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How do Bunnings get such great tomato plants?

barbs01
Junior Contributor

How do Bunnings get such great tomato plants?

I noticed when i went to Bunnings how strong, healthy and vibrant the larger seedling plants looked in the pots. They had thick stems, green foliage and approx 500mm tall, in maybe 150mm pots. I was wondering what their gardeners do to achieve such healthy plants, is there a special soil mix or fertiliser they use? How are the seeds started, ie; what medium are they sown in? Are they grown in small trays then transplanted into the larger pots? Thanks

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How do Bunnings get such great Tomato Plants?

Hi @barbs01,

 

Have you checked out @Adam_W's amazing series on How to grow tomatoes - from seed to harvest?

 

If the nurseries gave away all their secrets, we'd never buy from them again! Adam gives plenty of tips in his series that are worth following. Personally, I like to purchase plants that are already established. I find the amount of effort to grow from seed isn't worth it for me. In saying that, my tomatoes from last year have seeded themselves and are looking better than many that you see in stores. Go figure.

 

I think you'll find nurseries will germinate seeds in celled trays with coir mix and then slip pot them into their 150mm pot once they've established. That would generally be done in a hothouse to expedite the process. Once in the 150mm pots, they might be bought outside and regularly fed and watered until they reach the desired size for sale. They do this year after year on hundreds of thousands of plants and likely cull a vast number of the seeds that are sown as they don't meet the criteria for sale.

 

Mitchell

 

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barbs01
Junior Contributor

Re: How do Bunnings get such great Tomato Plants?

Thanks Mitchell, Congratulations on your tomatoes, they look fantastic! Yes, i don't think i will bother with growing them from seeds again, there is too much risk through the process, if everything's not perfect. I will still check out the link to growing tomatoes, thanks again.

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Adam_W
Valued Contributor

Re: How do Bunnings get such great Tomato Plants?

Hi @barbs01 I've found the best way to remove the risk with seeds like tomatoes is to use individual cell trays so that each plant can develop by itself without interference.
And when it comes to getting quality plants... this post I put up last year will give you an idea of the simple way to have gorgeous seedlings!

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barbs01
Junior Contributor

Re: How do Bunnings get such great Tomato Plants?

Thanks for that Adam, I watched your videos and found the information really helpful. I did grow my seedlings in similar plastic cell trays like yours, but some of the seedlings didn't grow much and some have stayed stagnant and developed yellow leaves. I don't know if it was under or over watering or maybe a virus? I can't believe how great your seedlings came up...wow! I may have to change the seed raising mixture like you showed in your videos. I used a standard potting mix and added some Perlite and Cior. Can I ask do you liquid feed the seeds after they germinate, and how soon after? Also do you think it's a good idea to re-pot into larger 100 or 150mm pots before planting into garden or do you let them grow in the small cells? Thanks for your input :smile:

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EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How do Bunnings get such great Tomato Plants?

Hi @barbs01

 

Let me tag @Adam_W to make him aware of your questions. I totally understand your frustration with growing healthy tomato plants. I attempted to grow my own last year and looks nowhere near like the ones Adam has cultivated. 

 

Please keep us updated with your progress, we look forward to seeing your next tomato batch strong and healthy.

 

Eric

 

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barbs01
Junior Contributor

Re: How do Bunnings get such great Tomato Plants?

Thank You very much Eric. :smile:

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