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Seed issues

Posted by llbean z5 MI (My Page) on
Wed, May 6, 09 at 8:40

Hi all..
I have an issue..
Once I start my seeds on my heat mat, I usually get an 85-97% germination rate, but then once I have sprouts it seems as though I have trouble maintaining under lights.
In April, I started tomato and cukes and squash.. The hardy squash and cukes did ok but my tomato can up stringy and took what seemes like forever to get second leaves and such.
After starting them in a bio-dome I transplanted to peat pots with a M grow soil. under lights and no heat. but the plants seemed to take forever..
I am wondering what you all use for fert.
I am also wondering if perhaps I started to late, and I just have to high of expectations? I was trying to start all seeds for veggie garden for my father so we did not have to purchase.
When do you all start your seeds relative to yor planting time? considering hardening and etc..
It just amazes me that I can go tothe local veggie selling place and they have plants that are 6-8 inches high and I have these puny things.. They maintain hundreds of plants and I am having trouble with 30!
Help me raise my plants!!!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Seed issues

It's not a fertilization issue; it's a light issue. You don't have enough light. Those are the classic symptoms: lanky, leggy stems that can barely support the plant's weight (and in the later stages, can't support its weight), and extremely slow development of true leaves.

Squash and cukes are relatively light insensitive early on, tomatoes and peppers moderately light sensitive, and lettuce and brassicas very light sensitive. It takes a ton of light to properly grow plants indoors.

RE: Seed issues

Sound to me like you don't have enough light. Lose the Bio-Dome and get the seeds RIGHT UNDER THE LIGHTS (this will also give them some extra heat). If using fluorescent lights, be sure to get high lumen bulbs. Use four foot bulbs rated at 3000 lumens or better, preferrably Daylight (available from Lowes).

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