The Q&A Archives: White Leaves On Seedlings

Question: I transplanted my tomatos, peppers, carrots and parsley seedlings to the outdoor garden. Watered well after transplanting. After 2 days, all the leaves are now turning white. What could be causing this and what can I do to remedy this situation? The soil was tilled, fertilized and peatmoss added. Could this be a source for mildew?

Answer: I suspect the seedlings are suffering sunburn and windburn or transplant shock. Prior to being planted in the garden, they need to be gradually acclimated or conditioned to life in the real wind and real sun. This is done over about a week's time, starting by placing them in a sheltered spot with a little early morning sun and moving them to a slighltly sunnier spot each day until they are in sun all morning. At the same time, back off on the watering a little bit so they dry slightly between waterings. When you plant, try to do it on a cloudy day right before a rain. Water them well at planting and as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy until they have rooted, working toward weaning them off the daily schedule.

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