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Stem rot in young seedlings

 
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Hello... i built a raised bed recently and mulched about 3 inches thick with leaves i collected from the forest (mostly bamboo and mango) I planted pimento and tomato seedlings, and after a few weeks they have barely grown and are looking a bit pale yellow. On looking into it i realized the stems seemed a bit sickly (see pics below). The bed has a good sandy loam soil mixed with compost, so there shouldn't be any nutrient deficiency problems. My thinking is that the mulch was too close too the stems, although i made a bit of a gap the mulch would have fallen in the whole and surrounded the stem - am i correct in this thinking?

I am in caribbean wet/dry tropics

thank you!

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tomato
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tomato 2
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pimento
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pimento
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tomato
 
steward
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Location: Maine (zone 5)
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They looked like they've "damped off".  It's an issue that is common in tomato seedlings along with some other plant species.  It can be caused fungus attacking young seeds and roots and can be aggravated by being in soil that is too wet.  

 
steward
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Tomatoes and peppers will grow new roots from the stems. You might try mounding some low-fertility soil up around the stems. They might send out roots and recover.
 
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Richard,

See all that white stuff on your mulch?
That is mold, you should remove all those infected leaves then do as Kola Lofthouse recommends and mound some soil up around the stems so they will form new roots and help support the plants.

Those  moldy leaves can be saved and turned into compost or true leaf mold for reuse on your garden bed(s).

Redhawk
 
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