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Tomato Seed Starting Problems - Wilting

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:54 am
by Lupin
Hi all, just found this forum and was hoping that I might get a little help. I've started some tomato seeds that have been doing very well until the past few days when they started to wilt. I've done a little foliar feeding and some fertilizing with organic fertilizer tea but hey continue to look poor. If I post a couple of pictures might you be able to help me identify the problem?

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:00 am
by Duh_Vinci
Hello, and welcome to the forums!

Yes indeed, pictures could help, along with some information on the varieties you planted, seed starting medium (soil/soil-less), when seeded... While there is no guarantee we can 100% identify the problem, it would certainly help to know those details.

Regards,
D

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:24 am
by Lupin
Ok, here goes. I started the seeds in peat pellets. Once they were about 2 - 3 inches high I put the peat pellets in the pots you see in the pictures. They are 3" peat pots I believe. These were started about 6 weeks ago and are about 8" high right now. The soil used for the potting is just some stuff I got at Home Depot - I'll attach a picture. It had a lot of wood in it and doesn't hold water very well. The bag says it has composted forest humus, compost, composted chicken manure, worm castings, kelp meal, bat guano and oyster and dolomite limes.

Here's the potting soil:
[img]https://i904.photobucket.com/albums/ac243/mrlupin/th_056.jpg[/img]

Here are a few pictures of the tomato plants which are a Big Boy Hybrid that is supposed to do well in the heat.

[img]https://i904.photobucket.com/albums/ac243/mrlupin/055.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i904.photobucket.com/albums/ac243/mrlupin/th_054.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i904.photobucket.com/albums/ac243/mrlupin/th_052.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i904.photobucket.com/albums/ac243/mrlupin/th_052.jpg[/img]

Thanks for your time!

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:47 am
by seagullplayer
That looks more like mulch than potting soil to me?

I'm sure somebody will give you the low down better than I.

Good luck.

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:06 pm
by JulieTAdolf
Hi Lupin, I'm couldn't make the photos very large when I opened them, so I couldn't quite make out if the leaves are curling up? When the plant has that purplish coloration, it could be a phosphorous deficiency. The leaves droop and curl under also. A few sources of phosphorus are bone meal, rock phosphate, and superphosphate.

Curly top virus also produces that purple tinge to leaves...but the leaves curl up. That virus can be soil borne...and it doesn't bode well for your plants, I'm sorry to say.

Hope your plants recuperate soon!

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:29 am
by Duh_Vinci
Some pictures are very small indeed... In addition, purple leafs in the young seedlings could also be results of the sudden colder temperatures. And if that was the case - usually seedlings grow out of this stage just fine...

What concerns me, is that "potting" soil - I'd echo what seagullplayer said, looks more like mulch to me. And the listing of all the ingredients you listed in that mix, does not sound like a potting soil to me, but for some reason, reminds me more of the compost/manure ingredients. Between the texture on that tiny picture and the list of what's in it - really reminds me of that nasty white/yellow bag of compost from either HD or Lowe's

Personally, before anything - I'd transplant these seedlings into a good quality, fine potting mix, I wouldn't add anymore tea/fertilizer of any kind for 2 weeks, just to see what happens, and as a backup plan - I'd plant new seeds, just in case...

I know, this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but at this stage - if these don't survive, it's not too late for the new ones to take off.

Regards,
D

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:54 am
by Lupin
Thanks for all of your responses. Sorry about the pictures - I'm anything but a photographer. The leaves were curling under. In the past two days since I fed them the tea they seem to be doing a little better but I will be planting some additional seeds just in case. I decided to put these tomatoes in the garden to see what happens - I have a greenhouse that stays above 50 degrees at night so they shouldn't get too cold. I have searched for and found some starting soil that should be much better. Time will tell!