The Q&A Archives: Tomato Seedlings Beginning To Droop

Question: I've started several varieties of tomatoes from seed this year. At three weeks, I transplanted them from the seed pellet they started in to 4 inch pots. Most have done really well. I've pinched the two small leaves from the base. Now about 10-12 days after they've been transplanted a few have begun to droop right at the top of the soil. These particular plants are taller (around 8in in height)than the others and the stems are still very small (<0.5cm in diameter). What do I do now? I'm already further along than I made it last year!!!

Answer: Congratulations on your progress! Ideally, you want your transplants to be sturdy and stocky. To grow them that way, keep them in very bright light (many gardeners use supplemental lighting such as fluorescents), water them only enough to keep the soil slightly moist and not sopping wet, and provide them with good air circulation. Fertilize just lightly so that they grow vigorously but not overly lush. Based on your description, I suspect they may be in need of more light, as well as possibly a little less water and maybe a little less fertilizer.

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