What Happened?

As you can see, the pots are empty – Why? Because all of my tomato seedlings died – it was so sad. They all died within a week! I posted previously about “Gardening From Seeds” and wanted to let you know that despite how well the seedlings were looking, it was short lived. When posting “The Garden is Planted”, the tomato plants used were bought from a nursery. Unfortunately, those also, all died. We are now on our third set of plants and they seem to being doing fine.

After investigating online and with our grape consultant (who did post grad work with tomatoes), it seems I made a common mistake in not using sterile potting soil. It would have been so easy to cover my trays with plastic and set them in the sun. That would be all it took to sterilize the soil before planting the seeds! Since I did not, the moisture in the soil from watering the seeds allowed a virus which was already in the soil to thrive. It is also called “damping-off”.  But, I did not know – live and learn – right?

So, why did the second set of plants die? Perhaps, they had the virus too! The eggplants which I also bought from the same nursery died very quickly. Many times, plants bought from a nursery which are small or have a purple tint to their leaves and stem are infected. These are the most common signs and this may occur at a local feed store or a reputable nursery.

It was a hard lesson. Not only did I lose the money spent on the seeds, but also the anticipation of the fabulous varieties of tomatoes we planted. I will try again next year to start plants from seeds. Hopefully, we will have our greenhouse together and the plants will have more protection from the wind, as well as, airborne diseases. And, I will definitely sterilize my soil before planting!

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  1. says

    I’ve had some bad experiences with soil as well.

    Get it wrong, like you mention, and nothing is growing.

    Its something you don’t soon forget either as its rather disappointing the first time around when you’re all fired up about what’s going to grow and then nothing happens or it fizzles out

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