Removing Domes from Seedlings

bucklesnbows(z 6)April 3, 2009


I am a long time lurker and first time poster.

I started seedlings this year in a typical 72 cell seedling tray with dome. Some of the seedlings have outgrown the dome so I thought "fine, I'll just remove those from the cells and let them grow sans dome". Well as soon as I removed the dome the new sproutings keeled over. So I placed a clear cup over them and they perked right up. A week later they are starting to outgrow that and I want to remove the cups. I removed them today and over they went again.

How can I get them to live without a dome? Is there a general rule of thumb on when you should remove the dome?

The seedlings in question are daisys and I am going to have to remove the domes for the tomatoes and cilantro soon as well.

Thank you!

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I'm just a newbie at gardening and growing from seed, but everything I've read has said to remove the dome as soon as the sprouts appear and get the plants under lights (or sun if you situation allows). That's what I've done so far and everything I've started is doing well (broc, cauli, parsley, and peppers). From what I understand, too much moisture/humidity (as would be the case under a dome) is bad for plants. No idea why yours seem to do better that way. Maybe someone wiser than me can chime in.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 12:01PM
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Yes, luke is correct...remove the dome a day or so after seedlings sprout. If you have a mixture in the mini-greenhouse (sprouting at different times), then just remove the ones that have already peeked through. Put them in sunlight, keep them watered (peat pellets dry out quickly) and transplant when you feel it's necessary (remove pellet netting). - Steve

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 12:11PM
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bucklesnbows(z 6)

Thank you very much. I removed the domes and we shall see what happens (keep your fingers crossed :) ). They are under artificial light and some on heating pads.

Does anyone know how I can keep the two daisys from dying (the ones that keel over once the dome is removed)?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 1:41PM
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bucklesnbows(z 6)

Uh! I removed the domes 2 hours ago and some of the tomatoes and dill is drooping :(. grrrrr Poor guys.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 3:28PM
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You might want to try removing the dome in steps so your seedlings acclimate a little better. If you can tilt the dome a little at a time til it's eventually off over the course of the day, that may help. Or, if it's a cheap dome you don't plan on keeping, you could poke holes in in and keep increasing the holes/air flow over the day.

Good luck!!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 3:33PM
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bucklesnbows(z 6)

Jesterwitch, you may have something there. I think I will try that.

The daisys that were toppling within 2 hours yesterday are still going strong today at hour 5. I think I will try that and update the post (just incase anyone else find themselves in this perdicament and needs help)

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 6:25PM
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gardengalkc(5 B)

Next year when you plant seeds, skip the dome and put each variety in a separate container. I use a quart size baggie to cover container. Cut the zip part off and cut down one side of baggie. Now put the pointy end up and wrap the other ends under the container. When you are ready to uncover you can do it gradually. Any questions, send me an email. Marie

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 10:44AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree with the above - the domes cause more problems than anything UNLESS you are planting all the same variety in the whole tray.

No way different things will germinate at the same time if you leave the dome on waiting for the late-comers the early ones are killed by damp off.

Either use separate containers and bags or tear the trays apart and plant only 1 variety in each tray. Then when some of that plant germinate it can be removed from the tray and dome and the rest can be left covered.

Domes and plastic covers are for germination only. They can kill sprouted seedlings. Once sprouted the plants need air and lots of light, not covers.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 11:57AM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

I too removed domes from my seedlings, but many have toppled over and died. I know they need air and light, but how often should I water them? Will they die if the peat pots dry out?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 5:02PM
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Keep the peat pots very wet & put the ones that are left in thr sunlight indoors (windowsill). Spray with fertilizer. Transplant once they're healthy.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 8:57PM
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