Tomato Seedlings

In the next couple of weeks depending on the type and maturing time of the your Tomato of choice it is time to start your seedling. In most cases it would be prudent
to get the seedlings into the ground as soon as possible for the longest chance for
an abundant harvest and will always depend on the last frost and continued good warm
There are many ways to start your seed, but the simplest way is to fill a container with a lid to within an inch to half an inch of the top. Moisten the soil, but do not soak.
The night before soak your seeds and plant them next morning, just covering them with
sterilized seed starter. Place the lid on top…but just loosely and place on the top of
your refrigerator which will provide enough heat. Check to make sure the soil does not dry out…..but water sparingly….too much water would only encourage mould and rot, or damping off. When the plants are of transplant size they can be transferred to many other modes of containers,
Some people use papier mache egg cartons, which can be cut and planted into the ground with little disturbance. Others might like to use peat pots that, when having water added to them, expand to a desirable planting size. Whichever your choice once the replanting has been established move to a sunnier location. Once the plants have established themselves water sparingly with a no nitrogen fertilizer so the roots and growth are supported but that the plants do not become long and spindly.
The next while will be to maintain a healthy supply of water, being careful to water the roots and leaving the leaves as dry as possible.
Once into the ground consider staking the plants immediately to prevent root damage at a later date. Because the stem will develop roots if it is planted deep, if your plants do become too tall plant them deep to produce a sturdier plant. Continue to monitor the watering and it is recommended to water early in the day as opposed to in the evening and to avoid wetting down the leaves. If you live in deer country….and I believe we all do….a simple wire column might be of great help….for whatever reason, deer live to eat tomato plants and given the chance will pull them right out of the ground.
If there are any other hints for a successful tomato harvest please let me know and I will be happy to pass that on… good luck to a healthy crop. Chris Motyka.

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