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Seeds started - what now?

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Seeds started - what now?

Post  moswell on 1/30/2012, 12:11 pm

Umm, really. What do I do with them once they've sprouted but I can't plant them outdoors yet? Some are already looking "leggy."

Yes, I could google it, but what's the fun in that? Smile
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Leggy seedlings

Post  tomperrin on 1/30/2012, 12:19 pm

I piled up more dirt around my seedlings. That seemed to help. Also made sure I turned the light off when the sun went down.

But I am keeping my fingers crossed. But heck, I just want to see green.
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Re: Seeds started - what now?

Post  rrsmith60 on 1/30/2012, 12:53 pm

If you’re using a light, make sure you keep seedlings as close to the light without the heat damaging them.

Once there of some size, I always transplant them to the next size pot that allows me to bury the leggy part.

Good luck!
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Re: Seeds started - what now?

Post  quiltbea on 1/30/2012, 12:59 pm

If they are in flats or tiny soil blocks, when they sprout, transplant them into larger single quarters, like larger soil blocks or paper cups or cell blocks. They'll need the room for root growth.

They should go under the lights after they sprout, with the lights only 2" above their green heads. Keep the lights on for 14-16 hrs a day. I usually put them on in the morning when I let out my dogs, around 7 a.m. and turn them off at nite when the dogs go out for their last nature call around 11 p.m. and mine do well.



Do NOT leave them under the lights 24/7. Its too much for them. They need to rest like they would if they were outdoors and the sun goes down. Good luck.
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Re: Seeds started - what now?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 1/30/2012, 1:36 pm

I had a problem with leggy plants because the room where I was starting them was too warm. Plants need to cool off at night a bit, or they keep growing up stretching for the light, even when it is dark.

This is explained more here:
http://www.hillgardens.com/seeds-whats-wrong.htm
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Re: Seeds started - what now?

Post  moswell on 1/30/2012, 1:52 pm

Okay, so it seems I need a grow light (I have a little seed starting kit)! Can I just buy a lamp and a special kind of bulb, or do I need a fancy-dancy system? Smile
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Re: Seeds started - what now?

Post  quiltbea on 1/30/2012, 2:37 pm

You can get a 4' shop light (2 bulbs) and a pair of sunlight bulbs at Lowe's or a building supply for about $20-25 depending on prices this year. I got a set for about $21 last year when I wanted a 3rd light set.



I can't hook mine into the ceiling so I lift the sides up with baskets, bricks and old VHS tapes so they can be higher for taller plants and lower on the other end for shorter plants as needed. My 3 double lights are set up in a U shape on 2 banquet tables. As you can see, the light in the back (the bottom of the U) is lifted wayyyy up on the right to allow for the taller tomato plants. I like to keep the lights about 2"-3" above the tops of the plants. My transplanting station in between the two pair of lights in the front of the photo.
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Re: Seeds started - what now?

Post  moswell on 1/31/2012, 8:57 pm

Thank you everyone. Based on recommendations, I ran out today and bought a small clamp-on desk lamp and a CFL full-spectrum light bulb. Since I've only got a small number of seedlings I'm trying to grow at once, I think this should be sufficient. I also repotted the seedlings I had, setting them much farther down into the little jiffy pot. I think that's a mistake I made when I first potted them. Fixing that should also help with the legginess (at least I hope so!).
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Re: Seeds started - what now?

Post  ksbmom on 1/31/2012, 9:07 pm

Thanks Squat Johnson for the info about the seedlings needing to cool off at night. I have an experiment going with mine - I have no place in the house to put grow lights so I have them on my screened-in porch. We're in central Florida so temps aren't too cold. They are doing pretty well there. I also have some that I put right in the garden after they sprouted, and some I potted up into cups and put outside sitting on top of the garden box. All of them are growing about the same at this point. If this works, I may forego the lights and just put them right outside. That way I won't have to worry about the whole hardening-off process.
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Re: Seeds started - what now?

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/1/2012, 8:57 am

@moswell wrote:Umm, really. What do I do with them once they've sprouted but I can't plant them outdoors yet? Some are already looking "leggy."...snip... Smile

So what did you plant? (I cannot google that answer!)

Most of my early stuff has sprouted. I try to keep my costs down so I don't use lights or heat mats. I have this romantic dream of not being dependent on "the grid" even though I'm sure not ready to go off grid yet (I do love my keurig)

My sprouty things are in a nice tray with a plastic cover. The PNW has been mild enough that I run the tray out to the back deck in the morning and back inside at night. The daylight they get has been enough to keep the babies from stretching for light.

I won't be starting tender things for a while. Most of what I have are greens and salad that I'll plant out (under a plastic cover so they do not drown) in Mid-March.

The video is a little bit stupid but there is a list of what has been planted on the end credits.

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Re: Seeds started - what now?

Post  moswell on 2/1/2012, 8:04 pm

Well that didn't work. The d&%^ed CFL decided to stop working after less than 10 hours of being on. Guess I'll have to go the slightly more expensive route and buy a daylight simulating lamp with a regular fluorescent bulb. I don't feel like trying to set up a whole two or four foot rig in my house.

Anyway, I'm growing mostly broccoli right now for the garden come April. But I've also got some basil, thyme, and parsley seeds going too.
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Re: Seeds started - what now?

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/1/2012, 11:25 pm

Moswell, That bulb should go back to the merchant. 10 hours is not acceptable for a CFL Full Spectrum light.

Sorry life got complicated for you.
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