Unhappy Tomatoes

thirsty_dirt_77(3a)May 6, 2013

So this is my first year growing tomatoes from seed.

About 6 1/2 weeks ago I started my tomatoes from seed. They were planted in cells that were 2' in diameter and 4' deep in Shultz Seed Starter mix.

They did very well up until the last few weeks. I started seeing some yellowing on some leaves, mainly the larger plants and was told I was over watering so I cut back on the water. As the plants were getting older and were fairly purple last week I also gave them a dose of sea weed fertilizer that was diluted to 50%. At this time I also potted up the worst of the tomatoes and they are doing better but the older leaves are still being affected by something. The other tomatoes seemed to be getting better for a few days but took a turn again over the weekend.

I had them under a grow light for sixteen hours a day but have since removed them from under a light. They are now on front of a west facing window where they receive more heat and natural sunlight (we now recieve about 15.5 hrs of daylight.) I thought maybe since the taller plants were more affected it could have been from the bulbs I was using.

Something else that I've changed in the past few weeks was the type of water. As we can't use our well water for plants(high sodium) we collect the leftover RO water from drinking glasses and use that for the plants. A few weeks ago I started to bring city water (heavy chlorinated this time of year) home to keep up with the demands of all my plants. Could this also be causing problems?

I know its probably not the best thing to do but I have been pruning some of the more damaged leaves incase its something bad that will spread to the rest of the plant or others. They are still growing and the new leaves are a deep green and only the older leaves seems to be affected by something.

We are building a greenhouse and hope to have everything transplanted within a few weeks but I'm concerned that my plants are unhealtly and will die and I'll be stuck with nothing.

Any suggestions or advice would be appreicated.

I've attached a photobucket link with several different photos - I hope it works. :)


Here is a link that might be useful: Photobucket Tomatoes

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

They need more light.
A window can easily provide less light than the artificial setup. The top of the plants should be within an inch of the fluorescent lights.

The new leaves are deep green because the plant is moving the nitrogen from the old, yellow leaves to the new top growth. The plants are in serious need of fertilizer. A dilute dose -- say 1/4 strength -- every watering or every other.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:30AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Without a picture it is hard to comment properly in this case. As mentioned yellowing can de due to inadequate light . OR, it can be due to nutrients deficiency, especially nitrogen. Anothe reason could be too much water, washing out the nutrients.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:49AM
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seysonn did the blue Photobucket link in the orginially post not work? I tried posting several pictures there

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:26AM
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Hover your mouse on one of your photos in Photobucket.

A little toothed wheel will appear in the upper right hand cornter.

Click on the little toothed wheel in your photos and it will bring
up a screen that says 'share your photos'.

One of the entries for HTML. Just click on that and it will copy to your

Then come back here and do a paste in the message.

Presto! There's your pictures.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 3:20AM
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Thanks qaguy!

There are some recent photos of my tomatoes.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 11:06AM
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You're welcome.

Regarding highly chlorinated water, go to a store that
sells aquarium fish. They sell stuff that takes out the chlorine.
It's for aquariums, but hey, it takes out chlorine!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 5:25PM
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Bets(z6A S ID)

Also if you let the water sit for a couple of days before using it, the chlorine will have dissipated. That works if you have two or three buckets you can just leave sitting. You may want to cover them with some kind of cloth to keep them from becoming breeding ponds for mosquitos.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:59PM
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That looks like nutrient deficiency to me. Provide them with some fertilizer. Get them into the ground as soon as you can. I have planted some tomatoes that looked worse than yours before. They make a dramatic turnaround once in the ground.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 4:06PM
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A few days okay I gave them all a 1/4 dose of my seaweed fertilizer and have started to give them more natural light and have begun to harden them off. They look way more healthier and perky now.

Our greenhouse is almost done so hopefully they can be planted in there within the week - next year I'll know not to start them to early.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 11:32AM
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