Hmmm... what have I done to these poor seedlings?
First, I suppose a brief introduction is in order. My name is Greg and I live in Houston. While I've had a modest raised bed garden for a couple of years, this year I'm putting in a much larger raised bed garden with the intention of incorporating some SFG techniques to maximize space.
Given our somewhat unusual growing season and climate, I elected to start my tomato plants a couple of weeks ago. After about 2 weeks, almost every seedling emerged and not long after that they started to appreciate the 4 bulb shop light hanging a few inches from the surface and running 20+ hours a day.
Here in the past few days, however, things have gone south. The cotyledons started to fall off and the stems began to droop. Okay, maybe they're damping off, but close inspection doesn't reveal evidence that the base of the stems has become withered as I understand is often associated with that ailment.
The attached picture isn't terribly clear, but it does show the current state of affairs which I fear means that the end is nigh for these poor souls. I can accept failure and I still have time to start new seeds, but I'm hoping to hear some thoughts so that I might prevent this from happening again.
Oh, as far as watering goes I've generally spritzed at the base of the stem twice per day. The temperature has been between 70 and 80 degrees F with about 30-40% humidity (measured digitally as close to the plants as possible). The soil will occasionally dry up a bit, but takes new water readily and there's never a pool of water in the bottom of the tray.
My tray of herbs (basil, cilantro, oregano, chives, marjoram, savory, and so forth) which sits right next to the tomato trays is doing great in contrast. The seedlings are strong and getting stronger each day. That's good news because it's evidence that my growing station isn't haunted or anything, but it's baffling why the tomato plants aren't thriving when the herbs are.
So there you have it. Any help, advice, or friendly jeers are welcome! Thanks!