Brea
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Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 11:01 pm
Location: Troy, NY

Help with starting from seed!!

Hi! I need some serious help. My husband and I are trying to start our vegetable garden this year from seed and we are having an awful time. After three or four weeks of each seed looking wonderful (true leaves and all) they all seem to start to thin, then wilt then die. We have over 150 seedlings started for all different types of vegetables. The only thing doing well are the cucumbers. Any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated!

Thanks!!!
Brea

TZ -OH6
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How are you treating them? What potting mix, watering schedule, Fertilizing? Humidity? What type of lights?


Often times seedlings die off because they are being loved too much one way or another.

Brea
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I started them in peat pellets and transferred them into peat pots with organic vegetable mix potting soil (Miracle Grow Brand). They are inside under grow lamps - about 6 inches from the lamps uncovered. I have been watering them about every other day and have fed them only once so far.

TZ -OH6
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Sounds like overwatering leading to damping off, which is a fungal disease that collapses the stem at the soil line. The plants either fall over, wither, or simply stop growing, depending on how tough the stem is when it hits.

You want to water thoroughly and then let the soil dry quite a bit before watering again, and you want the air above the plant to be fairly dry (low humidity). The warmth from the lights is usually enough for this.

Peat pots tend to increase drying, but they also make it easy to over water (because you don;t like to see them dry), and that keeps the humidity high aroung the bse of the plants. Plastic pots/cups are much easier to use.

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rainbowgardener
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Yup, I think TZ nailed it (as usual). Damping off is a fungal condition that little seedlings are very vulnerable to. It is seen mostly in conditions of too much humidity/moisture and too little air circulation.

The peat pots are very bad for this, hold too much moisture in (and then when they finally do dry out, they suck water away from the seedlings)

What you need is plastic pots (can be plastic drink cups with holes in the bottom for drainage, yoghurt/ sour cream cups or whatever you have like that). And you need trays to put them in so you can water from the bottom up. Just put a little water in the bottom of the tray and let the plants soak it up. Two other tips: A little personal fan to circulate air helps. Putting some chamomile tea and A LITTLE bit of cinnamon in the water you water with helps (they are natural anti-fungals).

But the plants that are wilted and lying on the soil are goners; nothing unfortunately you can do to save them, sorry. I hate how they hype those peat pots; it's hard to find anything else in the garden stores these days and they are plant killers. How do they get away with that! :twisted: If I were a little more paranoid, I'd think it's a conspiracy to make people think it is really hard to start things from seed, so they will keep buying lots of plants from H.D and places like that.
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Brea
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Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 11:01 pm
Location: Troy, NY

TZ and Rainbow... Thank you so much for your help. I am soooo mad to think I may have killed all of these little plants. Do you think the ones that aren't completely wilted will make it??

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