this is driving me crazy- tomato seedings not getting true leaves
I am at my wits end with trying to grow tomatoes by seed this season.
I first planted tomato seeds in September, and since the day temperatures were averaging 100F I understand the extreme heat would kill most seedlings, as it did mine--except 2 seedlings-- Green Giant tomato and Cheyenne pepper.
I next planted seed in September when it was in the mid to upper 90s. A lot of this batch got damping-off and died, but of the ones that survived they are still seeming to do ok... except to this day they haven't gotten any true leaves!
I then planted seed on November 3rd. Plenty germinated by the 10th yet up until now only two seedlings have gotten true leaves (they are tiny true leaves, but at least something is progressing!)
Right now the daytime highs are averaging in the high 70s to low 80s and the nights are averaging the low 70s to high 60s.
I just planted even more new seed just to hope I have something in case all the other seedlings ultimately fail.
Out of all of the seedlings, the San Marzano ones have done the worst by far. All San Marzano Redorta seedlings died, and I have 3 Super San Marzanos that look find but they are from the October planting and should have long had true leaves by now shouldn't they?
I have been so crushed that I have been having such a hard time. I was dreaming I would already have established plants to pot up into their final pots by now and yet I only have one Green Giant plant (from the September seed planting) that looks ready to finally pot up to a nice large pot.
They are getting at least 9 hours of direct sunlight each day and I am leaving them in the full sun all day long. If it is the heat, do you think putting shade cloth over them will help?
Do they need all that sunlight in order to develop the true leaves or can I put them in the shade for part of the day?
I started seeds earlier this year in January and those did wonderfully... so since the temperatures are closer to the January temperatures now I am hoping that if these seedlings don't get their true leaves, that the new seed I planted will eventually.
I am not going to whine that it was a waste of time with all these seedlings failing...I will take it as learning experience for the future... but its sooooo frustrating to think I only have one established plant so far after all this time!