maeliejade
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Quick help? - Pumpkin seedlings have tightly closed leaves.

I'm super extra new to growing things. Also, I'm rather poor so I'm just working with what I can get on the cheap.

I've started with a 36 cell jiffy "greenhouse" (the kind with the dirt pellets that you expand). My small sugar pumpkins sprouted really quickly (4 days after planting) and began throwing roots out all over the place, so I put them in 6" pots.
At first, I just had a normal lamp on the tray, but I decided to get full spectrum bulbs (incandescent, because I'm poor and they were only $3, as opposed to any other type of full spectrum bulbs, which are super expensive on the net).

When my pumpkins first sprouted, the leaves were open - like this:
[url=https://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/228639_1987737329564_1127243957_2379628_8364461_n.jpg]Opened leaves.[/url]

Right now, most of them are closed and one of them is closed rather tightly:
[url=https://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/222185_1987736809551_1127243957_2379625_7255449_n.jpg]Closed leaves.[/url]
[url=https://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/230609_1987737729574_1127243957_2379632_786901_n.jpg]Half-closed leaves.[/url]

[url=https://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/225826_1987737569570_1127243957_2379630_6404785_n.jpg]Potted pumpkins.[/url]

Again, I don't really know what I'm doing. I've tried to do some reading on the net. I've looked for info about closed leaves, and found nothing.
I thought maybe the full spectrum lights would help, but they haven't.
Tried moving the light closer, but that hasn't helped.

I'm worried!
Is this a problem?
If it is a problem, how do I fix it?

Any help is appreciated - thanks!

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SPierce
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Re: Quick help? - Pumpkin seedlings have tightly closed leav

maeliejade wrote:I'm super extra new to growing things. Also, I'm rather poor so I'm just working with what I can get on the cheap.

I've started with a 36 cell jiffy "greenhouse" (the kind with the dirt pellets that you expand). My small sugar pumpkins sprouted really quickly (4 days after planting) and began throwing roots out all over the place, so I put them in 6" pots.
At first, I just had a normal lamp on the tray, but I decided to get full spectrum bulbs (incandescent, because I'm poor and they were only $3, as opposed to any other type of full spectrum bulbs, which are super expensive on the net).

When my pumpkins first sprouted, the leaves were open - like this:
[url=https://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/228639_1987737329564_1127243957_2379628_8364461_n.jpg]Opened leaves.[/url]

Right now, most of them are closed and one of them is closed rather tightly:
[url=https://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/222185_1987736809551_1127243957_2379625_7255449_n.jpg]Closed leaves.[/url]
[url=https://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/230609_1987737729574_1127243957_2379632_786901_n.jpg]Half-closed leaves.[/url]

[url=https://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/225826_1987737569570_1127243957_2379630_6404785_n.jpg]Potted pumpkins.[/url]

Again, I don't really know what I'm doing. I've tried to do some reading on the net. I've looked for info about closed leaves, and found nothing.
I thought maybe the full spectrum lights would help, but they haven't.
Tried moving the light closer, but that hasn't helped.

I'm worried!
Is this a problem?
If it is a problem, how do I fix it?

Any help is appreciated - thanks!
I'm sure someone more experienced will come in and correct me, but I wonder if the light is too hot/bright, and that's whats causing them to close? Try moving them to a sunny window, or perhaps to the other light, and see if it makes a difference?

maeliejade
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Re: Quick help? - Pumpkin seedlings have tightly closed leav

SPierce wrote:I'm sure someone more experienced will come in and correct me, but I wonder if the light is too hot/bright, and that's whats causing them to close? Try moving them to a sunny window, or perhaps to the other light, and see if it makes a difference?
I've tried having the light directly above the plants (about 6-8") and I've also tried having the light about 2-2.5 feet away.
Neither seemed to help.

I turn my lights off for about 8-10 hours a day, so the plants get a rest period.

(Also, I live in Fargo and there's no sunny windows at the moment. ;P But my lights *are* full spectrum, and they are bright.)

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SPierce
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Re: Quick help? - Pumpkin seedlings have tightly closed leav

maeliejade wrote:
SPierce wrote:I'm sure someone more experienced will come in and correct me, but I wonder if the light is too hot/bright, and that's whats causing them to close? Try moving them to a sunny window, or perhaps to the other light, and see if it makes a difference?
I've tried having the light directly above the plants (about 6-8") and I've also tried having the light about 2-2.5 feet away.
Neither seemed to help.

I turn my lights off for about 8-10 hours a day, so the plants get a rest period.

(Also, I live in Fargo and there's no sunny windows at the moment. ;P But my lights *are* full spectrum, and they are bright.)
Hmm. There has got to be something stressing your plants out, and causing them to do that. how often are you watering? any fertilizer?

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Kisal
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Incandescent bulbs are too hot for plants. You should buy just ordinary fluorescent shop lights -- the long kind. Mine are 48" long. Get a fixture that will take 2 fluorescent bulbs. They don't have to be anything fancy. You should be able to get a setup for less than $15, unless you have to pay really high sales taxes.

Position the fixtures so the lamps are 2" above the tops of the plants. That should be plenty of light for them, until you can move them outdoors. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

maeliejade
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Re: Quick help? - Pumpkin seedlings have tightly closed leav

SPierce wrote: Hmm. There has got to be something stressing your plants out, and causing them to do that. how often are you watering? any fertilizer?

I have OCD and am currently unemployed, so I go in my laundry room and look at them quite often. At first, when they were just in the soil pellets, I wasn't watering them, because the pellets hold their moisture for a very long time. When I potted them (just the other day), I wet the soil when I potted (like the package said to do).
Since then, I've watered them well once.

I haven't fertilized because they are only one week old. I'm not sure if the soil pellets that they were initially planted in had any sort of fertilizer or not.

maeliejade
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Kisal wrote:Incandescent bulbs are too hot for plants. You should buy just ordinary fluorescent shop lights -- the long kind. Mine are 48" long. Get a fixture that will take 2 fluorescent bulbs. They don't have to be anything fancy. You should be able to get a setup for less than $15, unless you have to pay really high sales taxes.

Position the fixtures so the lamps are 2" above the tops of the plants. That should be plenty of light for them, until you can move them outdoors. :)
1) Unless it really is less than $15, I can't afford it. Also, from what I've read full spectrum florescent lights are expensive. I *have* read that normal florescent should be okay, but full spectrum is better. My full spectrum incandescent isn't really throwing out that much heat at the distance it is from the plants, but is still throwing out a very bright light.

2) I live in an apartment with a cat, this means that a) I have limited space to hang large lights (also, my seed tray only had 36 cells, it's quite small, so I don't need a long light anyway), b) I need to use a space that my cat cant get to, so I'm using the laundry closet and c) I can't modify the apartment, so I can't really hang a fluorescent light fixture anyway.

3) I've been checking the heat often, and it's warm - but not hot - where the plants are.

4) After putting the pumpkins over the lower light and having that not make a difference after 12 hours, I put them back under the high light. So they've been about 2 - 2.5 feet away from the light and aren't feeling the heat at all.


In conclusion: Heat is not my problem here.
I don't believe that a lack of light is the problem either, as being next to the close light didn't help.

=( I just wish I knew what the problem was.

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applestar
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When you up potted, did you take the netting off of the jiffy pellets?
...wait, this sounds familiar... Please read:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=199275#199275

Now, it really looks to me like the seedlings are not getting enough water. These guys tend to be pretty thirsty. If the netting is still in place, the constricted/strangulated roots could be the bottom line problem.

Otherwise, put the pots in a tray and try watering from the bottom. you may be amazed at how much water is soaked up.

maeliejade
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applestar wrote:When you up potted, did you take the netting off of the jiffy pellets?
...wait, this sounds familiar... Please read:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=199275#199275

Now, it really looks to me like the seedlings are not getting enough water. These guys tend to be pretty thirsty. If the netting is still in place, the constricted/strangulated roots could be the bottom line problem.

Otherwise, put the pots in a tray and try watering from the bottom. you may be amazed at how much water is soaked up.

I didn't take the netting off. I don't think it said to in the instructions.
Also, I was worried that I'd break off the roots if I tried taking the netting off...

maeliejade
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applestar wrote: Now, it really looks to me like the seedlings are not getting enough water. These guys tend to be pretty thirsty. If the netting is still in place, the constricted/strangulated roots could be the bottom line problem.
Just now, after reading your post and as a test, I took the netting off the pumpkin with the leaves that were closed the most. I did it as carefully as I possibly could, but a lot of roots still broke off. I re-potted it and will see how it does in the next couple days.

The next pumpkin with the most closed up leaves will be given as much water as it can soak up as a test. And then I'll see how that one does over the next couple of days.


If it turns out that the netting *is* the problem, is there nothing I can do? I don't think I'd want to risk taking the netting off of the other pumpkins.

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applestar
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OK. Well, I think the thing to try is to dig up one of them carefully and practice on it.

If you are willing to sacrifice, just probe with your fingers and lift out the pellet.

If not, some roots may have grown out so use a trowel or serving spoon and lift out a good amour of the potting soil around it -- make sure to go deep enough.

See if you can unfold the bottom of the netting. If not, use sharp pointed scissors like embroidery scissors and trim a vertical slit in four places around the cylinder -- you don't have to actually take the netting off if the roots are already entangled. The roots should be able to push aside the netting and grow out. Pot them back up again.

What kind of potting soil did you use? I prefer to use potting soils that are not chemically fertilized and add home made compost or worm compost.

Also, Sugar Pie Pumpkins mature pretty quickly and you really may be able to direct seed in the ground where you plan to grow them. I think one year, I sowed seeds at end of May and ended up with first harvest at the end of August....

maeliejade
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applestar wrote:OK. Well, I think the thing to try is to dig up one of them carefully and practice on it.

If you are willing to sacrifice, just probe with your fingers and lift out the pellet.

If not, some roots may have grown out so use a trowel or serving spoon and lift out a good amour of the potting soil around it -- make sure to go deep enough.

See if you can unfold the bottom of the netting. If not, use sharp pointed scissors like embroidery scissors and trim a vertical slit in four places around the cylinder -- you don't have to actually take the netting off if the roots are already entangled. The roots should be able to push aside the netting and grow out. Pot them back up again.

What kind of potting soil did you use? I prefer to use potting soils that are not chemically fertilized and add home made compost or worm compost.

Also, Sugar Pie Pumpkins mature pretty quickly and you really may be able to direct seed in the ground where you plan to grow them. I think one year, I sowed seeds at end of May and ended up with first harvest at the end of August....

I posted again after I replied to you. I did take the netting off of one.
All of the pumpkins had thrown roots outside of the netting with no problems (that's when I put them in pots). They aren't having problems getting the roots outside of the netting.

The one that I took the net off of just now, I very carefully made a slit down one side and peeled off the netting, being extra gentle around the roots, but a lot of roots still broke.

If I had to un-net the others, there's no way I could do it without breaking roots. There are roots around every side and all over the bottom.


I used organic Jiffy brand potting soil. I live in an apartment and we don't compost.

We also don't have a yard, so I was planning on planting them in very large containers on our balcony when it's warm enough outside.
I live in Fargo, so it wont be warm enough until some time in June.

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applestar
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Just cut the slits from top to bottom without peeling off.

You'll need very large containers. Will the balcony be able to support the weight? My Sugar Pie vines grew to about 12 feet....

maeliejade
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applestar wrote:Just cut the slits from top to bottom without peeling off.

You'll need very large containers. Will the balcony be able to support the weight? My Sugar Pie vines grew to about 12 feet....
Are "sugar pie" the same as "small sugar"? The package says the pumpkins will grow to be about 8" in diameter.

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applestar
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I think that's the size of the fruits, though it's possible these are different varieties. I harvested two full size (6-8") pumpkins and 2 softball size pumpkins from each plant... And that was with no extraordinary measures, though growing in the ground -- not containers.

maeliejade
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applestar wrote:I think that's the size of the fruits, though it's possible these are different varieties. I harvested two full size (6-8") pumpkins and 2 softball size pumpkins from each plant... And that was with no extraordinary measures, though growing in the ground -- not containers.
Yes, that's what I meant. The package says the pumpkins themselves should grow to about 8" diameter.

It said to plant them in 1' diameter hills, so I assumed that I could just use a rather large pot. ...But like I said, I've never grown *anything* before, so I don't know what I'm doing...

I guess they are going to take up more room than I thought?

I was initially thinking that the last pot I'd use would be about 2' in diameter...

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Are "sugar pie" the same as "small sugar"? The package says the pumpkins will grow to be about 8" in diameter.
They are both pie pumpkins, but two different varieties. Vary similar in fruit and plant size.

Eric

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