Seedlings Go Sightseeing
April 28, 2008
Last weekend was so nice that I decided to put my seedlings outside for some fresh air and toughen them up to outdoor elements. Of course they’re still little babies so I had to coddle them and put up a shade cloth so they wouldn’t burn (some have already lived through that nightmare, or I guess I should say daymare).
It’s not very pretty but it worked. That’s an old bed sheet draped over the BBQ and lawnmower and held down by rocks and my watering can. Inside the seedlings were nicely protected from the full sun and wind.
They were pretty cosy in there. Here’s a flat of tomatoes:
The next day they went outside again though this time they were exposed to a bit of breeze.
Last year my tomatoes were really leggy and I wanted to grow stockier and sturdier plants this year. I read about mechanical stimulation to prevent legginess in tomato plants and decided to stress them out. Over the last few weeks I’ve been running my fingers over the tops of their leaves and setting up an oscillating fan about 2 – 3 feet away and turning it on for an hour or so every other day. It seems to be working and their little stems are getting thicker. I slacked off on the fan in the last week and they shot up a bit in height. I’ve now got them back under the fan on a daily basis and will be potting them up into 4″ pots and fertilizing them with some organic stuff in the upcoming week.