Ask a Question forum: Repot or fertilize?

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Holly ridge nc (Zone 8a)
Gardeningnewb
Mar 12, 2017 6:47 AM CST
I have my tomatoes in small starter cells and used jiffy seed starting mix. They are only 2 weeks old but the cherry tomatoes are growing fast, I think they're getting their second set of true leaves and are about 2 inches tall. Should I add a fertilizer or put them in bigger containers with a better soil? If so what size or what soil?
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
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RickM
Mar 12, 2017 7:01 AM CST
Welcome! Holly. What size pots do you have them in now?
Holly ridge nc (Zone 8a)
Gardeningnewb
Mar 12, 2017 7:13 AM CST
I don't know the exact size but they're the jiffy trays with 8 spaces. I guess 2x2? I'm mostly concerned about them needing food since the jiffy seed starting mix is low in nutrients.
Holly ridge nc (Zone 8a)
Gardeningnewb
Mar 12, 2017 7:18 AM CST
I would rather keep them where they are since it will be hard to get them their light if I move them.
Thumb of 2017-03-12/Gardeningnewb/f185de

Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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RickM
Mar 12, 2017 7:30 AM CST
I'm going to pass you on to Jill (@Critterologist) up here in Maryland. I know she raises a lot of tomatoes from seed every year.

Your thoughts Jill?
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Mar 12, 2017 8:10 AM CST
I'm not Jill, but they can stay in those pots a while longer. Keep the peat moist. If you start fertilizer, start weak.
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Mar 12, 2017 9:02 AM CST
I agree with Sally -- the seedlings don't need to be potted up yet, but with seed-starting mix they're going to need fertilizing. Weakly, weekly -- seems to be the usual mantra.
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Mar 12, 2017 9:07 AM CST
Dilute fertilizer! perhaps half teaspoon in a 2 quart jug.
And stroke those plants, or place a fan near by--- to bend them a little.
That will make them stronger in the stems.
They are coming along nicely.
You will have great tomato success with those.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
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Weedwhacker
Mar 12, 2017 9:18 AM CST
Rick -- your shoutout to Jill isn't working because you need a space between the parentheses and the " @Critterologist "

(Hi Jill!) Smiling
โ€œThink occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
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Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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RickM
Mar 12, 2017 10:40 AM CST
Oops! Thanks
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 12, 2017 2:52 PM CST
They can get alot bigger, probably till time to put them to garden.
Think of pony-pacs you buy at store.
I'd give them 1/4 strength fertilizer. Thumbs up

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Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Mar 12, 2017 11:35 PM CST
Actually, I've had excellent luck following Carolyn Male's advice (she wrote the book, literally, on heirloom tomatoes) -- She does NOT fertilize at all until plants go into the garden. Sometimes my plants look a little purple on the undersides of the leaves or will have a yellowed leaf or two, but they take off zoom!! when they go outside.

I wrote an article for Dave's Garden years ago about starting tomatoes from seed... in fact I have a whole series of "Seed Starting 101" articles there. http://davesgarden.com/guides/...

I'm not trying to shoo you to another site (I'm more active here than there these days myself), but that's where my seed starting articles are. :-)

Cherry tomatoes do seem to grow especially fast! I start them 6 weeks before setting out, and I start regular tomatoes just 8 weeks in advance.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.

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