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Bottom watered seedlings still have over-watering problems?

13 years ago

Hello everyone,

I have some tomato plants in 4 in pots right now, under growing lights indoors. They have not been set outside, ever. They are next to a cool window, and probably have a constant ambient temp of around 65*F or so. I have been watering them maybe once per 7-8 days or so by watering from the bottom (soaking the bottom of the pots). The last time I watered them, I used diluted (1/8 or so normal potency) vegetable plant flood solution.

I had thought that I had been doing a good job with the watering, but some of the plants seem to show mild signs of over-watering. That is to say, the cotyledons turned yellow, shrivelled up, and the lower true leaves are a bit yellowed or crinkled. Pretty sure its not a disease problem because it's been there for many days, and I don't see signs that it spreads via plants touching, etc.

So I wanted to ask people if my watering technique is to blame here, or if it's really more a problem with gunky potting soil? I soaked the pots until I felt the top of the soil was still fry, but at maybe 1/4 inch deep it was a little damp. However, after I stopped soaking the water that had been absorbed spread all the way to the top of the tomato pots, so that all of the soil was a little damp. I didn't think this would be a problem, but I did this about a week ago and even now the soil seems to be kind of heavy and damp. So is the problem with my soil, or is it with me giving it too much water?

I will probably chose 8 or so ace plants this weekend and pot them up to 6 inch pots... I have store bought potting soil again (different brand), but I am thinking that if I take this stuff and mix in generous amounts of pumice it will give them the drainage they need. I did this with my pepper plants the first time I potted them up, and I don't see any health problems with them... actually they look great even in small 16 oz coffee cups. Can pumice + decent common potting soil do the trick?

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