orgoveg
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lighting issue?

The seeds that I started weeks ago germinated but they're not producing true leaves yet and the color of the sprouts is lacking green. They're turning yellow which I assume indicates a lack of chlorophyll. The soil is good and full of nutrients and the plants are kept at room temperature in the house (about 72 degrees farenheit). I don't think watering is a problem, so I am assuming that lighting is the problem. Assuming that, would a lack of color indicate too much or too little light?

I'm in the process of building a cold frame for the plants to go outside with what will hopefully be a proper amount of light. Meanwhile, I just wonder what the artificial light is doing to them.

Photo below shows what I have.

[img]https://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/abaction/seedstarts.jpg[/img]

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rainbowgardener
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It looks like you are doing things right. That should be enough light and you knew to keep it right down near your plants. How many hours a day is it on?

Your little seedlings don't look bad to me, though it is hard to judge color from photos. They are very new. Give them a few more days. If lack of light is (for some reason), the problem, they will be getting leggy and stretched out. If that were true, I would wonder about the bulbs. Are they new? People say that fluorescent bulbs lose their energy output over time, though I haven't had much trouble growing seedlings under old bulbs.

But yellowing (as opposed to bleaching out and getting pale) probably doesn't indicate lack of light. Probably suggests too much moisture. I know you said watering isn't a problem, but are those peat pots? Peat pots can hold too much moisture. Otherwise say more about how you are watering and how damp your soil seems.
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DoubleDogFarm
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and please elaborate "The soil is good and full of nutrients".

Eric

orgoveg
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Here are better photos. The pepper plants on the left look fine, but the tomato and kale plants to the right don't look healthy. The soil is Jiffy brand organic seed starting mix. I'm just assuming that it has enough nutrients since it was supposedly designed for seed starting. I put my finger in one of the empty cells and it is very moist (I would almost call it wet). I use a turkey baster to water them every other day. Maybe they are getting too much water. The bottom of the box is lined with plastic grocery bags to keep the cardboard dry. The cells are just cut pieces of paper towel tubes - not peat pots - but they could be just as troublesome as peat pots. The light turns off at 11:00 PM and it is set to turn back on at 7:00 AM, but it usually turns on at about 5:30 AM. The bulbs are actually very old. I never thought about that.

[img]https://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/abaction/seedstarts2.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/abaction/seedstarts1.jpg[/img]

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rainbowgardener
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Two problems - With the plastic and the cardboard, your soil is probably staying too wet. You will need to be very careful with water.

AND no, seed starting mix usually does NOT have nutrients. It is just for germinating seed. Then you need to either switch to potting soil with nutrients added or start fertilizing. That's why I don't use seed starting mix. I just plant everything in potting soil with nutrients to start with. The seeds don't need it for germinating, but it doesn't seem to hurt them any and it saves me having to have two kinds of soil and switch out.
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orgoveg
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Thanks alot for the advice. I guess I'll have to start fertilizing but since I use liquid fish emulsion, I should probably wait for the soil to dry some more. I'll try cutting the watering down to every 4 days. I guess I should just do the "finger test" before doing that.

It's supposed to reach high temperatures in the 50's with alot of sun the next two days, so I'm hoping they'll do better in the cold frame. If these plants fail, I'm pretty much stuck with buying plants at the nursery, which is something that absolutely goes against my grain. I used to direct-sow everything, but I'm learning about the beauty in starting early. I'm usually the last one to get ripe tomatoes and that is only if the plants survive the diseases that the season tends to deal out. I've been growing Rutgers tomatoes from saved seeds for several years now. They should be well-adjusted to my soil and climate. They must grow this year, so as not to break the cycle. I guess I could just direct-sow them again, if necessary. It takes forever and a day for them to mature that way.



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