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More seedling problems (pics included)

Posted by lexiegurl NC 8 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 26, 12 at 19:56

Hi everyone,

Well I am, yet again, having problems with my tomato seedlings. I am getting super discouraged at this point trying to grow tomatoes this year/from seed because it seems like a never ending battle with some problem or another. First hail storm, cold and early blight and alternaria now something else. I am not sure if it is alternaria coming back, septoria or an environmental problem. I am hoping it is the latter. Brief rundown: I have included pictures of some leaves I pulled off the plants (I can get pics of the whole plant if needed). They each have somewhat different spots. Some are from 6-8 week old plants that were transplanted into their final spot last Saturday and other leaves are from seedlings in cups with Miracle Grow that have been pretty much hardened off. they have been outside for at least a week, probably more. Gradually introduced to sunlight and now placed in a cold frame. They have been fine over until yesterday/today. The only thing that I know of that has changed is it has been pretty windy here lately and overcast the most of the week and just within the last 2 days have we began getting sunlight and warmer temps. The temperatures for highs have been at least in the 60s and got down to the upper 30's and 40's 3 nights in a row since they were moved/transplanted out, which was Sunday/Monday/Tuesday night. Could this have caused these problems. They have not been fertilized yet, although I was going to give my seedlings in the cups some Miracle Grow because they are a little bit 'off color' which I mean they just aren't dark green but more like a yellow-green color. I'm pretty sure it's not an overwatering issue as they have only been watered two or three times in the last 7-10 days that they have been planted. The transplanted ones have pretty wet soil since it has been raining everyday this week practically. I was going to give my in ground plants some fish and seaweed fertilizer or Miracle Grow, not sure which yet. I also have Daconil that I have yet to use but plan to this weekend. If anyone can tell me what is wrong with these plants I would greatly appreciate it!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato Leaves

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: More seedling problems (pics included)

Just looking at the pics I was ready to say environmental damage and now reading the all the wide-range exposure and the weather disaster scenario you describe I'd say the odds are 10 out of 10 in favor of that being the problem.

Strip off all the affected leaves and watch and wait for new growth to see what it looks like. No feeding, no sprays, cut back on the water, protect them from any and all weather extremes you can and give them a chance to recover.


RE: More seedling problems (pics included)

Thank you Dave! I was told your one of the best tomato disease specialists on here so I trust your opinion!! You actually diagnosed my original tomato plants with alternaria that also had some early blight (according to my county ext. agency) about a month ago. I ended up having to pull those plants up due to I couldn't get them trenched without breaking the stems and more of the growing tips were broke than I realized, so I just decided to start over. These are now the new plants and the only thing they have been spared of is a hailstorm and this time I was prepared with buckets! :) Lesson learned the hard way... don't plant when storms are forecasted on that day lol. We're supposed to have nice warm weather (80's day/60's night) with slight chance of rain the next few days, so hopefully that will help them recover.

Also, my transplants into the garden got some transplant shock and wilted/curled under somewhat but remained green so I'm not too concerned about that, but I was wondering if I was transplanting my plants correctly. since they were a little rootbound I have always been told to "rough up the rootball" by loosening the roots all over to prevent them from continuing to be rootbound. Is this the proper way to do it or should I just barely touch the roots just enough to untangle the roots on the bottom?

Thank You!!

RE: More seedling problems (pics included)

ut I was wondering if I was transplanting my plants correctly. since they were a little rootbound I have always been told to "rough up the rootball" by loosening the roots all over to prevent them from continuing to be rootbound.

It's easy to get TOO aggressive with root balls. Only a small amount of disturbance is needed right where the worst of the root mass is. I can't come up with a really good analogy. What I do is use my 2 thumbs to tear the middle of the base of the root mass open just a bit. IMO good hole or trench prep is more important than tearing up the root mass.

Give them a good hole and the roots will do what root do.


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