Were you fortunate enough that all of your tomato seeds sprouted but now you’re wondering how to separate all of the tomato seedlings, or if you should at all? The answer is yes and in the article, I will explain step by step!
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If you are fortunate enough to have all of your tomato seeds germinate you might as well keep them all!
Even if you don’t have the space to plant every tomato plant, you could give them away to friends and family, or keep them growing in pots as a backup in case your other tomato plants die.
So now let’s go over when you should start separating your seedlings!
When is it Time to Separate Tomato Seedlings?
I separated my tomato seedlings when they were about a month and a half old. At this point, they were plenty big enough but should have probably been separated sooner.
You want to give your tomatoes plenty of time to grow in some healthy roots before you pull them apart.
So once your plants are about 4-6 inches tall and have their second set of leaves you’re good to go.
How to Separate Tomato Seedlings
If you have multiple tomato plants growing in one container it’s super easy to separate them and have multiple tomato plants!
First, gently remove the tomato plants from the pot they are growing in. Then depending on how many seedlings you have growing, gently pull each plant apart at the roots.
Second, plant each of these seedlings into its own larger container.
I don’t recommend planting the separated seedlings straight into the ground, it’s better that they get repotted and have some time to grow a stronger set of roots.
How to Transplant Seedlings Into Bigger Pots
Tomatoes are pretty amazing plants and will grow roots off every part of the stem buried in the soil.
So getting repotted into a larger pot before transplanting gives them more time to establish extra roots for successful transplanting in the garden.
After you have separated each seedling, place it in a larger, deeper pot. Then cover them with soil all the way up until just below the first set of leaves.
The reason you can plant them so deep is that roots will grow from all areas of the stem covered. The more stem covered, the stronger the root system it will get.
Tips for Successful Repotting
- Keep your seedling roots moist while repotting. You should water before repotting and immediately after.
- After you have repotted them into larger pots give them a fertilizer such as Vitamin B-1, which will help with transplant shock and root growth.
- Keep your tomato transplants in an area out of the direct sun and harsh weather such as wind and rain.
- Keep the transplants watered well so the soil stays moist but not waterlogged.
Next Steps After Repotting
After you have repotted your seedlings, let them grow to be about 8-12 inches tall and then transplant them out into the garden.
Although, just be sure that all extreme weather has passed before you put them out in the garden.
Then, just like how you planted them deep when you repotted them, burry the stem up to the first set of leaves when you plant them in the ground.
This will ensure that your tomato plants grow great root systems out in the garden too!
How to Grow Your Own Tomatoes from Seed
If you’ve never grown your tomato plants from seed but are now interested, I have a great article that has all of the steps for the entire process!
Just click on this post How to Grow Tomatoes in Pots from Seed, and it’ll give you all the information you need!
How to Use Up Extra Tomatoes
Now that you may be in the same boat as I was, tripling my tomato crop, you’re likely wondering what in the world you’re going to do with all of the tomatoes when it comes time to harvest.
So here is a list of some of my favorite ways to use up fresh tomatoes:
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Marinara Sauce
- Canned Tomatoes
- Caprese Salad
Want to Learn More About Tomatoes?
If you’re interested in learning more about growing tomatoes here’s what to do next.
First, if you want to know where to buy your tomato seeds? Check out Thrive Market! They have an amazing selection!
Second, learn how to start tomatoes by seed here.
Third, learn the difference between indeterminate tomatoes and determinate varieties here.
Fourth, if you only have a small amount of space, check out the best heirlooms for containers!
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