'Mater seedlings

Some of mine (mortgage lifters) have leaves that are kinda yellowish . These were planted late Jan , moved from starter cells into 4" round pots a month or so ago . Last frost is still 3-4 weeks away . I've kept them moist , daily watering quantity adjusted for how dry they were . These were moved into the little greenhouse/hot box a few days ago , night time temps have been 40? or higher . We did have like 3 days of rain . I open the windows on top of the box during the day to prevent overheating unless it's raining (the plants are right under the drip line of the roof) . Anybody care to venture a guess why ?
--
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On Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 11:14:26 PM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:

Did you harden them off or just pop them into the cold frame? If not harden ed they can show yellowing from differences of temp, light or they could me rely be over-watered. You've got plenty of time to start new ones. Steve
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Steve Peek wrote:

Just put them out there , no hardening off . Not likely they've been overwatered , I'm careful to only water when the soil is dry a half inch down . I think they'll make it , I really wanted to get a head start this year . Last year the seedlings were puny and weak ... I guess going from a uniform 70?-80? temp environment to night time lows in the 40's is the cause . They're still sturdy and not showing any real signs of distress other than a slight yellowing of (mainly) the lower leaves . Everything else seems to be doing well . They for sure get better light out there than they did inside , one window 3' wide and nobody got more than a half-days sun . The grow light helped , but still , there's nothing quite like real sunlight . Thanks Steve !
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On Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 12:18:29 PM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:

No problem, they'll most likely grow out of whatever their problem might be .
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Terry Coombs wrote:

too many possibilities to get it in one.
moving them can be a shock, overnight lows can be too low, starting mix may be exhausted of nutrients, too much water, too little water, normal die off of bottom leaves...
if they get leggy and tall with no bottom leaves just bury them more deeply when you plant them in the gardens they'll root at the nodes of the stem and you'll have better drought protection.
songbird
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songbird wrote:

OK , in order : Moving/overnight lows are suspected ... starting mix is supposed to be good for 3 months or more , it's time release . Over/underwatering is probably not it , I have been very careful with that - if that were the cause it would be more than just the one variety of tomatoes , it'd be everything . Normal die off is maybe part of it , lower leaves are more affected . All of my seedlings are compact and stocky , I think because of the continuous air movement from the ceiling fan and the grow light that I had above them . Tomatoes will be planted deep , that's just SOP . Reduced sunlight because of all the cloudy/rainy days might be partly responsible since the grow light isn't on them , I dunno . Their day was also shortened when they went out , I had the light on for 16 hours a day . Cha-cha-cha-changes , but at least this weeds out the weak .
--
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Once upon a time on usenet Terry Coombs wrote:

Tomato plants are gross feeders though and pull nutrients out of the media at an alarming rate. Also the claimed 3 months may be marketing...
If I see yellowing of (especially lower) tomato leaves it screams out 'deficiencies' to me. Often nitrogen but sometimes iron / magnesium. I add a good liquid fert with trace elements to their water for a week or so and see if it helps, then take it from there.

Messing with photoperiod isn't a good idea generally but I think that, with tomatoes it's not too big a deal. Still, in my book supplemental lighting for plants destined to go outside should be about intensity rather than day length.
Good luck!
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Shaun.

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~misfit~ wrote:

Well , now my hot box smells like a fish market ... today I mixed 2/3 cup of fish emlsion with a gallon of water and gave everybody 1/3 cup of the mixture . I figured it couldn't hurt .
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On Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 7:19:19 PM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:

Wow! I normally mix a couple of tablespoons to the gallon. I hope it doesn't burn.
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Steve Peek wrote:

A big part of the reason I used it is that it doesn't burn like other stuff might . Followed up with a thorough watering today . Probably washed a good part out , bet the soil under those sets will be fantastic for the wildflowers I'll be planting there when the garden gets planted . I have several bee-friendly plants that'll be going in at various places around the property as soon as danger of frost is past .
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I tried fish emulsion inside two years ago. My wife let me live, but I'm not sure I could get away with a second time.
Last year I bought the smallest package of Miracle Grow that I could find. I mix it at half the recommended strength and use that to water the tomato seedlings once they have true leaves.
If I live to a very old age, I'll probably still have 3/4 of that package unused, so I don't feel too bad about compromising my "mostly organic" standards (or about doing business with Scotts).
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