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Please help me! Seedling stems dying?

Posted by TNmom2four 6 (My Page) on
Mon, May 6, 13 at 13:46

I have been growing tomato and various other seedlings. They are growing under two flourescent lights, full spectrum. I have grown an entire flat prior to this with no problems.

But with these, the stems look like they have "chewed" areas.. I hope you can see this from the photo. The stems were slightly purplish, but in the areas with damage, it is kind of green. One seedling has drooped over a bit and I am worried this is the dreaded damping off disease!!!!

In my prior flats I sprayed with chamomile tea and had good results but I neglected to do this early on with these.

I also spotted one gnat where the seeds are growing, but have seen no other gnats or even activity at soil level so I thought I could rule that out.

What's your verdict? Please let me know if you recognize this and if they are too far gone to save?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Please help me! Seedling stems dying?

This doesn't look like damping off to me. I'd suspect the gnats (which it's their grubs in the soil that are the real problem. However the seedling pictured looks quite good. For tomatos just plant them with their stem buried and they'll root on the stem itself. You didn't specify if the damage is on other seedlings or the severity so I can't give a reasonable response. The drooping seedling probably (unfortunately) is a goner.

RE: Please help me! Seedling stems dying?

thanks for your response. There is widespread damage on most of the tomato plants, but oddly enough, not on the flowers, peppers, etc.

But the seeds were bought from many different seed suppliers, otherwise I would suspect a seed quality issue.

I only ever saw one gnat. Is this damage typical if what gnat grubs do?

The only other thing I can even think of is that maybe the damage was done by my sprayer, as I was reaching to spray the different plants close to soil level? When you said this did not look like dampening off, I tried to consider what else it could be.

Thanks again!

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