pepperhead212
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Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Has anyone here tried silicates in seed starting?

They are touted as being good for strengthening the stems of plants in hydroponics, and I thought that maybe it may be good to try for seedlings. To me, some tomato varieties, especially, as well as tomatillos, seem very weak, and easily snapped, either moving them around inside, transplanting, or on a windy day. I've had some varieties that I never tried growing again, as all were broken on windy days, while others were OK.

I got some of that Skunk Lab silicates powder, which, when mixed, is only needed in hydroponics at about 1-2 ml/gal. So I figure I'll try a very small amount when watering seedlings - 5 drops/quart, for watering. Too early to see what they look like, plus the only things I am planting that I know are the thin and weak type are tomatillos. I'd have to try those old varieties of tomatoes, to see if it helps with those.
Dave

imafan26
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Has anyone here tried silicates in seed starting?

I think the weak stem problem may have more to do with the amount of light they are getting and the fact that they are grown indoors. Try more light and a fan. Seeds grown outdoors; exposed to rain and wind actually strenghthens the stems which are short and thick in full sun.

Sapling trees are no longer recommended to be staked since the wind moving the top of the sapling helps streghthen the roots and trees with flexible trunks are designed to take the wind. You should see a coconut tree in a hurricane. It will give up all of its leaves and a 40 ft tree will bend all the way to the ground without snapping. It comes out of the hurricanes alive and shaggy but will grow a new crown of leaves in a few months.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

pepperhead212
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Posts: 1509
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Has anyone here tried silicates in seed starting?

I do put a fan in there the last couple weeks of indoor growing. I'm sure they would like more light, but I'm only trying to grow seedlings, not keep them there for their life cycle (this is why I don't bring peppers indoors - they need a LOT more light to produce), and they don't get leggy, so I figure that's enough for the few weeks they are inside. And it's only a few varieties I get this with - most are very rigid, and I never have the problem with peppers, just tomatoes and tomatillos.

Interesting about the coconut trees! That's how they've evolved to survive a hurricane - less leaves, less resistance.
Dave

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