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tomato seedlings

I planted several different heritage tomato seeds in coir (coconut fiber) in bog rolls (toilet paper rolls), bottom watered. They germinated in 4 DAYS and were doing great. Then the cotyledons turned yellow and fell off. Some of the seedlings died, but most of them are still alive but growing very, very slowly. What did I do wrong?

They are in a south window in a cool, unused room. I had a light on them at first; only the red bulb works. At two weeks, I added seaweed to the water. Then I went nuts trying to fix whatever it is--added Epsom salts, matches, compost tea to the water. Turned light off so they only get natural sunlight. Put plastic over them to help keep them warmer and moister. Then I poured off all the water and added plain well water. That seemed to help for a couple days, but this morning they are looking yellow again. Some of them have tiny true leaves developing.

Please help! Is it the coir? The toilet paper rolls? The red light? Too cool for them? The coir package says there are no nutrients in it whatsoever, and I bought it from a supposedly reputable seed dealer, but elsewhere I also read that sometimes it is processed with seawater.

I have more seed for most of the varieties so I can reseed if I have to. Thanks,

Marge

Forums: 

 I'm not an expert, but I can see a couple of things that I would do differently just from my own experiences.  I personally don't like to use as a container any sort of material that can absorb water and cause overgrowths of mold.  It almost sounds like you kept them sitting in water the whole time.  If this is what you did, that almost certainly didn't help, unless this is a technique specific to coir that I'm not aware of.  I think that the epsom salts is for larger plants.  The plants mostly just need a little nitrogen when they are young.  They don't need any nutrients at all in the very beginning as they get all of their nutrients from the seed.  In general, I think you just need to keep it simple. Keep the soil moist but not water-logged until the plants germinate, then let the soil get a little dry now and then.  Just make sure to give the plants water if they are wilting and the soil is dry.