Healthy seedlings are the key to a high yield of tomatoes

When growing seedlings, some difficulties may arise: the plants grow poorly, wither, or vice versa, stretch up too quickly, they can get sick and die. To prevent this from happening, you must not deviate from the rules of cultivation, and if problems do happen, then immediately proceed to eliminate them.

Conditions for growing tomatoes

To grow healthy seedlings, several conditions must be met:

  1. Use only high quality seeds.
  2. Carry out pre-sowing seed preparation.
  3. Plant seeds in prepared soil.
  4. Control the moisture content of the potting mix.
  5. Maintain optimal temperature.
  6. Adjust the light intensity.

Healthy and robust seedlings

Tomato seedlings are pulled out, possible causes

When growing tomato seedlings, such a problem often arises - the plants stretch upward, the stem becomes thinner, the roots do not develop. Several factors that require detailed consideration can contribute to the occurrence of such a nuisance.

The seedlings are stretched out - this is a consequence of non-observance of agricultural cultivation techniques


For seven days after germination, you need to maintain the temperature around 17 during the day.0C, at night - 150C. After this time, it should be slightly increased - 190Happy and 160With the night. This regime is observed until the appearance of the second or third true leaf or until the time of plant picking (30–35 days). In the future, the temperature may rise by 1–20C. At higher rates, the seedlings will accelerate metabolic processes, they will begin to grow more intensively and, as a result, will begin to stretch, trying to capture more space.


When growing seedlings on the windowsill, constantly monitor the level of illumination. Daylight hours should be at least 10 hours. With a lack of light, it is necessary to highlight the seedlings. To increase the amount of light, do not use incandescent lamps - they emit a large amount of heat, which leads to an increase in the air temperature around plants and the light spectrum of such lamps is not suitable for growing seedlings. In this capacity, it is more expedient to use LED or fluorescent lamps. Do not forget to turn the boxes with plants on different sides to the window every day - this prevents the seedlings from pulling in one direction.

Varieties of lamps for illuminating seedlings photo gallery


Before the appearance of three true leaves, the seedlings are watered no more than three times, since the first 20–25 days after germination, the plants grow slowly and do not require a large amount of moisture. The first watering should be carried out when all the seedlings have germinated, the second after 10-14 days and the third - before transplanting. After planting in separate containers, they are watered once a week with such an amount that can completely wet the soil in the pot. By the time of the next watering, the soil should dry out a little. The irrigation water temperature should not differ from the ambient temperature. In the future, controlling the growth of seedlings, each plant should be watered independently, as the soil dries up. This inhibits the growth and elongation of seedlings.

How often to water, why are the seedlings pulled out - video

Top dressing

Before picking, the seedlings do not need to be fed; for small plants, nutrition in the prepared soil mixture is quite enough. The first feeding should be done 12-14 days after transplanting. By this time, the plants will take root and be able to fully utilize the fertilizers. Feed with complex mineral fertilizer. Use nitroammophoska or nitrophoska: a full tablespoon per 10 liters of water, pour 150 g of liquid per plant. The next feeding should be done in 10-14 days. In ten liters of water, dilute a tablespoon of superphosphate and potassium nitrate, pour in a glass under the plant. The third and last feeding in the seedling stage is done after another two weeks. It is performed in the same way as the first, with the difference that a glass of liquid should be poured under the plant. When carrying out all dressings, you can also apply special compositions of fertilizers for seedlings using them, of course, strictly observing the instructions for use. It should be noted that all fertilization should be combined with the timing of watering in order to avoid excessive moisture. With an increase in the amount of nutrition, the plants will begin to fatten and gain excess green mass, which will inevitably lead to the elongation of seedlings.

Root feeding of tomato seedling

Density of crops

At the initial stage of growth, when the seedlings are in a common box, thickening should not be allowed. A large number of plants, being in a small area, will compete with each other to get more living space. In this struggle, they exhaust themselves and the surrounding shoots, are drawn to the light, striving to receive more energy. In such conditions, plants grow weak and frail. To prevent this, after the emergence of shoots, it is necessary to do thinning: leave the distance between shoots at least 1.5 cm, as it grows, increase it to three cm.


Tomato seedlings must be hardened during the entire growth period. This procedure is most intensively carried out in the last 3 weeks before planting in open ground or a greenhouse, but it must be started much earlier, when two true leaves appear. The seedlings are hardened by opening the window frames or vents for about 1-1.5 hours, lowering the temperature to 12-140C. For small plants, this is a kind of shock and they have to activate their protective reserves, using for this possible surplus of energy, which can go to enhance growth processes. By hardening seedlings from an early age, they grow stronger and more viable.

Seedlings still stretched out - what to do

Despite all the efforts, the tomato seedlings are still stretched out. You should not despair - there is still an opportunity to correct the situation.

When diving into cups, it is possible to recommend a size of 8x8 or 10x10 cm, the stem of an elongated seedling buried in the soil, leaving cotyledon leaves on the surface. After transplanting, pour a pale solution of potassium permanganate (potassium permanganate).

After transplanting, analyze the causes that influenced the stretching of the plants and eliminate them.

If the picking of the seedlings was not planned and the tomatoes were already planted in separate containers, then carry out a regular transplant in order to deepen the stem. In this case, the state of the root system can be considered, possibly larger vessels will be required. A small volume of the nutrient mixture can also be the reason for stretching - the lack of space provoked the plant's desire to receive more light and heat, and by adding space, the seedling will receive more comfortable conditions.

In addition to transplantation, there is such a solution to the problem - this is the use of drugs that inhibit the growth of the aerial part and contribute to the thickening and shortening of the trunk.... One of them is the drug Athlete. When using it, the growth of the root system is activated, and the trunk stops stretching and somewhat decreases in size. It can be applied several times, the most effective will be root application along with spraying the greenery of the plant.

To improve the quality of seedlings, you can apply this method. Dissolve a teaspoon (with a slide) of urea in five liters of water, pour the seedlings with this liquid, spending 200 g per plant, and remove the cups in a room with a temperature of 8-100FROM. For a week, leave the lighting at the usual level, and stop watering. At the end of this time, it will be noticeable that the seedlings turned green and stopped growing. Then again they need to be placed in normal conditions.

Video on how to fix the situation

Prevention of pulling seedlings

In order to prevent the seedlings from pulling out, cultivation agrotechnics should be observed. There can be no trifles in this matter. First of all, you should pay attention to the following points:

  • compliance with the temperature regime;
  • dimming (in the overwhelming majority of cases, additional lighting is needed);
  • exclusion of excessive watering;
  • timely feeding with recommended doses;
  • thinning crops, providing a normal feeding area;
  • hardening.

Features of planting stretched plants

When planting elongated plants in a permanent place, you must follow some rules.

When planting in closed ground, if the seedlings are stretched out a little, by 30–40 cm, it is recommended to plant in this way. Dig a hole 10-15 cm deep and twice the diameter of a glass with a plant. Inside it, make another one, slightly larger than the size of the pot. Place a seedling in it and cover it with earth. The first, large hole remains open. After two weeks, as soon as the plant takes root well, fill up the entire depression. This is done because the covered stem will immediately give additional roots, this will stop the growth of the entire plant.

If the plants for the greenhouse are up to a meter long, plant it so that the top is no higher than 30 cm above the soil. Do it like this. A few days before planting, tear off all the leaves below the aerial part to be left. In the greenhouse, prepare grooves 6–8 cm deep for the length of the planted plants (taking into account that 30 cm is not deepened). At the end, make a recess for a pot with a root. Place the overgrown seedlings in a groove, secure a little with wire or a wooden slingshot, place the root in the made recess and cover it with earth, tamping it a little. Pull the twine or wire over the grooves at a height of 0.5 m and freely fasten the rest of the stem to it. At the end of the work, water the entire groove. Attention should be paid to the fact that you cannot deepen the grooves - the root with the stem can rot and the plant will die.

In open ground, the elongated seedlings should be planted obliquely, like a greenhouse option. The difference is that you need to leave 15–20 cm of plants above the ground.

Planting a stretched seedling in open ground

When using an overgrown seedling, it makes sense to divide it into two parts: one part with a root and 5-6 leaves is planted immediately, and the other is placed in a container with water. After a while, roots will appear on it. When they are 2cm tall, the plants are ready to be planted.

Dividing a seedling into two parts

Growing good seedlings is, of course, very troublesome, but these worries will not be in vain. Plants, nurtured with their own hands from the seed itself, will certainly be rewarded with the best fruits.

What to do if tomato seedlings are stretched

The most common problem for those gardeners who grow seedlings at home is overgrown tomato seedlings. Why are tomato seedlings so thin and long, and what if they are stretched out? To answer this question, you need to find out the reasons.

  1. Why tomato seedlings are pulled
  2. How to prevent pulling
  3. Tomato seedlings stretched out, what to do
  4. Deepening when replanting
  5. Spiral placement of the stem
  6. Dividing the bush
  7. Fertilizing with nitrogen
  8. The use of the drug "Athlete"
  9. Meathlider's innovative method
  10. Second pick of seedlings
  11. Permanent landing rules
  12. Conclusion

Why are seedlings pulled out - common reasons

The reasons that the seedlings have stretched out and become thin often lie in non-compliance with the recommendations for caring for the seedlings.

Most often, the following factors can be distinguished:

Seedlings planted too early - what to do.

A common mistake is the hasty planting of seeds ahead of schedule and prescriptions in accordance with the climatic conditions of the area. And as a result, the seedlings are already ready for planting in the ground, however, the weather conditions do not correspond to this.

But the seedlings, nevertheless, grow, stretch and become thin.

There are only two solutions to solve the problem:

  • Slow down the growth of sprouts.

One of the most effective ways to slow down the development of shoots is to transfer the seedlings to a poorly lit and cool place. At the same time, it is necessary to minimize watering and exclude the introduction of dressings. That is, to do everything so that the seedlings cannot stretch out.

It is necessary to deliberately slow down the growth of seedlings, starting from the type of culture planted. This method can, on the contrary, harm the seedlings, especially if a growth regulator is not used.

  • Observe the landing dates.

In the future, in order to exclude hasty sowing, you should adhere to the prescribed culture dates for planting seeds and planting in a garden or greenhouse. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the climatic features of the area and the weather forecast for the spring, adjusting the sowing time.

Plantings are thickened and what to do with seedlings

Density is a common consequence of incorrect spacing between planting holes. It is possible to correct the situation only by thinning or transplanting part of the shoots into other separate containers.

Depending on the condition of the seedlings, shock therapy can be performed - cutting off part of the leaves. But in the future, it is necessary to adjust the surrounding conditions and do a little more dressing.

Plants do not have enough feeding - what to do.

The following signs indicate a lack of nutrients in the soil

  1. Change in color, brightness, condition and leaf fall (leaf chlorosis).
  2. Violation of the proportions of shoots, general wilting of the plant, etc.
  3. The appearance of signs of disease.
  4. Long-term growth of the planted grains.
  5. The seedlings are stretched out, the stems have become thin.

The only way out is to change the quality of the feeding. The volume and composition is adjusted according to the planted culture.

An excess of fertilizer - what to do with the pulled shoots

Applying a large amount of fertilization initially aims to obtain larger and healthier seedlings. But this is a gross mistake.

It should be understood that only some plants require more fertilization. In a more rare case, this allows you to plant seedlings in the garden or greenhouse ahead of time.

The first signs that it is necessary to weaken or stop feeding are the shoots stretched out and became thin and pale.

ON A NOTE. In the case of some crops, such as eggplant, it will only be necessary to slightly reduce the amount of dressing.

Incorrect watering

Failure to comply with the watering requirements for certain crops is a common reason for seedlings withering, as well as the fact that plants have stretched out, at the same time becoming thin. You can only give a general recommendation - to carry out moderate watering without waterlogging the ground. But at the same time, do not allow the soil to dry out.

It should be remembered that the combination of increased watering and warm air provokes an accelerated growth of shoots - in turn, guynh often appears and is harmed by excess moisture.

The temperature regime is violated - what to do with elongated seedlings

Compliance with a favorable temperature regime for the planted culture allows you to balance the growth of the aboveground and underground parts of the shoots.

In this case, the situation is excluded when, for example, the aerial part overtakes the root system in size.

But the violation of the temperature regime can be different:

Correction of the consequences of increased temperature

The increased air temperature, together with good lighting and watering, provokes increased plant growth - at the first signs of this phenomenon, the temperature should be reduced in any way possible.

Usually, it is enough to transfer the container with shoots to a dark or cool place. Less often it is required to resort to self-cooling of the premises.

Correction of the consequences of low temperatures

A more negative violation of the regime for seedlings is a decrease in temperature. It is possible to raise the temperature only technically - move it to a close distance from heating devices or purchase climate control systems.

AMENDMENT! A climate control system is understood as a set of technical devices for adjusting illumination, humidity and temperature.

You can buy it at specialty hardware stores.

Plants not planted on time - what to do

Planting seedlings late is also a common mistake. It is difficult to compensate for it. Depending on the timing and weather conditions, you can try to accelerate the growth of seedlings:

  1. Use more fertile soil for both harvested containers and replace the soil in the beds with it.
  2. If possible, create longer lighting for the seedlings, a stable high air temperature and ensure its circulation.
  3. In addition to using more fertile soil, you can do the following: increase the frequency and volume of fertilizing, as well as watering (but not overdo it).
  4. After planting the planting material in a permanent place, you should, if possible, treat the seedlings a little more carefully.

IMPORTANT! Such a procedure can help to get high-quality seedlings only when the timing is too tight. Otherwise, you can get an unsatisfactory result in the yield of vegetable and fruit crops.

Reasons why tomato seedlings are pale

Before trying to get rid of the problem of pale leaves, you need to find out the reasons for this phenomenon. Gardeners distinguish several factors that affect the color change of the green mass of a tomato:

  • the plant receives excess moisture
  • tomatoes don't get enough heat
  • tomatoes feel a lack of oxygen
  • the culture grows in a poorly lit area
  • planting tomatoes thickened
  • damaged root system of culture
  • tomatoes lack nutrients.

You should not step back when identifying any of the reasons. It is necessary to take measures to eliminate them.

Excess moisture

Tomatoes love moisture. But it is impossible to allow waterlogging of the soil under the seedlings, and therefore it is recommended to water it once every 3 days. This can be due to frequent watering or high humidity in the room.

An excess of moisture leads to the fact that the root system of the vegetable crop begins to rot. This is followed by the gradual dying off of the shoots. The foliage turns pale and takes on a lifeless look. To prevent the death of the plant, it is necessary to adjust the frequency of watering the seedlings. The signal for watering tomatoes is slightly dried soil.

You can get rid of excess moisture by organizing periodic ventilation of the premises with seedlings. In this case, take care of the absence of drafts.


For the comfortable growth of tomatoes, a temperature in the range of 22 to 27 ° C is required. Nighttime thermometer readings must be at least 16 ° C. The difference between day and night temperatures can be no more than five degrees.

To create such conditions, it is recommended to build film shelters. They must be airtight and wind resistant.

Tomatoes can easily withstand a heat of 40 ° C for just two days. After that, the culture stops the process of photosynthesis.

Vegetable growers recommend leaving the windows and doors of the greenhouse open during hot summer periods. If the vegetable beds are outdoors, a shade canopy should be built.

Lack of illumination of tomato beds negatively affects the culture. Thin stems and pale leaves are just the beginning of the trouble. If you do not respond to these signals, then the volume of the harvest will be small. Rules to follow when growing a crop:

  1. To protect tomato seedlings from such problems, use natural light as much as possible. When constructing a greenhouse, use fewer ceilings, periodically wipe the windows.
  2. For a tomato, daylight hours can last from 14 to 16 hours. If the tomatoes are in the light for a longer amount of time, then the leaves of the culture are covered with whitish spots.
  3. When growing seedlings in winter, it is worth taking care of additional lighting for the sprouts. For this, ultraviolet lamps are suitable. They are positioned so that the tomatoes receive direct light.
  4. In open beds, tomato leaves become colorless due to burns. This phenomenon can be observed during summer periods when the air temperature is too high. In this case, you should take care of an artificial shading structure.
  5. If the seedlings are burned, then the damaged leaves are removed, and the rest of the plant is processed by Epin. This will help the healthy part of the tomato to cope with the effects of excessive light.

Dense beds

Each gardener himself chooses the width of the tomato beds, the distance between the seedlings. When planting seedlings in open ground, remember that plants planted too close in tomato beds will constantly stretch upward. The sprouts will become tall and thin. The green foliage will turn white.

This is because, as the tomatoes develop, they cast a shadow over each other. Culture does not receive enough light.

Root damage

Pale leaves on tomatoes indicate damage to the root system. This happens when the shoots are transplanted to a permanent place on the prepared beds. Thin upper roots break off, the plant receives less nutrients.

With properly organized care, the root system of the culture will grow rapidly, the plant will get stronger, young green leaves will replace pale foliage.

Lack of nitrogen

Pale seedlings in tomatoes can also be due to a lack of nitrogen. To solve the problem, a urea solution prepared at the rate of 40 grams of dry fertilizer per 10 liters of water is suitable. This top dressing is used instead of watering the root zone.

Gardeners recommend spraying tomato beds with a urea solution between waterings in the evening. Get carried away with the introduction of nitrogen-containing dressings. This leads to an exuberant growth of the green part of the plant.

Why did tomato seedlings stretch out?

    Lighting. Like all life on earth, tomato sprouts are drawn to the light, and if there is not enough of it, then the plant begins to "search" for it and even more actively stretches upward. Saplings may not have enough light if your apartment is on the shady side or the room is dim for most of the day. Weak lighting and thickening are the reasons for pulling out seedlings

Or it may be that there is enough light, but you sowed the seeds too thickly, so the sprouted tomato seedlings block each other's lighting. The rule here is less is better. Let you have fewer seedlings, but they will all grow strong, sturdy. And this is better than dense, but completely useless shoots of seedlings.

  • Excessive care. Excessive attention can also be harmful. Thus, excessive watering or over-feeding can give seedlings an incentive to grow actively, and stretching will not keep you waiting. Remember one of the basic rules for care - seedlings are watered only when you see dry soil.
  • Failure to comply with the temperature regime. Missing the moment when the sprouts sprouted and went up. Here it is necessary to reduce the temperature in the zone where the seedlings stay, so that until the moment of picking it is in the proper form and phase of development.

  • What should be done when planting seedlings to avoid these problems?

    To grow seedlings at home, you should observe a number of certain conditions that will help you get high-quality planting material and never be tormented by the question of what to do if the tomato seedlings are strongly stretched after germination or become weak and yellowish.

    1. Choose a special soil for nightshade crops, then there is no need to feed. In addition, the soil for tomatoes needs loose soil for seedlings to sprout, and ventilation of the root system is provided, for which sand or rotted sawdust is added to it.
    2. Choose hybrid seeds that are disease resistant and suitable for growing in a specific climate zone.
    3. Tomato seedlings are best grown in separate containers, positioned so that tomato leaves do not touch each other. This will provide good ventilation for each tomato and plenty of light.
    4. Make sure there is drainage in the grow vessel. This will provide the plant with comfortable moisture conditions.
    5. It is not worth sowing seedlings too early if later you plan to grow them in open beds. It takes 50-65 days to grow strong and healthy seedlings. If you rush with early sowing, then the question of why tomato seedlings are pulled out - how to fix, what to do with overgrown seedlings, will inevitably spoil all the pleasure of the cultivation process.
    6. After the appearance of the first two leaves, cut out the plantings. This will allow the plant to strengthen the root system without going into excess growth.
    7. Don't overdo it with watering. Make sure the earthy ball is really dry before watering the plants. When in doubt, it is best to spray the plant.
    8. Take your time to start feeding seedlings. Top dressing is required only when there are visible signs of micronutrient deficiencies. If the plant is planted in fertile ready-made soil, grows with a thick stem and dark green foliage, it means that it will need feeding only before planting. In any case, even if the sprouts are weak, the first feeding should be done no earlier than 10-14 days after the seed germination.
    9. Try to maintain the correct temperature for your seedlings. Before emergence at the level of +25 ° C, after emergence, no higher than +20 ° C during the day and + 15-16 ° C at night.
    10. Provide enough light for the seedlings. If there is not enough natural light, use artificial light, extending the light part of the day by 5-6 hours.

    Observing these conditions, you can get high-quality planting material for tomatoes, which will provide a bountiful harvest and will not cause much care in the care.

    Reasons why tomato seedlings are pulled

    As a rule, pulling tomato seedlings is not due to the fact that the seeds or the variety itself turned out to be of poor quality. Most often, the reason lies in the mistakes of the gardener himself, which he makes in caring for the seedlings. These errors include:

    1. Insufficient lighting is one of the most common causes of seedlings pulling out. Both plants planted ahead of time and sprouts, planted on time, suffer from light deficiency. The greatest risk is possible for sprouts planted in April, when the daylight hours are short and the weather is mostly cloudy outside.
    2. Failure to comply with the temperature regime. If the room where the seedlings are located is too hot, then the tomatoes will grow very weak and elongated.
    3. Excess moisture. If the seedlings are stretched out, perhaps the reason is waterlogging. When keeping crops in a room with dry air, gardeners carry out frequent watering, which is highly undesirable. In wet soil, the sprouts stop the growth of the root system, putting all their strength into building up green masses.
    4. Bushy planting. If the seeds were sown too thickly, then the emerging seedlings will be very cramped, and they will begin to actively stretch out.
    5. Improper feeding. If there is too much nitrogen in the substrate, then this can cause active growth of the stems, which will certainly lead to their elongation. Also, shoots can stretch out due to a lack of potassium.
    6. Untimely dive. For developed seedlings, a distance of 3 cm will be small. The seedlings will lack the light and nutrients they get from the soil. At the age of 7-8 weeks, that is, by the time of planting in open ground, only 12 tomato bushes can get along on one square meter of soil. Strong seedlings dive during the formation of the first pair of true leaves, weak ones - after the formation of the second pair of leaves, but not later.
    7. Incorrect dive. When transplanting seedlings into large containers or separate containers, they are often buried to the wrong depth that is needed. In indeterminate varieties, the embryonic stalk is long, they need to be buried almost to the middle. In determinant varieties, the stalk is short, they are buried to the cotyledonous leaf.

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