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Anatelostaxus's avatar

Is there a way to recuperate drooping seedlings?

Asked by Anatelostaxus (1418 points ) April 15th, 2012

I’d planted 10 tomato seedlings into my open garden that had already grown to a bit over a palm in height, but a sudden wave of one of the last spring chills devastated them. Now they are reduced to limp yellow rotting-like stems with still a segment of hope-giving green rigidity up until where they where buried. It’s been raining constantly as well the last few days.
I took them out of their beds and intend to pot them indoors.
Anything you suggest?
I would like to see them revive rather than being nearly futile additions to the compost pile.

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6 Answers

creative1's avatar

Tomato plants are part of the night shade veggies and they grow best at night when its warm, I don’t know if any will recover in a night of cold nights. If you are wanting to plant early, your best bet is to keep them in pots so you can bring them in every night until the temperatue is more stable and no chance of the cold weather hitting. I would suggest a re-planting at this point and keep them in pots for a bit.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’m guessing you’d be better off starting over. By the time these seedlings recover, if they do, they’ll be lagging behind new plants. If you want to plant as early as possible use Wall-of-Water protectors.

gailcalled's avatar

Impossible to revivify them. Start from scratch in a really sunny windows and curb your impatience. My sister is outside every night, covering her tomato, lettuce and pepper plants with towels, sheets and empty milk cartons because of the temperature (and complaining bitterly.)

Here the rule is do not plant anything fragile before the Memorial Day week-end. We have all cheated and lived to regret it.

I got impatient and planted seeds of nasturtiums, cosmos and zinnias (all annuals) inside too soon.. They are impossibly leggy and will start to topple over soon. Then I will start from scratch on May 1.

Your gardening center should know the dates of the last frost.

I do understand your impatience. Every gardener has that urge.

gailcalled's avatar

PS.You probably mean “rejuvenate” rather than recuperate.”

“Recuperate” is an intransitive verb; viz; Can these seedlings recuperate from having spen the night outside when the temps. dropped below freezing?

majorrich's avatar

Sounds like these plants are screwed. By the time you nurse them to health (if that is possible) a new set would far surpass them in growth and vitality.

Anatelostaxus's avatar

@gailcalled Ah yes. The other languages in my head (in this case Italian) kick in and shake the syntax while it’s in formation.

@majorrich @gailcalled @Adirondackwannabe Well lads ‘n’ lassies, must say.
I did it my way in the end and now the’yre pushing out new green leaves.
This is how I did it_rudimental, spartan call it as you will _ but it worked:
Clipped of the rotten, drooping bits
repotted them into small pots with some of the original soil they already had in the roots, some of my soil and that’s it.
Put them in a nylon greenhouse I built for seedlings and there they go.
Living and sprouting once again.
Ah, not all of them. But most of them.
@creative1 Yes, repotting.. but I hope you meant repotting the same ones, not all over with new babes?!

I must advise many people that I’ve encountered on the net to just TRY, experiment, explore and not the pessimistic norms of what the system in many ways indoctrinates us with.
It’s business-friendly to do as you have suggested:
-my first seedlings are unhealthy = not worth the wait / they die or are dying = dump them into compost (along with all the artificial, package-bought fertiliser we so happily trust.. who knows what is being put in our organisms and minds through our “organic” self produced food)
Then BUY new ones.. and start all over :-)

I don’t a rash, antagonistic discussion to sprout from these observations_ rather I feel I should caution you and as many as I can with a simple fact:
When I have emergencies that I share here with this community via desperate questions (so as to perhaps gain the knowledge in time to save a life) I post the enquiry and meanwhile scan the net for solutions, then compare the lot.
All the sites I search for using the English language (U.S. or U.K. mainly) give hopeless outcomes as solutions to the problems. They all strongly advise relying on another person or entity to solve the problem for you, but of course these other persons or entities are in the business. “Go to a vet = don’t even try to learn to be self reliant and solve the problem on your own, go PAY someone and be secure”.
But what if I cannot pay?
With seedlings: “Start all over”. My goodness people… plants are living beings. A gardener, I’d expect would acknowledge that and make an extra step for the little creature which might as well give fruits one day. But, no. We’re taught to rush. We’ve got bigger and many more plants to tend to.
Don’t try, just buy, buy, buy. Rely on money.
Any of the same searches using another language, say German or Russian usually gives loads of solutions, helpful notions, _techniques from olden, incentives to use your creativity and extras.
Why is that? hmmm…

I have a conclusion which could be offensive to some. But the only offence I bear is to who or whatever is responsible for this mental diminishing. The U.S. has established a certain dominance, in many ways the world over.
They have a great influential power over (sm)all countries. Fact.
As many powers before (church, dictatorships) to control the masses, it is necessary to keep them dumb. Let them believe they have, know, are. But they are actually controlled, through paper bills, in their very soul.
I’m confident that even if you don’t agree, you do understand my complaint.

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