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[Tomato Dirt] How to Strengthen Tomato Seedlings Before Planting Them Outside
March 20, 2014

Tomato Dirt Newsletter
Volume 4, Number 5

Dear Tomato Dirt reader,

Welcome back to Tomato Dirt! Once or twice a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with tips about growing tomatoes and using them.

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Feature: How to Strengthen Tomato Seedlings Before Planting Them Outside

Image: Plan Garden

When you strengthen a growing tomato plant before setting outside in the garden, you have a much greater chance for healthy results. Take these three steps to strengthen seedlings as you grow them.
  1. Brush them. No, not like hair! Instead, pass your hand lightly over the seedlings several times a day. Or you may choose to use a fan to create a light breeze for your seedlings. Motion helps tomato seedlings develop stronger, thicker stems.
  2. Re-pot them. Tomatoes need strong root systems. Re-potting tomato seedlings gives roots room to grow. Re-pot your seedlings at least once (sometimes two or three times) before setting them in the garden.
  3. Turn them. No matter what your light source – a sunny window or a set of grow lights – they will bend unnaturally towards it. Turn the trays once a day so plants grow straight and strong.

Get more tips for growing tomato seeds and learn how to harden off your seedlings to set outside so you can have a strong start to your tomato crop this season.

Find more helpful tips about what you need for Starting Tomato Seeds on our Pinterest board of the same name.

Special Tip to Strengthen Tomatoes By Re-Potting

If you start your tomato seedlings in cell trays, re-pot them once they have 2 sets of leaves – and the second set is at least ½ inch long. A 4-6 inch pot will give the plant plenty of room to grow a strong root system. You can always re-pot to an even bigger pot if the plant gets large or root-bound.

Get more helpful tomato seed starting tips and additional tomato seed starting inspiration on our Starting Tomato Seeds Pinterest board.

Check Out These Gadgets for Starting Tomatoes

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Small Cowpots to Grow Tomatoes icon 2-Tier Grow Light Stand icon Beginner Seed Starter Kit icon

More about Starting Tomato Seeds

Seed Starting Mix for Tomatoes: What Ingredients are Important When to Start Tomato Seeds in Your Area How to Plant Tomato Seeds Best Ways to Label Tomato Seeds When Starting Them at Home

That’s it for now. More next time!

Until then, happy gardening!

Kathy with Tomato Dirt
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