Tomato starts falling over

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by jkillen, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. jkillen

    jkillen Well-Known Member

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    Every time I try to start tomatoes they get real tall with seed leaves and then fall over and get tangled up and die. What am I doing wrong?
     
  2. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    they need more light.
     

  3. jkillen

    jkillen Well-Known Member

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    Weird. They were in the sunroom. Thanks. I'll keep this in mind for next year.
     
  4. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    The light source should be closer and they shouldn't need to lean to get to it. A grow light 2" over the top of the plants will solve the problem. A cold frame will also do the trick.
     
  5. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Does the sunroom have Low-E windows?

    Starting plants early also means for shorter days so they could use supplement light to lengthen the day. As MFM sugested a grow light 2" above the plants works nice.
     
  6. whiterock

    whiterock Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Also when they get leggy, repot them in a slightly larger pot. You can even wrap the long stems around the inside of the pot. They wiil root from the stems and give you a stronger plant.
     
  7. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They store up energy during the day and grow during the night. If there is more night than day, they grow fast and stringy. Once they have popped up and are ready to grow true leaves they need a grow light. Light through your window, even if it is not low E, is too diluted for a tomato plant. If you put something red and somewhat refective under the plant, they will grow better.
     
  8. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Well-Known Member

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    You can also pinch them back, just nip out the wee new growth at the very tip top. I do this at least three times before they go out into the garden. They will tend to bush up a bit more. Plant them deep, right up to their bottom leaves.
     
  9. Paranoid

    Paranoid Homebrewed Happiness

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    they are catching a virus from your pot plants.
     
  10. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the others about providing more light.

    I used to start tomato plants in the house super-early but I discovered that by planting them a little later I don't have to deal with them being too huge and floppy. My step-dad plants them in early March and struggles with spindly plants. I plant around April 15 and set them out around mid to end of May (Memorial day is traditional in our area of western PA.) My plants may go out a lot shorter than his but T think they're more green and healthy looking and I don't think his tomatos are much earlier, if any.
     
  11. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    SSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I don't want anyone to know about that. :goodjob:
     
  12. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

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    Are you sure it's not damp off? Make sure you are using sterile seed starting mix with you new seedlings, and make sure that they get plenty of ventilation.

    Nikki
     
  13. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Humm-wonder why noone has mentioned a fan? i had this problem, till i read about the fan.
    a fan blowing gently over them helps make a strong stem, if you dont believe it, try it--works wonders
     
  14. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

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    How deep are you planting the seeds? I think they get scraggly when they're not planted deep enough. Just seems that way.