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#3222887 - 04/15/13 07:40 PM HELP! Tomato Plants Look Terrible...
BlountArrow
8 Point


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 2344
Loc: SouthEast Tenn

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So, I'm doing a garden this year for the first time. I've helped my papaw in years past, but never done one on my own. I am attempting to go with only heirloom seeds. So, back in mid-February I started some tomato seeds (Red Brandywines, Marianna's Peace, and Livingston's Favorite). Two months later almost and this is what they look like. I guess they are roughly 3" tall, some have started to show their true leaves so last week I re-potted them into larger containers. I started them in Jiffy organic mix, and replanted them in Organic potting soil. Should they look yellow like this? I know these aren't the best pics in the world but what do you think??? What else do you need to know? I've kept them under flourescent lights inches away from the plant, and about a week ago I started putting them outside for a couple hours in the sunlight then I would bring them back in. Any help would be greatly appreciated.





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#3222978 - 04/15/13 08:53 PM Re: HELP! Tomato Plants Look Terrible... [Re: BlountArrow]
Mausermeister
4 Point


Registered: 10/28/09
Posts: 249
Loc: Forked Deer River Bottom

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Looks like too much water. Do the cups have drain holes?
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#3223152 - 04/16/13 06:49 AM Re: HELP! Tomato Plants Look Terrible... [Re: Mausermeister]
BlountArrow
8 Point


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 2344
Loc: SouthEast Tenn

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 Originally Posted By: Mausermeister
Looks like too much water. Do the cups have drain holes?


Yeah, all the pots the plantes have ever been in had holes in them. I was worried about over watering. Maybe I did over water, but I tried not to water unless they looked wilted or if the potting mix was hard as a rock.

Any other thoughts anybody?
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#3223185 - 04/16/13 07:40 AM Re: HELP! Tomato Plants Look Terrible... [Re: BlountArrow]
Mausermeister
4 Point


Registered: 10/28/09
Posts: 249
Loc: Forked Deer River Bottom

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Could partially be pH too low. Jiffy is mostly peat and from the pics it looks like your organic mix has a lot of ground up pine bark. Both are high acid. Maters need a pH between 6 and 7 to do well.

Also what kind of bulbs in your lights? I've never started plants uder flourescents, but I have been told some types of bulbs don't work well, especially the new "green" bulbs.

Most likely not just one thing, but a combination.
_________________________
Some people are like a slinky. They're not really good for anything, but they can still bring a smile to your face if you push them down a flight of stairs.

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#3223197 - 04/16/13 07:57 AM Re: HELP! Tomato Plants Look Terrible... [Re: Mausermeister]
BlountArrow
8 Point


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 2344
Loc: SouthEast Tenn

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 Originally Posted By: Mausermeister
Could partially be pH too low. Jiffy is mostly peat and from the pics it looks like your organic mix has a lot of ground up pine bark. Both are high acid. Maters need a pH between 6 and 7 to do well.

Also what kind of bulbs in your lights? I've never started plants uder flourescents, but I have been told some types of bulbs don't work well, especially the new "green" bulbs.

Most likely not just one thing, but a combination.


You're right the Jiffy Mix was mostly peat in my opinion too, but when I re-potted them in another organic mix I did notice a lot of "mulch type" products. I'm not sure what types of flourescent lights - just standard lights, not green or anything special. I read online to start them under flourescents because that type of light better replicates the rays of the sun (supposedly). Do you think I need to just go stick them in the ground in the garden and see what happens? I'm worried they're on a downward spiral.
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"The world is so dreadfully managed, one hardly knows to whom to complain."
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#3223320 - 04/16/13 09:54 AM Re: HELP! Tomato Plants Look Terrible... [Re: BlountArrow]
Diehard Hunter
CRAMP
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Registered: 08/01/08
Posts: 6589
Loc: East Tennessee

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Make sure your lights are emitting enough of the blue and red wavelengths. A grow light will, If you are using regular flourescents, use the cool white kind. Both wavelengths are needed for good growth.
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#3223331 - 04/16/13 10:07 AM Re: HELP! Tomato Plants Look Terrible... [Re: Diehard Hunter]
WestTn Huntin'man
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Your seedlings will do better with new florescent bulbs.I would suggest using seed starting mix in the future. They may have been re-potted a little early.
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#3223339 - 04/16/13 10:15 AM Re: HELP! Tomato Plants Look Terrible... [Re: WestTn Huntin'man]
BlountArrow
8 Point


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 2344
Loc: SouthEast Tenn

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I haven't been using a true grow light. But, at this point with warm weather would I just be better off to expose them to natural sunlight most of the day? I did use a seed starting mix for almost 2 months. I re-potted them thinking maybe they had just robbed all the nutrients from the seed starting mix. What's the smartest course of action here now?

Thanks guys!
_________________________
"The world is so dreadfully managed, one hardly knows to whom to complain."
-Ronald Firbank

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#3223440 - 04/16/13 12:32 PM Re: HELP! Tomato Plants Look Terrible... [Re: BlountArrow]
Diehard Hunter
CRAMP
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Registered: 08/01/08
Posts: 6589
Loc: East Tennessee

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You can place them outside for the light, but be sure to bring them in at night until they have been hardened off and there is no chance of frost.
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The recreational value of a game animal is inverse to the artificiality of its origin and the intensiveness of the management system that produced it. Aldo Leopold


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#3223486 - 04/16/13 01:23 PM Re: HELP! Tomato Plants Look Terrible... [Re: Diehard Hunter]
BlountArrow
8 Point


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 2344
Loc: SouthEast Tenn

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 Originally Posted By: Diehard Hunter
You can place them outside for the light, but be sure to bring them in at night until they have been hardened off and there is no chance of frost.


Thank you, sir. That is just what I will do. Hopefully they will turn around for me. They look pretty puny right now. I have a few with true leaves. Will the cotyledons eventually just wilt away and fall off (I'm assuming so)? I guess I just expected the true leaves to be better developed at this point almost 2 months later. If you or anyone thinks of anything else I'd love to hear it.
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