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#342739 - 03/20/2011 at 05:10 PM Want thick tomato stem.
DaisyM Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/2005 at 08:00 PM
Posts: 414
Loc: Canada
How do I get the tomato stem to grow nice and thick just like the starters in the nursery? They always look so healthy. My tomato starters are only about an inch and a half tall, nice right now but usually as they grow the middle stem gets thin, and then I get a spindly tomato plant that falls over.
Should I feed them plant food?

I want so badly to do it right this year so please help.

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#342752 - 03/20/2011 at 09:35 PM Re: Want thick tomato stem. [Re: DaisyM]
tkhooper Offline
Official Taste Tester
10k Posts

Registered: 03/09/2005 at 08:00 PM
Posts: 12160
Loc: triangle, virginia
Tomato stems will grow roots along them if they are buried in the soil. So once the plant is about 18 inches long dig a trench 12 inches long and several inches deep. Lay the plant down in the trench leaving just the last 6 inches above the ground and then cover with dirt and water as you normally would. But remember that tomatoes need to be supported they are more a vine than a bush.
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#342759 - 03/21/2011 at 08:57 AM Re: Want thick tomato stem. [Re: tkhooper]
mmja65 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/21/2011 at 08:34 AM
Posts: 4
Loc: South Florida, USA
DO you know if this will work in an earthbox? I do container gardening as I live in a zero lot line community.
Thank you for any advice you may have a for a novice like me!
Michelle

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#342761 - 03/21/2011 at 09:42 AM Re: Want thick tomato stem. [Re: DaisyM]
tkhooper Offline
Official Taste Tester
10k Posts

Registered: 03/09/2005 at 08:00 PM
Posts: 12160
Loc: triangle, virginia
If the earthbox is long enough then it will work.
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#342821 - 03/22/2011 at 02:39 PM Re: Want thick tomato stem. [Re: DaisyM]
DaisyM Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/2005 at 08:00 PM
Posts: 414
Loc: Canada
Around here, our growing season does not allow us to plant anything outdoors til the end of May, so plants are mainly in front of my most sunniest window. When they get bigger, I usually transplant them to a large yogurt container. I guess if the plant is small enough I could lay it slightly sideways in the container but not sure if the side space will be enough?

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#342822 - 03/22/2011 at 02:44 PM Re: Want thick tomato stem. [Re: tkhooper]
mmja65 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/21/2011 at 08:34 AM
Posts: 4
Loc: South Florida, USA
Thank you I will give it a try!

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#342828 - 03/22/2011 at 05:48 PM Re: Want thick tomato stem. [Re: DaisyM]
tkhooper Offline
Official Taste Tester
10k Posts

Registered: 03/09/2005 at 08:00 PM
Posts: 12160
Loc: triangle, virginia
The yogurt cup won't give you room sideways but you can plant it deeper right up to it's first set of true leaves. Also to strengthen root systems put a fan on them blowing lightly.
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#343203 - 04/07/2011 at 11:50 PM Re: Want thick tomato stem. [Re: DaisyM]
DaisyM Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/2005 at 08:00 PM
Posts: 414
Loc: Canada
An update on my tomato plants. They've grown about 4-5 inches but again the stem is too thin. They get plenty of sun in my south window so can't imagine what they are lacking. They get enough water, I recently added a few drops of fertilizer to see if that would help, but it didn't thicken the stem. I'm ready to give up.

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#343211 - 04/08/2011 at 09:01 AM Re: Want thick tomato stem. [Re: DaisyM]
tkhooper Offline
Official Taste Tester
10k Posts

Registered: 03/09/2005 at 08:00 PM
Posts: 12160
Loc: triangle, virginia
Have you found a taller pot and repotted the plants in the taller pots buring the stems up to the first set of leaves? The more you fertilize the more you are going to get leggy plants.

You don't need expensive grow lights, any florescent tube will do.


Edited by tkhooper (04/08/2011 at 09:03 AM)
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#343571 - 04/22/2011 at 09:27 PM Re: Want thick tomato stem. [Re: DaisyM]
elkhwc Offline
Member

Registered: 01/27/2008 at 06:31 PM
Posts: 170
Leggy plants are caused by a few things. The main one is not enough strong light. I've started many plants over the years in windows. But since I've went to light shelves and cold frames I've grown my best looking plants. I have around 600 mater plants growing right now. Most on the light shelves but probably 200 in cold frames. All are developing nice thick stems. I give mine a drink of blue water every 7-10 days. Jay

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#345249 - 06/12/2011 at 07:21 AM Re: Want thick tomato stem. [Re: DaisyM]
JunieGirl Online   content

Frogger
30k Posts

Registered: 10/13/2006 at 08:00 PM
Posts: 35282
Loc: Worden, Illinois
Originally Posted By: DaisyM
Around here, our growing season does not allow us to plant anything outdoors til the end of May, so plants are mainly in front of my most sunniest window. When they get bigger, I usually transplant them to a large yogurt container. I guess if the plant is small enough I could lay it slightly sideways in the container but not sure if the side space will be enough?


if you want you could bury the tomato plant straight down into the dirt---I usually dig a hole deep enough to bury mine up to the first set of leaves...This way will also give you the added root system for your tomatoes.
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