I planted 2 seeds per Jiffy peat pellet, incidentally, every single pellet has had both seeds germinate. Right now, they are on average about 2 to 2.5 inches tall and only have their cotyledon leaves.

I'm wondering when I should cull the weak-looking sprouts to allow for the stronger ones to thrive?


I don't know what size peat pellets you're using, but if they're the small square ones, you should pull out one of the seedlings from each now, or pot them on into something else once they've got their first pair of true leaves. Those tiny pots (around 40mm) won't have enough room for two tomato seedlings to develop proper roots, so its not wise to leave them in situ. If you've used the bigger peat pots that are flower pot shaped, you can wait a bit longer.

  • I was using the roughly 40mm circular peat pellets. I just culled them and moved them into larger containers! Thanks for the tips. – Zmart Apr 13 '14 at 22:09

Generally, one will cut off the unwanted seedlings once at least one of the seedlings in the group has 2-3 real leaves showing. If there is a good reason to cut the culls off before that (for example, some of the seedlings are much weaker than the others, or diseased or damaged or so many have sprouted in the same cell that there is no room to grow) then go ahead, but try to leave a couple or three viable plants in the group until they have grown enough leaves to be able to tell the winners from the losers. The reason for this is if you cut too soon and then something happens to the remaining seedling, then you will have nothing to transplant from that set.

Btw: I say "cutting" above because cutting the culls at the soil line or just above is less disturbing to the remaining seedling(s) than pulling them out by the roots.

  • I heeded your advice and used nail clippers to cut the culls right at the soil line. It was a marginally sad ordeal but I know it's for the best. Thanks! – Zmart Apr 13 '14 at 22:10

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