How Do You Take Care Of A Young Tomato Plant?

How Do You Take Care Of A Young Tomato Plant?

Until young seedlings grow into magnificent tomato plants, it may take a while. However, this requires not only patience, but also one or two care steps. What these are, we have summarized for you in this article on the care of young plants!

Care during sowing

Tomatoes can be sown on a sunny windowsill as early as the beginning/mid-March. Here, the seeds are best sown in nutrient-poor growing soil, because this stimulates root growth. It is also advantageous to use special growing containers for sowing. Ideally, these are equipped with a transparent lid so that the seeds and the progress of germination can always be checked. But that’s not all, because in order to optimally promote germination, the following care measures should be carried out:

  • Keep soil moist at all times
  • Avoid waterlogging!
  • watering is best done with a spray bottle
  • provide sufficient light
  • remove the lid daily
  • air can thus circulate

Note: During sowing the temperature should be between 20 and 24 degrees.

Care after germination

How Do You Take Care Of A Young Tomato Plant?

After sowing, a little patience is required, because until the first seedlings appear, it may take about 14 days. After the seedlings have risen to the surface of the soil, it takes about one to two weeks until the first leaf growth. Now it is time to prick out the plants and place them in their own containers. Before taking this step of care, however, the plants should be prepared for it. Although pricking out is necessary, it is also a strain on the tender young plants. In order to make the process as gentle as possible for the plantlets, the following procedure should be followed:

  • Set a date for pricking out
  • fertilize a few days beforehand
  • preferably weakly with a liquid fertilizer
  • water seedlings on the actual date
  • about 2 to 3 hours before

Note: Watering before pricking out ensures that the plants are adequately watered for the nurturing task and thus can better withstand the repotting.

Pricking out young plants

Once the actual date for pricking has arrived, the new containers should be prepared first. These are first carefully cleaned and then filled with a layer of soil about four to five centimeters high. After the prepared planters are ready, the seedlings can be transplanted one by one. The first step is to loosen the soil around the seedlings so that they can be removed more easily. This is best done with a pricking rod, but a spoon or knife are also suitable for this purpose. After the soil has been loosened, the seedling can be carefully removed from the old container and moved. Here it is important to pay attention to the following:

  • Check roots
  • healthy roots: white and strong
  • diseased roots: brown and/or thin
  • discard diseased specimens
  • remove soil from healthy specimens
  • shorten roots to 2 cm
  • plant the specimen deep into the soil
  • the deeper, the better the root development
  • Fill container with soil, up to about 5 cm below edge
  • Insert the climbing aid
  • gently press down the soil
  • Water sufficiently

Note: Brown roots usually indicate a too well-intentioned watering during sowing. The plants will most likely not develop optimally, so they are best discarded directly.

Care after pricking out

How Do You Take Care Of A Young Tomato Plant?

Although the young plantlets are now “big” enough to claim their own container. However, this does not mean that they can be placed directly outdoors. This is because the young plants are still extremely sensitive and need some protection for the time being. It is therefore advisable to provide the young plants with a spot in a protected indoor area after pricking them out. Until the plants are strong enough for the outdoors, they should also be cared for as follows:

  • Water daily
  • Keep soil moist at all times, but not wet!
  • avoid direct sunlight
  • slowly accustom them to the sun after about 2 – 3 days
  • place young plants on a windowsill
  • at a south window the sun is too strong!
  • avoid midday sun!

Harden off young plants

In the first days after pricking out, do not place the plants directly in the sun. This is mainly because a sunny spot increases the plants’ fluid loss. However, the roots of the young plants are not yet able to absorb so much water and compensate for the loss of liquid. After a few days, however, they can be slowly acclimated to the sun before the next step is to harden them off. In this process, from the end of April to the end of May, the young plants are repeatedly placed outside for a few hours and familiarized with the weather. Hardening off is basically quite simple, but there are still a few points to bear in mind:

  • Do not place young plants in the blazing sun
  • Danger of sunburn!
  • a light, half-shady location is better
  • protected from wind and rain
  • bring plants indoors in case of strong wind and/or rain
  • water plants in the morning

Hardening off should be done regularly until the young plants are established. This will ensure that the plants can handle outdoor conditions. After the Ice Saints, you can set the seedlings outdoors or place them permanently on the balcony.

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