Pepper Transplant Issue

Asked April 12, 2017, 9:39 AM EDT

We are seeing a black haze on some of our pepper transplants and are looking for assistance in identifying the issue. There is a black haze (not spots or on the edges, so we are doubtful that it is bacterial spot) on perhaps 10-20% of our transplants. This issue is present on some (but not all) of our Ace, Carmen, Hungarian Hot Wax, and Yankee pepper transplants from Johnny's Seeds (we've contacted their service team and are waiting to hear back). Our grow stands are located in a basement. The airflow was poor for several weeks while we were using only fans for airflow. The airflow has since improved, as we were able to screen in windows and can now catch a cross breeze. Yesterday, we treated one tray with a overhead mist of a neem oil solution. We have also included a picture of several yellowing transplants. Are these to be transplanted to larger containers, fertilized (suggestions?), or both? Thank you for your assistance!

Lebanon County Pennsylvania

5 Responses

Most of what I see is chlorosis due to over watering. The signature sign is the yellow green leaf with dark green veins. The bronze discoloration could be sunburn if you happened to take advantage of the unseasonable warm sunny days to put your plants outside. Tender leaves grown under artificial light will quickly sunburn if they aren't prepared to be outside. I've seen that in basil leaves as well.

Thank you for the quick response! We haven't started to harden our pepper transplants, so there's no chance that the discoloration could be sunburn. Good information to know, nonetheless.

As for over watering...we allow the mix to dry, then "bottom water" by filling a tray with water and placing the 50 cell tray over top of the water tray until the mix has drawn up water and changes color from the dull brown of dry soil to a deeper brown of watered soil. It's hard to imagine that we're over watering. Should we allow more time to pass between watering, or perhaps water for a shorter duration of time when bottom watering?

Have you transplanted to a potting mix yet or are your plants still in seed starter? That could be a possibility.

We start all of our transplants in a potting mix. Could nutrient deficiency be a potential concern? Johnny's Seeds recommended feeding the seedlings with a fish/seaweed
fertilizer.

That's what I was thinking as well. There are really only three variables with seeds: watering, light, and nutrients. Sounds like Johnny's Seeds is giving good advice.