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My seedlings seem puny

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My seedlings seem puny

Post  laurainwinona on 4/6/2011, 2:01 pm

I plant seeds in seedling trays several weeks before transplanting....broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, etc. Most of them seem very puny. Many lie on the dirt and hardly stand up, even when they have plenty of water. My later seedlings....tomatoes and peppers.... seem much more hardy. Can anyone tell me what's going on?
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Re: My seedlings seem puny

Post  camprn on 4/6/2011, 2:06 pm

How many hours do you have the grow lights on?
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Re: My seedlings seem puny

Post  staf74 on 4/6/2011, 2:13 pm

@laurainwinona wrote:Many lie on the dirt and hardly stand up, even when they have plenty of water.

Damping off ??

Do you notice a thinner part of the seedling stem just above the soil where it almost looks like someone has pinched it?
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Re: My seedlings seem puny

Post  laurainwinona on 4/6/2011, 5:34 pm

camprn, I don't have grow lights. I put them on the sunny 3-season porch where they get lots of light, including some direct sunlight.

staf74, sometimes I do notice stems that look pinched, but most of them don't look like that, they are just very skinny and seem to grow slowly. What is damping off?

Thanks for your replies. Any info i can get helps!
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Re: My seedlings seem puny

Post  camprn on 4/6/2011, 5:40 pm

Oh dear, I'm afraid that a 3 season porch in zone 4 with limited light hours is going to get you very slow and weak growth at this time of year. It is too cold for good, rapid cell division and there are not enough hours of natural light right now to make the wee things grow quickly or with vigor.
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Re: My seedlings seem puny

Post  staf74 on 4/6/2011, 5:42 pm

Link to damping off info...

http://tomclothier.hort.net/page13.html

Its a variety of fungus / bacteria that attack seedlings. They won't recover from it. They survive for a while (and look wilted) because the stem is still attached to the roots but death is inevitable.

Are you able to send pics???
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Re: My seedlings seem puny

Post  laurainwinona on 4/6/2011, 6:23 pm

Staf, thanks for the info on damping-off. I don't think that's it, though.

I think you hit the problem, camprn....my 3-season porch is probably too cold (even with the small heater on and full sun, it doesn't get over 65 in there) and doesn't get enough hours of light, even though it is a southern exposure. Unfortunately, in my tiny house with 7 people in it, it is the only place I have to put them. Maybe putting them closer to the heater and getting some grow lights would help next year. Smile

Where would I find grow lights and how many would I need?
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Re: My seedlings seem puny

Post  camprn on 4/6/2011, 7:23 pm

I just use a regular florescent shop lamp with full spectrum or natural light tubes. I keep my lights on about 14 hours a day this time of year and my house is about 58-65. In this photo I raised the fixture for the photo, but normally the lamp is closer, about 1-2" when the seedlings are very small, then about 2-4" away when they get a bit bigger. Hang in there, you are learning as you go. If all else fails maybe you can trade for or buy some starts for transplanting into your garden.
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Re: My seedlings seem puny

Post  laurainwinona on 4/6/2011, 10:28 pm

Thanks! I'll see what I can scrounge up for next year.

Wow, you must have a big garden! I only have one seed tray and it's not even full. I have one 4x4 and one 4x8 for veggies and one 4x4 for strawberries.

My next project is building trellises for the peas and other vining plants that I have planned. You may see more calls for help as the season progresses!
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Re: My seedlings seem puny

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