Saturday, 8 April 2017

Pricking-out tomato seedlings

My Tomato seedlings were getting a bit overcrowded in their little pots, so I have been busy "pricking them out" - in other words separating them into individual plants and putting each one in its own pot.

This is the "Before" state - with 5 or 6 seedlings in each pot

This is the "During" stage

The tomato seeds were sown in John Innes No.1 seed compost, which is very light, and now the little plants have been transplanted into pots of John Innes No.2, which is a bit more substantial and has nutrients enough to keep the plants supplied for several weeks without additional feeding.

This is the "After" state - with each plant in its own pot

You'll notice that each pot has a label, because it is all too easy to lose track of which type is which. At this stage they all look very similar!

I now have 45 tomato plants left. Yes, I did discard nearly as many. It grieves me to throw away perfectly viable seedlings, but I really only intend to grow 15 plants, so with 45 that's one to keep and two spares of each variety.

I'll be bringing the little plants indoors at night-time for the time being, and keeping them in the mini greenhouses during the day, or perhaps out in the open if the weather is warm enough. I reckon that once the night-time temperatures are 10C or over, it will be OK for the tomatoes to stay out in the greenhouses without being brought indoors.


  1. Lovely. I've been still waiting for the second pair of leaves on mine. I have seeded cucumbers, pumpkins and squashes yesterday, all in pots.

  2. Your seedlings are looking great! I am going to do just two tomato plants (so far). I have two big pots set up in the back yard with soil. The cats think I put them there especially for them to lay in so I will have to surround them with chicken wire before I plant. If I ever get a day off, I plan to plant in them....I have the tomato plants and a few far.

  3. Those are a LOT of spares! I sow the seeds individually, in small pots so they don't get potted up until they are a bit larger - usually when they have at least a couple of true leaves. I have yet to have a casualty once they get this far so I only keep one or two spares total at this point.

  4. Hello Mark, it is great to meet you and to have found your blog. Three years ago my husband and I bought a fixer-upper on an acre of land. While all of our friends are down-sizing for retirement we decided to up-size. Until now we have never had the room to have a garden. This year will be our fourth year and each year our garden has been getting bigger. Gardening has always been a dream of mine and I'm not getting any younger and besides that I think that after retirement you need to fine things that you love to keep you busy.
    I'll be following along and gleaning from your gardening knowledge.
    Connie :)

    1. Hi Connie; Nice to "meet" you too! In theory, I'd love a bigger garden, but I'm not sure I would be able to manage all the physical work. This year I'm deliberately concentrating on quality at the expense of quantity.


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