It’s been four weeks since the “sow a long” seeds were sown and the seedlings are coming along just fine.
All five Tumbling Toms are now in their own 3 inch pots and have been given their first feed. Feeding isn’t essential if they are in good quality compost, but I usually give them a foliar and root drench feed with Miracle Grow or Organic Liquid Seaweed just after transplanting.
Here’s their progress at four weeks.
Why tomato seedlings become leggy
One of the problems with growing tomato plants at this time of year is when plants grow too high searching for light and become spindly or leggy.
Here are a few tips to prevent this happening or at least slow them down.
- Under-water rather than over-water.
- Keep plants in as much light as possible – a sheet of white paper directly behind them helps reflect light back on the plants.
- Higher temperatures (above 20C) when days are cloudy will also make them become leggy.
It’s a difficult balancing act between light, warmth and water. Lots of light – medium temperature – low water.
Of course they do need to be watered but after a good watering, allow the compost to become quite dry before watering again. If the seedlings/plants start to look limp, give them a spray of water, then water them thoroughly again.
Different Varieties – Different Reaction to Low Light
Tumbling Tom is a bush variety that doesn’t become leggy in low light conditions. However, most varieties do such as Red Alert which will shoot up like a rocket unless kept under control.
I have found that Black Cherry is rather unusual for a tall variety because it doesn’t shoot up as most other tall varieties do. I guess that is one of the advantages of growing a black variety plant that originates from a cool area of the world – eastern Europe / Russia.
April is the Last Chance for Sowing
If you haven’t already sown your first batch of seed, April is the best month to sow because the weather is more favourable than earlier in the spring. However, April is also the last opportunity to get those seeds in seed compost because if sowing in May, the plant probably won’t be ready in time, fruiting, before the cold weather sets in later in the year.
Tomato Plug Plants – Pot Ready Plants
You can of course buy tomato plug plants at the garden centre or by post and this is a very good option for those who have little time to fuss with seeds but would like their own tomatoes.
For more about plug plants and pot ready plants, please go to the tomato plug plants page.
Anyway, I hope that your plants are doing well and I’m always happy to receive emails and answer any questions.
If you have a pic of your seedlings that you would like to share, I would be very interested to see it and put it on the website.