my seedlings and vegetables keep falling over

farmingvillefarmer(East Coast zone 7)May 6, 2010

I was wondering if anyone had an answer to why almost all my vegetable plants keep falling over, especially after i water them or if its windy. Now here are the details, I have beef steak and Roma tomato plants in Pro-Mix BX planted in 4.5 inch tall pots. The tomatoes are about a foot to 2 feet tall so far and most continuously fall over at the base. I'm guessing pro mix is too soft of a growing medium and the plants are just too darned tall, I started them on March 3rd. My peppers are not that tall at all but when I water them they fall right onto their sides. They too are planted the same way as the Tomatoes. Last is my Basil falling over also planted the same way and they are about a foot tall. Please help, thx

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heather38(6a E,Coast)

Hi, none of my plants are that tall, even the ones started end of Feb, I keep them cool and under lights and some are doing the same as I harden them off, I to have Roma and not Beef steak, but Beef master, amongst a mix of Heirlooms and Hybrids.
I think you answered your own question, too tall, and wind. and I haven't ever seen a Tom that tall in a tiny pot, put them in a bigger pot, or in ground, I have started doing that this week, despite a few cold night forecast, (and just heard a crack of thunder :-)writing that) All of mine have for their size stocky stems, but I have planted in a trench, sort of sidiways. to promote root growth worked well for me last year (first year, last year, so what do I know)
also fertilizer, is needed, try the Tomato forum :-), sorry must rush so forgive spelling, I have an Election to Watch :-)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:50PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I have beef steak and Roma tomato plants in Pro-Mix BX planted in 4.5 inch tall pots. The tomatoes are about a foot to 2 feet tall

Because they are very top-heavy and probably root bound too. Why such a tall plant in such a small pot? Why aren't these planted in the garden by now or if you will be using containers why not in their big containers? Are the stems really thin and weak? If so it is becuase they didn't get nearly enough light while growing.

Plants that tall will need to be planted very deeply with most of the stem buried or trenched in.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 9:26PM
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heather38(6a E,Coast)

Oh laughing, Dave, no counts in the Election at the mo,so back in to gardening, and I deleted, "Digdirt will tell you this"
I just used you wisdom. but I deleted the last line as reading it at the end of my post, sounded like I was having ago, and I wasn't, as it was blunt, just couldn't in a moment of haste think of the best way to put it :-) got to go Clegg's about to get his vote....

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 10:30PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Good luck with the counts heather.

Sorry I didn't hit my refresh button first so your post wasn't there when I was typing and then I dashed off to catch a shower and cool off all my chigger bites and forgot to hit submit until I got back.

As they say in the elections - its all in the timing. ;)

Dave

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:06PM
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farmingvillefarmer(East Coast zone 7)

I have the toms in the 4.5 pots because I planed on selling them. I started them March 3rd which was obviously too early.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 8:26PM
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heather38(6a E,Coast)

Night later and loving Digdirt more :-) I was just dashing off an answer, in a moment,last night, digdirt you rock, and the UK Rocks as in we gave an answer and that answer was we are all average and don't want extremes, I was so proud :-) hung Parliament, not bad we have had it before, and election party next year :-)
PS quite impressed you knew that we where having an election, even PBS didn't report it this morning :-0

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 1:45AM
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heather38(6a E,Coast)

sorry I meant NPR I don't watch Telly:-) (TV)= telly

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 1:57AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

farmingvillefarmer - about all you can go now if you still plan to sell them is to transplant them very deeply into 1 gallon pots and then either give them much more light or get them outside (harden off first) so they don't get leggy again. An alternative is to root cuttings off those plants for normal sized transplants. But it is getting late for selling plants in zone 7 as planting time is already passing.

Next year plan on providing a great deal more supplemental lighting so the plants stay shorter and stocky.

Dave

Heather - sounds like interesting days ahead - a bunch of new young MP's wandering the sacred halls trying to find the loo. ;)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 8:37AM
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farmingvillefarmer(East Coast zone 7)

I grew everything under lights, I had the lights 2-3 inches above the plants. seems they were growing an inch everyday. I had to keep adjusting the lights. They have all been in the green house for the last month so they have had plenty of light which is why they grew so tall to begin with. Also last frost date just passed as planting time here in zone 7 is mothers day. If I started them any earlier they would have tom's on them already. I'm just confused as to why everything including my peppers and Basil fall to their sides after I water them. Why are they so week? I am transplanting them about an inch into the soil above the roots. Maybe not deep enough? Am I supposed to cut back the basil to let it fill out? thx for the help.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 5:34PM
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heather38(6a E,Coast)

From what I understand lights are good but don't replace natural light, so keeping them cool slows growth, and produces stockier plants, it made sense to me, so I followed that advice. this made sense, as in this may sound odd but in 2001 and 2002, I got the opportunity to go to Kew Gardens in London, to do environmental survey's as part of my higher nursing degree, I went again because my dad had a stroke during the term and so I repeated, my tutor said, "oh you don't have to do Kew again, unless you want", and I wanted it was an amazing place, and I got to go behind the scenes, the hot houses work due to the heat pumped from below and the humidity, but! they are natural light, the Luminance, was way higher even in winter than shop light, we did Shops as well, I was exceptionally lucky with My tutor as her Husband is a famous Architect, and she has got lots of Brilliant contacts.
with Basil, well er, the thing about growing is that until you plant, as see the growth, you have no idea, last year I did Basil, and realized, my idea of basil was shop brought, loads of plants in a tiny pot and even potting on they would die quickly, last year I grew it and was amazed how big one basil plant got, but then she bolted :-( so lesson learned is succession planting for basil and to be honest, I am rubbish at basil, they keep dieing on me?
Digdirt, Loo's you have some insider info :-) even my 5 year old's get confused when I say "do you need the Loo?" as only Mummy and Daddy say that :-) where I am living, I am amazed by the amount of People, who have lived in the UK (okay near a US Navy and Army base) but even the guy who treats my lawn lived for 3 years in the UK, in the late 1970's.
yes, interesting times ahead, I feel for Cleggy, the worse he was doing the more powerful he became :-) only in Britain can you do bad and become more powerful? hehe, we like the underdog :-)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 10:53PM
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