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My winter project due to boredom.

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My winter project due to boredom.  Empty My winter project due to boredom.

Post  madnicmom on 1/13/2012, 2:00 pm

I went to Lowe's and bought the shoplight, bulbs and PVC, Hubby cut it to my measurements and I let my 4yr old put it together with supervision.

My winter project due to boredom.  100_1207

I'm trying to save some of the leggy plants, not sure that can be done, replanted the other leggy plants. I have 16 pots of broccoli.

Feedback please.
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Post  NorthWoodsFever on 1/13/2012, 2:12 pm

That is a nice set up. A kudo's for getting your 4 yo involved! cheers

Question - how do you deal with leggy plants? Last year was my first year starting plants and they all grew, but boy were they leggy. I used my 4 shelf indoor green house in the dinning room by the south facing sliding glass door. Needless to say not many of them survived transplant.Sad
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Post  madnicmom on 1/13/2012, 2:57 pm

last year, I repotted them deeper. They survived and produced.
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Post  NorthWoodsFever on 1/13/2012, 3:04 pm

Gottcha. I'll keep that in mind when I start them. My winter project due to boredom.  109486 I didn't know if I was doing something wrong or what.
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Post  miinva on 1/13/2012, 11:03 pm

I dug around and found the thread where BackyardBirdGardner shared a link that was really educational about starting seeds.

Hill Gardens "What's Wrong With My Seedlings?"
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Post  madnicmom on 1/19/2012, 10:35 am

Yep, I saw that post and read the link. It's good. The light has STOPPED the legginess and new plants have emerged and staying compact and one has "true" leaves (second set) growing already. I love this. Now to get a heat mat, for my peppers in the next few weeks.
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Post  quiltbea on 1/19/2012, 11:54 am

Mnmom.....Great job. I like those pipes.
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Post  BrotherNorm on 1/19/2012, 12:48 pm

Okay, new guy on the block in more ways than one.

What is a "leggy plant" in the context that it's being used in this post? :scratch:
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Post  Squat_Johnson on 1/19/2012, 1:03 pm

Leggy plants are tall and skinny. Not enough light sometimes causes this, or temp issues. Plants will reach out for more light, and get tall and skinny... Healthy plants would be shorter, thick and stocky.
This does a better explanation:
Hill Gardens "What's Wrong With My Seedlings?"
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Post  BrotherNorm on 1/19/2012, 1:14 pm

My winter project due to boredom.  109486 for the explanation.
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Post  CindiLou on 1/19/2012, 2:03 pm

Was reading the article and have a question. So does that mean use a heat mat AND full spectrum bulbs. But turn them both off late in the evening? I am just getting my setup around for the start of the seedling year. I use the right bulbs and the right distance. But this year I bought a couple of heat mats to try. Yes, I have had MANY leggy plants. And the live/die rate was about 50/50, lol..
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Post  quiltbea on 1/19/2012, 2:12 pm

Cindi......Most seeds, except for lettuce, don't need light to germinate so you can use your heat mats for germination without any lights at all. I sit my trays of seeds on small tv dinner tables in the living room away from any windows or lighting.
They don't go under the lights until they've popped up and are growing.

I understand that the latest idea is to turn off the heat mats at night just as you would the lights. I've never tried that yet. I keep my heat mats on all the time while the seeds are germinating. I'll have to try turning them off at night this year.
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Post  CindiLou on 1/19/2012, 2:36 pm

Thanks Quiltbee! I guess I never worried about them having light to germinate. It was just easier to have them all under the lights. But the heat mat is new so I might as well try germinating differently!
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Post  janezee on 1/19/2012, 3:35 pm

Having a fan blow on your seedlings will help strengthen the stems, and help prevent damping off, too.

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Post  plantoid on 1/19/2012, 3:51 pm

I have a thermostatically controlled ( under the sand bed ) 40 foot electric cable heated propagation bed out in the greenhouse .
I've ended up using plexiglass panels to make a five sided cover around the plants to keep heat in over night ( tonight it is just above freezing outside ).. the heat off the bed rises and also warms the air around the plants but I do have to give it a decent airing for a few hours every day or else mildew will start up .

I can see that trying to mimic nature might offer some advantages but ever since I did my first plant cuttings back in 1960 in the rural science labs & propagation beds at school I've become aware that bottom heat all the time is a way of shortening the growing time for seeds and cuttings.
None of the experiments we did gave any better results than a timed misting on a 24/7 thermostatically heated bed of sterile growth medium .

I've read about the theory of the night turn off but have yet to read propper researched experiments corroberated by several unconnected people in different countries to prove it beyond doubt.
Why else would we still be using them if we had to switch the things off for 10 hrs at a time unless it gives more growth in the same period . This sort of thing was well research all round the world in the 1930's , after into the war years & beyond because of urgent the need to get food produced as quick and easily as possible.

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Post  madnicmom on 1/19/2012, 4:55 pm

I just had my son bring in some MM (in garbage can by the compost pile) , I'm going to re-pot these and see how it goes. I'll post a pic later.
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Post  DebbieR on 1/19/2012, 5:48 pm

Madnicmom--Love your set up!

Like Janezee, I have also read that you can set up a fan on the seedlings to get stockier plants. I don't bother doing that with mine, but I do run my hand over them once a day (gently, just enough to bend them a bit and ruffle the leaves) to mimic the wind. Maybe not something you want your 4 year old to help with though! My seedlings are on the shelf in my laundry room under an extra shoplight that I hung.
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Post  DebbieR on 1/19/2012, 6:26 pm

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Here are my tomatoes and bell peppers.
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Post  RoOsTeR on 1/19/2012, 7:09 pm

Love your set up Madnicmom. Sounds like you have a great little helper and your light stand turned out perfect My winter project due to boredom.  3170584802


Debbie, you're off to an excellent start rock on

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