Leggy Cauliflower seedlings

sakhiya(6b)March 12, 2009


I started my Cauliflower in my basement close to a window on 02/17 and saw the seedlings sprout by 02/21. I've moved them to a regular room temperature greenhouse on 02/27 and the greenhouse is placed near a south facing window. While the seedlings have grown, they still do not give out any 'true' leaves. And the main stem is considerably long(see picture). This is my first time sprouting cauliflower, is this normal? If not what should I have done to avoid this. Forgot to mention that the same is the case with my cabbage that is started and seen sprouting and moved to greenhouse on the same dates as cauliflower. Please advise.

Just to make sure I get enough cauliflower, I started 5 more pellets with Cauliflower seeds today in the greenhouse.

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Here is the picture...not as perfect as I would have liked it to be, but to give you an idea of how tall they have grown.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 10:41PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Sorry, no it is not normal. Your seedlings are starved for light and as the many discussions here and on the Growing from Seed forum show, it just isn't possible to grow healthy seedlings using only window light. It just isn't intense enough nor full spectrum enough nor long enough exposure this time of year. That is why most all of us use various types of fluorescent light set-ups. This time of year we even have to use supplemental lighting in the commercial greenhouses.

In this case enclosing them in a sort of plastic greenhouse only reduces the light exposure more. I'd suggest a review of the FAQs on the Growing from Seed forum and have linked one on lighting below.

You can try to save some of these (the ones without broken stems) by transplanting them into deep containers (remove the netting first), burying all the stem, and then arrange for much more lights for them or they will just get leggy again. Search 'light set-up' here for many discussions and photos on various seed starting set up.

Hope this helps.


Here is a link that might be useful: Growing from Seed FAQs

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 10:54PM
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macheske(6/7 NorthernVA)

Dave is right. They need much more light. Here's a picture of what they should look like.

This is a mix of cauliflower and broccoli, growing under fluorescent light, and are about 1 month old.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 5:59AM
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Oh ok. Thanks guys! I thought the window light was good, but apparently not! Will see what I can do. BTW, when do you suggest I transplant to the garden? My research online says it should be some 3-4 weeks before last frost, so in zone 6b, it should be beginning of April or mid April. The farmers almanac says that 60-80% frost chance is reduced by mid April and 90% by May 10th.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 10:30AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I set mine out in mid April here and start them about March 21st. You could be a week earlier or so. I specialize in setting them out while young.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 11:51AM
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I planted my cauliflower seeds it grew To almost 1cm but the problem I'm facing is that it is all crowded is there any problem for their growth....

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 5:01AM
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