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Pale tomatoes

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default Pale tomatoes

Post by MrsC on 10th April 2010, 7:02 am

Morning all

As some of you know I'm quite new to this whole grow your own thing, but thought I was progressing quite well with starting off with some seeds on he kitchen windowsill until now...

One of the things I have been growing is tomatoes (as seen here on my blog) They seemed to be growing well and I took the lid of the propagator off last week. They continued to grow well. This week I sat them outside for a couple of hours in the day time on one of the hot days, mainly because outside was hotter than inside that day. Main problem is that since their little trip out my seedlings have started to go very pale in colour and yet they're drinking up water so fast.

What have I done to them??? I was planning to take them out of the seed tray and put them in little pots this weekend as I thought they were starting to look ready, but maybe I've done something to reverse that?

Any advice gratefully received! Thank you!

Mrs C

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Post by Dandelion on 10th April 2010, 5:52 pm

Maybe the change in conditions was too much too soon? One year I put a load of tomato plants outside when it was mild, but windy, and they all got 'wind-burn' which I wasn't expecting. You might find it's the sun bleaching them. If it was me, I'd put them back where they were originally and give them a day or two to see if they perk up before potting them up, because potting them up will stress them out more. Go easy on the water too....

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Post by MrsC on 11th April 2010, 8:57 am

Thanks Dandelion - I've put them back where they were and will cross my fingers. They are starting to look very sorry for themselves though... Crying or Very sad

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Post by Dandelion on 11th April 2010, 10:18 am

It's not too late to plant some more as an insurance policy though.....

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Post by Compostwoman on 11th April 2010, 1:57 pm

And if all else fails you could buy some from somewhere like Ba nd Q who have organic plants on sale NOW

I felt very smug because my toms and peppersetc were all better and bigger than theirs, despite not having a heated greenhouse and loads of minions growing the stuff ( smug emoticon )

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Post by MrsC on 11th April 2010, 8:57 pm

Hmm - I may give them a couple more days and then look to sow some more seeds if they're not looking any better by then.

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Post by Guest on 12th April 2010, 8:04 pm

just read this...are they still hanging on? One option is that is is a coincidence that they went pale when you put them out. Seed compost only has very little fertiliser in it...enough for the seed. If the have been growing hard for 2 weeks or more they may have run out of food - or the seed compost is not very good. I would prick out and pot on into some good compost. The universal plant compost has more feed in it (no sand as in seeding compost) but potentially bigger lumps but these can be selected out.

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Post by MrsC on 13th April 2010, 7:54 am

They're just about still alive (but only just) I may just give them another day or so and then transplant them over and see what happens. Not feeling too hopeful though...

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Post by Compostwoman on 13th April 2010, 10:18 am

Just realised, when I said I was being smug, it wasn't aimed at your tomatos...it was aimed at B and Q products

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Post by Guest on 13th April 2010, 11:59 am

Could you post a picture Mrs C?

The biggest killer of small seedlings of tomatoes is "damping off". This is when the base of the stem rots because of too much watering and not sufficient air flow.

The other one is over crowding which is solved by thinning to 1inch spacing in the seed tray.

...need more info! :bounce:

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Post by Chilli-head on 13th April 2010, 4:20 pm

I wonder if they are pale green/yellowish through chlorosis, which they might recover from, or turning white through desiccation.

I have found that taking plants from the high humidity still air of a propagator, frame etc straight to a lower humidity environment with plenty of airflow can lead to them being desiccated, developing whitish dead areas of leaf. I've killed so many cucumbers like that ...
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Post by polgara on 13th April 2010, 5:14 pm

Had to water all the pots today as the wind has really dried them out, but all is still looking good.


Last edited by polgara on 13th April 2010, 5:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Guest on 13th April 2010, 7:39 pm

Chilli-head, please can you explain what causes chlorosis?

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Post by Chilli-head on 13th April 2010, 9:09 pm

Oops sorry. Chlorosis just means having inadequate chlorophyl; caused by either a deficiency in any of the elements needed to make chlorophyl (e.g., iron, magnesium, nitrogen), or an inability to absorb them (wrong pH, waterlogging, ....). In common speak - in need of a feed Very Happy
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Post by Compostwoman on 13th April 2010, 9:43 pm

I also do wonder if it is excessive sunlight causing bleaching, or maybe even water scorch?

Some pics would be really helpful, Mrs C...

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Post by MrsC on 14th April 2010, 8:18 am

Will try and get a photo later for you - just got to clear the camera card first as it's currently full!

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Post by Guest on 23rd May 2010, 5:49 pm

Compostwoman wrote:I also do wonder if it is excessive sunlight causing bleaching...

A material scientist's joke???

But Mrs C what happened to your tomatoes? This thread did collect a lot of useful information on how (not) to kill seedlings....what was the outcome?

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