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14 messages
17/04/2012 at 19:10

I'm attemplting to grow tomatoes for the first time, money maker & baby bell.

I've kept them covered in the conservatory out of direct sunlight and they have developed their second leaves.

As I understand it's at this point they should be uncovered???? Which I did today and after a few hours I noticed the leaves have shrivelled. 

I wondered if they have had a chill because it was really hot in the conservatory so I left the door open & opened the windows. Have I killed them? 

17/04/2012 at 19:15

I think you have. I took my seedling out for some sun outdoors during easter and that resulted in a mass exodus to the garden in the sky. One of the tomato plants germinated after this and I moved that to the bedroom and after the first night there it shriveled up and died. I think it got too cold between the curtain and the window.

17/04/2012 at 19:30

Still plenty of time to re sow. Once you have pricked them out, give them good light and avoid drafts. I find a bit of fleece useful in the early stage after potting on - cuts drafts and stops sun scorch.

17/04/2012 at 20:49
I am in the same position for the first time trying to grow tomato's,they are outside in a growbag inside a plastic portable tomato greenhouse.They seem to be ok for now but are they out to early?
18/04/2012 at 07:47

Once germinated, light and temperature dictate their progress, Ian. They need as much good strong light as they can get, and while they don't need to be kept as warm as for seed germination, you'd still want temps in at least the mid-teens C for them to prosper. It's worth checking the temps in your greenhouse, particularly at night. If the overnight temp gets into, say, single figures you should look to try to insulate in some way. At this time of year, it's better to be able to bring them inside overnight if need be, but growbags obviously make that difficult.

21/04/2012 at 07:53

After originally thinking I'd killed my tomatoe plants I replaced the lid and left them alone for a few days. I've just checked them and it seems quite a few of them have survived although the leaves are quite small and they don't look quite as strong as they did. So....

I go away on holiday this week for 2 weeks and I have to leave them at the mercy of my son to look after. Should I pot them on before I go or leave them covered in the seed tray? 

Am I just clutching at straws here or is it worth giving them more time? 

21/04/2012 at 08:09

They have true leaves, tattianna, so you can pot them up. Better than leaving them in the seed tray for another fortnight where their roots, hence their growth, will be restricted.

You can use individual 3" pots or similar with adequate drainage. Fill them with mix, get the mix nice and damp, then drill a hole with a screwdriver or 3" nail. Carefully remove the seedlings from the tray - I use a 3" nail to prise them clear - and lower them into the drilled holes. Plant them deeply, right down to the first true leaves. All the stem that is buried will develop into root structure. Tamp the mix around them to make sure there aren't any air pockets in the mix.

Now they need reasonable warmth but as much light as they can get. And tell your son not to water them until the mix dries out completely! The mix needs to dry out between waterings. Unless you get a bout of hot weather, they would probably need one watering while you're away.

22/04/2012 at 10:00

Thank you Italophile I'll do that today. 

So once I've potted them on I understand about the need for as much light as possible so where should I keep them....

In the conservatory where they have lots of light but the heat can fluctuate greatly and very quickly depending on the weather (it gets like a hot house when its sunny) 

Or I'm thinking probably the bathroom is the best place. It's very light but not too hot and the heat stays at a more constant temp. 

22/04/2012 at 10:07

The conservatory would probably give them the best light. Natural sunlight is best. Does the temp drop in there at night? If so, I'd keep them in the conservatory during the day but shift them into, say, the bathroom at night. Or persuade your son to do so. Bribe him if need be.

22/04/2012 at 10:15

Another thought. Unless, of course, it actually gets cold in the conservatory during the day. If there's sunlight available in the bathroom it might be better.

22/04/2012 at 16:38
Italophile wrote (see)

Another thought. Unless, of course, it actually gets cold in the conservatory during the day. If there's sunlight available in the bathroom it might be better.

Ok they're all potted on & they look pretty healthy actually. I've considared all your advice and I think they'll probably be better in the bathroom as the warmth is fairly constant & there's lots of light (it gets the sun all day) & i'm thinking if my son doesn't go into the conservarory every day, which is a possibility,  the poor seedlings could very well frazzle. So thank you for your help and I'll let you know if they survived when I return.

Cheers Anna

22/04/2012 at 16:40

Bathroom sounds perfect!

21/05/2012 at 21:00

A quick update.....I've been on holiday and returned to good healthy looking tomatoe plants  My son did a super job looking after them. I wish the weather would improve though, I'd really like to claim my bathroom back!!!!!!

22/05/2012 at 08:05

Priorities, Anna, priorities. Let nothing get in the way of producing great tomatoes. Have a shower under the garden hose.

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