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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Oh yes! Overwatering is the commonest cause of seedling death. It is a little tricky, because new little seedlings can't be allowed to dry out either.

Hard to say how often to water, depends on the plants, the soil, etc.

I have a lot better success with bottom watering. Put your pots in a tray and just pour a little water into the bottom of the tray, just enough so that the water touches the bottom of the soil. Then the soil can just wick up the water it needs. I do that every morning, IF it has taken up all the water from the day before. If not, then I skip a day. But you do have to be really careful not to put too much water in. You don't want to leave them sitting in water much.
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lovely_star
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:02 pm
Location: Long Island, NY Zone 7B

Thanks rainbow. One of the sprouts from my leggy broccoli is laying flat on its back. Does this mean its dead? Should I toss this pot and start a new one? Also none of my pepper have germinated and I started 12 pots. Should I consider these duds too and start new ones?

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rainbowgardener
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Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

the seedling lying flat is probably "damped off." It's a fungal condition that little seedlings are very vulnerable too, that has to do with too much moisture and too little air circulation. There's tons written here about it if you type damping off in Search the Forum keyword box. But yes, by the time they are lying flat, they are probably goners and can't be revived.

How long back did you plant the pepper seeds? What kind of peppers? Bell peppers usually sprout pretty quickly, a week or less. Some of the super hot peppers are reputed (I don't grow them) to take considerably longer.

Peppers need warm soil to germinate. If the soil is too cool and moist they will just sit there and rot. You can see what is going on by digging around in one of your pots and trying to find the seeds you planted. If you find a seed and it has a little root sprouted, planted it back and just have patience. They do put down roots before you see anything on the surface. If you find a seed and it has not sprouted, but is solid and swelled up from how it was when you planted it, give it more time. If you can't find any of your seeds, they rotted out. Start over with warmer soil. Browse in this seed starting section for how people provide heat to their seedlings.

How deep do you plant your seeds? I don't really even bury seeds, just press them firmly into contact with the soil and then sprinkle a little bit of potting soil on top to cover them. Burying too deep can slow down their sprouting.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration



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