Tomato seedlings

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Hi!
My tomato seedlings seems to have stopped growing for a week or two.
Maybe a small but if growth the last few days. Any tips? Should I separate them now or wait until they grow more.

First time starting seeds indoors …..
 

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Looks like you have pretty good lighting or sunlight since they aren't that leggy. Could probably use a little more intensity. That isn't the reason they are pale and not growing much.

In the first picture look at the top 3 seedlings. That is about the color you want them to be. The bottom ones are pale so they aren't getting enough nitrogen for some reason.

I think one time I had fungus gnats that were eating my seedlings roots or doing something to the plant so they weren't getting 100% nutrient uptake and they looked pale but otherwise fine but they finally grew out of that with no change in what I was doing. If you have fungus gnats that may be a reason. I now water my soil and then microwave it for a minute to kill gnats, eggs, and microbes before adding my seeds. That seems to have elimated that problem for me.

The potting mix you have may not be holding nutrients as good as you think. You should up the N input some or you just aren't putting enough N in there to start with.

What are you fertilizing with and how much and when?
 
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Thanks for replying!

I have only fertilized them once so far. About 3 days ago. I used a liquid fertilizer that was labeled 24-8-16. I used it at 1/4 strength of what it calls for on the box.
How often should I be fertilizing? The potting mix supposedly had fertilizer in it but I wonder if it’s not enough.

The top 3 cups are actually pepper plants. (The ones that look darker green)

I haven’t seen any fungus gnats at all.

Thanks again.
 
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Those are pepper plants but if you don't correct those baby leaves will turn pale too and the peppers will do the same thing. Dont start fertilizing until you see the true leaf stalk (thats what I would call it) start coming from between the baby leaves.

I constant feed mine. If I were using that I would put 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of water and use that to water with everytime they need water. It may take them a little time to green up some. You might even double that dose for the first watering to help green them up a little quicker. Dont use distilled water. Use hard tap water since it contains calcium, magnesium, sulfates, and other trace elements.

Is that the StaGreen Potting mix? If it is, then no it doesn't contain much nitrogen.
 
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Thanks for the tips! I will use the fertilizer again next time I water and each time after that.

It is Miracle Gro potting mix, with a very small amount of a coco coir brick mixed in.

Another question I have is why does it seem like the soil isn’t really drying out?
I keep waiting for it to dry to water again and it seems to be staying very moist. Maybe it is poor quality soil.
 
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It contains peat moss. Most other potting mixes dont. I use it and that is the main reason why. I don't add anything to it or even pot up. Peat holds moisture very well but when it dries out, it dries out very quickly so you just have to keep an eye out, especially when the plant gets bigger and has alot of roots. It might take about at least 2 days to dry out, maybe 3-4 as seedlings. The top will all of a sudden start looking dry is the sign I usually go by. You can pick up the pot with experience and tell about how much water is in there. I blow a fan on mine for a few hours per day to help it dry faster or take them outside on a sunny warm day. I've never dealt with coconut coir so not sure what qualities it has.

MG potting mix has a higher amount of nutrients added and that is a recipe for fungi if you don't allow it to dry out a bit before watering again especially if you germinate with it.

Here is my onions and broccoli and cabbage starts. 2"x2" cells from seeds to transplant.
20230302_220341.jpg 20230302_220330.jpg
 
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I think maybe I will try a fan the next few days. I want to water them to add the fertilizer but I don’t want to overwater. It’s not quite warm enough here to set them outside yet.
Your plants look great

Thanks again
 
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Well the cabbage and broccoli is just sprouting. Bad example I suppose.

Here is a previous pepper plant in MG potting mix started. Same environment. Slightly stronger N concentration than what I said above. Too much really for a pepper plant.

20230123_165900-jpg.94108
 
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Interesting…. Appreciate all the help.
I’ll see how it goes with mine.
 
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Peat is great some ways, but it is a limited resource, and it is not like coal and oil in a sterile environment underground. There are a whole range of animals and plants that depend on peat bogs for their existence, digging them up to put on the garden doesn't sit easily with me.

The great thing about tomato seedlings to me is they germinate so easily and plentifully. I think "How many tomato plants do I need?" TBH not that many, so I can keep some indoors, put some in the heated greenhouse, some in the cold greenhouse, they will develop at different rates, if one lot snuffs it from a frost or something I still have enough and I will get a bit of succession from the survivors.
My usual strategy really, don't think 'This is the one way', but 'The more ways I try the more successful ways I shall discover.'
 
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The thing about peat is that it improves soil quality wherever it goes, making it a better environment for everything from micro-fauna all the way up the food chain.
The big reason environmentalists want it left is its carbon sink properties, so if, like I, you don't believe carbon is harmful to the environment, fill yer boots, as it were.
They don't tell you it's renewable.
 
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Peat is great some ways, but it is a limited resource, and it is not like coal and oil in a sterile environment underground. There are a whole range of animals and plants that depend on peat bogs for their existence, digging them up to put on the garden doesn't sit easily with me.

The great thing about tomato seedlings to me is they germinate so easily and plentifully. I think "How many tomato plants do I need?" TBH not that many, so I can keep some indoors, put some in the heated greenhouse, some in the cold greenhouse, they will develop at different rates, if one lot snuffs it from a frost or something I still have enough and I will get a bit of succession from the survivors.
My usual strategy really, don't think 'This is the one way', but 'The more ways I try the more successful ways I shall discover.'
Good point. I think I also have more than I will have room for in my garden. I may start a few more in different soil to see how they work. Still have several weeks before the last frost date here.
 
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Are there drain holes in those cups? It may be too much water.
Yes there are holes. I am concerned it’s too much water but the issue is it’s not drying. I’ve barely watered them. Just watered them again to add the fertilizer mentioned above.
 
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The thing about peat is that it improves soil quality wherever it goes, making it a better environment for everything from micro-fauna all the way up the food chain.
The big reason environmentalists want it left is its carbon sink properties, so if, like I, you don't believe carbon is harmful to the environment, fill yer boots, as it were.
They don't tell you it's renewable.
Interesting. Thanks for the info.
 

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