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Slow-growing tomato seedlings

Hello all,

I'm hoping for a bit of advice about tomatoes.

This is my first time growing them and I've no idea what I'm doing, really.

I sowed ten 'Summerlast' seeds on 17th April. I used a peat-free seed compost. They have been sat on a south-facing windowsill in the living room (I don't have a proper greenhouse, though I do have a pop-up one outside).

The runner beans I sowed on the same day in the same compost are doing great, but the tomatoes aren't growing.

Five of the ten have germinated, and they look healthy (to my untrained eyes) - they're just not growing! They are four weeks old and only an inch tall.

Should I move them somewhere else?
Should I prick them out already, even though they don't yet have a second pair of leaves?
Have I overwatered/underwatered them?
Is it the compost?

Do I give up on these seedlings?

Thanks in advance for any advice! 😊


  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,964
    Not much to show for a month's effort.  I would expect they've been warm enough there, and likely the watering is fine as they look healthy enough.  Maybe the compost?  
    Utah, USA.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,049
    I know I say don’t overwater seedlings … but the surface of that compost looks totally dry. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,942
    It does look dry, but it also looks very rough and chunky. I always mix some Perlite for seeds, especially if the seeds are small and the compost is very fibrous. 
    Have you poked a finger in to see how wet/dry the compost is? Might be worth doing that. Have you got a tray underneath for water to drain into? You can put water into that and let it soak it up, rather than watering from above. 
    It may not help, but you could also do a few more. I do mine in pots [3 to a 3 inch pot]  rather than trays, to help avoid over watering tomato seeds, as it's easier to keep the moisture more constant.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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