emerald7
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The "it" point for starting seeds?

I think I read that even if your seeds sprout, there is still a chance that they might die off or weaken before really becoming a plant.

I am wondering when the "it" point is for starting seeds... meaning, if you get them past this point they'll usually be OK... that point. Like a height or number of leaves etc. When can you say 'yes I did it?' lol.
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rainbowgardener
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You are right that baby seedlings are very vulnerable to too much moisture, too little moisture, damping off fungus, getting broken, etc. It's hard to say when the it point is though. By the time they have 4 true leaves they are getting sturdier. But then then next point of vulnerability if you are growing them indoors is the transition between indoors and out, "hardening off."

I'm by now a very experienced seed starter and I lose very few seedlings any more, except the ones I cull because there are just too many. But I'm always rushing the season and putting things out when it's really too cold. So that's probably when I lose the most plants. None so far this year-- but it's 44 degrees out there and I've got 4 trays of plants shivering out on the deck that I should probably go rescue now that it's in shade!

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Kisal
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IMO, by the time the seedling has several sets of true leaves, it should be safe. It will still need careful culture, of course, to avoid fungal and bacterial diseases, insect damage, over- or under-watering, insufficient or too much light, etc.

But, again JMO, I think you can call it a success once it has produced several true leaves. :)
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emerald7
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Fungus

rainbowgardener wrote:You are right that baby seedlings are very vulnerable to too much moisture, too little moisture, damping off fungus, getting broken, etc.
What is 'damping off fungus'?
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rainbowgardener
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It's a fungal disease that occurs especially in seedlings and especially thrives in warm, moist, low air circulation conditions (like if you keep your seedlings inside one of those mini-greenhouse things). The stems get pinched in with a little brown line just at or above the soil line and the seedling flops over and lies on the soil. Not a thing you can do for it at that point.

emerald7
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rainbowgardener wrote:It's a fungal disease that occurs especially in seedlings and especially thrives in warm, moist, low air circulation conditions (like if you keep your seedlings inside one of those mini-greenhouse things). The stems get pinched in with a little brown line just at or above the soil line and the seedling flops over and lies on the soil. Not a thing you can do for it at that point.
I will watch for that. I really need to keep from overwatering, as mold tends to grow easily in my house anyway, even before I ever had any plants.
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emerald7
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Fungus

I thought about trying to grow mushrooms once, but gave up the idea because of the unlikelihood of being able to ensure other fungus wouldn't grow in there... :?
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cynthia_h
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There *is* no IT point for me. I have a 100% kill rate for starting seeds. :(

In 2008, every single seed I started died. We ended up just planting direct in the soil and purchasing a few tomato plants.

In 2009, we didn't even bother to start seeds. We just planted direct in the soil and purchased a few tomato plants.

Yes, this puts us behind where we would ideally like to be, season-wise, but...at least the plants start out alive.

Keeping them that way...well, that's a whole 'nother thing.

I can have a stout, happy seedling--green beans, say--in the afternoon, and if I'm not out there at night with my flashlight, some slimy critter will eat it to nubs that night. Not only will the seedling be dead, but there won't be anything at all left.

No safety. No time. No IT point.

What was it that Mad Eye Moody said? "Constant vigilance!" :lol:

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emerald7
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Oh no

cynthia_h wrote:There *is* no IT point for me. I have a 100% kill rate for starting seeds. :( In 2008, every single seed I started died.
I can have a stout, happy seedling--green beans, say--in the afternoon, and if I'm not out there at night with my flashlight, some slimy critter will eat it to nubs that night. Not only will the seedling be dead, but there won't be anything at all left.
Oh no.... :(
But lol @ 'slimy critter'. :P
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cynthia_h
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My revenge on slimy critters:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=69853&highlight=snail+hunting#69853

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7606

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=59181

Cynthia

emerald7
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cynthia_h wrote:My revenge on slimy critters:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=69853&highlight=snail+hunting#69853
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7606
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=59181
Cynthia
wow, lol
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applestar
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I think for me, a milestone happens (not necessarily the final one) when they get uppotted to individual pots or final community pot before transplanting out and they start showing a spurt of growth indicating they're settling in. They won't get as much attention after that until they need to be hardened off except to be shuffled around and grouped according to height under the lights, but then, I'm mostly just comparing heights, not as an individual. :wink:

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