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Seedlings turning yellow

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Seedlings turning yellow

Post  annasmum on 12/10/2011, 7:52 am

I am very new to SFG and gardening in Florida. I put in my seeds 2 weeks ago. My beans were starting to come out and looked nice and green. Now a couple have completely emerged and on 2 seedlings the leaves have disappered and the others look really yellow. Also the top newer leaves on my tomato plants are looking lighter in color than they were. We have had a couple of colder nights but no actual frost. I have watered the garden lightly pretty much every day and we have had quite a lot of rain last night. The garden is in an area where the plants aren't exposed to full sun all day. The get a little direct sun in the afternoon. Any suggestions? Too much water, not enough water/sun?

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  camprn on 12/10/2011, 10:20 am

I am not sure what the problem is BUT, if you are watering often and the Mel's mix is saturated, you may be watering too much. As to the yellowing, if it were my garden I would topdress the Mel's Mix with some compost (about an inch) and see if that helps in a few days.

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  littlejo on 12/10/2011, 10:30 am

If the leaves are completely gone on the beans, then it sounds like you may have something eating them! deer but probably rabbits. Rabbit wire is my only solution for this.

As far as the tomatoes, put your hand down deep in the MM and see if it is really wet enough. It is really hard to get the mix wet to start out. If wet enough, then you probably need a boost of fertilizer, quick acting, probably liquid. If doing organic only, check at your stores and see what is available, or someone on the forum will know what to use. Miracle grow works good but is not organic?

The lack of sun should be ok, if you can get the plants beyond the seedling stage. Your plants and you will appreciate it later on.

You may have also got a tad of cooler air than the tomatoes like. They prefer above 40 deg weather.

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  annasmum on 12/10/2011, 11:06 am

I suppose the mix wasn't soaking wet. Could that be the reason? I would say the top layer was nicely damp but the deeper layers were a little drier. Well with the amount of rain we've had today that should have sorted that because right now my boxes look like rice paddies. Should I wait a day or two and then try organic liquid fertilizer or just do it as soon as the water has gone down a bit? Can you overdo it on the fertilizer?

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  martha on 12/10/2011, 11:42 am

You can definitely overdo it on the fertilizer. Also, regarding your boxes looking like rice paddies, is it still raining? From what you said, it sounds like a very heavy rain, but the boxes still should be draining. (Although I haven't actually gone outside in a torrential rain to see if there is water standing on top of my MM!)

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  annasmum on 12/10/2011, 12:52 pm

Oh it was bad half the area was flooding for a while. So is it best to wait a bit and see? Then a little fertilizer?

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  littlejo on 12/10/2011, 1:12 pm

I would wait for it to quit raining. Your bed should still drain after the rain stops. If the beds were getting too much rain, then the ferlilizer of the compost in the mix may be washing down the drain. After the rain, in a few days, check the plants again. Depends on how they look whether I'd add fertilizer. Jo

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  stripesmom on 12/10/2011, 1:22 pm

I had your problem last spring with the top newer tomato leaves coming emerging yellow. I added Miracle Grow and they greened right up. Some people say it's not organic, but the package says it is. I have nothing against it for an emergency. If your on the fence about what to do, I'd give one plant a shot of it or some other fertilizer or compost that you prefer. See what happens in a day or two. If that works, use it on every thing.

As far as water goes, if you have good drainage in your boxes, then excess water will drain away. The MM can only hold so much water. I kept mine fairly wet most of the summer as we had no rain for a long time. When it did rain, it was a deluge.


Last edited by stripesmom on 12/10/2011, 1:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  camprn on 12/10/2011, 1:24 pm

I myself would prefer to topdress with the compost, which is actually going to add nutrients organically to your beds.

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 12/10/2011, 4:02 pm

@camprn wrote:I myself would prefer to topdress with the compost, which is actually going to add nutrients organically to your beds.

This. Topdressing will cut down your dependency on Miracle Gro. The compost will be a slow release, but last longer. Miracle Gro tends to drain right out of MM because it drains so well....wasting a lot of it. I don't mind giving plants a shot in the arm with some liquid juicy-juice, but I want something in place that's a little more permanent, too.

Almost sounds more like a sun angle thing. Both time of year, and garden location with respect to house/trees. December is brutal even down south.

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  annasmum on 12/10/2011, 9:53 pm

The garden is north facing with the house south and trees to the west of the house. I thought it might give them a little shade when it gets really hot here. Bad choice? Checked the plants when I got home tonight and the beans have shot up like crazy but they all look a little aneamic that's the only way I can describe it. I'll try and take some pics tomorrow.
Thanks for all your help so far. Very Happy

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  camprn on 12/11/2011, 6:13 am

So, what is the estimated hours of sunlight your garden gets a day, this time of year?

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 12/11/2011, 12:52 pm

I thought plants, in hot summers, definitely preferred shade in the afternoon....provided they get tons of sun in the morning (and I still think they do). But, sometimes when air temps get over 90° there just isn't anything you can do to avoid stress and keep them thriving. It's apparently not as big a deal as I thought it would be.

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  walshevak on 12/11/2011, 1:06 pm

@camprn wrote:So, what is the estimated hours of sunlight your garden gets a day, this time of year?

I figger about 7hrs of strong sunlight 8am- 3pm, enough for greens if the cold doesn't get them.

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  annasmum on 12/17/2011, 9:36 pm

Just a quick update. Plants are doing much better. I think I hadn't wet the mix enough and they were just not getting enough water. Since the heavy downpours they are looking much better. Thank you all for your help. I am sure my next question is just around the corner.

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 12/18/2011, 10:10 am

Don't let it dry out. Keep it wet. You can't water MM too much. Like a sponge, it holds all it needs and the excess just runs out the bottom.

If in doubt, dig down with your hands about 3-4 inches. If you start encountering dry patches, it's time to really soak the stuff again. And, from that you learn that the amount you were watering was still not quite enough. Eventually, you get a feel for keeping things moist as your weather changes.

And, once you get things moist, it's pretty easy to maintain that level of moisture. It's just hard to very hard to get it back once neglect dries things out.

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Re: Seedlings turning yellow

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