top of page

Sunday in the Garden 4/9/23: Rescuing tomato seedlings [AMAZING results!!]

Updated: May 26, 2023

5/9/23: Super Fantastic update with the tomato seedlings!

4/16/23: Spoiler Alert -- this turned out well! Grow lights work!!

(Post started 4/9/23) "This might not turn out well." Today's post is about rescuing tomato seedlings, and I may be a few days late to this table. But we'll try. Truth be told, seedlings are just something for me to do until we can plant outside, and I usually end up going to Mecca for starters (Prairie Gardens in Champaign -- one block from my house.) Coincidence? I think not.

The remedy comes in at 1:42 in the video -- watch how I gently water each and every peat pot. Then, I turn on the grow light and make sure they are within 1/8" of the bulb. It feels like its too close and the leaves will burn, but they won't. The light will just strengthen the plant. Then keep the seedlings watered every 2-3 days. That's it -- that's all you need to do to go from the sad seedlings above to the strong seedlings below. For me, it's one of the most gratifying of the gardening tasks.

4/9/23: Here's where we start. [Seemingly] Total Disaster: (seeds planted 3/19/23)

After one day under the grow light and some badly-needed watering:

4/11/23: Here's some progress after watering and a few days under the grow light:

4/17/23: Progress after just ONE WEEK under the grow light, and watering every few days:

4/24/23: Progress after I had to put the cucumber seedlings under the grow light, and had the tomato seedlings just sitting by a door that gets a few hours of afternoon light.

... and one lonely jalapeno pepper seedling who finally germinated after one month!

P.S. All of the peppers FINALLY germinated. After a month!

5/1/23: Check them out today! I have started to thin them, but there are multiple strong seedlings in almost each peat pot. Thinning is heartbreaking, not gonna lie ...

5/9/23: I have thinned the plants in the 2 middle rows, because those are the rows that the light hits the most. Need to get another light for just this tray, but it's $49.

5/14/23: Still doing great! Not enough to put in the ground yet, but starting to harden them off.

This is Group 1 of a full tray of seedlings to be thinned. Now, they're outside hardening off 5/21/23:

And the last to be thinned 5/24/23, this is Group 2. (I do NOT recommend waiting this long to thin. Your seedlings need room to grow, and they don't need to compete for crucial nutrients!)

42 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page