White, tan, or brown spots and splotches of seedlings and transplants can also be caused by a wide variety of other environmental stressors, such as temperature extremes; wide temperature swings; cold, cloddy, compacted or waterlogged soil; drought; high winds; and poor quality seeds or transplants. Providing optimum conditions for good growth at this early stage will help ensure healthy growth and good yields through the season. Follow these cultural recommendations:
- Plant in well-drained soil high in organic matter.
- Use high-quality seed and transplants. Check transplants prior to purchase. Avoid plants with roots that are brown and growing around the bottom of the container.
- Keep soil evenly moist and fertilize with a balanced soluble fertilizer after seedlings emerge or after transplanting.
- Protect plants from wind and cold with row cover material, a cold frame, or a cloche (e.g. an empty 1-gallon plastic milk jug with the bottom removed) over each individual plant.
- Avoid damaging plant roots through cultivation, tilling, or walking on the soil.
- Low yields and reduced eating quality can be expected if plant growth is checked significantly at any point in the life cycle from seedling to fruit maturation.