I know I saw something about tomatoe leaves turning purple but I cant remember what forum I saw it in.
So my beefsteaks are either just getting their first true leaves or they are just barely getting the seedling leaves and the underside and stem of them are turning purple. I'm sure this isnt normal... So what am I doing wrong? I have them in seperate jiffy pod things inside a 4" pot (2 per pot) sitting in my kitchen window which faces west.. I havent given them anything as far as fertilizer goes and they get watered daily. Please help, I'd hate to say I killed them before I even get them outside haha.
The purple color is most likely a phosphorus deficiency, very common for young seedlings. Your true leaves appear after the first leaves you see (cotyledons) and will look more serrated on the edges. Being in a west window I wonder are they getting enough light, which would certainly help, especially for warmth as well as sun. (Cold temps, slow growth.)
You know how human babies turn blue when they're cold? Guess what color tomato babies turn when they're too cold and damp?
Only because I just experienced this in January with some of the 208 seedlings I started.
Heat is necessary for germinating the seeds. However, once they're up, a cooler temp will slow them down so they can get nice and fat. But, you've got to control how damp you're keeping them in the cool. That purple is a signal they are not happy in the growing conditIons.
So. I recommend you dry the seedlings out a bit. Then, check that windowsill for a draft, which could be a contributing factor.
See if this helps, and keep me posted on your progress. Here's a pic of my purple babies.
Thanks Shoe. I bought some fish emulsion (sp?) is that something that would help or should that be something I wait to use until they're outside? I'm still clueless to alot of this. Obviously haha! Also my house is at a constant 75 in the winter and 75 in the summer. I dont do well with cold either ha. Is that not temp not ideal for tomatoes? As for the sun, I open my blinds completely as soon as I get up every morning. But they dont get direct sunlight til 1 or so and stays that way til the sun sets. Sadly thats the best I can give these little babies til I get my greenhouse walls back on, a massive storm put a damper on moving them outside.
Linda, I had a good laugh at your comparison! Reminded me of my girls after they get out of the bath haha! Okay, so now that my seedlings either have their true leaves or they will very soon (just waiting on 2 plants) what should their temp be at or around? When I moved the tomatoes into a 4" pot I added this jiffy mix of peat moss which tends to dry out really fast. I dont know if that bc I live in the desert or I just didnt pack it enough. But I have gone as far as sticking my finger into the pot to feel its damp or not. I do think that today they got a bit too much water for their liking.. I let my 2 yr old help haha! Anyways I will be moving the lil plants into the bathroom where they will be away from a draft and will hopefully dry out a bit. Should I wait and see what happens with the drying out process before I go looking more into adding phosphorus?
I already have them in the 4" pots, and all but 1 has their true leaves. I only have 5 total. First timer so I didnt want to get too ahead of myself. I went out and bought the vegetable gardeners bible and it has a nice section on tomatoes, but it only talks about phosphorus being a cause for turning purple. Do you not think they are getting enough light? I'd hate to have to buy lights for 5 tomatoe plants. My okra, lavendar, and amaryllis are also in the window and they all look pretty good.. at least I think. Also I decided to skip the watering today.. they peet moss looks like its dried out though. Hopefully its moist underneath.
Also when you say 60-70 deg. does that mean will they bake outside? Its already 75+ during the day here.. and mid to high 40's at night.
Howdy, All. A pouring-down rainy day here so get to dry out my clothes before moving into the g-house to work, where it's nice and dry! Yay!
Googlie, you asked about the fish emulsion...yes, you can use it inside but even the so-called "deodorized" brands are highly smelly in the house. You really shouldn't worry too much about the purple, those seedlings will outgrow it. Your house temp of 75º is fine, night temps might be a little cool but not detrimental. Ideally, many of us commercial growers like to have tomato seedlings grow around 50º for at least part of the day/night.
As your plant develop a better root system they'll be better able to seed out nutrients. When you set them in your garden they'll do that. By the way, how tall are your plants? 1"? 4"? Are they stretching and leggy? That can be an indication of not enough light. I don't know how many hours of light shine in your window from 1:00 to sundown; any way you can put them in a south-facing window early in the day then moved them to the west-facing window to catch the rest of the day's sun?
Lastly, if it is 40º in your house at night I'd move them away from that window during the night time hours. And I just noticed your mention of peat moss looking dried out. Did you use 100% peat moss? Or a store-bought peat moss potting mix? Is there perlite mixed in? Your soil may be compacted if not, could be lacking air/gas exchange to the roots, and/or could be only partially moist due to the peat drying out and uneven distribution of water.
I really do appreciate your help, and although it is alot to take in at first I love the fact that i can actually find a live person to help me! Your right about the "deodorized" fish emulsions- GAG! I used some on my trees yesterday and gagged a couple times haha!
My tallest one is 2 inches (picture). And the kitchen gets around 6 hrs of direct sunlight, probably not enough. As for the temp in the kitchen, I may have a heart attack if it ever gets that cold haha! I like a set 75. My peat moss is an organic jiffy mix and says "In california and georgia, this mix contains 48-50% peat moss, 48-50% vermiculite and lime, and organic wetting agent." Im pretty sure it has no perlite in it. Is that something I should buy? Thanks for your help!