DIY / Gardening / Self Sufficiency

{Results} Pricking out Tomatoes

Some of you may remember that a few weeks ago I decided to prick out some of my tomatoes because they were competing with some other seedlings. At the time I was slightly concerned that I had transplanted them early because their true leaves hadn’t come through yet.

Well, today I was outside (repotting some strawberries, but that’s another post) when I realised something interesting. My pricked out tomatoes looked like this:

Pricked out Tomatoes

But the tomatoes that I had left where they were until they grew their true leaves looked like this:

Non Pricked out Tomatoes

A drastic difference, no?

I grabbed some larger pots that I had purchased for when the tomatoes were ready to be transplanted and moved some of them over.

New Pricked out Tomatoes

Unfortunately I only had six of the pots, so another seven plants stayed where they were. I shall have to head to the shops tomorrow to get some more! My original intention was to move the tomato plants inside their egg cups (rather than disturbing the root system) but apparently the tomatoes had other ideas as it was rather difficult to achieve. I may try it with the remaining seven plants and compare those that were disturbed and those that weren’t.

Close up Tomatoes

Have you had any surprising results when transplanting plants? 

4 thoughts on “{Results} Pricking out Tomatoes

  1. Are you using any fertilsers with any of these? Or are you relying on the potting mix? It may not suit the true organic people, but I would be adding a pinch of Osmocote in each pot as you pricked them out. You cannot rely on what is in the fertiliser, as it is slow release, and you have no idea how long ago it was added. The seaweed/maxicrop stuff is all very well for growth, but I think it really needs a balanced slow release fertiliser.

    If you are relying on fertiliser in the potting mix, are both lots from the same batch of potting mix?

    • Everything I’ve planted into pots has just been into potting mix, I haven’t added fertliser to anything that I’ve planted yet (I’m a bit slack – oops!).
      The potting mix have certainly all been the same brand, but I suspect they’re different batches (though it’s hard to be sure as they were done a few weeks apart, and that was a month or more ago).
      I’ll keep an eye on them and see whether they look healthier in a week or so – if not I might try adding some fertiliser.
      As an aside, the potting mix *claims* to be one for tomatoes and vegies, though whether that actually makes a difference to its makeup I have no idea!

  2. The other thing I was just toying with was whether the black pots were getting a little more sunlight , especially on the sides, and being a bit warmer, which can promote root growth. But when I looked again at your pictures, the fastest growing seemed to be in the centre. Certainly those tall single pots are good – as long as you don’t let them get tooo hot.

    On balance, there could be a number of things – first potting mix was so old, all the slow-release fertiliser had well and truly released, and even leached out. Or there are some nasty chemicals in the bleach etc in the egg cartons. or they were drying out quicker (cartons do, you need to keep them inside a tray with a bit more water). There’s not a lot of depth for a good taproot in the egg cartons.

    • Since I work from home I’m luck enough to get to watch the seedlings fairly carefully so they don’t actually have a chance to dry out (well, except for when I went away for a few days very early on, which is when I thought I’d killed the seeds).

      The way the seedlings are positioned, the sun actually comes in from the right, so the egg carton ones are more likely to get sun than the other ones – and even then it’s only for a few hours in the afternoon.

      Hmm…I think the lesson I’m taking from this is that I need a proper potting out table that lives in the sun (rather than under my verandah). I guess that’s the next project!

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