The Q&A Archives: Using Floralights With Tomato Seedlings

Question: Last year my tomato seedlings were very leggy and skinny. I am using a Floralight. How can I make them stronger with the stem thicker?

Answer: The most common reason for weak, leggy seedlings is lack of light. In my experience, ordinary shoplights using one "warm" bulb and one "cool" colored bulb are adequate for tomatoes. The bulbs should be relatively new and the tips of the plants should be only an inch or two below the bulbs. Addtional points to keep in mind are not starting the plants too early (8 weeks is about right) and not over fertilizing them. Some gardeners also find that lightly brushing over the tops of the plants with their hand every day helps produce stockier seedlings. Finally, some tomato varieties are simply less sturdy looking plants than others, so if only one variety looks poorly in the pots, that may be why.

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