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New to growing your own tomatoes? This is the forum to learn the successful techniques used by seasoned tomato growers. Questions are welcome, too.

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Old April 20, 2017   #1
Spike2
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Default Tried something new, now what?

Okay I guess that I totally did something right this year but now I don't know what to do.

In the past I have used those little one inch square pots and only planted one seed a pot. Not everything would come up but I would end up with enough for my garden. Well this year I decided to use bigger pots and plant 5 seeds per pot. I figured I would get at least one per pot to germinate.

OMG Almost all of them are growing!!!! (thank you MMMM traders! Amazing seeds this year) Now at some point I am going to need to split them up. When do I do this? I sure don't want to mess them up at this point. I have never had such wonderful luck. Even the old package of Beefsteak tomato seeds that my neighbor found under the seat of his truck, all 5 of those seeds sprouted!!

LOL what an amazing problem for me to have!!
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Old April 20, 2017   #2
My Foot Smells
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Originally Posted by Spike2 View Post
Okay I guess that I totally did something right this year but now I don't know what to do.

In the past I have used those little one inch square pots and only planted one seed a pot. Not everything would come up but I would end up with enough for my garden. Well this year I decided to use bigger pots and plant 5 seeds per pot. I figured I would get at least one per pot to germinate.

OMG Almost all of them are growing!!!! (thank you MMMM traders! Amazing seeds this year) Now at some point I am going to need to split them up. When do I do this? I sure don't want to mess them up at this point. I have never had such wonderful luck. Even the old package of Beefsteak tomato seeds that my neighbor found under the seat of his truck, all 5 of those seeds sprouted!!

LOL what an amazing problem for me to have!!
right now, at first sprout. tease them gently apart and plant individually. if you let them grow to true leaf, it will be difficult. I usu. do the one seed per square thing too, but sometimes get a "wild hair" and do three seeds (never five!) and just clip the weakest two.
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Old April 20, 2017   #3
Spike2
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Here is what I have going on! So I should separate them now?

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Old April 20, 2017   #4
My Foot Smells
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I vote yes, but looks like you still have some time - get around to it this week. don't know how many sungolds you want to nurture, I grow two and that is more than enough for the entire neighborhood....... (I don't have too many neighbors though)
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Old April 20, 2017   #5
brownrexx
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I usually just pull out all but the one in the center but I know that some people can just not bring themselves to kill a baby plant.

Actually this year I ended up with 2 Sun Sugar plants because I neglected to pull out the second one and it got so big that I felt too guilty to kill it. When I potted them up I watered the pot really well first and then the roots of the 2 plants separated easily. Both plant survived nicely.
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Old April 20, 2017   #6
RayR
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I wouldn't mess with them until they have at least their first set of true leaves. You want them to develop some root structure before you separate them. They are too easy to damage now.
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Old April 20, 2017   #7
slugworth
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Survival of the fittest.
I always plant in clumps, then wait to separate.
When the time comes only the big ones will make the grade.
All the seeds were planted at the same time.
Dollar store cherry tomato seeds,about 5 packets worth.
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Old April 20, 2017   #8
oakley
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I vote no. Just leave them alone for a week or two. Keep them close to your lights and
they will take off next week. You can decide then how many you want to keep. If one
is way behind and tiny you can just cull/snip with scissors.
A bit of dilute liquid fert like Neptune they will need at that time. Hold back on watering once you see their true leaves.

Here is an early tray of my own saved seeds way overgrown. I had potted up what i
needed, (you can see the empty cells), a couple weeks earlier. This was headed to the
compost so i tossed it aside. -i started 6 seeds of each variety, 2 per cell.

Friends have been enquiring so i decided to give these a nice bath checking for aphids.
Without much care i pulled them out by their stems, pulled them apart, potted up in recycled cleaned red cups, deep, after dipping in a bath of dilute peroxide,....(i have had minor
fungus gnats and aphids under control but just for safety)...I now have a few extra
dozen plants to give away. They look great now two weeks later. Ready for new homes.

So best to wait, but not as long as i did...
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Old April 20, 2017   #9
slugworth
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The store bought plants are bigger than that and I always looks for 2 plants close together to get a better value.I just do a grip and rip to separate the plants and put into different containers.They survive just fine.
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Old April 20, 2017   #10
Labradors2
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I agree with Ray and also wait until the plants have their second leaves before separating.

Linda
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Old April 20, 2017   #11
Deborah
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I agree on waiting too. You can always just slice down between plants to separate like I do.
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Old April 20, 2017   #12
dmforcier
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I'd trim a few (like the little one UR in the pictured pot) then separate now. The longer they go the more dense and tangled the roots will be. But do you have enough pots to receive them?

OTOH, you have so many that even if you let them go and damage some getting them apart, you could just be saved from some culling.
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Old April 20, 2017   #13
Jeanus
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I plant thick and separate no problem, I would wait then bury the stem up to where the cotyledons are, the plant will grow roots all along the stem and be stronger. Trim the cotyledons first, and do not put right back into the sun give them a few days in partial sun.
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Old April 20, 2017   #14
bower
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FWIW, and for the sake of balance, I plant my seeds close together in cells on the heat mat, and I separate them into their own homes as soon as they shuck their seeds... I never had a single problem with moving seedlings at cotyledon stage. Not one.
So although most everyone seems to wait! It's entirely up to you. The tomatoes don't care.
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Old April 22, 2017   #15
imp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike2 View Post
Here is what I have going on! So I should separate them now?

Oh, you are good, not to worry. Take a look at this thread:

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=437

Last year, had a lot more plants in each cell than you do and they are very tough at that age, believe it or not. I just use Craig's method and it really does work well. Fast, too. I would fill my labeled solo cups up with my medium and poke a baby right in that dry medium, give it a little shake or bounce and done except to water them all after I was finished.
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