My call for styrofoam peanuts went unanswered. Oh well. Anyway, I refuse to buy packing peanuts! So instead I bought a 3 cubic foot bag of peat moss. Used that in the bottom of the last four buckets. Not by any means an ideal medium for drainage, but good enough. Those last four plants were really begging to be transplanted. And the landlord's basement toilet collection turned out to be great workbenches.
So I discarded the remaining tomato seedlings. We don't really have a good place to put them in the yard, and it's pretty doubtful they'd produce any fruit before the first frost. And it wouldn't even be a very good test comparison as to how well the plants do vs the basement plants since it's starting to get a little chilly outside. Today was brisk. You can see by the roots poking out everywhere that the seedlings were getting kind of cramped in the little peat pots. A lovely addition to the compost heap, at least.
Got a bit bigger picture of the yellow spots on the leaves. A few possibilities as to what it might be from random internet "experts". A nitrogen deficiency. A magnesium deficiency. Too much water. I don't think it's that last one, since the drainage is superb. So I'm thinking it's missing some nutrients. Checked my fertilizer, and it has both nitrogen and magnesium. I did note that last Sunday I gave the plants the recommended dose for indoor potted plants (like a teaspoon of fertilizer per gallon of water). Upon reflection I'm wondering if I shouldn't have given them the recommended dose for outdoor plants (a tablespoonful per gallon of water). Given the huge "pots" and the fact that they're not going to get much from the "dirt" I used, I think a higher dose of fertilizer is warranted. So I gave them another fertilizing ahead of schedule. I'm going to try to stick to Sundays, should be easiest to remember. I'm glad we're out of town this weekend, so I won't be looking at them obsessively to see if they're improving.
Finally, a shot of all the buckets in place. Looking good.