Spinach seedling - picture - slow growth?

tinync(7b)January 19, 2010

Indoor seed starting - this seedling is almost 3 weeks old since planting. Do you think it should be farther along? Those are its first set of true leaves. I'm doubting my lighting, and possibly my soil. But I don't know, maybe it's fine. I just don't know how big it should be. It is 2 1/2" (65mm) tall. I germinated in a moist paper towel then planted the seed in the cell. So when I say it is 3 weeks old I mean it has been 3 weeks since i placed the seed in the paper towel.

picture of the best seedling


picture of the whole 9 pack


^ FYI the two smallest seedlings you see are 4 days younger than the others, and planted directly into the soil rather than using the paper towel method.

On a side note, and mostly because I can't find answers elsewhere, does anyone get emails for replies to threads you have created? I have never got any even though I always check the option to have them sent to me. There doesn't seem to be a "See threads by this user" function either so the only way I have to check for replies is by making a document on my computer and saving the links to the different threads I have made and checking them periodically. And you'd think there may be something wrong with my email but I don't think there is, I received the registration emails just fine and no gardenweb emails are in my junk box. I use google mail.

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I started some spinach from seed early last year and I was thinking the same thing. They looked exactly like yours do now, but eventually they came around and worked just fine.

I did have a low-ish light situation, so maybe that's what's causing it?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 3:21PM
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tiny your email is not enabled on your member page. Look for the member services link at the bottom of this page and enter from there.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 10:12PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Need Light. Lots more light. Then, too, if you haven't already done so, start using diluted fertilizer.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 1:59AM
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Billl(z7 nc)

Typically, when seedlings look like they are "stretching" upward, it means they aren't getting enough light.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 11:27AM
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bagardens (Ohio, Zone 5b)

What kind of lighting do you have? How far away from the top of the seedlings do you have it? You would probably be ok if you were to bring the light down closer to the seedlings or bring the seedlings up to the light, whatever works. They seem to be reaching for light. Otherwise they should be fine, just plant them deeper when you transplant them.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 11:51AM
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Thank you all for your replies, I am using a "Grow light" bought from wal mart, it has a single 2 foot flourescent bulb, Lights of America, 20 W, temperature 7800k, CRI 11, 1098 lumens output, T8 bulb I think. I removed the shield/diffuser and the actual bulb rests about 1" above the seedlings. I only have that single nine pack under it - I'm going to make sure I know how to do this before i go any bigger. I have a piece of folded cardboard folded over the light that is white on the inside. It covers both sides all the way down to the floor, at about a 45 degree angle much like the reflectors on a shop light.

Think thats the problem?

I looked in my member options and I see the options about emailing but there are no options for receiving emails about replies. I checked the option to allow members to email me with forms on this site, we'll see if that works. I can't believe its this hard just to be able to use the forum normally.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 5:06PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

The lamp and distance above plants sounds fine. Are you running it 14 hours or so per day?


    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 8:36PM
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Yep, running it around 14 hours a day. Also have a little fan on the plants, not oscillating though. Air temperature around 65 degrees F

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 9:40PM
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To me spinach is not worthed going through all this trouble. With all that money spent I can buy lots of it from farmers market.
I just throwed some seeds in a patch. They will come up when ready. Even if they did not, all I can lose is a buck.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 3:17AM
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Well I'm kind of confused now, I have been getting mixed responses, do most of you all think my light isn't bright enough? maybe i need to upgrade to a shop light? Thanks

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 9:43PM
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bagardens (Ohio, Zone 5b)

I would not worry about getting a different light. If you are really worried about them and have extra room you can transplant them now into slightly larger pots and plant them deeper. If they do not work out for some reason you can always just plant some directly outside when it is safe where you are. Things like spinach and lettuces always seem easier to just plant directly outside, to me anyway. They grow pretty quickly that way.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 11:58PM
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Exactly. No harm in going through all this to learn how, or if you just want to.....but you can start lettuces, radish, carrots, squash, cukes, melons and spinach routinely in the ground at the proper planting time. Save the lights and trouble for things not doing well started in ground, like tomatoes and peppers.

I have a g'house range, so I start everything inside since I have crops in anyway, so it's no extra trouble to get a head start on everything. But, I don't think I'd start any but a few select veggies under lights if I had to do it that way.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 3:03AM
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