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General discussion regarding the techniques and methods used to successfully grow tomato plants in containers.

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Old November 10, 2017   #1
murihikukid
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Default Seedlings Require Help..

Hi...I would be sincerely grateful if my posted photos of a tray of plants (same tray taken from different angles) could be looked at and advice re what next....
Unfortunately they could not be raised as I planned and I am concerned about how spindly they are and how I can rectify this if possible..Up to this point they have been grown inside under lights and have received about 1/3rd of a cup of a light Miracle Gro mix each every 7 days...
So I am wondering if they require some other fertilizer.......should I put them out in my greenhouse under natural light and even retransplant them into new soil in big containers out there...
I do have a second tray that is now growing the same ..IE too spindly ...The plant trays have been raised up to the lights as close as possible to the top of the seedlings ....Maybe they are lacking in nitrogen?? My understanding of fertilizers and best ones to apply is not good but hopefully somebody can just give me info that will help...
Thankyou Ron
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File Type: jpg SeedlingsB_2017-11-11_124349.jpg (62.0 KB, 152 views)
File Type: jpg SeedlingsC_2017-11-11_124513.jpg (82.5 KB, 151 views)
File Type: jpg SeedlingsD_2017-11-11_124630.jpg (76.4 KB, 155 views)
File Type: jpg SeedlingsE_2017-11-11_124813.jpg (96.4 KB, 153 views)
File Type: jpg SeedlingsF_2017-11-11_124943.jpg (72.8 KB, 151 views)
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Old November 10, 2017   #2
MissS
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I think that the plants need more light. Yes, I would try to harden them off now and place them out in the natural light or get these up close to your light source. Natural light is always best. I would give them a dose of Epsom salts at your next time for feeding. The plants look to be very wet. The surface should be dry to the touch. I also think that I see some rot on your Unknown Off and perhaps another in that shot. I would suggest giving the plants less water. When you do re-pot these, plant them deep and bury the stem well. Do not re-pot until you can give them adequate light or they will just remain tall spindly seedlings.

In re-thinking your growing chambers, perhaps it would be easier to have this out in your greenhouse and instead of cooling the chamber, heat it. That way you can start your plants out there in the cold of early spring, have natural light and enough heat to prevent them from freezing.
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Old November 10, 2017   #3
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Fix one or two things at a time.
Light and warmth first.
Right now I wouldn't water till the things drooped a wee bit.
When that gets fixed then worry about fertilizer, remember what I said in the other thread.
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Old November 10, 2017   #4
murihikukid
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Hi thankyou Patti and Worth ....Re water...although these are sitting on a capillary cloth I am very doubtful of wether they could draw water up due to the Pot shape..Thats why I have checked these out and I doubt if they are overwatered and I have only given them the small 1/4 to 1/3 of cup of MG mix aproximately every 7 days ....
Because my freezer broke down I was unable to keep the air at a constant temperature ..I did try manually feeding ice into the reservoir sitting inside the broken down freezer box?? but the temperature was up and down like a yo- yo....from 17 to 28 degrees...because of the lights..
Re the light ..I would lower the lights but the temperature would raise til at 26-28 degrees I would either switch the lights off or raise the lid/lights up to lower the temperature build up.....So they have not had a good time due to inconsistancy...The second tray plants are smaller so they look better but they will surely go the same way ....

So the Greenhouse... Well its light here from just after 6am to 8.30pm (I think) ...We are having a bad patch of weather but my greenhouse is insulated?plus I have standup fans to use to blow air over them ...Some fans are in use 24/7 on my 3 plants purchased from the garden centre..
In fact I should shift my bed out there as its nice and warm...I went out earlier which I do every morning after getting up to check my 3 Tasty Toms ....and I certainly thought that maybe my young plants would be better off out here and this led me to taking photos and posting for opinions..I am still at a loss to how seedlings get thick stem growth although some varieties amaze me by the way their stems thicken up after earlier looking quite spindly...

I am rethinking the growing chamber all of the time....Its now too late IMO this season...Already I can see that the water through tubes is not an ideal way to get a constant temperature in a confined space...There are Peltier air cooling kits that could sit in the chamber bottom or just air transfer from a Fridge freezer into the chamber..All controlable and far less problems...than the system put in place...

Now what I could do about lights....I could raise the lights right out of the chamber altogether and put a support across the top of the chamber and put my trays up there and lower the lights down to top of the plants ...No heat build up etc then....The temp would depend on the ambient temp...But I cannot do that out in the greenhouse because I could not move everything out there at this point of time...but Patti's suggestion I am sure would work and I will consider it next season.... I actually think a standup fridge freezer would make more sense than a chest freezer (of course these do not go so one gets them cheap and one creates special lighting inside and the temp comes from an outside source....)

I will move the trays and post another photo and see what you think ....REgards Ron
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Old November 10, 2017   #5
GrowingCoastal
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This all sounds so complicated! I need simple, myself.

Last spring I planted seeds under a light in the house on a heat mat with a dome cover at night. They came up, grew well and strong and then I put them out in the garage where it is cooler with some natural light and fluorescent lights. That's when they got their 'cold treatment' without any extra effort.

I used to see African violets grown on capillary cloth because overhead watering ruins their leaves with spots. They were in the same style pots as yours and drank their fill without help. (peat based soilless mix)

When I worked in a greenhouse I learned to judge the dryness of a plant pot by feeling its weight. Light = dry. Heavy = wet. Easy with small pots.

Good Luck with your experiments.
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Old November 10, 2017   #6
murihikukid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowingCoastal View Post
This all sounds so complicated! I need simple, myself.

Last spring I planted seeds under a light in the house on a heat mat with a dome cover at night. They came up, grew well and strong and then I put them out in the garage where it is cooler with some natural light and fluorescent lights. That's when they got their 'cold treatment' without any extra effort.

I used to see African violets grown on capillary cloth because overhead watering ruins their leaves with spots. They were in the same style pots as yours and drank their fill without help. (peat based soilless mix)

When I worked in a greenhouse I learned to judge the dryness of a plant pot by feeling its weight. Light = dry. Heavy = wet. Easy with small pots.

Good Luck with your experiments.
Thanks For your reply ...There are limitations here where i can actually put the youngsters Although Next Season I should seriously consider doing all my seed raising out in my greenhouse and get my living room back in case of visitors?? ,,By the way I NEVER over head water my plants ..I ensure that any water is applied down the inside so water never gets on the foliage...These youngsters were propagated in a soilless mix but the mix they are in now is soil based..although the soilless mix is still around them ....Thanks Ron..

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Old November 10, 2017   #7
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Hi ....As promised here are my two trays out of the chamber but with the lid above them.....I just put slabs of polystyrene under the trays to get them right under the lights....Note I have 3 fancy fans giving them movement at each end Regards ron..
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File Type: jpg TRAY1_2017-11-11_153422.jpg (95.9 KB, 146 views)
File Type: jpg TRAY2_2017-11-11_154138.jpg (77.3 KB, 148 views)

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Old November 10, 2017   #8
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Patti..I note your comment about "rot" ....I have had similar comments in the past ..There is no rot but seems to be the perlite I use ..It does seem to turn a light green which I think may indicate a fungus which its not.....I do not know what does that..The unknown plant is from the propagating tray I knocked over where everything was on the floor and I had to get it all up in a tray and "find" the seedlings..So I have to wait til it and the others I saved grow and then I can put labels on them...Over 1/2 never survived the transplant....Regards Ron
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Old November 11, 2017   #9
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Light seems okay .. now. What were they last week?

NO WATER. NONE. Not until the pots feel light. Lose the capillary cloth.

Pop the root balls out and check the roots. Give us pics.
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Old November 11, 2017   #10
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the light green on the perlite is not fungus it is algae. it grows everywhere. so don't treat for a fungus and expect to see results. keep everything as dry as possible. that helps to retard the growth of it.
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Old November 11, 2017   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murihikukid View Post
Patti..I note your comment about "rot" ....I have had similar comments in the past ..There is no rot but seems to be the perlite I use ..It does seem to turn a light green which I think may indicate a fungus which its not.....I do not know what does that..The unknown plant is from the propagating tray I knocked over where everything was on the floor and I had to get it all up in a tray and "find" the seedlings..So I have to wait til it and the others I saved grow and then I can put labels on them...Over 1/2 never survived the transplant....Regards Ron
Ron, I am not speaking of your growing medium when I referenced that plant. Algae or moss growth is quite normal. In the photo that I indicated, to my eye, it looked as if the top of the seedling was curling and wilting or rotting off. So just to be sure all is well, take another look at Unknown Off to be sure that the seedling is okay. Pictures here can be deceiving, so it is best to double check.
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Old November 12, 2017   #12
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Hi Patti..Yes the top of the seedling could be abnormal...There were three varieties in the propagators that fell over...NBFT or as I prefer to call it Myra's Delight ..Sweet scarlet and Tasty Tom .....So I think it could be a Tasty Tom ....As you can see from the other photos my experiment with growing Tasty Toms from seed does not look good but I may as well keep them growing and see what happens...I see one has three growing leaves..
Today I had to bike a long way and pick up another Fridge Freezer...I was had it when I got back home and lay down without eating first and must have sensed something was wrong while sleeping ...It may have been the sweat on me so I managed to struggle out of bed and do a blood test and sure enough I was starting to go into a Hypo so I had a close call...

So I have another fridge-freezer which I am testing now..and within a couple of days would have the cool Chamber up and going at any temperature ..but what do I do...???
It seems to me that my first two trays are probably past the time when the cold treatment is applied but I will wait til you confirm this...they certainly need something to strengthen their growth.....I do have a third tray of much smaller plants and they could certainly be given cold treatment ...

I am certainly wondering if my tall spindly plants should be all transplanted out into my greenhouse and check the roots then....By the weather forecast we do have about 10 days at least of relative good sunny weather ..I was also wondering if they require some specific fertiliser like Nitrogen for the foliage and The capillary cloth has no water to suck up....Regards Ron
PS>>I did drop into the Proper garden centre on my bike ride and could only look with envy upon there young plants...
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File Type: jpg Unknown_2017-11-12_205751.jpg (48.3 KB, 122 views)
File Type: jpg Tasty Toms_2017-11-12_205545.jpg (57.5 KB, 122 views)
File Type: jpg Tasty Toms_2017-11-12_205642.jpg (51.8 KB, 122 views)
File Type: jpg Had-it_2017-11-12_161832.jpg (51.2 KB, 122 views)

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Old November 12, 2017   #13
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Whoa. No wonder you were pooped. That must have been one tough ride.

That looks like no N deficiency I've ever seen. I'm no expert on fertilizers, but I doubt there's anything you can do with chemicals.

I'd let them continue to dry out and expose them to the cloudy sky. Even without direct sunlight it's still brighter than your lights.
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Old November 12, 2017   #14
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"I'd let them continue to dry out and expose them to the cloudy sky. Even without direct sunlight it's still brighter than your lights."

I would do that too and let them get a little gentle wind or fan exposure to thicken the stems.
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Old November 12, 2017   #15
murihikukid
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Hi.. Yes it was tough especially at my age ...Tasty toms are a Hybrid So I have just grown seeds to see what happens IE to learn? I am not going to throw them out but will continue with them and see what happens ...at the moment they certainly look terrible
Anyway I have another question ...How deep is deep? Do I remove the growing leaves and plant up to the first true leaves in soil when transplanting ...
Now I am not going to get into the water thing....I know how much water has been put on them and in my opinion the problem could rather be more lack of water than too much ...Also Miracle Gro..The miracle Gro we can buy here is probably not the same as in the US..I am using Miracle Gro Max Feed Soluble Plant Food ..Tomato, fruit and vegetable...Also I will post a photo of my latest seedlings that have been repotted...I think they also look as though they are going to be quite spindly ....These will be given the cold treatment when my friend actually tells me how he wants it set up...amazing that when I really need his advice he is not there for me ...happens all the time? I guess it must be me...
cheers Ron.
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