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Tomatos aren't looking so hot, any ideas?

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Tomatos aren't looking so hot, any ideas?

Post  Alarion on 5/22/2011, 8:39 am

First off, I am a newbie gardener. Helped my wife a little last year, but she was new as well. Anyhow, I started some Tomatoes indoors this year under CFL lights, using Jiffy Peat pellets as the starting medium. Once roots were showing through the peat netting I transplanted into some Sta-Green moisture control mix. Well, the tomatoes are most certainly not STA-ying Green! Here are a few pics - the smaller light green one is a cherry. I planted three, and all three look like this. I have foliar fed one or two once, but no actual nutrients yet. The other tomatoes in the picture were transplanted into the red cups AFTER the cherries, and are looking better - but are also losing plant material (the tan spots). I have started to harden them all off - leaving them outside almost all day this weekend (not nights) and only allowing about one hour of direct sun, with spotty shaded-sun randomly the rest of the day.

My first guess is I need to feed them. Ideas?

Cherry:


Not Cherry, but showing similar problem:

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Re: Tomatos aren't looking so hot, any ideas?

Post  camprn on 5/22/2011, 8:53 am

So sorry your wee plants are suffering!!! Did you happen to take the netting off the root ball before you transplated your tomato seedlings? If you did not, you need to do this. How often are you watering the plants? Are there drainage holes in the bottom of the containers? Is the Sta-Green moisture control mix containing fertilizer?
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Re: Tomatos aren't looking so hot, any ideas?

Post  Alarion on 5/22/2011, 9:02 am

I didn't think I needed to take the netting off - some other plans I grow with them grow right on through. I will make sure to strip it off in the future!

The mix has a little fertilizer - so says the bag. It is listed as: .14-.11-.08

Oh and for watering, I "lift the cup" and if it's light, I check the surrounding soil and the peat itself with my finger. If I can feel any moisture, I don't water.

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Re: Tomatos aren't looking so hot, any ideas?

Post  camprn on 5/22/2011, 9:10 am

The plants are still small enough that I would suggest lifting them out of the cups and with a scissors just cut the netting around the rootball, downwards from the top, I would do this on at least 2 sides of the netting. No need to remove the netting if the roots have infiltrated it, once you open the netting by slicing, this will allow for the root growth the plant needs. If there is no drain hole in the bottom of the cup, poke a few holes through. Because the mix has nutrients, there is no need to feed. They will perk up soon, especially once they go in the garden bed and the weather warms up. Happy gardening! Very Happy
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Re: Tomatos aren't looking so hot, any ideas?

Post  Alarion on 5/22/2011, 9:13 am

Great, thank you camprn. So do you think this is more transplant stress than anything? I am hoping to grow one or two plants indoors this fall/winter and am hoping it's not the lights I'm using, is all.

I will follow your directions today and report back in a few days if I see any changes.

thanks again!

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Re: Tomatos aren't looking so hot, any ideas?

Post  camprn on 5/22/2011, 9:18 am

You're welcome! Very Happy I hope my advice helps your plants. I don't know that it is transplant stress so much as perhaps the netting in impeding the root growth. I do not suspect the lights being the problem. Let us know how they are doing in a few days!
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Re: Tomatos aren't looking so hot, any ideas?

Post  walshevak on 5/22/2011, 9:42 am

Get those babies into the garden as soon as you can harden them off, you are past your frost date. And plant deep or sideways to encourage more root growth.

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Re: Tomatos aren't looking so hot, any ideas?

Post  Alarion on 6/4/2011, 3:54 pm

While they are still smaller than the other tomatoes I started later than these, they are recovering now that they are transplanted. The smaller of the three in the pic is the one I removed the netting from - the cherry tomatoes are the three plants in the middle of the pic. Thanks all!


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Re: Tomatos aren't looking so hot, any ideas?

Post  Furbalsmom on 6/7/2011, 5:17 pm

Alarion

Those may be smaller plants but they look pretty good. Good luck with your babies
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Re: Tomatos aren't looking so hot, any ideas?

Post  martha on 6/7/2011, 6:53 pm

They look so much happier! I predict happy tomato days ahead!
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Re: Tomatos aren't looking so hot, any ideas?

Post  quiltbea on 6/7/2011, 10:17 pm

They're looking fine outdoors. I think your problem is solved.
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Re: Tomatos aren't looking so hot, any ideas?

Post  Alarion on 6/7/2011, 10:38 pm

Yes indeed! Thank you everyone!

Now to figure out how best to stake these suckers up Smile

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