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why are the cotyledons on my heirloom tomato seedling deformed?

Posted by nubiegardener 7b (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 15, 13 at 20:31

Hi everyone! I started some orange woodle heirloom tomatoes and the seedling's cotyledons are deformed. The cotyledons are wavy, and one side appears like it's rolled. The true leaf growing out is also curling under. Why is it doing this? The room temp is around 70-78 and it's sitting under 2 40 watt T12's. This is my first attempt at gardening and I would like it to go right. Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: why are the cotyledons on my heirloom tomato seedling deforme

Also, here's a photo of an heirloom Rutger. As you can see, one of them is healthy and strong, but the other one is so puny! The leaves are also very brittle, and the seed coat seemed to have ripped a tip of the cotyledon off. Any reason for this? Or is it normal? Any help is very much appreciated!

RE: why are the cotyledons on my heirloom tomato seedling deforme

What I see is quite normal. Yes, cotyledons can be malformed and yes, some seeds will give more vigorous seedlings than others, for the same variety.

So IMO not much to worry about.


RE: why are the cotyledons on my heirloom tomato seedling deforme

When a seed coat gets stuck, wet it with a drop of water (some people use saliva); keep doing this until the seed coat is thoroughly wet. Usually at that point the seedling will pop it off within a few hours.

Or you can try to pinch the edges of the seed coat a tiny bit -- sometimes that works. Some people mention trimming the edges of the seed coat carefully with nail scissors. If you're not especially dexterous, it's probably better not to try these tactics.

Seedlings that have lost a bit of leaf aren't much bothered. Seedlings that lose more usually aren't too bothered.

My theory on puny seedlings is that they probably grew from smaller seeds. Give them some time and see how they do.

RE: why are the cotyledons on my heirloom tomato seedling deforme

About puny seedlings and small seed size; it's not theoretical since two folks I know have done the following.

They took the dried seeds after fermentation and divided them into three seed sizes, getting rid of the flat whitish immature ones, and them planted separately by seed size.

And both found there was no difference in time of germinaton, vigor, etc.

I haven't done it myself and still, at least when sending seeds to others, crumble the clumps, sit there and pick out the largest ones to send. LOL

But I do believe that such differences can be due to seed depth when sowing seed , that is, it takes longer for seedlings to come up when the seeds are lower in the artificial mix, And since watering, etc,can sends seeds to a deeper level, there you go, since there's no way of controlling for that as far as I know.


RE: why are the cotyledons on my heirloom tomato seedling deforme

They look fine/normal to me. Other than that they are in awfully big cups of soil for such young seedlings. If you are going to use that size cup then only fill it about 1/3 to 1/2 full of soil when you seed then fill it as the plant grows.


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