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Can I plant these tomato seedlings straight outside now?

(10 Posts)
Flingmoo Tue 02-Jun-15 15:05:39

New to this vegetable growing malarkey. Need some MN guidance/ hand-holding!

Bit behind as DH made me a large-ish raised bed and we only filled it with compost a week or so ago. So everything is being planted late.

So far I've planted three rows of various rocket and leafy salad which is already popping up nicely. I also did a row of chives (no sight of that yet), again about a week or so ago, as well as 3 cucumber seeds I sowed directly and so far one has come up as a nice little seedling.

The only things I didn't sow direct were these tomato seeds, I've sown them in little trays on a window sill and the seedlings have come up now (see pics) - can I just plant these straight outside now? What is my next step...?

TIA!

Plateofcrumbs Tue 02-Jun-15 15:12:00

I'm no expert but I would wait until they are bigger and develop at least their first set of true leaves before considering planting out. Tomato plants get huge so depending on size of your raised bed you won't need too many so pick the healthiest specimens to plant out - a typical grow-bag is the right size for 2-3 plants to give you an idea.

Callmegeoff Tue 02-Jun-15 20:43:04

Prick them out into small pots of compost being careful not to handle the stems and grow them on a bit on the windowsill. It's still too cold at night to put them out.

shovetheholly Thu 04-Jun-15 16:00:39

They are way too small to go out! They need to be about 100 times bigger - I wouldn't consider it until they are about the size of the one in the picture, minimum. You need to harden them off for a bit before you put them out too - this means leaving them in a sheltered place and gradually moving them into a less sheltered one, so they gradually acclimatise over the course of a week to cooler conditions.

To be honest, you might be better off buying some plants that are already established, because I worry that seedlings that small in June won't come ready for you in time, particularly if they are to be grown outdoors. Sorry sad. You need to get them on much earlier in the year - and I speak from making that mistake myself this year. I got my tomato seeds on at the end of April when I installed a new greenhouse, and to be honest mine are on the lag and I'm worried that they're not going to come right in time!

gamerchick Thu 04-Jun-15 16:04:33

I wouldn't put them outside at all. Tomatoes are pathetic when they get chilly. We grow ours in hanging pots inside and hang them on the line when it's warm out.

thatsn0tmyname Thu 04-Jun-15 16:07:55

The slugs and snails will eat them in two days. I spent a couple of months lovingly growing them from seed only to have them demolished. I thencut my losses and bought a load of mature plants which are thriving.

mousmous Thu 04-Jun-15 16:12:35

they need at least their first set if true leaves. when planting make sure you don't touch the stems at all or they will die.
good luck!

gamerchick Thu 04-Jun-15 16:14:43

Yes I remember having this perfect loads of fruit bearing tomato plant thriving in the greenhouse. It was proper looked after.

Fucking slug got in and I caught it merrily chomping away at the base of the plant and it died over a few days. angry

That's why I grow in the house not in pots that can be hung from the line.

gamerchick Thu 04-Jun-15 16:15:36

Don't know where that random not came from

Flingmoo Thu 04-Jun-15 17:24:39

Love the sound of the hanging pots of tomatoes, bet it looks lovely in the house - nice to have a bit of lush greenery!

Thanks for the advice. According to the pack this variety is supposedly ideal for pots/small spaces.

I am aware that it's really late in the year to be sowing tomatoes, problem is that the raised bed installation was a bit of a last minute thing and I am desperate to grow some yummy things! I've also planted some "speedy salad" which is growing amazingly fast!

I have put the tomatoes in little pots now as you can see in the pic. Oh well, it's worth a go. I'll plant them when they're a bit more leafy and hope for the best!

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