Thursday, March 27, 2008

I've had a terrible time with my tomato seedlings this year.

Things started out pretty well -- I sowed about 9 seeds each for 9 different varieties. This was on January 22nd, which is maybe a week later than I've done it previously.



After the first true leaves appeared, I thinned them to 6 per variety and potted up to 2 inch cells.



On March 1, I bumped them up to 16oz plastic cups.



And there's where my troubles began. I don't think they grew much at all after that point. The lower leaves turned yellow and eventually fell off and they gradually got to looking pretty sickly.

My best theory at the moment is that I drowned them, through a combination of not punching big enough holes in the plastic cups and using too much compost in my potting mix. Tomatoes are resilient though. I planted 17 of the wimpy things and after 12 days in the ground, they're all quite green and about double in size.



It's killing me though that after weeks of coddling them indoors under lights, I'm now happy that they're just alive, and it's almost April. I think plenty of people in Austin plant about this time anyway (at least to judge by what's available in the stores), but what's the point of being obsessive compulsive about tomato growing if you can't beat your neighbors to first fruit?

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