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Help with growing Marigolds from seed

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Help with growing Marigolds from seed

Post  jenjehle on 4/15/2010, 12:17 am

I have decided to start my plants all from seed this year. This is all new to me but so far, the veggies are all looking great.

My problem is my marigolds. I have a dozen or two starts and have only maybe 2 that have done anything!

Here's what I've been doing:

In peat pots, flats with 8 slots each, I put in either Miracle Grow seed starting mix or another organic mix (can't remember the name). Both of these mixes have worked great for my veggies! I add 2-3 marigold seeds in each mix, keep them moist and they are placed in my Parkseed Dome with the heating mat underneath. Nothing. Two of them have sprouted long, leggy starts that fall over if they get the slightest bit dried out. So the few that have sprouted, don't seem to be worth much.

Any help/suggestions I can get about growing marigolds, would be great. I'm on my second pack of Burpee Marigold seeds. They're cheap, I'll keep trying if I could figure out what I'm doing wrong!?!?!

Thanks!
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Re: Help with growing Marigolds from seed

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/15/2010, 8:52 am

I'm not sure I can be of much help, but I'll try. I grew a flat of half Crackerjack marigolds and half California Giant zinnias from seed in the 72 cell plastic "jiffy greenhouse". I do not use peat pots as they dry out too quickly. I use the plastic 6-cell inserts that used to come with the jiffy greenhouse -- I save them from year to year. Used a general potting mix. I put 2 seeds per cell and had about an 80% germination rate, which meant I had to do a lot of clipping of extra seeds. My house was cold at the time I was germinating (60-65 during the day and 50 at night), so I used a homemade bottom heat device that kept their feet at 75-80. As soon as 1/2 the seeds germinated, I moved them to a window with supplemental grow lights (6500 kelvin). In about a week I took off the plastic cover and kept them watered with a diluted mix of Miracle Grow. Mine didn't get leggy until they were about 5" high and were crowding each other.

If I were to do it now, I would use Mel's mix with extra vermiculite (1 qt. MM to 1 cup V)-- that is working better for me than potting mix.

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Re: Help with growing Marigolds from seed

Post  chocolatepop on 4/15/2010, 8:53 am

No input, but I'll be watching this because I have the EXACT same issues....
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Re: Help with growing Marigolds from seed

Post  Cornerstone on 4/15/2010, 9:25 am

"Long leggy starts" sounds like not enough sunlight (or artificial Light). Could you post a pic of the seedlings and their environment?
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Re: Help with growing Marigolds from seed

Post  jenjehle on 4/15/2010, 10:27 am

Well, I don't have any pics b/c I don't have any starts. I've only had about 2 or 3 even sprout and when they did, they were skiny stalks about 3/4 inch high and did nothing from there.

I was hesitant to take them off the heat and put them under my lights, when only 2 had sprout. I was waiting for more to sprout before moving them to the lights.

Think I'm going to get away from the little peat pots. They do try out awful quick. But when they're in the dome, it stays moist in there with the lid on it and the heat under. So I'm still clueless.

Keep the replies coming!
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Re: Help with growing Marigolds from seed

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/15/2010, 2:26 pm

Did you have any mold on the peat pots whilst they were under cover? If so, then it all may have been too wet. I really don't like peat pots as it's near impossible to regulate the moisture of them. They are either soggy or so dry they wick the moisture from the plants.

I move the seedling tray from the heat pad to the lights as soon as I see some babies beginning to germinate. The other alternative is if you are using individual pots would be to move those that germinate into the light.

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Marigold Update :) :) :)

Post  jenjehle on 4/15/2010, 5:53 pm

You guys must be good luck for me!!! Guess what happened? My marigolds sprouted! Lately, I haven't had enough room on my heatpad in my dome, so after planting the seeds and moistening the soil, I put them in my oven on cookie sheets (really.... it works great!) with the light on to warm up the oven. It gets to about 80 degrees in there! I opened my oven and there they were!! Not all of them are up but this a is pretty good percentage. I guess they heard me talking about them



Now my plant would be to
put them under my grow lights. Any thoughts about my plan?


Thanks everyone for your help.
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Re: Help with growing Marigolds from seed

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/15/2010, 7:05 pm

Good for you! Never thought about the oven. Although with my luck I'd turn it on forgetting they were in there. Get those babies under grow lights right away and water from the bottom so the peat pots are damp. Those look dried out.

Your plants will be somewhat leggy, but should firm up quickly if they get plenty of light. Depending on your daytime temps, place them outside in a day or two in dappled shade and they should take off like gangbusters. Just remember to bring them in at night.

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They're alive!!

Post  jenjehle on 4/15/2010, 9:43 pm

Oh, Belfrybat... I promise they have been giving a good long drink. I just took that picture immediatley after discovering they sprouted. But as of now, they're basking in the growlights and enjoying the nice moist soil. Now, if they can just get them to survive and thrive in the next couple of weeks, I'll be happy

Thanks again for any advice thus far!
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