A Quick Tomato Seedling Update

The tomatoes are doing great! They have a strong healthy start in our seed starting area. I planted them a week and a half  ago and many of the seedlings are now getting their true leaves.  As the roots start to emerge from the peat pellets I'll transplant them deeply into individual pots.  Deep planting is the best way to plant tomatoes since tomatoes can form roots all along the stem.   More roots mean the tomato can get more moisture. I'll plant them in the raised beds even deeper and only leave the top two leaves exposed above the soil.  I won't have to worry about transplanting for at least another week and maybe longer but it's good to plan ahead. Once I transplant the tomatoes I'll put them into the mini-greenhouse in the garage and let them harden off until it's safe to plant outside which should be around April 15th.  It could be warm from April 1st on and safe to plant but then again we could hit a cold snap at the end of April. You just never know what the weather will do in Tennessee!

Behind the tomatoes I've placed a sheet of cardboard covered with foil to act as a reflector. It's actually an old cereal box which makes it easy to stand up since I can use the flaps as support by sliding them beneath the plant flat. These seedlings are about 5-6 inches from the lights to help provide them with the maximum exposure to the light. As the tomatoes grow taller I'll raise the height of the lights. I'm behind on planting one more variety of tomato as I just now got a hold of the seeds. I'll save that for another post.  One hint as to it's identity: it's an heirloom variety!  I can almost taste the tomatoes now, too bad it will be months before I can slice one up, slather it with mayo and make a BLT.  One of the finer, yet simpler, pleasures of summer!

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