wilson1(7 G'boro NC)March 29, 2011

Hi All,

I have had an entire future garden growing in my kitchen and was happy imagining the beautiful summer flowers I would have. Uh oh. Two days ago, with the cold and not being able to put things outside to get sunlight, a few plants started to wilt. I thought maybe it was lack of water, so I watered them, but it made no difference. Then I thought maybe they had too much water so slowed down on it. Today is a sunny day and it is warm on my porch so I have put the plants out there. The wilt seems to be spreading and now I am thinking it is a disease. Does anyone know how to identify wilt and more important, does anyone know how to stop it? I hate to think that all my efforts over the last two-three months will come to nothing. The plants I see it on are basil, tomato, angelonia, and zinnia. Help!

I tried to post a photo but an error occurred in Photobucket when the photos were 40% loaded. Things just aren't going my way :(

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wilson1(7 G'boro NC)

Okay, looks like I can upload now.
Here is a photo of one of the tomato plants with what Looks like some kind of wilt, maybe bacterial wilt?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 7:35PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Plant looks too big for wilt. Might be it's grown too much on top for its roots to support.
Wait..you say it's happening to all your indoor seedlings and young plants? Oh dear. The rest of that tomato plant looks properly perky. Think I'd pinch off the worrisome stalk and start hardening off the plants in bright light outdoors rather than in direct sun.
Neighbor farmer has had his tomatoes in the ground surrounded by 'wall of waters' since second week of February. As well as keeping the plant safe from frost, the wall of waters diffuses the direct sunlight so the plants don't scorch and have time to grow good root systems.(or so my farmer friend says)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 3:09PM
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wilson1(7 G'boro NC)

Thanks, Dottie. I wish I could put them outside. I know they would be happier. This evening, the tomato is still alive and actually looks better, however several of the basils have died. I also have a few wilting angelonia and a couple of zinnias have died. I know I am going to kill everything because now I am paralyzed by fear - do I water, not water? What do I do to save these plants? I have separated the wilting ones from the healthy ones, but other than that, I don't have a clue as to what to do.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 8:56PM
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Oh gosh Wilson1 I feel you pain I live in Greensboro and have a ton of seedlings some of wich are doing the same thing it is definitly not need of water I read that my be poor air circulation and lack of sun(wich explains) I am about to give up the plants that are mostly afected are artichokes,zinnias,beans my tomatoes look good and the basil is not groing.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 2:27PM
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My earlier experiences with indoor seed starting resulted in much the same as described above. I was told it was too much watering from the top...need to water from the bottom, not allow plants to sit in the water, and/or mist fequently, which is what many nurseries do. So, I now mainly use winter sowing to avoid having to make decisions...lazy gardener I am for sure. This watering advice is not going to help this year, but try it in the future.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 9:40AM
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wilson1(7 G'boro NC)

NCrescue, I have to say, that is the conclusion I am coming to. I am pretty nervous about trying winter sowing, but everyone who does it seems to swear by it. I am now thinking it is a watering problem. I had been watering only from the bottom, but when we had those 80 degree days I put the seedlings outside, they got dry and I gave them all big drinks. The problem started after that. So far only a few things have died - not the mass exodus I was dreading - and now I think it was human error :)
I need to come to one of the plant swaps to talk to people about the details of winter sowing.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 5:15PM
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