What to do if tomato seedlings are thin and long

gardeners are experiencing chagrin and frustration, who instead of wasted time and effort get faded, long or thin tomato seedlings at home. After the transplant, substandard seedlings do not take root well and develop poorly, we are not even talking about good fruiting. Next, we will talk about why seedlings can stretch, brighten or bloom, and also what to do and how to feed them.


  • problems with seedlings of tomato and whether they can fix
  • reasons are long and thin stems
  • tomato seedlings on the windowsill, pale, weak and thin
  • Bright leaves of tomatoes and what they may lack
  • Why plants can stretch and how to plant and then
  • What to do if tomato seedlings start to bloom before transplanting into the ground

Problems with tomato seedlings and can they be fixed

Experienced gardeners are not hearsay about the problems that can be encountered when growing rasss tomato. In this article, the basic rules for planting seeds and caring for shoots are selected, because most of the reasons lie in their violation.

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The obtained knowledge will help to avoid difficulties not only with tomatoes, but also pepper, cabbage, cucumbers, strawberries. Agrotechnical requirements for these crops have much in common.

The above examples of standard seedling situations will become part of the gardener's tabletop manual for growing vegetables. And the recommendations will indicate the correct actions aimed at saving the future harvest.

Seedlings tomato on the windowsill

What may not have enough seedlings? For an adequate assessment of the condition of the shoots, you need to know exactly what should be healthy seedlings of tomatoes. The following signs serve as a guideline:

  • saturated green leaves and stem;
  • green elasticity;
  • intensity of development of shoots corresponds to the timing of this stage of the growing season;
  • stem is formed strong, stable without bends in the side.

By the time the seedlings are prepared to be planted in the ground, they must grow to 25-35 cm, the stem should be strengthened to a thickness of 8-10 mm. Also a must factor is the presence of 7-10 leaves and the first flower brush formed.

If by the time of planting on a seedling there are less than 6 leaves, then the pair located below must be carefully removed and planted in the heated soil to the depth of the torn sheets. Underdeveloped shoots are better to reject, they still either die or be sick.

Causes for very thin and long stems

Among the main reasons leading to thinning of seedlings:

  • excessive watering( the development of the root part stops, all forces are directed to the growth of greenery);
  • in case of non-observance of the air humidity regime( dry and hot air thins the aerial part of the shoots);
  • deficiency of lighting( sprouts reach for sunlight);
  • sowing seeds earlier than scheduled( plan for planting is not earlier than the 20th of March, when the light day is rapidly increasing);
  • violation of the schedule for making additional feeding( from excess or lack of nutrients, the leaves wither and weaken, and the stem becomes thin);
  • strongly dense seeding( seedlings intertwine, create shading for each other).

Incorrect seed preparation can also provoke an intensive growth of seedlings. Acquire seed better in specialized stores. When buying from hands it is necessary to treat the grains with a weak solution of potassium permanganate for disinfection.

Tomato sapling close-up

Recommendations for the prevention of thinning seedling stalks and uncontrolled growth:

  • should be fed after sowing no more than 1 time in 10 days( use organic or mineral fertilizers);
  • , the first top-dressing is injected 10 days after the emergence of shoots( nitrophosphate solution), the second - in 10-12 days( solution from wood ash and ammonium nitrate);
  • with intensive growth of seedlings it is recommended to remove 2 lower leaves and pour a layer of soil;
  • watering should not be excessive; dry air can be adjusted by installing a humidifier( as an alternative to manual humidification with a spray bottle);
  • seeds should be embedded at a distance of 8-10 cm, sinking to a depth of 1.5-2 cm, 2-3 seeds each;
  • to fill the box under the seedlings or a pot to use fertile land, which must be disinfected;
  • after the formation of 2 sheets you need to transplant the shoots in separate containers( pick).

If the recommended measures did not solve the problem, then you can use special preparations: Stop growth or Athlete. The composition of the funds includes nutrients that in a short period of time fill the shortage of essential trace elements in the soil. After processing, there is a suspension of the growth of the upper part of the plant, the stem becomes stronger, becomes thicker. Gaining power and root system.

The period of validity of drugs that stabilize the development of seedlings is limited to seven days, so only 2-3 treatments are allowed for the period of growing seedlings.

Seedlings tomato on the windowsill is pale, weak and thin

Often growing seedlings begin to fade and the stem to thin. The causes of the problem may lie in the following:

  • insufficient lighting( from the lack of light, the sprouts begin to reach intensely towards the sun);
  • seeding density( shoots drawn out due to shading);
  • excess or nitrogen deficiency;
  • increased air temperature;
  • violation of watering.
Caring for Tomato Seedlings

Uncomplicated activities will help reanimate seedlings. First of all, it is necessary to adjust the modes of watering and application of fertilizing. When using fertilizers, it is necessary to control the dosage used; it is not possible to reduce or increase the volume recommended in the instructions.

If there is not enough sunlight for normal growing season, you need to install a lamp over the plants. It should be noted that the duration of daylight hours for tomatoes should be at least 12 hours.

Providing the necessary space and food for each sprout will be helped by a timely-performed picking. Shoots will not create shading and pull over all the trace elements from the soil, depriving the neighboring seedlings.

The most common cause of pallor in leaves is the lack of nitrogen in the ground .The situation can be remedied by irrigating the seedlings with a nutrient mixture of urea( 1 tbsp. L.) And water( 10 l.).After such feeding, the box or pots should be moved to a cool, but bright place where the temperature indicator does not rise above 8-10 °.

If the cause of blanching of the greenery is a oversaturation of soil with nitrogen, then superphosphate should be added to it( 3 tbsp of funds per 10 liters of water).

Bright leaves of tomatoes and what they may lack

If the foliage color changes, the reasons should be sought in the following factors:

  • lack of nitrogen( seedling becomes stunted, stalk becomes thinner, leaves become pale);
  • iron deficiency( discoloration of leaf tissue between the veins);
  • magnesium deficiency( marbling is formed).

The problem can also be provoked by improper watering or lack of lighting.

To prevent leaf clarification on seedlings, it is recommended to use complex fertilizers for fertilizing. All necessary microelements are included in their composition, besides it is much easier to keep the dosage.
Planting tomato seedlings in open ground

Among the possible causes of lightening greens:

  • sunburn( if the box is installed on a window where direct sunlight goes);
  • improper soil( lack of trace elements in combination with a heavy structure);
  • when watering poured greens.

If the foliage is damaged by sunlight, a spraying using Epin or another means to stimulate the immune system of the culture will help reanimate the plant. In the absence of a more suitable place for seedlings than a window sill, it is worthwhile to take care of light shading( tulle, gauze, paper).

When irrigating, it is not necessary to fill the above-ground part with water. From this color foliage can change. In this case, it is enough to review the mode of irrigation and the method of applying the liquid( at the root).

When considering different options for the causes should not exclude fungal infections, especially when using untreated seeds.

Why seedlings can stretch and how to plant them later

The reasons for the very strong pulling of seedlings of tomatoes can be:

  • lack of natural lighting;
  • planting density( shoots create shading);
  • excessive heat.

To prevent the stem from lengthening, you need to follow simple guidelines.

  • In the period of short daylight, install additional lighting above the boxes with seedlings. Fluorescent lamps fixed at a height of 50 cm from shoots are more suitable. You should not use ordinary incandescent bulbs, they form heat, which will be disastrous for seedlings.
  • The temperature regime for planted seeds should be at least 21-23 °.After germination of seedlings, the indicator drops to 16-20 °.It is better if the day and night modes differ by 2-4 degrees( during the day - 18-20 °, at night - 15-16 °).Then the intensity of the growth of shoots will be under control.
  • After the formation of two leaves on the stem, the gardeners do a pick. This procedure provides sunlight access to each plant, creating space for development. The pick slows down the growth of seedlings, giving the root system and the stem a chance to strengthen.
  • Frequent and strong watering of seedlings is not needed. Enough 2 times a day irrigation. If necessary, the ground is moistened with a sprayer to maintain moisture.
Lightened leaves on tomato seedlings

What to do if tomato seedlings began to bloom before transplanting into the ground

Planting flowering tomatoes on the beds is undesirable. But what to do, seedlings began to bloom long before planting in open ground? You can solve the problem by shortening the shoot, especially if it is strongly elongated and thin. This should be done 2-3 weeks before the transfer of seedlings to the garden, before pruning is not worth doing, because other shoots may grow and re-form inflorescences out of time.

When shortening a sapling, the main rule should be followed: the higher the pruning point, the less stress the plant will experience.

Cut off the shoot to plant in water for rooting and by the time of disembarkation the number of seedlings will increase. There are several options for trimming, but shortening over the second real sheet is considered the most optimal. From the trimmed sapling the bush which is already formed in 2 stalks will turn out.

Among other ways to prevent seedling flowering:

  • removing lower leaves;
  • picking flowers.

In this case, you should not feel sorry for the inflorescences, the tomato will still throw out floral brushes, but for good fruiting it is better if this process occurs in the garden.

Caring for seedlings, you should carefully look at them, the plant itself gives a hint about the problems. Any changes in the appearance of the leaves or the stem should be alerted. Solving the issue early, the chances of correcting the situation increase. And it will be possible to plant healthy plants in open ground.

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