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carriej
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Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:13 pm
Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Pale tomato seedlings :(

I am hoping someone can help me out here.

I still have time to replant, so wondering if I should just do that as this is seriously painful to watch! I don't know what's going on. I've planted tomatoes for years under the same set up and never had anything like this. The leaves are looking like they are going to die, very pale and headed towards yellow. The ends of the leaves are brown and crispy on some.

I am using miracle grow seed starter. They came up around April 10th, so I feel like they are stunted as well as being pale. I see some very tiny true leaves starting, but hardly.

Someone told me it was too much water, so I literally let them dry out to the point where a few fell over. I watered them last night and may have overdone it though. I am just kind of panicking, as if I do have to replant I won't be able to get the varieties I have selected.

Oh, a little more information. I have them indoors, underneath a t5ho light. I have begun making some earthworm casting tea as recommended to me by a friend.

They look much more green in the pictures than they do in reality.

Image

suncitylinda
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Location: 9A SoCal Inland

Re: Pale tomato seedlings :(

A lot of my seedlings seem to come up pretty pale also. Not sure why but most of them outgrew it. Give them good light and try for more even moisture.

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carriej
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Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:13 pm
Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Pale tomato seedlings :(

I did water from the top a few times, but I keep them in an aquarium so I do water from the bottom as well. There is drainage, there is a good size hole in the bottom.

They were so dry they literally fell over, and right after I watered them I took this picture.

They do not seem to be improving, if anything they are now headed towards yellow which is a bit discouraging. Some of the leaves also seem to look kind of twisted.

I did notice that the stalks and the undersides of the leaves are VERY purple. My tiny tims seem to be faring the best and developing better, they are certainly much greener.

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Pale tomato seedlings :(

If the soil was dry when you watered it then it should not be over watering.

Reasons to for leaves to yellow
1. Not enough light
2. Not enough nitrogen or phosphorus
3 too much water
4. Tomatoes are too cold

You can try
Get more light on the seedlings
Put them on a heat mat set at 80 degrees which they should be happy with
Fertilize with a complete water soluble fertilizer in warm water. It will provide a quick boost.
Make sure that media is almost dry before watering again and that water does not sit in the tray.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

PaulF
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Location: Brownville, Ne

Re: Pale tomato seedlings :(

I agree with everything imafan26 has said. At this stage I would suspect overwatering and the lights are not close enough to the seedlings. If you have used a seed starter mix without a small bit of fertilizer already in it, that may well be part of the problem. Since I use miracle-gro soilless mix(or a mix like that) I don't like to add fertilizer. If your mix does not have the time release nutrients, I would wait until true leaves have emerged and then mix at no more than 1/2 to 1/3 the recommended ratio on the soluble fertilizer. Seedlings don't need much to grow.
Paul F

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carriej
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Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Pale tomato seedlings :(

The stuff I used was "Miracle Grow Seed Starting Potting Mix"

Thanks, I will do all these things recommended.

I have some pure powdered KNO3 here, along with some Plantex CSM + B. I buy these in bulk for adding to my planted aquarium, so I wasn't sure if they could be used in this sort of application. I also have KH2PO4.

Does anyone know if I can use these and/or how much to dissolve into water?

I have 48 seedlings.

suncitylinda
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Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:54 pm
Location: 9A SoCal Inland

Re: Pale tomato seedlings :(

Are your seedlings getting any fresh air flow inside that aquarium? Is it enclosed at the top? Any chance things are getting too warm in there?

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carriej
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Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Pale tomato seedlings :(

It's open at the top, and I have grown with the exact same set up before with no issues. I am honestly thinking of scrapping it :( However, if I do there won't be time to order seeds.

Strangely enough, my tiny tim variety seems to be doing alright. It's showing growth, and seems the greenest out of all of them. The rest have not really been showing much growth past the two cotyledons, and are almost turning white at this point. The few that do have the tiniest sighting of true leaves, are yellow at the tip, green toward the stalk.

Also, the cotyledons look, almost dirty. There is no actual dirt, but they just have a strange appearance. Here are some more pictures from today. As you can see, the tiny tims look not too bad.

Tiny Tims - Still pretty green

Image

Defiant, first one is almost white. Some are crinkly.

Image

Beefsteak

Image

Romas. The two on the end were planted a week later than the rest, and they seem to be staying green.

Image

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carriej
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Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Pale tomato seedlings :(

UPDATE:

Good news.

I decided to just go ahead with the ferts. Worst case scenario, I would lose them which I was expecting anyway. So I mixed up some of each of the bulk ferts I have here (plantex csm+B, KH2PO4, and KNO3) in separate cups. I gave them all 2ml of each with a syringe, and this morning they are looking much better. If you can see in the pictures, all of the plants cotyledons are kind of pointing up. Now they are all very open and not closed up. The new growth looks darker and healthier. I am very pleased.

However I don't understand because these seedlings only came up 3 weeks ago. There should have been enough in the miracle grow seed start mix to get them through, I would think.

I had two planted a week later, that are still very green. If they remain green and don't yellow out, I guess I know it was a nutrient issue. Unfortunately, I don't know which one since I loaded them up with all kinds of stuff.

Here are some pictures. You can immediately see how much more open they are.

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