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Old April 29, 2019   #1
kameronth
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Default Seedlings are sick - need help identifying problem

I need some help identifying what problems my seedlings are having. I reuse my seed trays but I do clean them out with 10% bleach solution each year to help prevent disease. Most of them have leaves dying (not just the cotyledons) yellowing, and slow growing. They are about 3 inches under lights and the ambient air temp is 68 degrees.



I've experienced damping off before but with that, the stems are are weak. I'm not seeing that in any of these.


My other seedlings such as petunias, peppers, night stock also have some damage but not near the extend of the tomatoes.



Could it be ethylene damage or tobacco mosaic virus? I ask because I was (stopped) parking my diesel pickup in the garage where the seedlings are and it will smoke a little on startup. Also, I made the mistake of enjoying a cigar a while ago and forgot to wash my hands before handling the plants.
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Old April 29, 2019   #2
Worth1
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If they were mine I would think they were getting too much water.
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Old April 29, 2019   #3
oakley
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My basic seed starting check list is...

Seed, soil, moisture, temperature, air quality.

Your seeds germinated. Clean soil mix?. Looks very wet and signs of over-watering. Damp and cold without good air flow. Cold is fine but too wet is not so good.
Do-overs. Starts another dozen/half dozen asap and find an indoor location out of the way
if just for the learning experience.

Probably a combination of wet and fumigation from bad air quality.

I have a bone dry seedling tray with a half dozen healthy seedlings that are thriving out on
my deck table headed for the compost. (I start 3-4 hundred. Room for maybe 150...
insurance). And it has been chilly 40-45 at night.
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Old April 29, 2019   #4
ginger2778
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They are too wet. Also, they need a fan breeze on them 24/7 to keep airflow, strengthen the stems, keep fungal disease down. You have fungus on every one. Start over with new seeds and clean fresh moist but not wet mix, and that fan, and, this is important, no dome or covering over the sown seeds. Others use them successfully, but it's too easy to make it too humid and get fungus. Wait until you have more consistent success before you use any type of cover.
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Old April 29, 2019   #5
brownrexx
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Looks too wet to me too as evidenced by the green growth on top of the soil and the fact that the wood sticks look like they have really absorbed a lot of water.
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Old April 29, 2019   #6
kameronth
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I appreciate all of the replies. This is about my 6th year starting them this way but maybe it finally caught up with me, and the soil being to wet. I’ll start them over tonight.
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Old April 29, 2019   #7
Worth1
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Just let the soil dry out and they should recover.
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Old April 30, 2019   #8
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If you let them dry out and they recover, you will have your answer for future reference.
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Old April 30, 2019   #9
oakley
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Yes, always a good idea to hold onto at least a half dozen. Get them out of the tray so
they can 'breath'. If you were bottom watering by adding water to the trays, they have
been waterlogged. Wet feet.

I've had some recover but often they perish or have stunted growth.
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Old May 8, 2019   #10
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Do you have a water softner?
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Old May 8, 2019   #11
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This looks similar to the problem which I have experienced with my seedlings previous years. I found out that led lights make it worse, since it is missing UV, so I use fluorescent tubes for tomatoes. Also I stopped watering the seedlings via the tray and watered moderately. This year I had no dropped leaves and most had the cotydelons on when I transplanted the plants to bigger pots.

Here is a link which has photo of seedlings, which are like the ones I had problems previous year s.
https://vegcropshotline.org/article/...to-rootstocks/
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Old May 8, 2019   #12
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Good advice, and I will just add that TMV is unlikely to be spread by handling tobacco from the main commercial sources, as they have been using varieties of tobacco totally resistant to the virus for decades past.
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Old May 20, 2019   #13
kameronth
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Thanks for everyone’s help! I did keep some plants and although they are a bit stunted, they have seemed to recover. All of my lights are fluorescent.

With the new starts, I have watered less and kept a fan on them. These ones seem to be struggling now too. Sunscald maybe, since I have been rushing the hardening off or nutrient deficiency? Or virus/disease?
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Old May 21, 2019   #14
oakley
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Sun scald is usually a white patch or patches that burn the cell walls of a leaf destroying
the tissue. Then the burnt white tissue just falls away in that spot.
Maybe a bit of brown along the edge of that spot. Plants recover 99% of the time unless totally fried.

Most of the early diseases look very similar. Tomato leaf mold, septoria, early blight.
Your marking sticks are out of focus but are they moldy? Sure sign of moldy soil. Pop
one plant out and check the root mass. I was potting up last night and one seedling looked fine
but the root mass was weak. Neighboring plants had well formed roots.

I wonder sometimes about those sticks. If they are pressed using a food grade starch, that could
possibly add to some mold issues.
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Old May 21, 2019   #15
kameronth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakley View Post
Sun scald is usually a white patch or patches that burn the cell walls of a leaf destroying
the tissue. Then the burnt white tissue just falls away in that spot.
Maybe a bit of brown along the edge of that spot. Plants recover 99% of the time unless totally fried.

Most of the early diseases look very similar. Tomato leaf mold, septoria, early blight.
Your marking sticks are out of focus but are they moldy? Sure sign of moldy soil. Pop
one plant out and check the root mass. I was potting up last night and one seedling looked fine
but the root mass was weak. Neighboring plants had well formed roots.

I wonder sometimes about those sticks. If they are pressed using a food grade starch, that could
possibly add to some mold issues.

I do have moldy soil in some. I have cut back watering to where the soil is dry majority of the way down. Not that this means anything, but every year I get some mold in my seedling soils and I've never had early disease issues. So I am surprised by it now. My plant out date is typically June 1st, so hopefully I can get them out soon.
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