Forum home Plants

Help with Tomato Plants

Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 159
Due to lockdown I was unable to get tomato plants so I decided to sow tomato seed.  I have many which have germinated but am unsure when to move these from the seed tray into small pots and whether I should put them in the greenhouse.  I germinated these in the house.  Any help thanks. 


  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,786
    Transplant into pots when they're big enough to handle - usually when they've grown a couple of true leaves (after the first pair which are the seed leaves). Mine should have been done about a week ago :/ . If the greenhouse is heated so that it doesn't get cold at nights, they could go in there, otherwise on a bright windowsill will be OK until the GH is warm enough at night.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 159
    Thanks Jenny.  I experimented with a couple and put them into small pots but they only had two leaves.  I didn't realise these first two were seed leaves.  Something learned.  I was probably a bit late by the time I got the seed.  Thanks for your help. 
  • Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 159
    Back again.  The young seedlings I feel are getting a bit leggy and read this may be due to not enough light, although they are on a windowsill and also to hot at night. I have potted on some and buried then up to the leaves but wonder if now I can put them in the greenhouse or cold frame at night. It is an unheated greenhouse.  We are in Scotland so expect greenhouse would be about 4 or 5 at night.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,886
    If you have some bubble wrap, make a tent over them leaving a bit of air between them and the bubblewrap.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 159
    Thanks. Do you mean in the greenhouse?  I have some fleece. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,027
    4 or 5 isn't anywhere near warm enough. Night time temps need to be into double figures - at least 11 or 12. 
    My toms are only recently germinated - a couple have got their proper set of leaves. By the time they're ready to pot on into  individual pots, the greenhouse will possibly be a good bit warmer at night, but I usually wait until at least mid to end of May to put them out there, and by then they're normally in a 6 or 7 inch pot. They then go into their final pots a couple of weeks later.

    Unless they're at least filling a 3 inch pot, they should stay in the house. Make sure you turn them regularly, and put them on a sill that isn't so hot at night. You can use fleece, but I wouldn't put them outside the house for a few weeks yet.
    It's fluctuating temps which cause problems more than anything - far too hot during the day, and too cool at night. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 159
    Thanks Fairygirl.  I am a novice with tomato seeds as usually buy plants.  I have just rushed out and brought them back into the house, although I also have a number which are still in the seed trays. Trial and error on my part. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,027
    It's all a learning curve, so don't worry.  :)
    I used to do the same - buy a few plants, as I had no greenhouse etc, and we can't grow them outside here. 
    When I started growing from seed, I was a bit impatient too- and sowed too early. The problem is that the seed packets encourage you to sow early too. Then you realise your house doesn't have enough windowsills to grow them on as they get bigger!  :D 
    I only have a tiny greenhouse, so I only grow a few. If you have a bigger one, it's easier, but it's best to sow a bit later, and then the problems with temps largely disappear  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 159
    Thanks for your helpful advice. I get very impatient when growing seeds - expect them to pop up in a few days, knowing they won't of course. I will have far too many tomato plants if they all come on so will probably hand out to any stranger who wants them in this 'different'  way of life at the minute!
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    When I was learning I would check where things originated from. It gives a whole different insight into why we do lots of the things we do and the conditions they prefer. Tomatoes were originally from Peru, very different to our climate here. My toms are just little seedlings in a warm propagator, won't be until well into May they see the outside, even then, back in at night.

    I found out the hard way what Fairygirl has said that the seed packets are for 'early everything'. Often not at all realistic.

    The site below is very good, enter your location, it will then give the local last predicted frost.

    If you click on all the veg on the left hand side, it tells you when to sow indoors and when to plant out, adjusted for your location. They are much more reliable dates than seed packets.

Sign In or Register to comment.