Tomato seedling transplanted in 1/2 gallon grow bags with aluminum collars
Moving the tomato seedlings from a flat to pots created a new environment in our home. I thanked my husband for noticing he now lives in a greenhouse. I am sure he was expressing appreciation for our unique lifestyle; rather than a complaint in disguise. After all, this first planting only yielded 35 tomato plants, so just one light setup in the living room and one in the dining room, so far.
The grow light bulbs give a full light spectrum. I added aluminum collars around the plants to bathe them in even more light. They so thrive on a LOT of light, about 15 hours a day. It’s their main source of nourishment, along with moderate water from the bottom and once a week solution of fish emulsion (1 tsp. to ½ gallon water).
1 teaspoon Fish Mix to 1/2 gallon water
This is the 2nd move for the youngsters planted on December 19, 2011.
Not all seedlings are created equal, even from the same package, so I picked the biggest and the strongest to move into a 1/2 gallon grow bags. A package of 30 was $1.80 so the price is right.
Seedlings in flat awaiting transplanting
I am trying a local potting soil mix, the ‘go green’ thing, you know. Actually, it is loaded with yummy stuff, all natural and organic, Central Oregon Cinder Soil. I’ll let you know what I think, or more to the point what my tomatoes have to say about it.
Step by step transplant:
1) Lightly water seedlings in flat
2) Prepare Labels: I printed 2×4 labels and taped over the labels on the pots with clear package tape. Be sure to count how many of each variety you will be planting. I just cannot do this by hand, give me a computer and printer then I am a ‘Happy Labeler’.
Labeled Grow Bags awaiting their Tomato
Example: San Marzano, paste, Heirloom Seed planted: 12/19/11 1st transplant: 1/2/12
2nd transplant: 1/19/12 Soil: CO Cinder
Amendments added: Excelerite, dusting on soil
Watered in with solution H2O2 and fish emulsion
3) SOIL: Moisten and warm the soil before adding to pots a) Try to avoid chlorine water, alkaline preferable, damp not soggy. b) I set my potting soil in the house near heat source overnight, then used warm water to moisten.
4) Gather utensils used to fill pots and move seedlings
a) I used a cup and a large round spoon
5) Select the ‘cream of the crop’ of each variety for this transplant
a) Label bags for number of each
6) Place bags or pots on tray without drain holes to allow bottom watering.
7) Add about 2 inches of potting soil to bag or pot (adjust to seedling height).
a) You will want to plant close to the bottom set of leaves, pinch off the cotyledons (first leaves on seedlings) if they will be below the soil.
b) Roots will develop along the stem for optimal plant health.
8) Gently hold the LEAF of the plant NOT stem as you scoop him out of the flat
a) Leaves grow back, damaged stems do not b) Clean hands a must to not spread disease to plants
Remineralizer & Micro-Organism Multiplier Acceptable for Organic!
9) Fill the soil around the plant in bag or pot as you hold it by its leaves
a) Lightly dust top of soil with Excelerite if using b) Do not tamp soil down
c) Water in gently around the plant to settle soil
d) Add more soil as needed e) deep planted=more feeder roots
10) Move to their new home with ample light, and reasonable warmth day and night for best growth.
a) Growth slows under 50 and over 90 degrees.
11) LIGHTS: It would be nice to have those wonderful expensive plant lights from the hydroponic store but they are not necessary.
I use two setups at present.
Octopus lamp with grow bulbs
The octopus lamp with grow lights. Do NOT buy plant lights; they just make the plants look pretty.
Shop light with 1 warm flourescent tube and 1 cool.
Shop lights with one warm and one cool fluorescent tube works quite well. You can buy the more expensive grow light tubes if you desire. I have 2 shop lights with 2 tubes on each. I would buy a 4 tube shop light if going for new. I used what I had on hand, it works.
Next post I’ll tell you about my ‘Big Experiment’ with the seedlings left behind. No, I cannot bring myself to toss them in the compost.
Then I’ll move on to the exciting short season tomato seeds I found, now on their way to Bend, OR. Yes, I am planting more and must confess to 5 more varieties tucked into their seedling soil bed at this moment. I will be setting up a page on my tomato varieties and some interesting details about them. I developed an “At a Glance Tomato Chart” for easy comparisons.
If the weather Gods be willing to allow a tomato harvest this year, I will be posting reviews on each variety. Oh, then there is seed saving and exchange. Like my grandson Tannor says, “Grandma you make me tired with all your projects”. Imagine that!
I know, I only have 1/2 acre part in lawn, trees, and house. I can’t convince husband to move the house so I guess I am going to be the “Tomato Lady” and sell tomato plants.
Lights on my tomato plants just timed off, that means it is time to sign off and go to bed.
Appreciate all YOU are and have. Enjoy Life
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