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No Growth

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No Growth

Post  scmelik on 5/22/2011, 7:48 pm

I have two plants a tomatoe plant and a pepper plant that seem to be stuck. The pepper plant has been the same size for about the past three weeks and the tomatoe for about the past three weeks. The tomatoe plant is about 4 inches tall and the pepper is about two inches tall. I have been giving them as much sun as I can and water everyday, they are in MM and inside where the weather is a bit more stable temperatures.

About the only thing they seem to do is the leaves will curl or come together and then the next day they will go back to normal.

Is this a normal period for a plant?

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Re: No Growth

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/22/2011, 9:00 pm

Hard to say. But, I can tell you 72F isn't optimum for tomatoes and peppers. They want it hotter than that. Also, you need temperature swings like outside to stimulate periods of growth and rest in a plant. Usually, you can't find that in a stable house environment.

Both things are working against you imo.

If I am wrong someone will come in and provide more help. It's possible they think they are outside and are working on rootballs.....maybe they are rootbound in your pots, too. Just so hard to say.
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Re: No Growth

Post  scmelik on 5/22/2011, 9:02 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:Hard to say. But, I can tell you 72F isn't optimum for tomatoes and peppers. They want it hotter than that. Also, you need temperature swings like outside to stimulate periods of growth and rest in a plant. Usually, you can't find that in a stable house environment.

Both things are working against you imo.

If I am wrong someone will come in and provide more help. It's possible they think they are outside and are working on rootballs.....maybe they are rootbound in your pots, too. Just so hard to say.

i know 72 isn't optimum for tomatoes and peppers thats why they are inside and not outside.

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Re: No Growth

Post  The Cat's Other Mother on 5/22/2011, 10:21 pm

Just out of curiosity, how long have you had them in the same size pot? I was also moving my seedlings in and out, waiting for the last possible frost date to pass, but I did pot up once and noticed a big, fast difference, afterwards.


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Re: No Growth

Post  scmelik on 5/22/2011, 10:22 pm

@The Cat's Other Mother wrote:Just out of curiosity, how long have you had them in the same size pot? I was also moving my seedlings in and out, waiting for the last possible frost date to pass, but I did pot up once and noticed a big, fast difference, afterwards.


I started them in vermiculite and when they sprouted I put them into regular styrafoam cups. I guess I have never given thought to the fact that it might not be big enough since they are still so small.

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Re: No Growth

Post  Kelejan on 5/23/2011, 4:10 am

If they are still in vermiculite then they are starving.
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Re: No Growth

Post  scmelik on 5/23/2011, 7:50 am

oh no they are no longer in the vermiculite they were transplanted into MM long ago.

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Re: No Growth

Post  Icemaiden on 5/23/2011, 1:45 pm

How many sets of leaves do they have now?
For tomatoes, slow/halted growth could be due to low temp/poor light/poor nutrients.
Which would be more likely in your case? Do the plants get good light for at least 12 hours per day?
Could you try repotting one in a bigger pot and see if it jumps into action?

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Re: No Growth

Post  scmelik on 5/23/2011, 3:11 pm

@Icemaiden wrote:How many sets of leaves do they have now?
For tomatoes, slow/halted growth could be due to low temp/poor light/poor nutrients.
Which would be more likely in your case? Do the plants get good light for at least 12 hours per day?
Could you try repotting one in a bigger pot and see if it jumps into action?

they still have their seedling leaves still. The temps are low I will admit that but we have been very cool here lately. I have tried putting them infront of the heater every night hoping that they would get the sun they needed during the day and the heat they needed at night. As far as the light, the best I have right now is a west facing window, they get good light there most of the day but not all day and not direct sunlight. In that window when they got some really great direct sunlight they whilted really bad but thankfully came back during the night.

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Re: No Growth

Post  HieronRemade on 5/23/2011, 3:24 pm

I've heard that tomatoes and peppers will suffer from lack of sufficient sunlight even in a window that gets sun most of the day. I can tell you that I started tons of tomatoes and peppers inside this year, and that on top of the fluorescent lights I had on them, they were near southeast facing windows. They sprouted and some got one set of tiny true leaves, but that's it. I put them out on the back porch a couple weeks ago and they've easily grown 10x as fast since then.

Also, it's possible the cups aren't big enough but they would at least get one or two sets of leaves in there. I used the larger standard size of plastic cups for all my stuff and I have a lot of Romas that are at least 6" tall with 4-6 or more sets of leaves and the cups are only 1/2 - 3/4 full.
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Re: No Growth

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/23/2011, 3:35 pm

I have tried putting them infront of the heater every night hoping that they would get the sun they needed during the day and the heat they needed at night.

They don't need heat at night. They need it during the day, along with sunlight, to stimulate growth. They need to cool down at night to stimulate "resting."

And, sunlight through a window isn't full sun. Believe it or not, the pane of glass cuts out a lot of the rays a plant needs. Cool springs are tough on us all. No biggie. Just look for opportunities to get them outside and in the sun, if even for an hour or two.....even if under a tent of plastic that will heat them up a little more than you care to keep your house. Bring them back inside at night and let them cool down.

But, it also sounds like they might be rootbound now. I would uppot them into a little bigger home if you aren't able to put them in the ground within 10 days or so. Given your frost date, though, of May 13, I would have them in the ground and I would be prepared with something to cover them at night if the temps are forecast to drop into the mid-30s.
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Re: No Growth

Post  unmadecastle on 5/23/2011, 3:51 pm

I am in South Dakota also and I have had my tomatoes planted for about 5 days now. Our average date of last frost has come and gone. Your tomatoes will be ok outside. Before I planted mine they were not looking so healthy. When I went to plant them they were root bound. But they are looking good now.

I also have my peppers planted and they are looking good too.
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Re: No Growth

Post  quiltbea on 5/23/2011, 4:07 pm

To add my 2 cents worth, my apt in my son's house only has west facing windows and they didn't help at all with starting seeds my first year gardening. I ended up buying all my seedlings. I had to get a heat mat and shop lights the 2nd year and now they grow gangbusters.
They are in our furnace room which stays pretty much at 62-66*F all the time so after germinating they didn't need it warmer, they needed the lights.

You need more light for those babies.

You also have to move them to bigger pots as they grow. Here's mine yesterday outside for their hardening off period even though it was only in the 50s and drizzly or damp all day. Most of the pots here are 2-litre soda bottles cut about 5-6" tall. Plenty of root room for them to grow. Temps were in the low 50s most of the day.

If you can get them outside at all, start with an hour the first day, then 3 hrs the next day so they can strengthen. Keep extending their time outside. Then get them outside and planted in a week or so. Putting them in bigger pots won't help if they don't get the sunlight.
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