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Fearful day turned great

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Fearful day turned great

Post  edfhinton on 3/16/2013, 6:41 pm

Just some happy rambling that I had to write down. No big questions to answer this time.

I've been a bit worried about my onion seedlings, because after two weeks they still had only the single thin stems and many were starting to arc over. I was fearing damping off but couldn't tell. The stalks were all still green, but 90% were very droopy. The mix was still moist about 1/8 inch down or so, and I had fed lightly one time about a week after germination. I decided to give the onions their first haircut down to about 2.5 inches (from about 4), sprinkled a little cinnamon in case it is fungus in vain hopes of "saving" them, and turned the fan back on that I hadn't been running since getting rid of white fuzz early on. (I need to get a smaller fan. It's a big box fan.)

Well about 5 hours later I go back in to plant my thyme and oregano seeds, and lo and behold the seedlings are almost all rock straight vertical and looking happy as could be. I doubt the cinnamon would have done much in a few hours if at all, so I think they just needed the haircut and they seem to really like the steady breeze. Happy me!

Then on top of that, now that the snow is melted between the house and my compost pile, I figured why not walk out and see if it is at all unfrozen and start dumping some more house vegetative scraps and some ash from the woodstove. The pile was not frozen at all, even though the ground around it is absolutely rock hard right to the surface. What was a pretty new and not very big compost pile (only started in September) that hadn't been touched since December is mostly decomposed (except for some corn stalks that I didn't properly chop up.) Turned it over with the new additions and another happy smile.

What a great day that I mistakenly thought was starting with the demise of my seedlings.

-Ed
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edfhinton

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That's wonderful Ed - Cinnamon for fungus??

Post  Windmere on 3/16/2013, 7:16 pm

Ed,

I'm so happy about your day taking a turn for the best. Thanks for sharing your good day with us.

I never knew that you could use cinnamon for fungus. Wow, that is so cool. I had some fungus growing on some radish seedlings that I had started (I over watered). I put them out in the sun, and that did the trick. But I really like your method as well. Thanks for sharing that tip!

Smile
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Re: Fearful day turned great

Post  edfhinton on 3/16/2013, 7:22 pm

I don't really know how well the cinnamon works. But I read it in enough threads that I figured it was worth a try if they were damping off. I now think they were not, but the threads about cinnamon say it can help prevent it too (and it certainly smells good.) I can't wait until I've been doing this for a few years and am less prone to panicking over potential setbacks.

-Ed
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Re: Fearful day turned great

Post  littlejo on 3/16/2013, 7:50 pm

Onion seedlings love their haircut!
I had a lot of seeds that were about 4 yrs old (onions, carrots, beets) I got a bit of warm weather, and the itch to plant, so I took them to the garden and just sprinkled on top of the mulch. I think they all came up. I just took the scissors out and cut my onion babies today. I now have to re-think old seeds.
Jo
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Re: Fearful day turned great

Post  Coelli on 3/16/2013, 8:51 pm

Wait, can you explain the haircut to me? I had heard that onion seeds don't last from year to year, but all of last year's seeds came up and I have onion babies out in the SFG. Smile I keep my seeds in an airtight container with a dessicant tin in the fridge, and I guess it's working!
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Re: Fearful day turned great

Post  edfhinton on 3/17/2013, 9:37 am

Coelli,

I am probably not the best to explain, being a newbie, but I will do my best. As you are more experienced than I am, I likely could learn from whatever you have done. Anyway, I've started my onion seeds indoors under grow lights. It will be another 4 weeks before mine go out into the new SFG beds I will be building. Lots of threads I've read refer to trimming the seedlings down to about 3 or 4 inches when they get taller until they go out. Mine were not quite 4 inches yet so I had not done it yet. They also still had the little seed cases stuck to the tops. As part of my desperation when I saw them all bent down, I decided not to wait any longer to trim them, and now they look terrific. I think the weight of the seed casings was contributing to the drooping and I also think the trimming and better air circulation may have caused some response in the seedlings that was very beneficial beyond just the reduced weight from no longer carrying the seed casings.

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Re: Fearful day turned great

Post  Coelli on 3/17/2013, 12:26 pm

@edfhinton wrote:Coelli,

I am probably not the best to explain, being a newbie, but I will do my best. As you are more experienced than I am, I likely could learn from whatever you have done. Anyway, I've started my onion seeds indoors under grow lights. It will be another 4 weeks before mine go out into the new SFG beds I will be building. Lots of threads I've read refer to trimming the seedlings down to about 3 or 4 inches when they get taller until they go out. Mine were not quite 4 inches yet so I had not done it yet. They also still had the little seed cases stuck to the tops. As part of my desperation when I saw them all bent down, I decided not to wait any longer to trim them, and now they look terrific. I think the weight of the seed casings was contributing to the drooping and I also think the trimming and better air circulation may have caused some response in the seedlings that was very beneficial beyond just the reduced weight from no longer carrying the seed casings.


Oh, got it, thanks! I am in SoCal, and this is my first time planting onions (I bought the seeds last year but did not have room to plant them after all). I seeded directly in the garden a couple of weeks ago, so I'm all good. If I start more indoors this summer to prepare for fall, I will definitely keep the haircut in mind. Thanks again. Smile
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