Tomatos (3 wk old) lower leaves brown & dying (pics)

feign3(z5 IL)September 23, 2011

Hi folks,

First time grower and I have 3 week old Roma tomato plants that have been in the reservoir for almost a week now. They look like they are coming along fine until this evening when I noticed the original seedling leaves at the bottom drying, browning, curling and dying. For now it seems confined to those leaves only... the rest look beautiful. I just want to nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand.

I've seen so many posts on this but the pictures I've seen look nothing like mine so I want to pass this on for advice if possible and make sure I go in the right direction.

My setup:

18 gallon Roughneck

10 Gallon solution using General Hydroponics Flora series

RO water

~900 ppm (roughly)

5.5 - 6 ph

air stone

Watering = 15 second run time about every 15 minutes (night and day - medium and roots seem sufficiently damp)

Lighting = 63W Penetrator LED Grow Light about 12" from top of canopy - 18 hr on / 6 hr off

Overwatering / Underwatering / Nutrients... I've seen all type of suggestions.

Anyone care to comment?

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Their fine, those first two leaves always die shortly after the real foliage begins to get big enough. That's normal..

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 10:44PM
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First, those are the cotyledon leaves and it is normal for those to shrivel and fall off. They contain everything your plants need (nutrient wise) to survive until it gets real leaves and can start the photosynthesis process.

Second, I'm assuming your setup is an aeroponic system? What media are you using? Just hydroton or do you have a rapid rooter in there as well?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 8:21PM
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feign3(z5 IL)

It's aeroponic but it's a small pump which makes the droplets pretty large compared to true aeroponic system.

I'm using Hydroton with Rapid Rooters.

I just realized the other day I chose an indeterminate tomato variety so sadly, I'm going to have to thin these out very soon. Since posting those pictures a week ago, they have grown into a dense mass of plants.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 9:03PM
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If they are growing good, I'd leave it on the schedule that you're on. With the rapid rooter in there it may be a little excessive since that will hold the moisture a lot more than just plain hydroton but like I said, if its working, go with it. Also, I believe that whether you are indeterminate or determinate won't matter on your setup. You are going to want no more than four plants in that bucket. Probably just two though.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 8:16AM
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