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How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? #367726 Apr 8th, 2013 at 04:11 AM
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DaisyM Offline OP
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Hi everyone, Happy spring to you all. Here, another tomato growing season is upon us. My little seedlings are about an inch high and need to be transplanted? What do greenhouses do to get them nice thick stems? Do the plants roots prefer a round transplanting container or a square one? Which one forms better roots and gives a thicker stem or does it make a difference?

Re: How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? [Re: DaisyM] #367733 Apr 8th, 2013 at 04:46 AM
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I wouldn't think it's the container,, I imagine it's the temps of the greenhouse and lighting and what they feed them. Do you think one inch of growth is strong enough to handle a transplant yet??? Also I bet they allow growth until it branches off and gets a stronger base stem before transplanting. At least that is what I'd do.


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Re: How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? [Re: angelblossom] #367737 Apr 8th, 2013 at 06:12 AM
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DaisyM Offline OP
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They are starting to get their second set of leaves in. I said an inch but it may be more than an inch and a half. I could leave them for another few days. Should tomato seedlings have cooler temps or warmer temperatures as under a mini greenhouse? I've read both, some say cool so they don't get spindly and others say they need warm temperatures, so I'm wondering which one is better? I always manage to grow the spindly kind and my temperatures are always neutral, not too warm, nor too cool?

Re: How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? [Re: DaisyM] #367760 Apr 8th, 2013 at 01:06 PM
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The way to get thick stems is either to top last years plants and grow them from there or to plant the plant horizonally for the first 6 to 12 inches and let it form rootlets along the stem that is covered in dirt. In both cases you'll get much thicker stems.

But what they are putting out in stem growth they are not putting out in producing fruit.



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Re: How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? [Re: tkhooper] #367761 Apr 8th, 2013 at 01:36 PM
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I buy my plants already like 10 to 12 inches in height--then I plant them in the ground about 2 to 3 inches deeper than the container that they came in--My dad taught me that. It seemed to help--and as TK said, planting a bit of the plant horizontally would help also.

I think I would not put your plants out yet--let them grow a bit more---green houses do...


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Re: How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? [Re: DaisyM] #367780 Apr 9th, 2013 at 12:12 AM
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Thank you Tina and JunieGirl. I usually grow spindly stemmed tomatos so admire the big fat sturdy stems the nurseries sell.

Yesterday when I took a second look at my tomato plants, the leaves looked yellow and roots were coming out of the bottoms. They were grown in the little peat boxes of 12, so fearing I would lose them, I transplanted them into bigger plastic trays of 6. I should have planted them in their bigger containers right away, but I didn't know where they were, so I grabbed the emergency measure for now. They are all standing bright this morning and their coloring looks better as well. I realize I'm going to have to transplant them again in a couple of weeks or so. Our planting season is usually at the end of May, but hey, I'm in Canada and in our province we still have a couple of feet of snow on the ground. Mother Nature is late this year. We usually have all our snow gone by now. Oh well, as long as we don't have snow in June, there's no telling with the weather these days?

Re: How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? [Re: DaisyM] #367806 Apr 9th, 2013 at 12:58 PM
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Here in Mississippi, we wait until the ground temp. is 50 degrees to plant tomato plants. Yours don't sound like they are big enough, and you did the right thing to re-plant them in deeper soil. The roots grow faster than the stem. They need the support the deeper soil will give them.
If you have some warm days, but are concerned about the weather turning cold again, I would wait.
Let them get 5-8 inches with good leaves to be sure they'll transplant well.

Re: How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? [Re: DaisyM] #367858 Apr 11th, 2013 at 05:59 AM
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Thanks JanetE, we still have a whole heap of snow on the ground so it will be a while. Meanwhile, my indoor seedlings are not doing well since transplanting, they were at first, now it seems like the leaves have slightly paled or yellowed more. I wonder if it's the soil I bought or could they be getting too much sun? The same thing is happening to the peppers, the leaves are starting to pale and both do not seem to be growing. Hope they pick up.

Re: How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? [Re: DaisyM] #367867 Apr 11th, 2013 at 11:09 AM
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I don't think your seedlings will make it. They are too delicate at that stage to transplant. You might consider planting new seeds, in the larger pots so you won't have to transplant until they're more mature and steady.
The pepper plants are more resilient. Hardier. I tried seeding tomato plants, and found it easier to just buy mature plants that are ready to be planted in the ground.

Re: How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? [Re: DaisyM] #367894 Apr 12th, 2013 at 02:24 AM
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DaisyM Offline OP
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Thanks JanetE. There is hope I guess, I noticed that the minature second leaves on the tomato's are coming up a nice green, so maybe they will survive, but if their growth is stunted in any way, they won't be big enough in time for planting, and since we have a short growing season, I won't be able to use them. It's a little over a month to planting season, they would have to do a whole lot of growing in that month's time. But then again, everything is late this year, the snow has to melt and the ground has to warm up. But yes, I may have to buy them this year. I will keep watering them and see how it goes.

The peppers are doing ok.

Re: How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? [Re: DaisyM] #367907 Apr 12th, 2013 at 10:52 AM
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I hope they do well, Daisy. I didn't think about your shorter growing season, I didn't think to look where your from.

Re: How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? [Re: JanetE] #367955 Apr 13th, 2013 at 01:42 AM
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DaisyM Offline OP
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I think I now know why my tomato leaves turned yellow. My mother in law called today saying her tomato leaves have turned pale. We both bought our soil at the same place. The soil isn't for vegetables but for plants but the store was sold out of the other soils. The only other thing it can be is that we use the same city tap water. I never realized that soil can make that much of a difference but I'm learning fast.

Re: How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? [Re: DaisyM] #368029 Apr 14th, 2013 at 02:42 AM
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Sounds like you figured out the problem. Tomatoes are heavy feeders but they can be overstimulated especially when they are young. You might notice the leaves curling some too. This will usually correct itself quickly.


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Re: How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? [Re: DaisyM] #370187 May 21st, 2013 at 01:30 PM
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Both my mother in law and I lost our batch of tomato plants. They never got past the seedling stage. They just quit growing. We've been both planting for years, never did we lose them completely. This is a first.
We went to 3 Garden Centres last week, and all 3 have very small tomato plants this year. Their's should be big seeing that they are grown in greenhouses. Can't imagine what the problem is this year?. Normally, they are quite a bit bigger. Now I'm not even sure, if their tomato plants will have enough time to mature in a relatively short growing season since they are so small?

I live in Winnipeg, Can. We are off to a very slow start in our spring, we just got rid of our snow not to long ago, but what bearing should that have on seedlings that have been kept inside where it was warm?

Last edited by DaisyM; May 21st, 2013 at 01:37 PM.
Re: How do greenhouses get fat stems on their tomato plants? [Re: DaisyM] #370211 May 21st, 2013 at 10:33 PM
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I'm on the other side of Canada and we haven't had much sun...that affects plants as well. Our nurseries haven't even put out veggie seedlings yet because of the slow start.


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