Hi everyone I started a good amount of my vegetables from seeds this spring and they have been doing very well, up until last night. I sowed the tomatoes (roma & big boy) on Easter and they were sprouting some pretty good second leaves. I was planning to transplant them this weekend and fertilize, but this morning I woke up and quite a few of them at gone a little limp and their first leaves curled inward. It didn't get very cold last night, but I'm blocking the forced air vent because of a drect draft on the veggies. I've been watering with a spray bottle a couple of squirts per cell everyday to every other day or so depending on how the soil looks or feels. Did they chill overnight? Am I water too much? Please help I don't want to kill of the whole lot of plants. I didn't have time to take a picture this morning, but they look downright sad, leaves curled together and leaning down.
I just remembered I wanted to ask what low temps seedlings can withstand...I've been dragging mine in if it is lower fifties or below...this might be a good place to ask... HCG, I don't know how cold it got up there, but surely one little night in the slight cold won't do anything permanent...positive thinking always helps... :)
High Country, It is too far away to make a good diagnosis, But the the number one killer of young plants is "damping-off/ http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG1167.html This fungi is soil borne, but really acts up under warm humid conditions. Hopefully you used a good artificial seed starting mix, which did not contain the spores.
Kristie - 35 degrees trigger my defense mechanisms. Usually no permanent damage above that.
So I don't need to keep dragging my seedlings in every night? I left them out a few nights, but last night it got in the mid forties, so I brought them in. I have tomatos, green peppers, cabbage, and broccoli. Oh, and an attempted watermelon...so far, no sprout. But, the watermelon was one of the last to sprout on my first attempt, so I'm still hoping it'll pull through for me.
Oh, and Farmerdill, what the UBER stand for under your name?
Well, I've been doing a few things right...I have been watering from below, and I try to keep them as warm as possible. I was only taking them outside because its been so nice out and I think I could probably be starting my garden outside now(I have to wait for a friend to till it for me, which is normally later than I'd like...I always start worrying that I'm gonna get things started too late). I've been bringing them in and putting them by a register when they're inside...
Thanks for the seedling prayers! I really doubt they got too cold, I keep them on my kitchen table next to my south facing windows. The temp in the house never gets below 60, so thats out.
Farmerdill - I read through the link on dampening off, but I'm not so sure about that either. I used a mixture of "black gold" potting soil (recommended at the local nursery) and vermiculite (1/2 & 1/2). We also live at 7,500 feet its a very dry climate so I wouldn't think fungus would be a problem. Maybe I'll hold off on the watering for a day or two and see how it goes.
I had one other thought, my husband moved the seeds from there original spot with the south window to the west window when he got home two nights ago, because they were not getting the sun at 6:30 pm. I moved them back when I got home, but could this move/quick temp change have affected them?
HighC, we don't have to be all that precise. Just imagine one tomato planted in normal ground, and the one next to it is over the corpse of some critter. Not only won't the difference in nutrients kill one plant or the other, you might not even see a difference in the 2 plants. I've merely seen from my tomato seedlings that if one stops growing or droops, a little shot of M-G hooch does it good. Mix up a dose and then add some more water.