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So I planted these beefsteak tomato seeds on May 8th and have started transplanting them into larger containers yesterday and the day before yesterday. They are kind of leaning over and I just wanted to make sure they are okay/ getting what they need. I keep them under LED lights for 16 hours a day. Are they a normal size/ colour for about three weeks in?

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  • They look like they are growing towards the lights. If you can't rearrange the lighting, turn the pots round every 24 hours to keep them growing straight. – alephzero May 31 at 13:20
  • Other than that, how often should I be watering these guys? Do they look okay to you? – Mathstatsstudent May 31 at 13:21
  • What kind of soil do you use? Note: soil for seeding do not contain nutrients. You may need to start using pot soil. – Giacomo Catenazzi Jun 3 at 7:53
  • Seed starting soil, going to transplant the rest right into miracleGro potting soil. – Mathstatsstudent Jun 3 at 18:03
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All in all, they don’t look bad. I would be worried if they were paler or more stretched (etiolated). If they are all leaning towards one side, they are turning towards a light source and you should rotate them regularly, e.g. daily.

It seems you transplanted them a touch deeper than they were in the original cells, which is good. This will encourage root formation on the part of stem that’s now in the soil and give them a good root system. You could go even deeper for the remaining ones and repeat the procedure whenever you are transplanting them again.

What I did notice, however, is that the soil in the square pots is surprisingly light / it seems dry? The plans in the third photo seem also a bit limp? I don’t think it’s transplant shock, it’s simply thirst. Remember that a freshly transplanted seedling often has a slightly damaged root system which may make water uptake difficult, so it’s better to ensure constant humidity. (Note I didn’t write “wetness”.) With seedlings at that stage, you will have to check and possibly water them every day, plus maybe turn them around, if they are “perky”, everything’s good.

  • Do you have any suggestions to check I'm watering them the correct amount daily? Should the soil be moist to the touch? – Mathstatsstudent May 31 at 15:18
  • @Mathstatsstudent that’s roughly the idea. Keep it moist, don’t drown them. If you have drainage holes (you do have drainage holes, right?), the excess should run off and you can empty the saucer. If everything is still moist when you are checking, no need to water. You’ll get the basics quickly, if you just observe the pots. – Stephie May 31 at 17:00

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