what to do after germination

archernut(5)March 31, 2008

Hi ya all

I've never had any success with starting seeds inside.

I planted marigolds and petunias in jiffy 72 pot. I followed their instructions and had great germination. I took top off after all were germinated and about one inch tall. After 4 to 6 days every thing wilted over and died.

They were in my dining room on the table with natural light from the window. House temp is 68 to 70. I waterd when pods dried out to a light brown.

I am new to this and just wondered what to do after I take the top off? Everything seems to germinate ok and look healthy until the top is completely off.

Please help. I would like to transplant flowers to pots this spring without spending a fortune at the nursery.

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Considering that gas prices are driving up the cost of everything, it wouldn't surprise me to see doubled prices for flowers this year. You've overcome the hardest part of sowing seeds in getting them to germinate! Somewhere in the FAQ under Growing from Seed Forum, read about damp off. In addition to that issue, when you remove the lid completely, you are drastically changing the microclimate for your seedlings in an immediate way. By doing so, you are not giving them a chance to adjust to changed temperature and humidity. It's sort of like going into shock. What you can do is start the seeds the way you have been, then after germination, gradually open the lid a little bit over time, at the same time run a small fan to get some air circulating near the seedlings, and provide a stronger light source than natural light from a window. There are several factors coming into play with your seedlings, however, you can overcome these issues and be successful in growing out healthy plants.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 10:07PM
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I recently built a grow light with parts I bought at Home Depot. I installed Natural Sunshine bulbs by Phillips. They're only about $10, and they work great. Total cost was about $36. After germination, I keep seedlings under the lights 24/7. It keeps them at about 80-82 degrees, and always sunny!! My seedlings grow strong and healthy. Right now I'm nurturing 16 tomatoe seedlings I started during the first week of March. They're all about 5-6 inches tall and healthy, thanks to the lights. Seedlings can survive too little water, or even too little nutrients, but they gotta have the light.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 4:31AM
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They will survive too little water better than too much water. Don't keep the surface constantly wet. Al

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 10:17AM
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mehearty(So ME z5a)

Did you water from the bottom?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 2:47PM
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I watered from the top and bottom. I think the first response here sums it best. I put the plants in shock. I have reseeded and have some germinated already. I will slowly start lifting the top off until they are looking healthy. I have set up a couple of brooder style lights with florescent bulbs over my tomatoes and peppers. They are responding, but real slow. I do have a small fan running about 6 feet away on them. I think they will be fine.
When I get ready to put the marigolds and petunia under the light I think I will get a two foot florescent light and put directly over them.

I am learning from several mistakes. Good thing seeds are cheap.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 12:24PM
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I have found it easier to use the smaller 12 cell jiffy trays for my peat pellets. It gives me more flexibility to adjust smaller batches than the large 72 cell trays. As for lighting I use a timer with a powerstrip that feeds a whole bunch of "100 watt equivalent" CFL bulbs. Using clamp lamps and these bulbs I have a tone of leeway in adjusting the small trays to recieve the appropriate light. The small trays also allow you to keep the pellets bottom watered easier than the large trays.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 8:44AM
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wally2007(Zone 6)

I started these mid to late March in portable green house. Bottom fed in plastic trays, not overwatered or fertilized, followed hardening off steps, moved them in and out of cellar each evening. They were really thriving with good leaf growth almost 2" high. With little sun exposure from these past few days I noticed them to start to wilt so I transplanted them (root expansion) in a larger container and used a little MG Quick start (Transplant mixture) Today I noticed them even wilted more. It seems that I have a few tomatoe plants starting to wilt also. All help and advice greatly appreciated.
Thank You.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 3:22PM
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