The Q&A Archives: Why Young Plants May Look Pale

Question: I planted some tomato plants two weeks ago in my garden plot in a community garden (I live in Santa Clara county, which is in Northern California) and my plants look kind of lime-green or yellowish compared to the strong green color of many of my neighbor's tomato plants. I also have a Aristocrat' zucchini plant, and it also looks kind of lime-green like rather than dark green. Any clues why my plants look this way? Could I be watering too much or not enough? Not enough fertilizer in the soil or too much? Anything else? Ken Rose Palo Alto, CA

Answer: A few things may be causing the plants to look pale. They may have suffered transplant shock, which is the result of root disturbance during planting. If the soil is moist at a depth of 1/2", they have enough water, so don't overdo it. You can boost their strength by misting them with liquid kelp (available from Gardens Alive - 812-537-8650).

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