I purchased several tomato seeds this year. My favorite from last year was given to me by a friend, which was given to him by one of his friends. Needless to say, we don't know what it was! Ah, to keep them labeled so I will know which ones to order for next year.
It is time to think tomato re-potting as my seedlings are about ready. I chose some of the pins I saved on Pinterest about what to do early on for my tomatoes. More post later as I get things going with all things tomato.
Seeds are essentially embryos. Cotyledons form the embryonic leaves. Botanists classify plants based on the number of cotyledons or leaves. I think. Sorry, I am not a botanist. What I can tell you for tomato seedlings is that the First Leaves to emerge are not True Leaves. They break the surface and are part of germination geared towards establishing the tomato. They are simply called first leaves. In this case a picture is worth a thousand words.
These first leaves to emerge do not have a basic tomato leaf shape. The edges are not scalloped or broken in any way. True leaves for a tomato seedling are the second set of leaves to develop. They typically show up 10 days after germination or 14-21 days from planting the seeds. True Leaves for a tomato typically have the tomato leaf shape we are accustomed to seeing. Here is another picture to show you the actual true leaves of tomato seedlings. Notice the difference in shape.
True leaves let you know it is time to start considering transplanting the seedlings into larger containers. When you decide to transplant and how you transplant them is a personal choice of technique. Typically, tomatoes are transplanted 3-5 weeks from the original seed planting date.
Without this information, I might transplant before they are ready. Horrors! I probably have been doing this wrong for years!
- Jerry Baker's Recipe for Tomato food: 3 C compost/mulch/dirt 1/2 C Epsom salt 1 T baking soda 1/2 C powdered milk 1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bucket. 2. Place a handful of the mixture into the hole you are digging for your tomato plant. If you have already planted you can sprinkle a handful of the mixture around the stem of the plant and then water.
- Epsom salt as fertilizer, pest deterrent, and seed starter. For tomatoes: Drop 1 cup epsom salt and 1 cup of granulated sugar along with a few eggshells into the hole. Also, plant Marigolds with edibles to keep pests away.