All the food that’s needed to sustain these first leaves is contained right inside the seed. But once the second set of “true” leaves appear, you should begin feeding your seedlings with a dilute fertilizer solution. Mix the fertilizer at half the recommended rate and apply it twice a week.
Baby plants should get only a dilute fertilizer – about one -quarter to one -half strength of the dose recommended on the bottle or bag. Liquid fertilizer is easy to mix, and so is dry fertilizer formulated for dissolving in water, such as the popular Miracle – Gro or brands like Peters or Jack’s.
Excesses of anything can cause problems. Too much water can kill trees as well as gardens – – most of us experienced the “too much” of water this spring. Too much fertilizer can also cause problems and plant death because FERTILIZER IS SALT. Plants can wilt when given a heavy dose of fertilizer salts.
If possible, wait until your seedlings have at least 2-3 sets of leaves before feeding. If you decide to give your plants some additional nutrients now, then feed seedlings with a weak (1/4 strength) water-soluble tomato fertilizer. Keep an eagle eye out for crystallized salts on soil surface.
Plants tend to grow slow if they’re not getting enough light overall. In that case, either increase the power of the light, bring it closer, or get a bigger grow light. Tall seedlings need more light ( grow light is too far away) You can also give plants too much light.
Spoon out the seedlings to avoid damaging the stem by lifting them. Use a good sterile soil again and water them well immediately. You can use any container, but peat pots and other compostable materials allow for easy insertion into the garden bed without damaging roots.
You want seedlings to be kept moist but not wet and never allowed to dry out completely. This most often translates to watering the soil for your seedlings at least once per day, if not more often. A spray bottle is a good way to water your seedlings and keep the soil moist without letting it get too wet.
After two weeks of potting up the seedlings, start feeding the seedlings with organic liquid fertilizer which has high Nitrogen (N) value. Mix half of the suggested concentrated fertilizer into 1 gallon of water. Then, bottom-feed this liquid to the seedlings to prevent over watering and control fungus gnat problems.
Miracle – Gro provides an enormous amount of nitrogen for plants so that they grow big, bushy, green, and fast. The problem with MG is that the nitrogen is derived from synthetic ammonium and nitrates, producing off-chemicals that are harmful to soil microbes, worms, and all other forms of life in the soil.
Symptoms and signs of over-fertilization Crust of fertilizer on soil surface. Yellowing and wilting of lower leaves. Browning leaf tips and margins. Browned or blackened limp roots. Defoliation. Very slow or no growth. Death of seedlings.
Once the soil salt level is back into proper perspective, the plant can begin the process of taking up water, growing new roots, and repairing the damage to its leaves. Of course, if the damage was extensive it may never recover. You will just have to wait and see.
Whether gardeners choose Miracle – Gro brand fertilizer or some other brand or type of fertilizer, it’s important to understand that over application can lead to poor plant health, and even death.
As your plants grow, they quickly use up any fertilizer found in the seed-starting mix, and you’ll need to start feeding them a supplemental fertilizer. Fertilization should begin soon after your seedlings form their first “true” leaves. The initial leaves that emerge from a seed are called the cotyledons.
“Six to eight hours of sun is all a tomato plant needs,” says tomato expert Scott Daigre. “Shade accordingly.” Tomatoes thrive in full sun.
Tomatoes are sun -loving plants, and they need enough sun if you want them to grow well and produce fruit.