Help, tomato seedlings not looking healthy

l1a1rocker(8)February 22, 2013

They are yellowish and failing to thrive. I've got a 600wt MI light 2.5 feet above the table. Other plants seem to be doing well but the poor tomatoes, not so much. My grow media is the same as my raised bed mix. Basically a mixed compost. I was thinking about raising the light or turning it down to 75%. I've also tried watering with SuperThrive and Seaweed but that has not helped.

Here's a picture:

Any advice would sure be appreciated.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Off hand, I would say the height of your light is fine. Unless you think the plants are getting too hot, I wouldn't raise it. It is possible that the tomato seedlings need to be more under the center of the light however. Actually, they don't look too bad to me.

I'm sure you know, Superthrive is a health supplement not a fertilizer. Are you using any fertilizer and is so, how much and what kind? Not keeping the media too wet?


    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 6:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It may be that I've got them too wet. I'm watering every other day and the "soil" damp when I water.

The compost is a blend of 2 parts Miracle grow potting mix, one part wood base compost, one part humus, and one part unknown compost, and one part of another unknown compost. If it's real important I'll go dig out my receipt to see exactly what the unknown composts are.

The only "fertilizer" I've used has been the seaweed. I've read to be cautious about fertilizer on seedlings and was figuring that the rich compost media would be sufficient. I was considering some Actinovate but have not made the trek into town as yet. (I try to limit my trips to town to once a month) I'll try and rotate the tomato seedlings into a more centered position on the table.

Thank you for your response. Any input is much appreciated.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 1:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yeah, you're probably keeping them too wet. By far, more plants are killed by over watering than under watering. It's amazing how dry the grow media can look to us and still be fine for the plants. The roots of the plants need oxygen and too much water prevents that.

Regarding the fertilizer ... once the plants start getting their true leaves (which your's seem to have) low dosages of fertilizer (about 100 to 150 ppm nitrogen) is usually very helpful. If you use "Miracle-Gro Tomato Plant Food" for example, that would mean using about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon to a gallon of water. As the plants grow, you'll want to increase that of course. Seaweed fertilizers, by the way, contain really tiny amounts of soil nutrients.

Also, I do think moving the plants more in the center will help. I see you're using a fan, that's great!


    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 2:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for the help!!!! I could only find a chemical fertilizer to dilute in water (all the organic stuff was solid sprinkle on). Anyhow, I cut it down to 1/3 rd strength and applied it every third day twice. BIG improvement!!




Something else of note. I'm growing slips for sweet potatoes. I did an experiment. When I pulled the slips from the sweet potato I dipped some in a root hormone powder and left some without. The results are remarkable to me:


Again, THANK YOU for your help in saving my tomato seedlings.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 9:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Too much water

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 12:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Why are you mixing anything with the MiracleGrow, I use the MG with Moisture Control (which you could add to regular MG) and don't have the problem. Yes I think you are keeping them too wet. Tomatoes likes to wilt alittle between watering, it's actually better for them, since it gives them a survival skill to help during times of dryness.

Take the dry, sprinkle on fertilizer and just mix with water the day before you want to water. I always mix to 1/2 strength, but deeply water with it every week to 2 weeks (about everyother watering).

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Does this advice about letting them wilt a little also apply to pepper seedlings/plants as well?

Besides tomatoes, I have a couple Jalapeno seedlings and anahiem peppers too...

They look great, but a few of the tomatoes look as if they're probably getting a little too much water...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:58AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
what do you use under heat mats
I have some large heat mats that I use under lights....
Having problems with seedlings this year
I have been starting seeds under lights for about 10...
New to Forum - some questions, comments about heating mats
I have been starting flower seeds indoors for years...
Seeking advice about current indoor seed starting setup
Hello, I am new to gardening and would like to start...
Seed Starting Lights at night?
In my area (Nova Scotia) I have time of day metering...
Sponsored Products
Double Donut Pet Bed Dog Bed
$169.00 | FRONTGATE
Retrospect Wall Sconce by Currey & Company
$490.00 | Lumens
Modern Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Balta US Rugs Whispering Pine Beige 5 ft. 3 in.
Home Depot
Oak Trail Accent Light by Kichler
$96.60 | Lumens
Cindi Soumak Runner 2'6" x 10' - BROWN PATTERN
$799.00 | Horchow
Vintage 11-Inch Satin Nickel Mini Pendant
$172.00 | Bellacor
Alice Button Tufted Queen Bed Frame
Copper Patio Torch with Spiral Wall Bracket - Antique Copper
Signature Hardware
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™