Learn from my mistakes when starting tomatoes!

UGH!  I made 2 mistakes with my newly transplanted tomatoes last week. So I want to share the mistakes and how I luckily remedied them.
MISTAKE #1- After I watered the tomatoes from the bottom tray where they sit in, (which is a good thing), I forgot to drain the water from the pan all day and all night (too much standing water can suffocate the plants)

MISTAKE #2- Secondly I forgot to cover them with the reflective insulation at night to keep them warm while the house cools down. So not only did they sit in the water all day and all night but they got cold as well. In the morning they were slightly wilted and turned a little purple (turning purple means they can’t access the phosphorus from the cold soil.) Last year I had this problem with the tomatoes turning purple, being stunted and being too cold and have really paid attention this year except this one time. I didn’t get a picture of them purple..

rock phosphate powder

So I drained the water away and read if tomatoes turn purple that we should water some rock phosphate in (which is a good organic source of phosphorus) and put them under the lights to get warm.  This happened a week ago and they have snapped out of it and look good, I lucked out! So now I have given all the baby tomatoes some rock phosphate and they are doing really well. I think I’m going to need to transplant them again before I put them in the ground.

tomato plants after the rock phosphate

Here they are now after the rock phosphate- they have really grown since planting them on March 1. I’m hoping weather permitting, I will sneak them in the ground by April 15th, which is a month before the last frost date like last year. This really gives them a head start on the season, especially for those 80+ days tomato plants.

Another tip to not have those skinny, thin stems on your baby plants is to lightly brush them with your hand everyday and it will stimulate them to make stockier stems.

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