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skiingjeff
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Alyssum baby seedlings are not looking healthy

I started some giga white alyssum seeds at the beginning of March in our basement. I have flourescent lighting on them about 4 inches away and a fan circulating the air. The temperature is about 73 degrees during the day and may go down to 65 at night.

They were looking good and have grown to about 1 inch in height until about a week ago. Now I'm getting some yellow leaves and some dark spots on some leaves before they start to wither. Some, not too many, have turned white.

I water them every day thoroughly and I don't see any pests on the leaves. I have noticed a couple small black fly-like insects flying around. Only a couple and not every time I check on my plants. All the other seedling plants are fine.

Any ideas on what could be the problem? Thanks in advance for any advice :)

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digitS'
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Skiingjeff, I have only grown alyssum once or twice that I can remember and, it has been a few years ago. Still, I wouldn't think it would be a lot different from its brassica cousins and I've got broccoli and such every year :wink: .

These plants seem to appreciate soil moisture but I do not water them every day during their 1st few weeks of life. Maybe you have so much air movement around them that the soil dries quickly but I wouldn't have expected so.

What kind of soil have you started them in? They have been a month in it and if there is much water moving thru that soil, it may be deficient in nutrients for the plants by now.

I bet the insects are fungus gnats. That also may be a sign the potting soil is staying too wet.

Steve
Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler. ~ Albert Einstein

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rainbowgardener
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My best guess about the yellowing leaves would also be overwatering. It is easy to keep seedlings too wet.
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skiingjeff
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Thanks for the suggestions. :)

I started the seedlings in Miracle Gro seedling mix which did have some fertilizer. I watered once last week with Miracle Gro liquid fertilizer mixture, after about four weeks of growing time. Maybe I should fertilize more? :?

I looked under the biodegradable pots they are in and there is some white fuzzy stuff growing under there. Should I do something to get rid of it? Any suggestions?

I've been watering once daily but I'll hold off watering from now on until the soil turns light brown (dry) and see if that helps. Some of the cells seem to dry out more than others so I guess I should only water those that get dry as well.

Thanks again :!: I really appreciate the help. :D

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digitS'
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I kind of use a once-a-month schedule for fertilizing plants both in the garden and indoors but Miracle Gro soil is supposed to have long acting fertilizer, right?

Any sign of mold - my first step is to get them out into sunlight.

I have the last sowing of tomato seeds in a covered container on the fridge right now. Yesterday, I noticed some mold along the edge :shock: ! The seeds still had not emerged but I had a much better location than the dark of the warm kitchen, covered with plastic.

This is, or was, a cookie box. Out comes the scissors & off comes that top. It can now serve as a tray and the box of soil mix goes in a nice bright south window. The mold was removed - what I could find of it.

By sundown, I could see the bent heads of 2 seedlings . . . The "tray" became a lid again and the container went back into the warmth of the kitchen to spend the hours of darkness. Just now, it is back on the sill of that south window, uncovered. The 2 seedlings have been joined by about 20 of their sisters!

Hopefully, I won't get any damping-off over on the side where there was mold . . .

I know that peat containers are successful with many gardeners. I have had trouble when I've used them - things are always too dry or too wet. One thing, be sure that the top of the container is covered with garden soil once it gets out there in the garden. I've lost plant starts by having the peat "wick away" the moisture and the result for some of them was much worse than a little transplanting shock :oops: .

Steve
Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler. ~ Albert Einstein

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rainbowgardener
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yup, the mold is another sign that things are staying too wet. I agree that the peat pots are a menace, very difficult to work with, stay too wet and then dry out and suck all the moisture away from the plants. And definitely do not plant things in the ground still in the peat pots. They may be "biodegradable" but not in time to do the plant any good. They sit there and smother the roots and the plant dies. Cut the pot off the seedling before putting it in the ground. And next time use plastic pots, works much better and you can re-use the pots.
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lily51
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Ditto on problems with peat pots. I don't even try to use them anymore. :)

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skiingjeff
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Thanks again for the good info :)

I used the pots on the advice of a guy I met in the store when buying my new first time stuff - I guess they work for him but....

I'll work on getting rid of the moldy bottoms and next time use plastic for sure. Unfortunately the mold is not in a spot to be cut off so I'll try the sunlight method. :(


I'll also be sure to remove the pots when planting outside.

Between that and watering less, I hope to see some improvement. Thanks again for all the great advice! I'll post an update next week on how things are going. :D

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skiingjeff
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Update on my alyssum.

I put them into plastic cups with drain holes in the bottoms. I've been putting cinnamon in my water and bottom watering them. I still see some gnats once in a while but not too much and I've been killing them :x

They seem to be recovering nicely and have flowered! See pics below.

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[url=https://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/96/img1199mt.jpg/][img]https://imageshack.us/thumbnmail.png[/img][/url]

Thanks for all the help on this :)

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