Tons of tomato seedlings

Tomato seedlings - up close and personal...

Tomato seedlings - up close and personal...

I thought I’d take a few minutes to follow up on some previous posts.

These are some annual flower seedlings that I started back in mid-February in little trays. At that same time I started tomatoes in two 24-cell flats, putting 2 seeds in each cell.

I’ll be potting up the flower seedlings just like I did in this post here, using more self-watering flats. It makes caring for them all so much easier.

 

I like to use these self-watering flats that I got at Gardeners Supply Company. The ones I have are pretty old – some of them I’ve been using for 20 years! They are a bit beat up, but still work. I’m not sure what they are like now, somehow I doubt anything you buy these days will last 20 years (whoa – I sounded like someone’s grandpa for a second there...). I know other companies sell similar seed starting trays. 

When you assemble the kit (just follow their directions) and add the seed starting mix, a sheet of water wicking fabric transfers water from a water reservoir right to the seedlings.  If you keep water in the reservoir, the seedlings never dry out, and are never soggy.  It’s a great invention.

Thinned to one plant in each cell

Thinned to one plant in each cell

Anyway, almost all my tomato seedlings germinated so most cells had 2 plants. Normally I just go through with scissors and cut off the weakest seedling at the base so each cell has only one.  If you cut the extra instead of pulling it out you don’t disturb the roots of the one you want to keep.  Plus it’s faster.

But I found out our high school might want some tomato plants, so I decided to pluck out some of the extras and grow them on instead. I just take a plastic knife under the one I’m removing to loosen the roots while I pull on a leaf (not the stem!).  Then transplant them just like in this post.

I’m afraid I got carried away. When all is said and done, I now have 72 tomato seedlings – what? I’m not sure what happened there... I hope I can find people who need tomato plants...

Since these were started early because I want bigger transplants, they will need to be potted up into larger containers in a few weeks.  I guess I need to find 72 pots!