Week 3 – Transplanting Roma Tomato Plants from Seed Starter Tray to 4″ Pots

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How are your little Roma Tomato Plants doing?  Ours were growing and looking so strong…

It was just a beautiful day, 20% chance of rain.  We left to run some errands, sun was shining and the little Roma Tomato Plants were moving back and forth just a little with the light breeze.  We were only gone a couple of hours.  On our way home, the clouds had gathered and we could see a big rain storm…it was pouring somewhere.  That somewhere was at our house!  We ran to our little Roma Tomato Plants and emptied the water and put under cover.  Even though the hard rain, remember only 20% chance, only lasted maybe 15 minutes, my little plants were all mashed.

The sun came out and I tried to brush off the beaten leaves and hoped that a few hours of sunshine would save my little plants.  The next day I noticed that about 80% of the little plants where standing straight up again!

I can continue to move forward with my saved tomato plants.  I’m so happy to say that today is transplanting day.

It’s really important that the Roma Tomato Plants have plenty of room for their growing roots and not to get root bound.  I used the same seed starting soil that I used in the seed trays and transplant into 4″ pots.  This will give them more room for their roots and I can still put in the aluminum trays to water them with the wick method.  The reason not to transplant in too large of a pot is because you will use more food when you are feeding the young plants and they will take more aluminum trays.

I mix the soil with water before putting in the pots, and use a cake tester to gently remove the little young tomato plant from the seed starter tray.  I don’t remove any of the soil that is around the roots, just make a hole in the new pot and place the tomato plant in the hole.  I do bury about half the stem in the new hole and fill in with soil.  This gives the stem more stability since the seed wasn’t very deep in the seed starting tray.

It’s important for the roots to be strong and healthy and they experience some shock from transplanting.  All plants, especially our delicious Roma Tomatoes, require many nutrients to survive and thrive.  This is why the Backyard Genie uses a Seaweed and Fish Emulsion solution (follow the directions on the bottle for the recommended measurements) to feed the growing plants.  Better quality, means better tasting, sweeter and higher quality Roma Tomatoes.

What is Fish Emulsion? A natural fermented blend of whole fish and fish waste products. Fish contains natural enzymes, protein, minerals beneficial in the growth process of plants. Fish Emulsion is high in nitrogen’a and promotes strong growth and strengthens photosynthesis, the good deep green leaf color. It also contains beneficial bacteria which most soils badly need.

Seaweed is high in potassium, which promotes good root growth and vigorous plant growth.  It’s like giving a multivitamin to your plants! Seaweed has more than 70 minerals, vitamins, and enzymes.  It contains almost every micro-nutrient (iron, zinc and calcium) in an immediately available form.  They deliver a healthy dose of natural plant hormones and is full of carbohydrates, which the plants use as a building lock and large populations of beneficial micro-organisms use as a food source.  Sponge-like starches, hold water droplets near the plant roots, giving moisture to the roots without drowning them.  This mixture helps prepare the Roma Tomato plants against the stress of heat, drought and insect attack.  By adding the Fish Emulsion and Seaweed solution to the soil (this is done by making a mixture with water and adding to the tray using the wicking method) grows healthier, stronger, and more disease-restance plants.

The Backyard Genie uses Neptune Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer.

Neptune Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer is an all-natural, organic, fish-based fertilizer formulated from several breeds of fish for the most balanced soil nutrients possible.  It utilizes a cold process to break the fish down into simpler protein complexes, resulting in a stable, highly concentrated liquid fertilizer.  This process retains over 60 different nutrients critical to plant growth.  Since no oils or proteins are removed, these nutrients stay in the soil longer, to be utilized as your plants need them.  No synthetic materials or inorganic nitrogen has been added.  The three most important nutrients are Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium.  These nutrients are used by plants to grow roots and leaves, as well as to create food and energy for themselves.

Why does the Backyard Genie use Organic fertilizers? Organic fertilizers are food for bacteria, fungi,protozoa and other important soil dwelling creatures and you are applying a food source for microorganisms in the soil.

To prepare for next week, you will need Medina Hasta Gro. We will be feeding our little Roma Tomato plants again. You can purchase at any nursery….the Backyard Genie uses:

Your Roma Tomato Plants love the Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer!
The Backyard Genie