Tomato seedlings don’t look too


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Hey guys, so I’m new to vegetable gardening and this forum. This has been a learning process for me and I’ve made a few mistakes so far that left my first batch of seedlings I attempted to start indoors leggy and unusable. The second batch, which these tomato plants were a part of, turned out better. One mistake I made I made with this batch is starting too many seeds at one time, which still made some slightly leggy. I’ve already hardened off these tomato seedlings, but it seems like they’ve taken a turn for the worse ever since being moved outside.

Their growth rate has slowed and their leaves have become more light green in color and a few of them have developed a shriveled stem at the base, right above the soil. I’ve been dealing with a fungus gnat problem, so I slid a few of them out of their cups to inspect the root ball to ensure they haven’t damaged their root systems yet, do you think that could’ve caused the shriveled stems? I also checked the soil pH (something I should’ve done way earlier) with my soil probe and saw that the soil had a pH reading of 8, which is too high for tomatoes since its supposed to be 5.5-7.5 for them. Do you think they could also have nutrient lockout from the pH level being too high? I used my soil probe on some fresh soil in the bag, and it also had a reading of 8.

So I now know to properly adjust the soil’s pH prior to anything being planted. I think between the fungus gnats and high pH, my plants have definitely taken some damage. The white spots on the leaves happened while I was hardening them off, its not powdery mildew and I couldn’t find anything online to explain what it is, but I’m guessing maybe sun damage from getting direct sunlight for the first time? I did see a small bug that looked like a different kind of gnat crawling on the white spot more than once, so maybe it could’ve been caused by insect damage instead.
 

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Logan

Logan
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Hi and welcome to GF
Some look ok but i would have put one in each pot. Did you harden them off slowly? They could have had a shock if it was cold outside. When tomatoes grow the new growth is lighter and if it gets cold the older leaves turn a purpley colour. I haven't watched this so don't know if it will help.
 
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Hey guys, so I’m new to vegetable gardening and this forum. This has been a learning process for me and I’ve made a few mistakes so far that left my first batch of seedlings I attempted to start indoors leggy and unusable. The second batch, which these tomato plants were a part of, turned out better. One mistake I made I made with this batch is starting too many seeds at one time, which still made some slightly leggy. I’ve already hardened off these tomato seedlings, but it seems like they’ve taken a turn for the worse ever since being moved outside.

Their growth rate has slowed and their leaves have become more light green in color and a few of them have developed a shriveled stem at the base, right above the soil. I’ve been dealing with a fungus gnat problem, so I slid a few of them out of their cups to inspect the root ball to ensure they haven’t damaged their root systems yet, do you think that could’ve caused the shriveled stems? I also checked the soil pH (something I should’ve done way earlier) with my soil probe and saw that the soil had a pH reading of 8, which is too high for tomatoes since its supposed to be 5.5-7.5 for them. Do you think they could also have nutrient lockout from the pH level being too high? I used my soil probe on some fresh soil in the bag, and it also had a reading of 8.

So I now know to properly adjust the soil’s pH prior to anything being planted. I think between the fungus gnats and high pH, my plants have definitely taken some damage. The white spots on the leaves happened while I was hardening them off, its not powdery mildew and I couldn’t find anything online to explain what it is, but I’m guessing maybe sun damage from getting direct sunlight for the first time? I did see a small bug that looked like a different kind of gnat crawling on the white spot more than once, so maybe it could’ve been caused by insect damage instead.
The reason your plants have shriveled stems and fallen over is because of a fungal problem called Damping Off. It usually only affects smaller seedlings though. To stop this before it starts sprinkle whole ground cornmeal onto the surface of the soil at seed planting. Actually, your plants don't look all that bad. All they need is separating and feeding with a good liquid organic fertilizer. The plants will grow out of those white spots so don't worry about that and the yellowing is just from being hungry.
 
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Hi and welcome to GF
Some look ok but i would have put one in each pot. Did you harden them off slowly? They could have had a shock if it was cold outside. When tomatoes grow the new growth is lighter and if it gets cold the older leaves turn a purpley colour. I haven't watched this so don't know if it will help.
Yeah the hardening off was a week long process with them gradually getting a longer period of time each day, they weren’t exposed to direct sunlight until a few days in as well. The reason why I did more than one in each pot is because I read somewhere that when you’re starting them indoors in peat pellets, to do more than one seed per pellet to avoid no germination if you only do one seed and it doesn’t sprout. But I think from now on, I’ll just stick to doing one per pellet because it seems like having more than one per pot just slows them down.
 
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The reason your plants have shriveled stems and fallen over is because of a fungal problem called Damping Off. It usually only affects smaller seedlings though. To stop this before it starts sprinkle whole ground cornmeal onto the surface of the soil at seed planting. Actually, your plants don't look all that bad. All they need is separating and feeding with a good liquid organic fertilizer. The plants will grow out of those white spots so don't worry about that and the yellowing is just from being hungry.
Oh so that’s what its called, thanks for telling me and for what to do in order to stop it from happening. So should I take each one out of their container and then break down the root ball so that I can plant each one in their own container and that way they won’t be sharing space with another seedling anymore? I wasn’t sure if they were too young to start being fed fertilizer or not, but I’ll go pick some up if they are ready and hungry. They’re in Dr. Earth organic vegetable garden soil, so I’ll probably go with a Dr. Earth liquid organic fertilizer, is there one in particular that you would recommend because I know they make more than one kind.
 
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Yeah the hardening off was a week long process with them gradually getting a longer period of time each day, they weren’t exposed to direct sunlight until a few days in as well. The reason why I did more than one in each pot is because I read somewhere that when you’re starting them indoors in peat pellets, to do more than one seed per pellet to avoid no germination if you only do one seed and it doesn’t sprout. But I think from now on, I’ll just stick to doing one per pellet because it seems like having more than one per pot just slows them down.
I never use those little peat pots but I always plant two seeds. I snip off the weakest looking one before they have the first set of true leaves. I think the plants are a little too big and too close together to separate them now without damaging their root system, but, if you do separate them be very very careful. You can do irreparable damage. I start fertilizing my seedlings when they have one set of true leaves but I only give them 1/2 the recommended rate until they are growing their 3rd set of leaves and then full strength. All of Dr Earth stuff is good.
 

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