The tomatoes took off very quickly and there are several good seedlings going in each stump. Most of the holes have two or three of the butter bean seedlings that have sprouted. If the seedlings are all the same size, you can just randomly thin them out, or you can give it a bit more time to see if one of them starts to grow larger (but really, in this case, you can’t make the wrong choice, so thin away). The basic idea is you never want to stress the plant out by restricting the roots from getting wider. Too little light. Without the proper amount of spacing between plants, your seedlings will never reach full maturity. Trim off any side branches allowing only a few leaves to stick above the ground on about 2 inches of stem. For seedlings in individual soil cups or pots, thin each pot to one or two strong seedlings … Consider why the seedlings are stretched up and what to do … In addition to concerns about competition, crowding seedlings also increases the risk for disease.This is primarily due to the reduced airflow between the plants. 32 squares per planter, 64 in all. DON’T just yank out the other seedlings as you can damage the roots of the seedling you want to keep! Thin seedlings means to cut or pull up some of your seedlings from the soil. Why It’s Important to Thin Seedlings. The greatest disadvantage home growers have in starting tomato seeds is the lack of the strong, overhead lighting that greenhouse growers can provide their annual seedlings. Tip: when your seedlings are tall and the ground is warm plant them as deep into the ground as possible. Crowded conditions inhibit their growth, which stresses them and leads to disease later on. In this case, the stem becomes thin, and the plant becomes weak. Healthy, happy seedlings do better at transplanting and yield a better crop. 2. This is a perfect time for me to thin out the seedlings. Letting your tomato seedlings become leggy can be frustrating but Janette shows you how to solve the problem. This can definitely be one of the harder parts about starting plants from seeds. Why thin seedlings? The easiest way is to trim the extra seedlings away with a sharp pair of scissors. Thinning also prevents the spread of disease and keeps seedling roots from getting tangled together as they grow. In order to make them sturdier, you should take them outside (if temperatures allow) to harden them. Once your tomato seedlings are 3 times the height of their cups, or have at least 3 pairs of leaves, it’s time to transplant them into something larger. ‘Leggy’ seedlings typically have stretched skinny stems and look fragile. I do not want to disturb the seedlings that I want to keep, so the best practice for eliminating the undesired seedlings is to just clip them off at the soil level using a pair of scissors or garden shears . If you are growing plants from seeds, thinning them out is absolutely necessary. I have read and heard many times, though, that the seedlings' roots are damaged in the process, but I can't bring myself to kill the healthy little seedlings that I've nurtured. I devoted 20 squares to tomato plants. Planting too early in the season. This is a sign of a strong plant that can withstand the weight of a heavier fruit and that you have successfully saved your leggy, spindly, tomato plant seedlings. Given proper heat and light, tomato seedlings grow faster than most other kinds of seeds, so they need almost constant tending from the moment they are planted. After 2-3 weeks following germination I pot the seedlings up (which are spindly) almost to the seed leaves in deep pots (I use full size Party Cups* and make holes in the bottom). This will do two things: 1. the two inches of bare stem will allow air to circulate. This is the usual reason why leggy, tall thin seedlings develop. Third, seedlings that are falling over can be more prone to disease and pests. Tomato seedlings are one of the first you need to get started in the season. Even if you have a 100% germin… You should have 2-3 stems per pod. Tomato seedlings are ready to be transplanted when they are at least 3 inches tall, and have their first true leaves, which are the second and subsequent sets of leaves that appear. I know I'm supposed to "murder" one out of each container when they reach a certain size, but I haven't been able to bring myself to do it yet. The main reason for tall, spindly tomato seedlings is a lack of light. 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