When do I transplant my tomato seedlings?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by MountainMama, May 8, 2005.

  1. MountainMama

    MountainMama Well-Known Member

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    I am growing all my tomatoes from seeds this year for the first time and started them inside about 4 weeks ago. They are now about 3-4 inches tall and are very healthy but look so flimsy. When is it safe to transport them to the garden and do they need any special care to get them strong & hearty?

    THANKS!

    MountainMama
     
  2. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    Where are you located? We just put ours out this weekend. We're in Springfield, MO Zone 6.

    Yours are larger than ours are at this point. You can/maybe should harden them off by putting them outside for a week or so before planting.
     

  3. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    I have learned from bitter experience where I live to wait until nightime temps are well into the 50s before setting my tomatoes out.

    I've just lost too many to late frosts and plain old cold, even with wall-o-waters and other coverings at night.
     
  4. Nax

    Nax Well-Known Member

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    If you cool them down a bit, they won't be so spindley. Depending on where you live, the best way to do this is to start hardening them off--put outside for a part of the day but brought in during the evening. Or, if you live somewhere warmer, just harden them off and plant them. We don't put out tomatoes and such where I live until the first week of June--maybe Memorial Day weekend if the long range forecast looks exceptionally nice.
     
  5. stuckinsd

    stuckinsd Well-Known Member

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    Here in zone 4, May 15th is the first average frost-free day. If the weather has been warm, and the ground seems to have warmed up a bit, then I plant around that day (or whatever weekend it is closest to). It was real warm nere early, but now has cooled off and is rainy. I have been hardening-off my tomatoes for a month now, first moving them from the basement to the unheated garage under lights, then moved out of garage for a few hours a day in real sunlight, then back under the lights at night in garage, now they are on my back deck on the North side of the house out of direct sun and sheltered from strong winds. As soon as the temps warm up again, I'll put them in the ground...but tonight there may be snow! So back into the garage they will go again.

    stuck...
     
  6. daytrader

    daytrader Well-Known Member

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    Wait till 4-6 inches tall. Soil temp should be 50 degrees.

    No frost at night.

    Are these loose root or compact? Small pots or open grown?