Tomatoe Plant About 1 1/2inch Tall& Leaning Over? - Knowledgebase Question

Monticello, NY
Avatar for carol258
Question by carol258
April 22, 2000
My name is carol and i just started planting seeds for tomatoes, oregano, coleus in side.My question far the tomatos have sprouted about 1 1/2 inch tall....but they are leaning over and drooping down to the soil?Can you please tell me why and what i can do to keep them standing up instead of drooping down? Please Help me im new at this?? Thank you [email protected]

Answer from NGA
April 22, 2000
It sounds like your seedlings may have been underwatered and wilted, or may be damping off which is a fungal problem. This usually happens due to a variety of reasons but mainly when the seedlings are kept too moist. Start out with soil that is just barely moist, like a well wrung out sponge. Plant your seeds and cover them with the plastic wrap to maintain humidity, but open it as soon as they start to sprout and put them immediately into bright light. Make sure there is also some air circulation where you keep them as stagnant air can encourage fungal growth. Next, make sure the plants are thinned enough to allow for ample light and air to filter through them. Also, do not over fertilize them. They do not need fertilizer until they have several sets of true leaves. You might try watering by dribbling water gently and slowly out of a small pitcher onto the soil rather than spraying them -- wet foliage will also encourage fungal growth. Finally, make sure all of your tools and equipment are clean and that you are using a relatively sterile potting mix such as a soilless seed starter of peat, vermiculite and possibly perlite. Other causes can also be too high or low a temperature or too little light -- many gardeners find it necessary to use supplemental lights for seedlings. Last of all, you might have luck watering them with chamomile tea when you see the problem appear. I hope this helps you troubleshoot the problem.

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