emiwri
Full Member
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Indiana

Stringy Seedlings

Getting plants started for spring! Yay!!!

Right now I have artichokes growing their second set of leaves. Broccoli in 3 batches 2 weeks apart, last batch started today. Finally, tomatoes, yet to grow their 2nd set of leaves.

Now, I'm noticing they are growing rather long and stringy. I've begun "petting" them and blowing on them to strengthen them, but still I'm a bit concerned. I'm about ready to add soil around them the lessen their length. Another thought is to get the flourescent light out of the basement and set them up under that instead of relying on the light thru my southern facing window. I believe they may be getting stringy "reaching" for the sunlight.

What do you think?

emiwri
Full Member
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Indiana

https://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k24/emiwri/plants3-5-07002.jpg
https://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k24/emiwri/plants3-5-07004.jpg

I took pictures!

peachguy
Senior Member
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:01 pm
Location: Ontario

Natural light is always better than synthetic, but when it is a window they tend to grow towards it. This is why you should turn them every couple of days so they grow straight up. When in a greenhouse they don't have this problem because all the walls and roof let in light. Even though you have natural light it might be good to use a fluorescent light in the evening after the sun goes down. Plants do best with a least fourteen hours of light, so you could set the light on a timer to come on after sun goes down. Also i have a little fan that i have blowing on my seedling during the day every day, I do this so when i put them outside they topple over from the wind. It is not very good when you baby plants, i learned this the hard way I lost most of my seedlings last year. Plant benefit from a little a neglect because when in nature they don't always get perfect conditions.

emiwri
Full Member
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Indiana

Thanks so much! I'll see if I can find a way to set up some supplemental light and try not to spoil my plants as bad as my cats! :D I've been turning the plants every day so could it be that I do it too often? Didn't think that could be an issue.

peachguy
Senior Member
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:01 pm
Location: Ontario

I am not sure if turning everyday would be too often, now that you say that i think maybe it has more to do wind flow around plants. Maybe some else will give some input as well.

Newt
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1868
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 10:44 pm
Location: Maryland zone 7

Emiwri,

From this site:
https://extension.missouri.edu/jasper/hort/mg/globe/014.htm
As soon as the seedlings can be seen emerging, uncover them and place them in a light airy spot which may be slightly cooler than before. Light from the sun in a southern windowsill (or from florescent light fixtures work even better) to keep the seedlings growing and get the leaf branches started. Place the flat within six inches of the light for the best effect.

If you have a small fan, place it so that a gentle breeze flows over the small plants. A little air circulation makes them stronger, prevents some mildew-type diseases from forming, and helps them grow stockier.
Do not add more soil unless they are tomatoes.

Newt

emiwri
Full Member
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Indiana

Newt wrote:
Do not add more soil unless they are tomatoes.

Newt
Funny, the tomatoes are the least stringy! Thanks.

emiwri
Full Member
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Indiana

Should I woory that my broccoli is toppling over because the base is so stringy? The artichokes are doing better lately.

Newt
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1868
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 10:44 pm
Location: Maryland zone 7

Can you get a fan going to blow over the top of the broccoli? Maybe you could prop them up. I think the broccoli is the one in the white pot in the left of your first photo.

Newt

emiwri
Full Member
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Indiana

The broccoli are all the ones in peat pots with the long white label markers sticking out of them. I'm growing three kinds! :D

I propped up the brocoli on the label markers and put skewers next to the artichokes that are still a little droopy.

Here's how they look today:
https://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k24/emiwri/plants3-10-07.jpg

The plants get rotated and moved often to catch maximum sunlight thoughout the day. Today it's cloudy, so they're not particularly happy plants today. The Jade plants on the sides are still griping about how the seedlings took over their prime locations next to the window.

That sad aloe plant (which the subject of my first post on helpful gardener), BTW, is upstairs but she's not doing so well and I'm not sure her pup is either. They're turning light green. I'm considering removing the mother plant so that the pup might live... but I'm doubtful that it would make a difference.

I noticed that it says "New Member" next to my name. How and when does that status change?

emiwri
Full Member
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Indiana

I attached the broccoli to supports (well kabob skewers actually) and the seem to be doing much better! They've also been moved to the back porch where I can open a window and let a breeze in. Thanks for the advice everyone!



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