rosemummyrosemummy Posts: 1,974

i'm trying to grow tomatoes from seed this year, got small plants last. i omly planted a month ago maybe bit late? anyway, they're weak, pathetic looking loittle things, maybe i wasn't great at watering during wet weather as they're in little zip up greenhouse, though it's always had front open, it is east facing and only gets 3 hours of sun but really nowhere else for it to go, any tips?


  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    Sorry to suggest this, but I would buy some plants in case yours never take off.

  • KEFKEF Posts: 8,915

    rosemummy that is a shame, it can be tricky judging when to sow toms as we don't know what the weather will do and it's tempting to try and get a head start, or leave later due to weather we had last spring image I sowed mine the last week in March. They went into final buckets in GH yesterday and have flowers on.

    I agree with Welshonion I would buy some for this year so you get to enjoy them and have a go next year. image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,882

    Actually, buying some well-grown tomato plants is a proven way to make your own ones pull their socks up - happens every time and you end up with loadsatoms image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,142

    Rosemummy, Tomato seeds need a steady warmth, window sill or green house and mine get bottom heat from a sand bed. An East facing plastic tent which you say you leave open is not the place.

    It is really too late now for your seedlings but keep trying and as suggested buy a couple of plants for early tom's, put them round the other side among the Paeonia somewhere, they will have more chance.


  • Simon KnottSimon Knott Posts: 116

    Have a lok at my latest video about growing tomatoes in pots (part 4) at this link 

    My youtube channel "SIMON KNOTT" has the earleir videos too, which you might be interested in.

    Good luck! 

  • rosemummyrosemummy Posts: 1,974

    thanks all, I have bought 2 plants in case this happened, just really wanted to succeed from scratch,am rubbish with seeds, only manage to do well with sweet peas and that,s because I obsess about them! Been sowing night scented stock seed and half of it just disappears after germinating, where do the seedlings go?

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,142

    Rosemummy, 1) Seeds do not need strong compost, mix  some fine compost with grit and washed sand about one third of each, sow the seed, always read the packet some seeds need to be deep some barely covered, water from the bottom and they need warmth a window sill or greenhouse. 2) like babies they need weaning, you cannot put them onto rich compost, as soon as they show two proper leaves move them on, a mix of half compost half sand and grit, when they have a true leafy top then pot them on into larger pots of compost with some sand and grit. 3) harden off the plants, put them out during the day cover at night for a couple of weeks then plant out.

    I know you are a busy lady but seeds and seedlings need attention you cannot leave them or they are gone. The best way for you would be to sow just enough in a pot so you can get it on a window sill then prick out as soon as the two true leaves show, keep watering from the bottom (stand in a dish until the top shows damp) over watering will kill anything except pond weeds. Little and often is better than a lot and no time to prick out or pot on, a waste of time and money, it is OK for us old retired  lads we have time some people do not, so cut your coat as they say up here.


  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 665

    My tomatoes are a bit feeble so far but they've gone out in the bed and I am hoping they'll come good, as they have done in previous years, when they get used to the soil and get a bit more sun. It's surprising how well they can do once they get going, so don't give up.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Yep, tomatoes are amazingly sturdy critters. Give them as much sun as they can get and they will bounce back.

  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 665

    One of my tomato plants got damaged in transplanting from the seed tray to the pot several weeks ago. I pushed it back into the soil so that the fractured bit of stem was buried, and left it in a pot, out of doors. To my surprise it survived, so I have now moved it into a corner of the veg plot. Although smaller than the plants that were in the mini-greenhouse, it seems to have grown huge roots while in the pot, so I'll be interested to see how it fares. As Italophile says, they're tougher than they look.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    I think I've told the story before, but my local fruttivendolo in the town grows his own toms and we swap seedlings every year. Last year he gave me too many. I left the spares in a bucket with only the soil that was hanging onto the roots. Forgot all about them. Not a drop of water, nothing. They flowered and were producing fruit when they finally gave up the ghost.

    That's why I always bang on about overwatering and overfertilising. Toms just don't need it.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,142

    Italophile, Probably you are correct in Italy, here in the Northeast of England with one foot in the sea not so. They need a steady temperature plenty of TLC and liquid sunshine in the form of feed. Night temperature here can drop dramatically a green house is essential to try and keep even heat and my greenhouse being a lean to with a solid South facing brick wall manages to do that hence the tomato's are often weeks ahead of other growers. We garden to our own weather and conditions, In southern Europe I have seen tomato's grown as a field crop it could not happen here.

    The ideal way is to grow more than you need then keep the strongest plants to grow on, that way you do not encourage disease, none of us want that among our lovely plants.


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