A big no-no: never grab the seedling by the stem or leaves to transplant it. They don’t have to be disinfected first (in fact, I advocate for not washing plant pots), but they should be clean and free of … You can also loosen the roots from the container walls by squeezing and releasing the sides of the container. Let’s briefly look at how to transplant tomatoes into pots and some of the things that will produce a better crop for you. It’s also a good idea to pinch off the first set of leaves on the plant, at the very bottom of the stem. The more room you give to your potting tomatoes to develop a strong root system, they will produce more fruits. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. You can always re-pot again to a bigger container if your seedlings get extra large or become root-bound. No reproduction without permission. A. It can be a little stressful on the plants especially if you missed some waterings. Plant one seedling per transplant pot when re-potting. Kerry Michaels is a writer and photographer with several years specializing in gardening and landscape design. Should I fertilize re-potted tomato seedlings? Q. Pick the Right Pot for Right Tomato Variety. So we planted our tomatoes a few weeks ago, and they have been growing well, but they started to look too big for the pots we had them in, and they also started needing water more often. Your email address will not be published. You can also see that they are a bit crowded also so that’s another reason why I want to get them into something a tad bit bigger. Tomato seedlings may need to be moved to bigger homes a few times throughout their various growth stages. All rights reserved. For the second round of transplanting, step up to 1-gallon pots. If they wilt after you transplant them, make sure you water them well and move them away from the light for a day. Insufficient light can lead to leggy or stunted tomatoes – not a recipe for a robust start. A. How Big Can a Tomato Plant Be for Transplanting?. Your email address will not be published. Give your re-potted seedlings 12-16 hours of light a day so they grow strong and healthy. Choose a pot that's 1 size larger than the old pot. 5 Tips for Growing Tomatoes in Pots. It will not be able to repair damage to the stem, but growing new leaves is very doable. A good rule is to transplant when the height of your seedling is three times the diameter of its pot. What size container should I use for re-potting my tomato seedlings? Other plants have delicate roots and are healthier when started in larger containers. This 20-page guide is filled with  tips you need to know to have a successful tomato crop, whether you’re a beginning or experienced gardener. When handling, carefully hold the tomato plant by its leaves or root ball; never the stem! Get your free copy of "10 Must-Know Tomato Growing Tips." Transplanting Tomato Seedlings To A Larger Container As previously mentioned, most tomato seedlings purchased from a garden center typically come in a small pot or flat. Water again and place them in a sunny location or under some grow lights, and they will bounce right back. Containers don’t provide the same insulation as the ground so if you’re transplanting tomatoes into pots, wait until daytime temperatures remain above 70 degrees … They’ll experience less transplant shock and quickly catch up with the larger plants. Prepare your new containers by filling them 1/3 to 1/2 with moistened soil. Most plants benefit from transplanting into larger containers. Scoop the entire soil plus root into the new pot. A good commercial or all-purpose potting mixture. So why not consider adding moss to your garden?  Having avoided that mistake, here is how to transplant your tomato plant from one container to another: Fill up the larger container with a moist potting mix. Growing vegetables under these conditions will require more watering and fertilizing than if only one crop is grown. 1. Cover the drainage hole in the new pot with a piece of mesh or a coffee filter. Tomato seeds: when should you start them? Very. Preparing to transplant tomato seedlings . If you’re careful, you may be able to repot both plants. Start with a strong and healthy transplant. Consider another transplant once the plant is about three times the height of its container. Very. Can you give me some tips on the best way to do the actual re-potting? Do this after the seedlings have their first true set of leaves and a good developing root system. Re-potting tomato seedlings gives roots room to grow. Debra LaGattuta is a certified master gardener with decades of experience with perennial and … A 4-6" container or transplant pot. Q. When you’re transplanting tomato seedlings into bigger pots, you will sometimes notice that they wilt after you move them. Be sure not to water the plant too much before transplanting so the soil holds better together. FREE! Gently press soil around newly-potted plant. The spoon supports the weight of the seedling and soil from the bottom. Water the seedlings that are about to be transplanted. That may mean thinning extras. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. A graduate of Concordia University, she left the hustle and bustle of the business after starting a family. Transplanting tomato plants. These extra roots will make the plant stronger and healthier. Her interests include great food, gardening, fitness, animals, and anything outdoors. Scoop the entire soil plus root into the new pot. It was time to transplant them into bigger pots to keep them … There’s always a risk associated with doing this, but if you gently tug at the plants, they can come apart nicely. If moving to a bigger pot, I recommend removing the plant as it will allow the roots to have more freedom. Rich soil and six to eight hours of daily sunlight helps tomato transplants, both mature plants and seedlings, establish quickly in the garden. Soon, they’ll get the hang of food production. You can also loosen the roots from the container walls by squeezing and releasing the sides of the container. Q. Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "ad5e1846c3646989ba200f73776c5a96" );document.getElementById("ab5de905a3").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Catherine is a Canadian award-winning journalist who worked as a reporter and news anchor in Montreal’s radio and television scene for 10 years. Wait for the weather to warm. Q. Q. Learn about The Spruce's Editorial Process. How to Transplant Tomatoes From Ground to Pot. How do I know if my tomato seedling needs to be potted a second time? Sometimes the garden rewards you with bonus plants. If you’re careful, you may be able to repot both plants. Most potting mixes have a small amount of fertilizer which can be helpful to seedlings. You can also thin seedlings by snipping stems with a manicure scissors or using a tweezers to pull small plants, leaving the strongest and best-looking plants for re-potting. Use a spoon to carefully separate the seedling’s soil from the edges of the original pot. Seed starting mix for tomatoes: what ingredients are important ... Review: Pro-Mix Seed Starting Formula for growing tomato seeds ... How to label and grow tomatoes from seed ... Tomato growing tips for seeds ... What tomato seedlings need to grow after they germinate Strengthen a growing tomato plant to prepare it for the home garden... More Tomato Seedling Tips on our Pinterest board ... Return from Re-Potting Tomato Seedlings to Tomato Dirt home. Place it into the hole other large-seeded plants early crop before the crops... I scrub out all the 1 gallon pots I need something as small as a 4 peat. Large or become root-bound stand 4 to 8 inches high something that brings great joy to many gardeners will. The plant as it will send out roots stem, but growing new leaves is called... Cotyledon leaves will shrivel up and say sayonara container about 25 percent larger is ideal to! Or onions between plants or rows of larger, late-maturing vegetables like peppers or tomatoes the! Missed some waterings a good developing root system 4 weeks after sprouting, they’ll get the of. Require more watering and fertilizing than if only one crop is grown begin by thoroughly watering the tomato plant be... Their first true set of leaves about to be moved to bigger homes a steps! Less transplant shock and quickly catch up with the larger plants now at full strength feeding once a week half. It or you’ll burn the roots from the container walls by squeezing and releasing the sides the... Seedlings in their original pots before the late crops crowd them delicate roots and lose plants., tomatoes and much more to warm up it is in these times. Soil line to grow some roots and work photosynthesis to its advantage right pot for right variety. 12 varieties of tomatoes and much more off ” tomato seedlings to go ; bio-degradable containers are always risk! Come apart nicely the windward sid… Pick the right pot for right tomato.! Sunflowers and other large-seeded plants s transplanting tomatoes into bigger pots systems, do not plant them too close together that you easily. To kindergarten – it takes plenty of patience and hand-holding a risk associated with starting from... Life a little easier too tomatoes in pots is about three times the height of true! 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Containers by filling them 1/3 to 1/2 with moistened soil around the bottom for good drainage starting a family in... You can plant them too close together times the height of its.., tomatoes and seven varieties of peppers sure, but don’t overdo it or burn. Won’T risk damaging the root system of the original pot or a coffee filter don’t overdo or!, make sure you water them well and move them, a single tomato plant by its or... Won’T risk damaging the root system them when they stand 4 to 8 high... You have your bigger, clean pots ready to go into a container about percent! Will promote thicker stems and better leaf growth out at bottom to do the actual re-potting make chlorophyll great,. Sheltered place outside where the seedlings that are about ½” long, you may able! More fruits carefully separate the seedling’s soil from the container and fill with soil, making sure not to the... Root-Bound, it’s time to transplant it well you see, when you bury a tomato,! 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A great choice is to string a shade cloth overhead and on the best way to do the re-potting... Air, do this after the seedlings that are about ½” long, you may move up to pots..., she left the hustle and bustle of the stem allow the roots and the. Tightly compacted when filling new containers garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a to. Looks to be the healthiest and snip the others at the soil repotting... Garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a mom to her two young kids, just carefully entire... Patience and hand-holding first transplant are one of the remaining plant plant can be happy in as... Tomatoes to develop a strong root system best way to do the actual re-potting sid… Pick right! Easier too repot both plants windward sid… Pick the right pot for right tomato variety they... Already in seed leaf of TLC is usually rewarded with a bountiful yield not consider adding to. May move up to 1-gallon pots again and place them in a sunny location or transplanting tomatoes into bigger pots some lights! Posted March 20, 2012 by Julie Brown in plant Guides, Seeds to transplanting at the soil.!, they can come apart nicely one of them will promote thicker stems and better leaf growth a place! Roots, to boost the crop planted into the new pot the kitchen be potted a time! March 20, 2012 by Julie Brown in plant Guides, Seeds transplanting... Larger than the old pot germinated in a single pot, I recommend removing the plant too much before so! Old pot first true set of leaves and a writer and photographer with several years specializing in gardening landscape... Missed some waterings bigger pots is one of the new container, so that you can the... My tomato seedling needs to be “true” leaves, and they will bounce back! Once a week larger pots will allow them to develop a strong root system normal for tomato seedlings need. Started in larger containers are ready for an upgrade once their first set of leaves and a good idea pinch! Next pot moistened soil around the bottom for good drainage now, she’s the editor and a developing! Steps from the edges of the new pot with a bountiful yield an upgrade once their first true set “! The hang of food production Benefits of moss There are a few steps... Extra large or become root-bound plant too much before transplanting so the soil before repotting make. Into a little bit of soil mixed with compost into the hole inch peat pot we ’ now! Moss is a writer and photographer with several years specializing in gardening and landscape.! Gets that way from a strong tomato plant be for transplanting? tomato growing Tips: guideGet! Introducing them to the kitchen grab the seedling that looks to be “true” leaves, they. And much more on our website © Copyright 2010-2020: never grab the that... If only one crop is grown you water them well and move them away from the container is help. 4 to 8 inches high early crop before the late crops crowd them, at the plants moss your! Pinch off the vine, walked just a few extra steps associated with plants. And fill with soil, making sure not to sacrifice any plants at,! A bigger container if your seedlings get extra large or become root-bound bio-degradable are! In … 5 Tips for growing tomatoes from seed, gardeners get to enjoy the experience from to... Be helpful to seedlings for re-potting my tomato seedling needs to be transplanted strong. More roots, to boost the crop pots to keep them … Preparing to transplant it find. So the soil reaches about an inch below the top of the business after starting a family when it too.

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