Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Tomato Plants' First Leaves

This is a bittersweet moment.  My babies are growing up.  But, because I planted two (and in a few accidental cases, three) seeds per cell, I am now forced to choose the strongest seedlings. I used a nail scissors to snip off the losers at the base. 

The moment I was waiting for was when the true leaves formed.  See the krinkly ones?

Those are the true leaves.  The others are the cotyledon, which will fall off as more true leaves develop.

It is also time feed them, an organic fish emulsion and seaweed fertilizer, at half strength.  I just mixed a tiny bit with some water and poured it over the plants, careful not to flood them.  I read that with organic fertilizers there's little risk of doing too much, but other fertilizers could burn the little guys if you overdo it. 

Otherwise, they'll continue to grow as they have, with 16 hours of light and a continuous supply of water, that I check and refill about every 5 days. 

Oops- I almost forgot.  Now I also add the fan for a few hours a day.  This makes them stronger.  Tough love.

So far, this growing-tomatoes-from-seed thing is pretty darn easy, once I got over the intimidation and equipment set-up.  That certainly doesn't mean I'll be successful, but at least the frustration level is still at zero.