Tomato Plants

(Question)

hello, I have indoor tomato plants that have grown long and skinny ( my first time growing from the seeds).

I now have re planted them into bigger indoor pots until I can plant in soil outside. How do I manage and have them stems get fatter rather than growing in length? How often to water?
This is what is done now.
They get plenty of daylight. Temperature inside the house usually 22-23 C. I water once or more a week, soil is very moist. Every 1.5 weeks I water with plant food.

Looking forward to a feedback! Thank you!

 

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners about your tall and slender tomato seedlings.

The ‘legginess’ of your tomato seedlings is likely due to  insufficient light. In our climate, grow lights are almost essential to provide the intensity of light required to stimulate low, compact growth.  The following answer culled from our archive of tomato enquiries, provides excellent information about this problem. Also mentioned in the answer is the need for plants to experience both light and darkness.

Your photograph indicates that there are several sets of leaves on each seedling, and you can safely pinch out the topmost set of leaves nipping them off immediately above the set below to promote two new shoots from that point, thereby both shortening the plant and ultimately providing more fruiting possibilities.

Let the plants tell you when they need water by the less moist quality of the potting mix rather than keeping the soil very moist. It is usual to begin fertilizing when the second set of true leaves emerge using a 1/4 strength solution of a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or one containing a higher percentage of phosphorous, the middle number, such as 10-35-10. The numbers on the package express a percentage of the macro nutrients in order: N or nitrogen for foliage, P or phosphorus for blossoms and fruiting, and K or Potassium for growth and reproduction.

 

Growing from seed

This Toronto Master Gardeners Garden Guide also will be a useful addition to your seed sowing materials:  http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/index.php/factsheet/growing-from-seed-a-toronto-master-gardener-guide/

We wish you great success with your tomato plants and a bountiful harvest.