Many gardeners prefer to grow tomato seedlings on their own. After all, this allows us not to limit ourselves both in the choice of varieties and in the number of plants grown, to match the terms of planting to suit our individual conditions, and the savings are quite substantial. Of course, it's a shame when tender shoots suddenly begin to wither, turn yellow, or even die.
Why is this happening
When searching for the answer to the question: “Why do tomato seedlings die?” We must assume that there are at least three main factors affecting the life and health of plants, in general, and tomato, in particular.
Lighting and heat
Tomatoes need a lot of light and preferably a direct sun. Especially in the early spring months, when this is still a problem in the middle lane. With a lack of light in the seedlings, the tomato weakens the immune system, and it is more likely to suffer from any infection or error in care.
It must be remembered that tomatoes are by no means gentle girls, although they love warmth.Attention! For good growth tomatoes need a difference between day and night temperatures of 5-6 °.
In addition, seeds for germination need about 20-24 °, and for sprouted shoots, it is necessary to lower the temperature to 17-19 ° so that they do not stretch too much. This is especially important with a lack of light. But cold tomatoes also do not like. At temperatures below +15, growth stops at them, and if it is below +10, damage to seedlings is possible. Usually they are expressed in the fact that the leaves twist a little and get a purple hue. Fresh tomato seedlings are also vital for fresh air, ventilate the seedlings whenever possible, and when the weather is warm, temper it outside (on the balcony).
Soil and air humidity
This is one of the most important factors, failure to comply with the regime which can lead to the death of tomato seedlings.
Moreover, if the seedlings, especially those that have already matured, can still dry out the soil, then the overmoistening of the earth, moreover, combined with the cold, is likely to end badly for the plants. It must be remembered that tomatoes are always a little underpowered better than pouring. The surface of the soil must necessarily dry out between irrigations. It is the non-observance of this condition that most often leads to the disease of tomato seedlings with the fungal disease “black leg”. To save the plants is very difficult - you can only try to transplant them into fresh soil and keep in a semi-dry state.Important! Tomatoes do not like too humid air, and especially poorly tolerate moisture on the leaves, so it is not recommended to spray the leaves.
Practice shows that the most frequent death of tomato seedlings is due to problems with the soil mixture.
It may be, firstly, infected with bacteria, fungi or viruses, secondly, it may be improper in its composition (too dense and heavy), thirdly, it may have acidity unsuitable for a tomato. It does not matter what kind of land you use for seedlings: purchased or from your own plot, before planting it must be calcined in the oven or on the stove, spilled with potassium permanganate, and even better treated with phytosporin or furatsilinom. For loosening instead of sand it is better to add vermiculite. And the acidity can be checked with a special test, which is sold now in any garden store. Tomatoes love neutral soils. If the soil is acidic, you can pour wood ash.
What can be done to save seedlings
What can be done in your particular case if tomato seedlings are already sick?
- If the leaves of tomato seedlings begin to fade, turn yellow, sometimes to turn white, sometimes to dry out and fall off, starting from the cotyledon leaves, then, first of all, try to water less. For the regions of the middle belt and to the north, with a lack of sunny days, these are quite common symptoms of over-irrigation;
- If the leaves just turn yellow, and the problem is definitely not in the watering, then you can try to feed the tomato seedlings with microelements and iron chelate. By the way, the same symptoms appear with an excess of fertilizers. Therefore, if you regularly feed your tomato seedlings, you may have overdone it, and now you need to carefully transplant your seedlings into another soil;
- If the leaves turn yellow and at the same time the tomato seedlings become sluggish, then infection can be suspected. In this case, it is necessary to treat the tomatoes with Fitosporin or Trichodermin.
A radical solution to the problem, if nothing else helps
You did everything seemingly right, but the leaves still wither or turn yellow and the seedlings die. It remains the last way to try to save tomato seedlings - cut off the tip of the plants, even if there is only one living leaf left and put the cuttings in room temperature water or warmer. In the water should be only the stems, without leaves. When even the smallest roots appear on the cuttings, they can be planted in a light, decontaminated substrate, preferably with the addition of vermiculite. Water moderately. The remaining "hemp" tomatoes also continue to moderately moisturize, it is likely that they will release stepchildren and soon turn green, not worse than their comrades. Usually, only their development is slower than the growth of the “tops”.
If you follow all the above recommendations, you will surely be able to grow healthy tomato seedlings, which will delight you with its tasty fruits in the future. There is only one more thing - these are tomato seeds. With your seeds you are doomed to success, but any purchased ones are always a cat in a bag. So grow and harvest tomato seeds whenever possible.