brendalee
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:47 am
Location: Thomasville, Georgia

Spindly tomatoe stems

Last year I planted several varieties of heirloom seeds and germinated them indoors under an elaborate florescent light table I built. They all came up, but the stems were as tiny as hairs, then fell over and died. With spring coming I'm so anxious to try this again. What did I do wrong?

Trish-A
Full Member
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:23 pm
Location: SW PA - Zone 6a

This usually indicated not enough light. My grow lights are adjustable and for tomatoes I lower them down to about 2 inches above the plant.

brendalee
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:47 am
Location: Thomasville, Georgia

Spindly tomato stems

Thanks, Trish, when they come up in a few days, I'll lower the lights. Have you found a good tasting heirloom tomato you could recommend? I live in South Georgia near the Florida line.

Trish-A
Full Member
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:23 pm
Location: SW PA - Zone 6a

The only heirlooms we were doing were the Brandywine Pink. The plants get about 8 feet tall and the fruit very sweet and large, but few in numbers. This year we're adding Mortgage Lifters to the list along with Ox Hearts.
I'll be starting about 60 tomato plants this year with some going to my neighbor. :shock:

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

Sounds like your baby seedlings were hit with damping off fungus if they shriveled and died like that. Starting with sterilized seedling mix and keeping good air flow around the baby plants helps stop this from happening. It is uncommon but when it does hit it often affects a lot of plants.

In order to strengthen indoor-grown stems brush your hand over them a couple of times a day or point a fan over them (mild breeze) for part of the day.

brendalee
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:47 am
Location: Thomasville, Georgia

spindly stems

Thanks for that tip. I didn't know this about the air flow. That makes sense.

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