastern PA).They were about an inch or so high. I cut the bottoms off water and vinegar bottles ((1 gal size) and put them over the plants in my raised beds. If it got cold at night, I closed the cap on top, and it created a little greenhouse. That worked quite well.
In a grid-down situation, I'm going to rely on the tomato plants that volunteer all over my garden, like weeds. I grow heirlooms and the volunteers are just as productive as the regular plants. I can't vouch for their parentage, but if I am desperate for food, I doubt I'll care much.
I raise all my own tomato and pepper plants. Keep the grow light on 24/7 and one inch about the plants. When they are brushing the light raise it an inch. i use Jiffy pots also. After they get about 2 inches tall I transfer them into Styrofoam coffee cups with Miracle Grow soil. Same distance with the light till they get at least 6 inches tall. Don't forget to poke holes in the bottom of the coffee cup.
Just fill the cup 1/2 full of soil. set the Jiffy pot in the middle and fill around it and up. Then I set them in plastic trays and let them suck water from the bottom. As they grow a little bigger I put a little house plant fertilizer in the water.
I skip the jiffy pots and just use stryo coffee cups in trays , i fill them about 2/3 full so i can add soil as the grow . No lights but use cold frame 6x8 with 12 inch side with a plastic covering . I use a liquid fertilizer in the water but at low rate , I poke one big hole in the bottom for the roots , so as not to damage them when I transplant.
My tomato plants are 12 to 14 tall and bushing out . Hoping for a good crop of tomatoes this year .
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9 posts • Page 1 of 1
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