Help, plants not doing so well

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Help, plants not doing so well

Post by jlay » Wed, 16 Apr 1997 04:00:00



Hi. I'm attempting (for the first time) to grow some tomatoes and
peppers (in containers). I grew them from seed and transplanted them to
larger containers. They don't seem to be doing too well. My husband
thinks the soil might be too compacted (what can I do about that??). The
soil always seems to feel moist, so I am worried about overwatering.
Should I try to harden them off (I've read that isn't worth the
trouble)? Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks,
Lisa

 
 
 

Help, plants not doing so well

Post by Pat Kiewi » Tue, 22 Apr 1997 04:00:00



Quote:

>Hi. I'm attempting (for the first time) to grow some tomatoes and
>peppers (in containers). I grew them from seed and transplanted them to
>larger containers. They don't seem to be doing too well.

How so?  Tall and spindly?  (That would indicate a need for more light,
and a little bit of excercise -- seriously, the plants do better if
brushed daily, which encourage stronger stems.)  

Are the leaves yellowing?  The plants could need fertilizer.  (A product
formulated for seedlings, or some other liquid-soluable fertilizer at
half-strength.  I like 'Roots for seedlings' or fish emulsion.  It
could also be related to the potting soil.  Some mixes are pretty
bad stuff -- unstabilized compost mixed with ??

I don't like to use anything other than Peter's Professional anymore.

Quote:
>My husband
>thinks the soil might be too compacted (what can I do about that??). The
>soil always seems to feel moist, so I am worried about overwatering.

You should probably wait for it to dry out part-way before waatering
again.  If the soil pulls away from the sides of the containers, you
may have to put each pot in a basin and soak them to get them re-wet.

Quote:
>Should I try to harden them off (I've read that isn't worth the
>trouble)? Anyone have any suggestions?

If they haven't been exposed to full sunlight, the plants can actually
get sunburned.  It's really best to harden them off, as much as you
can reasonably manage.  It's sunlight, more than temperature, that you
are hardening the plants to withstand.  Take advantage of shade from
trees or buildings in 'scheduling' the hardening-off process.  (That
way you won't have to be shuffling plants on an hourly basis to keep
them from sunburning.)

--
Pat in Plymouth MI

 
 
 

Help, plants not doing so well

Post by Benya Ridenour » Fri, 25 Apr 1997 04:00:00


Quote:

> Hi. I'm attempting (for the first time) to grow some tomatoes and
> peppers (in containers). I grew them from seed and transplanted them to
> larger containers. They don't seem to be doing too well. My husband
> thinks the soil might be too compacted (what can I do about that??). The
> soil always seems to feel moist, so I am worried about overwatering.
> Should I try to harden them off (I've read that isn't worth the
> trouble)? Anyone have any suggestions?

> Thanks,
> Lisa

How big is your pot?
Tomato plants need deep pots, at least 15 inches.  If your tomato is
indeterminate which grow like vine to 6-8 feet in the Garden soil.
Also, what kind of dirt did you plant it with?  Garden soil tends to be
too fine and doesn't have good drainage.
I've been planting tomatoes in the garden for 6 years now.  This year
I planted some of them in containers because I started way too many
seedlings and don't have enough room in the garden to put them all in.
I used leftover black plastic containers we got from years of buying
plants from nursery.  I put ones that I want to grow in containers in
15 gal pots with half compost, half planting mix, and add 1 tablespoon
of bonemeal and 1 teaspoon of ***meal.  They seem to be pretty happy.
It also help that our weather in Southern CA. has been pretty warm.
I set them outside only after the overnight low temperature is above
50 degree F.

You could use smaller pots, 1 gal for example, if you plan to transplant
them elsewhere later.  I read a tip from somewhere in the Internet that
when you transplant you could bury the stem up to where the first pair
of leaves grwo because they will grow roots grom buried stem.  This help
them grow more roots and stockier stems.  I've never seen healthier
tomatoes.  My tallest ones are about 18 inch tall now and they have
thicker stem than I've had in the past, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.

Good luck,
Ning