Growing tomatoes 11.01.2019

What to do if tomato seedlings outgrow?

tomato seedlings

With too early sowing of seeds or non-compliance with the rules of care, a situation arises when tomato seedlings already outgrow, but the weather for planting in open ground is still cold. Do not take any measures and allow the seedlings to grow without danger further. Chances are that they will die after transplanting to the ground.

There are ways to stop the growth of tomatoes for a time, without prejudice to their development. Then, when properly planted in a permanent place, they will continue to grow and give a good harvest.

What seedlings are considered overgrown

In order to harvest a rich harvest, it is important to grow seedlings properly. Usually, young plants are fully prepared for planting at a permanent place 55 or 60 days after sowing. The height of such specimens is 20 cm, they have elastic leaves and a dense stem of purple hue.


When overgrown, the vitality of the plant decreases. The stem is drawn out and its thickness is reduced. In addition, there is a high probability that the plant will bloom right in the apartment. Transplanting such a plant is difficult. It may die or not yield.

If the stems of young tomatoes are stretched to a length of 30 cm, the outgrowth is considered insignificant. In this case, there is no need to take any special measures. It is enough just to harden the saplings so that they successfully take root in the new place. When the stems are stretched up to 45 cm, they speak of a moderate degree of growth. To save these plants apply special agrotechnical techniques. Seedlings larger than 55 cm already has buds. Replacing such instances is very dangerous.

Causes of growth

Strong stretching of tomato seedlings usually occurs because of the inattentive attitude of the gardener. Also, the problem arises due to improper care:

  • early sowing of seeds;
  • not enough long daylight hours;
  • too much watering;
  • non-compliance with the temperature regime;
  • abuse feedings.

Sometimes the cause of overgrowing becomes natural whims. The gardener has to wait for the end of the frost, while the plants continue their active development. At such times, it is important to take steps to slow the growth of tomatoes.

Decrease in growth rate

To prevent overgrowth, it is important to keep containers with planted seeds in a room where the air is heated to a temperature of 16-18 degrees Celsius. Irrigation in this case, produce 1 time in 7 days.

If for some reason it is not possible to plant seedlings in a greenhouse or an open garden bed, they resort to agrotechnical methods that slow down growth:

  • boxes with seedlings are moved to a cool room;
  • increase the interval between irrigations, use less water for irrigation.

If the foliage of the seedlings paled, give a nitrogen fertilizer. Additionally, light the plant so as to increase the length of daylight hours to 16 hours.

Solutions to the problem

If you stop the growth of young seedlings too late, no need to throw seedlings. Even with overgrown plants, you can work so as not to lose the crop. Developed several methods for the restoration of such plants.

Transplant to a larger tank

The easiest way to reanimate an overgrown plant is to transplant it into a larger tank in height. Otherwise, the root system of the plant will begin to dry out and it will die. This option is recommended if the number of overgrown copies is small. The advantage of this method is that it allows you to get an early harvest.

Plant separation

Another good method to restore the viability of overgrown seedlings is to divide the seedling into two parts. Each of the parts put in a jar of water and wait for the growth of roots. In this way, instead of one weak plant, 2-3 quite strong specimens are obtained. When the roots have grown enough, the seedlings are placed in the ground. With this method, the crop will appear a week later.


For seedlings that have grown slightly, it is useful to temper before planting. This procedure will enhance the immunity of plants and help to avoid problems when grown. For a sensitive root system after hardening, the transition to the new conditions of existence will be less painful.

Hardening takes from 7 to 10 days and is in compliance with the following conditions:

  1. Hardening begins on a warm, humid day. Such conditions will not harm the plant, but will only benefit him.
  2. On the first day, the plant is taken out for 2 hours. Then every day this period is increased by 1 hour. A week later, tomatoes are left outside for the whole daylight hours.
  3. Trays with seedlings on the street set so that they do not fall into direct sunlight and do not touch the cold wind. Every day the plants are opened briefly if the day is sunny. In cloudy weather, additional shelter is not necessary.

Hardening is more effective if at home the seedlings are grown at a temperature not exceeding +20 degrees and not poured.

Transplanting overgrown seedlings

After hardening, overgrown tomatoes are planted only in well-heated soil. If the earth is cold, the plant is likely to die or become infected with a fungal infection. The air temperature should be above +15 degrees. In Russia, a favorable time for disembarking comes at the end of April or at the beginning of May, when the final heat is set outside.

Inclined landing

This method is the simplest and gives a good survival rate of plants. A few days before planting, all leaves are cut off by 2/3 of their length from the stem. It is important to do this not immediately before landing, so that the wounds can be tightened and the infection does not penetrate.

Then dig the furrows 10 cm long and place the seedling into it so that the root system faces south. The plant is covered with earth, leaving only the tip on the surface, and plentifully watered. When it grows, the stem will reach toward the sun and straighten.


For this method of planting suitable plants whose length does not exceed 55 cm. In this case, dig a hole, the size of which corresponds to the size of the container in which the seedlings grew. At the bottom of the landing pit is placed humus and poured 5 liters of water. The shrub is taken out of the box and placed in the prepared well so that its top is 30 cm above the ground level. All the leaves below are cut off. The hole is covered with soil and the tomato is tied to a support.

With this planting, which is called vertical, the plant will soon grow a powerful root system in the upper part. In a few days, the tomatoes will be strong and give a good harvest.

Kazarin dry method

In this case, furrows with a depth of 10 to 15 cm are also made for planting. Then humus is placed in the furrows, carefully moistened and shed with a solution of potassium permanganate. From the seedlings tear the lower foliage and placed in the prepared furrows in an almost horizontal position. Covering plants with earth, their plenty of water.


After a single irrigation, irrigation is no longer performed throughout the season. This forces dehydrated tomatoes to build up a strong root system to get to the water in the ground.

For the first few days, the tops of the tomato seedlings lie and then begin to grow vertically. After that, they are tied to a support.

Overgrowth Prevention

To avoid the problem of growing seedlings of tomatoes, it is important to correctly calculate the timing of sowing seeds. In this case, you need to pay attention to exactly where the plant will be planted in a greenhouse or in the open ground. Also, you can not sow the seeds too thick and in time to remove unnecessary specimens. Well helps strengthen plants timely picking seedlings.

It is important to observe the conditions of cultivation: do not flood the seedlings and create a suitable temperature regime for it. A long daylight day will prevent the seedlings from stretching and loosening. Do not abuse feedings. Too much fertilizer only harms the plants.


Under all conditions of sowing and growing, seedlings will not stretch and outgrow. But even if this happened, do not throw away weak plants. With the right fit and hardening manages to save the plants and get a good harvest.

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