How Many Pots Do I Need?
I was recently asked why it is necessary to use several pot sizes when growing tomatoes from seed – why not just plant the seeds directly into the ground?
Here are some reasons why it is best to plant into small pots then increase the pot size as the plants grow.
Roots Encourage Plant Growth
When plant roots reach the side of their pot, the plant develops more quickly. This has the advantage of earlier flowering, but if kept in a small pot for too long, the roots will become “root bound” and the plant growth stunted.
It’s a bit of a balancing act and some growers leave plants in small pots for longer than average … this is called “forcing” which can shock a plant into flowering very early. However, in my experience it usually produces a reduced yield.
Slower Growth, Space, Pot Weight, In On Cold Nights.
If you sow directly into a large pot it takes seedlings longer too mature and produce tomatoes. There is also an issue with space for all your seedlings and weight too at the early part of the season when small plant may be put outside during the day and brought in at night to avoid frosts.