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Seedling stress = future problems?

Posted by ahismah 5b (My Page) on
Sun, May 1, 11 at 21:01

I'm wrapping up my final week of grad school and am a bit overwhelmed - totally forgot to water the seedlings this morning

When I got home, most were wilted pretty badly, I hadn't watered yesterday (all was fine, just not ready for water), and many (like peppers) weren't watered the day before.

Assuming that they recover well, will stress at this point impact production down the road? I was hoping to avoid buying starts entirely, but will mix some in if I need to do so to improve my chances of a good harvest.

The peppers are really the worst hit, since I've been being extra vigilent about not overwatering. They were really dry and exceptionally wilted (some to the point of laying down). :(


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Seedling stress = future problems?

There is a point of stress from which they will not recover, and if they are laying down, the whole plant, they probably will not survive. Al


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RE: Seedling stress = future problems?

Yeah, I think that those are probably a loss:( I had 72 peppers planted and only have room for about 30, so it's not the end of the world, just disappointing.

Are the others likely to be permanently impacted, assuming that they "bounce back" well? i.e. Does stress on a seedling impact future production?

Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.


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RE: Seedling stress = future problems?

I thought I had killed some of my pepper seedlings(still in their cell packs)after forgetting to water. They were very wilted, but an hour after watering them thoroughly, they perked up.
I doubt that production would suffer if yours do bounce back from the wilting, but if they're not potted up or planted out, they could be stunted from being root-bound and that would affect production due to the plant being smaller. That has been my experience, anyway.


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RE: Seedling stress = future problems?

I just checked them, they're actually doing great. Phew!

It looks like I lost about 3, but that's a much better outcome than I had dared hope for. Some of them are heirlooms that I'd never find starts for, so I was really, really hoping to be able to keep them.

They're in those darn jiffy pellets, which doesn't help.


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RE: Seedling stress = future problems?

The jiffy pellets can work ok for germination, but they are terrible to let seedlings grow in. Remove the netting and pot them up into plastic cups,(no matter how tiny they are), it will be much easier to monitor the moisture, and the roots will be able to spread out.


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RE: Seedling stress = future problems?

My rule is if the seedling is stressed for any reason (could be too much water too little water too much fertilizer or whatever.) I discard them. I supplement my seedlings if I have to by buying from the nursery. I think it very troubling to care for stressed tomatoes plant and waste your season and get nothing.


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RE: Seedling stress = future problems?

So, if they were stressed for a day and now doing great, you toss them?


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RE: Seedling stress = future problems?

I have found that a little stress for tomatoes, like a bit of wilting and drying, doesn't seem to hurt them. In fact, sometime the stress makes them stronger if you are careful with them after. Just my experience. But yes there is a limit. The odd 'oops' doesn't hurt them if they bounce back. It is sustained neglect and irregular moisture etc that causes long term damage. Just like eating the odd big old fat steak won't clog our arteries but eating them several times a week certainly will.


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