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Lettuce Seedlings - Top Heaviness Common?

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Lettuce Seedlings - Top Heaviness Common?

Post  Windmere on 3/15/2013, 5:46 pm

Hi all,

I have never in life planted lettuce. I've planted sixteen each of some butter lettuce and some romaine lettuce. They've sprouted nicely, but they are straggly and top heavy. Is this common? I've thinned some out. I just don't know what to expect or what is normal.

:scratch:
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Re: Lettuce Seedlings - Top Heaviness Common?

Post  camprn on 3/15/2013, 5:50 pm

Are these planted inside or outside?

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Re: Lettuce Seedlings - Top Heaviness Common?

Post  H_TX_2 on 3/15/2013, 5:52 pm

Without seeing your lettuce I can't be sure but I think it is normal. Lettuce grows from the center out. The outside leaves get larger while newer smaller interior leaves are produced. The leaves fall outward and usually the top of the leaf is larger than the base of the leaf.
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Re: Lettuce Seedlings - Top Heaviness Common?

Post  camprn on 3/15/2013, 6:01 pm

Many seedlings will get top heavy and leggy if they do not have a close light source at this time of year. In this video you can see how the wee lettuce seedlings are reaching for the light coming through the window.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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All might be fine

Post  Windmere on 3/15/2013, 6:29 pm

Thanks camprn and HTX2,

These seedlings are living in our kitchen window box. I have indeed noticed how they follow the sun. Camprn, the time lapse video you posted was informative to watch.

Since the weather here in GA is nicer today (it froze last night), I put these seedling out in the sun today. I'm being careful to keep them moist (but not damp).

From what you both have said, it seems like my seedlings are normal. I would love to post a picture of them... but I don't have a camera handy right now. I might use my Kindle Fire HD if I can figure out how to manage it.

Thanks both of you. I really appreciate your help.

Smile
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Re: Lettuce Seedlings - Top Heaviness Common?

Post  camprn on 3/15/2013, 6:49 pm

You may want to set up a cold frame or an indoor light station. Placing the lights within 2" of the tops of the lettuce will reduce the legginess of your seedlings.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Might try that cmprn

Post  Windmere on 3/15/2013, 6:55 pm

I might try that with the indoor lights. That was a very good suggestion. Thanks. Very Happy
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