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Potting up question Empty Potting up question

Post  kamigh on 2/12/2015, 12:00 am

Soooo . . . someone who shall remain nameless may have gotten a little excited this year and has a bunch of seedlings that already need to be potted up Embarassed (last frost date is March 18, not planning on setting them out until at least April, so they are still going to be inside a while!) The seeds were started in 3/4" soil blocks and moved to 2" soil blocks, but some are getting kind of leggy, even though they are under lights that are within inches of them.  I know that it is best to bury tomato stems fairly deep to promote better root development; does the same hold true for peppers and/or eggplants?????
Thanks! 
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Post  walshevak on 2/12/2015, 12:15 am

Not as much, but a little deeper doesn't hurt.  Red Solo cups filled with MM is a good choice.  I've had tomatoes and peppers blooming in them.  Pinching the top few leaves of peppers and eggplants will also also encourage a bushy plant.

Kay

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Post  sanderson on 2/12/2015, 1:51 am

So, Nameless, this is a good question for those, like your "friend," who grow peppers and eggplants as well as tomatoes a little bit too early! Very Happy Last summer, I tried what Kay suggests, pinching off the top of the peppers and eggplants.

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=31657

One idea I got from someone on the forum, is to take an empty container like the one the plant is currently growing in. Fill the new larger container, like a solo cup, with mix up to and around the empty container. Remove the empty container. That way you will have a pre-made shape to set the plant and its soil in.

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Post  plantoid on 2/12/2015, 8:05 am

If it is frost free in the day take & you have time , why not  take the plants out for a breather in real air & day light. The coolness will knock the growth back , allow a bit slower grow rate , the plants will become a lot more sturdy & hopefully you'll soon have decent weather to plant them outside . I guess you could hand back on the watering a tad as well to slow things down but don't go bezerk & turn the pots in to mini deserts thus killing them .
 

Take them in at night , don't bother with the light or extra heat , again put them out in the morning if it's frost free .

This process is often called " Hardening them up for transplanting out doors " .
If it's not too cool you can also plant lots of tender plants outside and cover then with a fleece membrane from just before sun down to just after sun rise ..the heat of the ground gets trapped under the fleece so if you were to put a few plastic bottles full of water or sand under the fleece you could lift the fleece and make a temporary shelter for the tender plants . You might have to weigh down the edges of the fleece or peg them down to make the protective envelope a lot more effective .
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Post  GloriaG on 2/13/2015, 12:44 am

Hi Karla,

In our area, tomato seedlings generally go into the garden toward the end of February or first week of March.  They just have to be protected from extreme temperature drops at night.  Peppers and eggplants a little later because they're more tender.

There are a few reasons seedlings become too tall or "leggy", the main two are - not enough light, which you seem to have under control or not enough nutrition. 

Have you fed your seedlings since you planted them?  Just like babies, infant plants need extra nutrition to get off to a good start.  It may be that the soil in your soil blocks isn't fertile enough to support the rapid growth the little plants undergo so they respond by getting leggy. Try adding a dilute mixture of liquid seaweed or compost tea and see if they begin filling out. The packages usually have mixing directions for seedlings. 

BTW: You can pot seedlings up any time after they have two regular leaves.  The tomatoes can go very deep, and the peppers and eggplants can go a little deeper than they are now.  I generally pot mine up at least once and occasionally twice before I put them out, depending on the weather and how busy I am.

Good luck and I hope this helps,
Gloria
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Post  quiltbea on 2/13/2015, 11:03 am

I started with soil blocks, too, and when they got too big for the 2" block, they went into Solo cups (16 oz. size) and when too large for those, into 2-liter soda/pop bottles cut down to about 7 or 8" and slit up the sides in 5 places from the base, for 'air pruning' as they grew.  They can keep for quite a while in those.  But they must have good light.  When your last frost date arrives, put them out during the warmer daylight hours and bring them in at night til you can transplant them out permanently.

I agree with all the info posted above about putting them out, feeding, keeping them from frost, etc.  Good advice.
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Post  momvetkat on 2/21/2015, 12:14 am

I am in the same situation and this thread helped. I am going to repot the leggy tomatoes into pots and bury them deeper. I have had a couple of plants (parsley, zinnias) just keel over but I don't think its damping off. Both were in outer areas of the seed starter tray but other plants of same variety and in same area seem OK? Anyway my question is about liquid fertilizing. They've been in 4 weeks. I've heard of half strength fish emulsion but what about compost tea? I still have a really good mix of bagged compost left over from making my Mel's Mix. How do I make a tea?
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Post  camprn on 2/21/2015, 8:07 am

@momvetkat wrote:I am in the same situation and this thread helped. I am going to repot the leggy tomatoes into pots and bury them deeper. I have had a couple of plants (parsley, zinnias) just keel over but I don't think its damping off. Both were in outer areas of the seed starter tray but other plants of same variety and in same area seem OK? Anyway my question is about liquid fertilizing. They've been in 4 weeks. I've heard of half strength fish emulsion but what about compost tea? I still have a really good mix of bagged compost left over from making my Mel's Mix. How do I make a tea?
if there is a bit of space left in the growing cells just top off the cells with the compost directly.  Compost tea? Put some compost in water, let it sit overnight, pour off the water then give a dose of the tea to the plants.

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Post  jimmy cee on 2/21/2015, 9:23 am

I've watched many you tube videos from this man in Louisiana, his name there is Bayou gardener.
webcajun also
This video shows him starting tomato seeds in pots with 1/3rd  mix, then adding as the plant grows.
He has many presentations and they are good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrMQpcn73X0

Reminds me of Cajun Cappy on here
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