RuHappy69
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plants not growing? Picture

My Eggplant, Peppers and spinach seem to be stuck at the same size they were 2 weeks ago? Any thoughts? They are properly watered and get plenty of sun..

[img]https://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a103/RUhappy69/garden.jpg[/img]
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sciencegal
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This happened to me last year which was the first time I tried starting veg's from seed. I used the Jiffy seed starting mix and those little square peat pots. The peat pots were a disaster. They folded up and dried out constantly. My gardening friends all told me later that they never had much success with peat pots.

So, I started over (a little too late) with plastic starters and the Jiffy seed starter mix. After a month about all I had were the second set of leaves and the little tomato seedlings starting turning a purple color. After a little reading I figured out I had to fertilize them. Duh! I didn't realize that the seed starter mix didn't have any fertilizer.

This year I started seeds in the plastic seed starting trays, and used a fertilizer diluted for seedlings once they germinated. This worked much better.

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rainbowgardener
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Agree, the peat pots are a disaster. They hold too much moisture and keep the seedlings waterlogged and then when they finally do dry out they suck water away from the seedling.

The seed starting mix is probably high in peat, compounding the problems.

And you said they get plenty of sun. Is that because they are outside? If not, if they are indoors, like in front of a window, they are NOT getting plenty of light. At this time of year you can just put the plants outside and bring them in at night if your nights are still cold. (But if they've been inside, you can't just throw them outside, you have to transition them gradually.)

Spinach is a cool weather crop and fast growing. I never bother starting it indoors. I plant the seed directly in the ground as soon as the soil can be worked, which for me is sometime early to mid March. If you have more of the spinach seed, I would start over just planting it in the ground. It is already a little late for it, meaning it is likely not to last a real long time, but bolt (go to seed) fairly quickly. So save some of your seed for planting late in the season for a fall crop, which will do better.

I'm not too familiar with eggplant, but I'm thinking you might just start that one directly in the ground at this point too. It's a warm weather crop, so it doesn't get planted until your soil has warmed up some. Which would be sometime between now and a few weeks from now.

If you have some pepper seedlings that look reasonably healthy, you could just transfer them to a plastic pot (or plastic drink cup with holes in the bottom for drainage). If you use potting soil instead of seed starting mix, it usually comes with Miracle Grow or something like that in it. That is all you need until putting them out.
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rootsy
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If you have seedlings under a high K value florescent they will be highly purple. The high wave length also promotes root growth instead of plant and flower growth.

It is good to sacrifice some plant size early on for a good healthy root system and strong stem.

Started most of my warm weather stuff in the basement in March under 5000K and 6500K florescents. Constant 60F or so down there and I had a heat lamp on the peppers to get them to pop. In a month and a half the peppers didn't even have a second set of leaves and most of the tomatoes were only 3 or 4 inches.

Moved them to the greenhouse 2 weeks ago and they have all tripled in size... No fertilization other than a compost & peat based starter from a local greenhouse. Same stuff they use to start and grow seedlings.

sciencegal
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rootsy wrote:If you have seedlings under a high K value florescent they will be highly purple. The high wave length also promotes root growth instead of plant and flower growth.
My purple tomato plants were outside during the day and inside at night for weeks. They never grew just got gradually more purple. I read that a lack of phosphorus (if I remember correctly) would make the leaves of tomatoes turn purple. That's when it dawned on me that they needed fertilizer.

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rainbowgardener
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We need to hear back from RuHappy, but I'm not guessing those plants were under high intensity light and they don't look to me like happy little plants that are busy putting out big root systems. Rootsy, I bet your plants though small did not look like that picture....
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RuHappy69
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Hey, sorry

for not getting back sooner. Never thought the peat pots could be the culprit. They are outside all day and all night these days. Have been for pretty much two weeks. Water them often (almost daily depending on how the soil feels). Yesterday I mixed water with miracle grow because i figured the young seedling zapped the nutrients of their low budget starting soil.. I'm just somewhat dissapointed. I go to stores and see plants that are already 6" tall that can be planted tomorrow and start picking that much sooner... So why bother with seedlings that take so long to get decent size. After my cucumbers took a header I planted new seeds direct in the ground and they are starting to sprout. My beans tho, look crappy after about 2 weeks in the soil. Still not climbing and they do not look great (I'll have to take a pic later).. :(

sciencegal
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Don't be discouraged. I felt the same way last year with all my seedling failures. But, I learned a lot and applied it this year with great success, that is if you don't count the sweet peppers that all died when I potted them up. It's really true that we learn more from our failures than our successes.

You can buy transplants but there are so many interesting plants that you can only find and grow from seeds. In mid-January when it seems like it will never be warm and the snow and ice will never go away I spend hours thumbing through seed catalogs dreaming of my summer garden. I order all kinds of interesting veg's and flowers and then it's so exciting a few weeks later to look at all the packets when they arrive and start planning.

I had the same problem with beans last year. They came up great and looked beautiful and green then they went through a yellowing stage and looked awful, a few even died. We had a spell of cool weather just before then and I learned that they can't fix nitrogen in cool weather. Once the weather warmed up they bounded back and did fine. I think I also gave them some nitrogen fertilizer to help them along. This year I'm trying innoculant with the peas and beans. I'll see if it improves things as the advertising promises.

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rainbowgardener
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Starting things from seeds indoors takes a little bit of learning from experience and a little bit of basic equipment (pots, trays, fluorescent lights). It also helps to start early. I start my tomatoes indoors around Valentines day, peppers a little sooner than that.

Once you have all that, it works great. I start about 500 plants from seed indoors every year. Sell off a couple hundred of them, give away a bunch, and still have way more plants than I could ever afford to buy. And I had big healthy more than a foot high tomato plants that I put in the ground a month ago... Now they have baby tomatoes on them.

That's why we do all this! :)
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RuHappy69
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my mistake

was starting waay too late. :(

Next year valentines day...

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rainbowgardener
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but only if you have lights to put them under. Starting early like that you will have good sized plants before it is warm enough to put them out. Pot them up into 16 oz drinking cups and keep them under the lights. Tomatoes do NOT do well just sitting in front of a window!
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