am trying to grow tomato seeds , the initial stage was successful and my seeds are germinated , i have separated seeds and placed them in cold drinks disposable glasses , i water them and have placed them in my room window , but they are not growing they are dying with germinated two leaves , i do not know why they are not growing and keep dying ? Is it because i have not placed them directly in sun light or what ? here in our city temperature is high its about 40 Celsius , enough temperature to burn these new born plants. So any suggestion or anything am doing wrong ?

dying healthy thanks

Update : new soil mixture : sand + red soil + canals soft soil + natural compost new soil

new soil

  • I buy this soil from plants nursery then I mixed sand with it to make it softer. – user889030 Jun 2 '17 at 16:09
  • Looks like it has too much red clay in the soil mix. Iron and clay can be good for tomatoes but clay hardens quite easily making it hard for unestablished delicate roots to spread and leaves little room for aeration and drainage even if you have drainage holes. People who grow tomatoes in clay mixes have to plow and/or use a cultivator to loosen it. Yours looks thick and compacted. – Christy B. Jun 2 '17 at 19:29
  • Thanks ya that I feel that red soil make difficult for them to spread roots. Looks like now have to find way to make it softer have to mix something else with it – user889030 Jun 2 '17 at 21:54
  • Tomato seedlings can grow in soil textures like that without problems. Although I've done it indoors plenty of times, I don't recommend it indoors, due to diseases/pests the soil can harbor in an indoor environment, such as pythium. How much are you watering? It looks overwatered to me. The nutrient balance or the pH of the soil may be off, or it may have something toxic in it. – Shule Dec 7 at 23:25
  • 1
    Clear cups can promote algae (I'd recommend non-clear ones). – Shule Dec 7 at 23:39
up vote 5 down vote accepted

It's hard to say for sure, but here are a few observations:

  • That soil looks somewhat unfit for seedling production. Start with a commercial garden soil or preferably a product labeled "seed starting mix".
  • Do those drinking glasses have adequate drainage? You need to water seeds and seedlings frequently, but the soil has to be loose enough for those tiny roots, and the soil needs to remain well drained.
  • 40° C (104° F) is typically too hot for tomato plants. Garden Know How suggests a constant temperature between 14-16° C (58-60° F). Depending on the variety, you may want to wait for more temperate days and cooler nights. If that is not an option, they will need the brightest, indirect (or filtered) light you can muster — maybe tolerating some direct sunlight in the early morning and evening — but keep them out of that hot midday sun until they become better established.
  • Yeah, 104° F. Is way too hot for seedlings (too hot to sprout them, too). Mature plants can often handle it without problems, though. – Shule Dec 7 at 23:43

Must agree, that soil looks like it's a tight binding, water holding, silt? Tomatoes (and most other plants) would hate that at any stage. It also looks as though they're baking. . . Try some better soil, or amend what you have with a bunch of broken down natural-matter, leaves, etc.. Then, until you get some plants up to 4-6 inches, I'd pull them back from the window, perhaps use a light instead until they can start dealing properly with photosynthesis on their own. Once they hit 4-6 inches, they need a bigger pot, better soil, water, fertilizer and, if it's really over a hundred degrees F there, you might need to monitor and control their exposure times. That's pretty hot for a non-matured tomato plant. Once you get several large plants growing, they can and will protect themselves and create their own mini-environment to deal with excessive heat. (We grow 50 plus plants and when they're full size, sitting in the midst of them is the coolest place on our farm to sit when it's 100-110 degrees.)

Have fun!

  • Ya thanks for info. Ya am making mix soil for it with sand it will become soft if I add large amount of sand and leaves will add leaves. Ya I have ordered thermometer to measure temperature for them also have ordered one 24v large size diffuser so it will be good to produce moist for them. My new batch of tomatoes plants have germinated hope this time they will not die as now temperature as now stable 40 Celsius due to few rains. – user889030 Jun 7 '17 at 15:02
  • Don't understand adding sand? Tomatoes want a rich soil, just the opposite of sand. Need to get some rich, ready compost or better yet, peat moss. Sand is used to help loosen soils that turn hard after they settle and usually prevent tuber crops from creating any sizeable tubers. It's really not necessarily the physical temp that's your problem, the plants are frying in the UV rays of the sun. They can't protect themselves until they get considerably larger. Just to start them, I'd just pull them back from the window so the sun can't "glare" onto them. But the peat moss is equally critical. – Wilberstone Jun 8 '17 at 8:50
  • hmmm ya this time i made good mixture of soil for it , which include little sand + red soil + soft soil from canals + natural compost , so now the soil is soft and i have moved new germinated tommato seeds in it , two of them died maybe because of translation error , while other are good for now looks healthy , ya on my window no direct sun is falling , you can say they are in shade no direct sun . ya i have ordered thermometer for temperature and will order PH detector so that i can check soil ph too.... i have added pics to question – user889030 Jun 10 '17 at 6:19
  • You can start tomatoes in silt-type soil, but it takes longer than a more ideal soil, and germination rates seem to be reduced. You don't want to over-water it, though, and you don't want to let it dry out and compact further (so a bigger container to start with may help there). You do have to worry about soil diseases like pythium, however, and pests. It's probably not worth the disease issues, especially if you have an alternative. I did it successfully a number of times in 2014/2015, though, but damping off was an issue. There can be worse diseases you don't want indoors at all, though. – Shule Jun 10 '17 at 10:05
  • Note that although a bigger container seems beneficial for more compact soils, the same thing with loose soils may be problematic. – Shule Jun 10 '17 at 10:11

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