Pricking-out

make a hole in the middle of the pot.JPG

Seedlings are ready to be pricked out when the first true leaf is about 20mm long.

plant seedling so that the cotyledons are just above the surface of the compost.JPG

You will need one pot for every seedling – at this stage allow about 10% extra. Pots with a diameter of 13cm (volume 1 litre) are a good size. You can use the same compost that you used for sowing, but you may need to liquid feed the plants if you are growing them for several weeks in the pots.  Fill the pots to the brim as the compost will settle once it is watered.  Make a hole deep enough to take the roots without curling.  If you are using plug trays, use a cocktail stick to help ease the plug out; if your seedlings are in a tray, hold them by a cotyledon (seed leaf) and ease them out using a small spatula or the handle of a spoon.  Plant them so that the cotyledons are just above the surface of the compost.  Do not firm them in – water them in gently.  Check them every day and give them a light watering as required. Make sure the leaves are dry before evening, as the seedlings are more likely to ‘damp off’ (rot) if they go to bed with wet leaves.

use a cocktail stick to help ease out plug plants.JPG

Fact 05

Did You Know?

Premium tomatoes, such as tomatoes on the vine, are driving growth in the market. Vine tomatoes now account for two-thirds of the UK tomato production area.

Andy Roe

Meet the grower

Andy Roe

Andy has been growing tomatoes for 26 years at Flavourfresh in Banks, near Southport Merseyside wher…

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