Deformed seedlings

tlyn589April 9, 2014

Hi Folks,

I started my seedlings about 3-4 weeks ago, under a florescent light fixture. The light was closer at first, but was recently moved up to about 2 feet above. They get 12-14 hours of light a day, and a watering each day. Some days I set the fan on low, other days I leave it off.
They do not seem healthy to me. The undersides of the cotyledons (baby leaves) have turned purple, the tops of some seem burnt, and they have curled inwards toward the stem (see picture). The first 'true' leaves are not leaf like at all, but instead seem curly, hard and stem like. Most have not produced any true leaves, but just little nubs where true leaves should be.

I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong and whether or not I should abandon them and start over??

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I am having the same problem with tomato seedlings this year. I've started my own seeds for years and have never had this problem. I had noticed some knats hovering over the flats and treated for possible fungal knat infestations to no avail. I have used different seed mixes, new flats and seeds from different companies, but all of the tomato seedlings I have planted look just like yours. I have seen others posting about this same problem on other sites this year, as well. Anyone else having this problem?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 7:35AM
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BriAnDaren Ottawa, On Zone 5

There's definitely something wrong with your plants. Since you don't even know what's the cause of the problem, let alone how to fix it, I would recommend starting over.

It's not too late to sow new seeds now since end of May is the usual planting time for southern Ontario.

If you're going to start over, try a different mix for your seedling. I'm guessing that's the source of the problem.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 10:24AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

and a watering each day

There is the cause of your problems with the tomato plants. More seedlings are killed by over-watering than all other issues combined and seedlings don't require daily watering. The soil in the picture is clearly far too wet.

However the cabbage plants or whatever they are behind them in the photo appear to have some form of pest damage.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 10:48AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Yes they look very wet. Light is not the problem but two feet away is too high. I planted lots of different tomato seeds this spring. A few had knobby tops and funny leaves and those were from old seed. What is your planting medium? Something is very wrong there, starting over sounds right to me also.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 1:43PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Did you make your own media?
Or did you "fix" a store-bought mix with something?
If one or the other, what are the ingredients?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 12:56AM
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