Tomatoville® Gardening Forums

Tomatoville® Gardening Forums (
-   Tomatillos (
-   -   What's wrong with my ground cherries? (

hiker_ May 6, 2015 05:37 PM

What's wrong with my ground cherries?
6 Attachment(s)
(I hope this is the right place to post this...)

Here's how my ground cherries reacted to being separated and potted up. Separated them on Friday, photos from Monday:

My adviser told me to water the heck out of them so the potting mix would settle around their roots. Complete with a long lecture about how I'd been underwatering and even a picture:

(The line above the roots was to illustrate how my "underwatering" was only going down that far and no water was getting to the roots.)

So I watered the heck out of them.

The mix they are in tends toward the soggy. (I had trouble with sogginess before, that's why I was "underwatering.") (It also has a little Bio-Tone in it--half the amount the bag recommends for mixes.)

So when I noticed the above I thought it was malnutrition caused by being too wet/anaerobic conditions. I put them on a heat mat hoping that would help them dry out faster.


Sort of looks like the photos I've seen of zinc (or manganese or iron) deficiency? Could be some of them were just left without enough roots after being separated...or could be the extreme watering...

Any thoughts on what I should do? Just wait and hope? Try a foliar feed of some kind? Try to water from the bottom with extremely diluted fertilizer water? Repot into a different mix or even into the ground (it's probably warm enough now)? Or what?

Tracydr May 6, 2015 07:12 PM

I think they have edema from over waterimg. Use bottom watering, and a very weak feeding once a week.

hiker_ May 6, 2015 07:29 PM

What about the sad, yellow-to-brown state of the new leaves? Same problem, overwatering?

This mix tends to be *way* too wet for my area. They haven't been watered since I potted them up on Friday, yet they still feel wet.

Anyway, I'll try watering from the bottom with very weak fertilizer in a couple days. Thanks!

AlittleSalt May 6, 2015 07:35 PM

I agree with Tracydr. Bottom watering supports good healthy root growth. I would let them dry out some more first though.

GreenFarmer May 6, 2015 07:40 PM

the heat mat is a bad idea at this stage. it intensifies the problems. a fan and or dehumidifier might help. you basically need to let them dry then water mildly. next time use a light mix or soilless airy mix

RayR May 6, 2015 08:25 PM

3 Attachment(s)
hiker, is what we see in the pictures exactly what you see with your eyes?
I can never trust a picture of a ground cherry seedling, it's something about how the new leaves reflect light that always makes them look yellow to my camera.
Here a picture of some of mine. I know you think they look yellow but they aren't. The new leaves are actually a mix of light green and dark green. There's no yellow.

hiker_ May 6, 2015 09:07 PM

3 Attachment(s)
GreenFarmer, it is a soilless mix of peat, perlite and vermiculite. Too much vermiculite for my area, I guess. I unplugged the heat mat. I own one fan. Time for it to go off upstairs air circulation duty and onto basement plant duty! ;)

Ray, mine look worse to my eyes than in the photos. In the photos the older leaves on two of the ground cherries look like they might just be reflecting light, but nope, they're actually lighter in color between the veins--but only to that rather abrupt stopping point. And the new leaves look just awful. Unlike before I potted them up.

Here are some more photos.

Clockwise from top left: Pepper, best-looking ground cherry, worst-looking ground cherry, cuke.

Closeup of worst-looking ground cherry. Note the bad state of the new leaf:

Another of the worst-looking ground cherries. This was hard to photograph. The light shining through the young leaf makes it look not as bad as in reality. In reality, there is definite brown on the base of that leaf. In this photo you can also glimpse the white mold that is growing on the surface of the mix (lower left):

Not all the ground cherries' pots have this mold, but some do. That mold also grew all over the surface of my (other) stored mix (not the one used to pot these up). It also attacked a newly germinated pepper seedling in sterile germinating mix--it started on the seed cap, then spread to the cotyledons, then the stem. The seedling immediately, unusually early, started to grow true leaves. Since it was still alive and a trouper ;) I took a dish towel soaked in vinegar and extremely carefully dabbed the mold away, and after a second such dabbing it hasn't come back to that seedling. But my basement obviously has a problem with that mold.

JamesL May 6, 2015 09:49 PM

You really need to "lose" that bag of vermiculite.
H2O2 is also very effective against mold indoors.

RayR May 6, 2015 10:44 PM

If you mix an organic fertilizer like an Espoma Tone into your potting up mix and store it under low light conditions you are going to get some saprophytic mold growing on it. Even under the lights you'll get some especially if the soil is shaded by the plant canopy. It's perfectly harmless to your plants. The fungi are just decomposers of the dead organic material. Once they are outside in the sun the mold will disappear.

That's probably the best remedy for your plant overall, get them outside and start hardening them off.

AlittleSalt May 6, 2015 10:48 PM

Worth told me to mix one part hydrogen peroxide to ten parts water and spray it on the pro mix surface. It worked. I used a spritzing spray bottle to apply it.

MarcH. May 7, 2015 12:10 AM

edit - Woops wrong thread

JamesL May 7, 2015 12:29 PM

[QUOTE=RayR;470589] Once they are outside in the sun the mold will disappear.
That's probably the best remedy for your plant overall, get them outside and start hardening them off.[/QUOTE]

That is probably the best advice....

[QUOTE=AlittleSalt;470593]Worth told me to mix one part hydrogen peroxide to ten parts water and spray it on the pro mix surface. It worked. I used a spritzing spray bottle to apply it.[/QUOTE]

Here is my take on H2O2.

Worth1 May 7, 2015 04:31 PM

James stuff that strong is an oxidizer big time.
You can get it so strong if it gets on leather boots it will catch on fire.
Mix a little with iodine and stand back.:shock:

It is also part of the mix they use certain types of rocket engines and is one of the 50/50 mix the Nazis used in those crazy rocket planes they sent guys up in.:?:

Tapout May 7, 2015 08:38 PM

I use Diluted Milk for powdery mildew problems. From what I see you have over watered and caused a high humidity problem.

The water from the bottom up method works best. Place your pots into about a inch of water let them drink it up till you feel moisture with your finger at the top. Then pull the plants out of the water and "let the soil dry" when it has dried "not to dust" repeat the process.

Soon as your seeds sprout I take the heating mat off and the cover. Some leave the cover on longer but to each their own.

JamesL May 7, 2015 09:47 PM

[QUOTE=Worth1;470720]Mix a little with iodine and stand back.:shock:
You first! :P

[QUOTE=Tapout;470757]I use Diluted Milk for powdery mildew problems.[/QUOTE]
I like it too as a preventative.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:22 PM.

★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2022 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★