What Am I Doing Wrong With My Tomato Seedlings
I started soem tomatos from seedsin late April, with a starter from Jiffy. I ended up transplanting them into pots on May 8, and put them under a florescent light with a fan on them. They are five or six inches tall now with a few leaves on top and halfway up the plant there are two leaves sprouting out. Did I miss something to make the stalks stronger and have more branches.
Fluorescent bulbs work best using a warm white and cool white bulb, and keeping the top of the plant about 6-8'' from the bulbs. Letting the seedlings "grow poor" gives them shorter, thicker stems. "Growing poor" involves keeping fertilizer to a minimum and not keeping the soil evenly moist. Thirty years ago, one of my mentor's in the industry told me to let tomatoes wilt before watering. I've done this since, and can grow some awesome plants. It also helps keep fungus gnats under control! The fan is a good ides, it also makes stronger stems. Depending of the variety of tomato, you might/might not want branching. determinate tomatoes should be left to sucker, indeterminate tomatoes should be suckered.