springleavesMay 18, 2012

I'm building a raised bed garden for my lettuce, collard and kale. The structure is not quite complete, but I've started the seedlings in rapid rooter plugs in a plastic tray. It sits outside growing under shade cloth in partial sun. The collard and kale seedlings have great color and new growth, but the lettuce seems to heading downhill. The "oldest" of the lettuce seedlings were a very pretty light green, but recently they have been slowly losing color and some are a pale whitish color now. Have they outgrown the rapid rooter plug and plastic tray? Should they have been transplanted into the potting soil mix weeks ago?

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Probably. How old are the seedlings? Make sure you expose them to direct sunlight for longer durations for a few days leading up to transplant day.

I've never used plugs but my experience has been that my beggies started in 72 cell trays outgrow their space fast. For every inch of top growth, there is double the amount of root growth.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 8:03AM
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Transplanted and fed, probably.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 9:18AM
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Thank you for your replies.

Chris CL - I staggered the seed planting, but the oldest is about 6 weeks old, then every two weeks thereafter. Measuring from the leafy part only, the oldest is 3 inches tall. Does it sound sunlight and nutrient-deprived to you.

ltilton - Yes, I hope to transplant them faster, since my raised bed is almost ready for planting. You know, the lady at the seed store asked me how many leaves do my lettuce have and I told her 4 true leaves.. Then she told me to wait to transplant until I have 6. When do I determine the right time to transplant?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 11:19PM
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Perhaps, the shade cloth is really unnecessary if they emerge in full strength, full day length sunlight.

once it gets 2-3 true leaves, you should fertilize very weakly, and move to full sun. Direct seeded lettuce does fine in full sun.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 9:32PM
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