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Help with my indoor herbs?

This is my first time growing anything, so I'm not really sure what I'm doing. I'm using a jiffy 25 peat pellet greenhouse with dill, cilantro, basil, parsley and chives. None of the parsley have sprouted and its been a few weeks. Most everything else has sprouted. I have them growing in my bedroom, they are not getting direct sunlight(I'm thinking of getting a florescent bulb as they will not be moving out doors at any point).
How often should I be watering these plants? Should I trim them to 1 per pellet? When should I move them to separate bigger pots? Should I take the top off? Why hasn't the parsley sprouted? A few seem to not be doing so well, so I figured I would ask for some help :).
Any help and suggestions are appreciated.
Here is a picture of the herbs:

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Super Green Thumb
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Not looking so good.... they definitely need MORE LIGHT. Get that fluorescent bulb you were talking about.

Personally I hate the peat pots. They hold too much moisture, keeping everything too wet and then when they start drying out, they suck moisture away from the soil.

To start with, since you have things growing in the peat pots, I'd start by getting another tray and spreading them out more, so there is air circulation around the pots.

Don't try moving/ transplanting any little seedlings until they have at least one, preferably two pairs of true leaves (the first leaves that appear are the cotyledons/ seed leaves, usually differently shaped than the true leaves).

Parsley is slow to sprout so keep giving it a chance for awhile. Yes take the top off. Biggest danger to new seedlings is too much water, so give them small amounts of water daily. You don't want them to dry out, but you don't want them wet either. I water from the bottom, putting water in the tray and letting the soil soak it up, but I don't know if that works as well with the peat pots. Next time just use dixie cups or plastic drink cups (with holes punched in the bottom).
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Yes. Do go to the Seed Starting Forum and read some of the threads there.

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Location: CT

I'm right there with Rainbow on the jiffy pots.

Just do some reading on seed starting and you'll be a pro in no time. Yes, Those seedlings are what you call leggy which means not enough light.

The easy way is to use "seed starting mix" and find some cheap small plastic pots such as six-packs, 4" pots, flats or even plastic cups. Poke holes for drainage if your tend to over water. I tell everyone to picture a wrung out sponge, not too dry, not too wet, perfect! You could also make up your own light and airy mix if needed. There are tons of ways to do it. Bottom heat also works wonders for speedy germination but you can get away without it, I however can't! Seems like seeds are germinating for you, your problem is lack of light.

Go pick up a 4 foot shoplight with twin bulbs. (around $10.00) Then you'll need two cool white (they are inexpensive too, around $2-3.00?) bulbs.

One of these four foot fixtures covers two seed flats measuring about 11"x 20 1/2" leaving around 8" extra for 4" pots or what ever. You could call it four square feet of growing area. With my african violet setup (low light plants) I use one twin tube fixture per 2' x 4' shelf or eight square feet placed 12" above the plants with a mixture of one cool white and one warm white bulb for triggering flowers. Its an award winning (AVSA blue ribbons baby) setup for less than $20.00!

I believe the cool whites color temp is 4100k which is fine for promoting foliage growth which is all you need for growing transplants. I'm very happy with my transplants using the cool whites. They are nice stocky plants with no signs of being leggy what so ever. That was with the lights 1-2" away from plant tops even on a ten hour light cycle!

Bottom line is you could spend more money on specialty grow bulbs (full spectrum, growlux or even 5500-6500K but are they really needed. I don't feel so, but then again I'm cheap!

I hope that helps you out.

Big J
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:50 am
Location: Key West

We like growing herbs too! Nothing like fresh herbs when cooking. Anyway, in a low light environment your herbs are gonna suffer as you have been experiencing. Down here in Key West, we had a very sunny balcony and grew herbs in containers (no peat pots, we used bagged garden soil with occasional feeding). The herbs thrived.
In our current home, our deck is very shaded and the herbs just couldn't survive.
Fluorescent lighting, as others touched on, would be a big help. Your little seedlings are leggy due to stretching to gain light. When you set this up, make sure you are able to adjust the distance between your plants and the light. Keep the light a few inches away from the plants and see how they do. Adjust until you get the results you seek.
Also, to increase the stem strength, an oscillating fan at a low setting is a great indoor substitute for a breeze. Just don't overdo it, you don't want to blow your plants down!

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