plants seem to stop growing

slimakJuly 13, 2013

I'm growing few vegetable plants from seed under lights and after transplanting the sprouts into their own individual pots 6days ago they seemed to stop growing. They're not dying but just are not getting any bigger than they were. Can someone tell me what could be wrong and what I have to do to get them growing again?

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It is normal for transplants to experience a check in their growth lasting up to 2 weeks. Did you transplant into potting mix or a peat based mix? The photo looks like peat which can get hydrophobic and not accept water readily. Al

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 10:25AM
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The radishes are in the peat based mixed. I just thought that it would be easier for them develop since it's not that compact as potting mix :) I'm new to gardening and still learning. The bok choy plants are in a potting mix with some peat moss on top only.

I've read somewhere that after transplanting the plants should be in a shade. Since I'm growing under lights should put the lights further away from the plants or decrease the time they are on??

When is it really a good time to transplant plants from germination cells. I see that some people do it after first 2 true leaves appear , some say 4 leaves, some say after the roots start coming out of bottom holes??

And finally, should I not use the seed starting mix to transplant in bigger pots ans strictly use potting mix?

Thank you for your help Al :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 11:08AM
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There are still a lot of variables here but here are a few thoughts. Are you feeding the seedlings at all? Are you using just straight Peat?

Transplanting. Really depending on the area you can transplant anytime. The major factor is frost sensitive plants. Pests can be another factor. If you are really curious experiment. Plant a couple types outside and see how they do.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 2:57PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

slimak Last year was my first year growing vegetables under lights like you. I started out in germination cells then 3" pots then 5", you get the idea. My second batch it dawned on my that there is one factor I know growing under the lights, how much room I have. So I planted in the biggest pot the plant was going to need and was done with all the extra work, transplant shock, accidents etc etc. Now I double or triple seed and keep the strongest. I use both Al's 5-1-1 and pro-mix BX from start to finish.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 8:02PM
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(Galasoneth) The radishes are in peat and I'm not using any fertilizer because the one I use is 2-0.25-1.5 so it's high in nitrogen and I've read that you shouldn't feed nitrogen to radishes or they will grow foliage instead of the radish. Everything else (Pak choi, herbs, lettuce, tomatoes and peppers) is in organic potting soil which I feed the fertilizer mentioned above. If you have any suggestions for what type of feed I can use for the radishes please let me know.

(SouthCountryGuy) Thank you for your comment and Feed recommendations, I'll try them. I do understand that direct seeding takes the hassle :) out of it and it's probably easier this way. However, I'm doing this whole project to learn about all aspects of gardening and I want to understand why certain things happen such as this growth slow down after transplant and what are the proper steps to make it work :) Sorry, I'm just goofy that way, I like to know how things work, for example what is going on with the roots and top part of the plant etc.
I read about how plant hormones work and just find details like that fascinating and I could understand it clearly that way. I don't know if it's the right approach to gardening but it's just more fun this way . This forum is great because thanks to people like you, who know their stuff, I could understand how plants grow and how to take care of them to get the best results.

I know I still have a looooong way ahead of me :) since there are so many different varieties of vegetables and they might have different needs too.

Anyways, I appreciate your help!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 8:43PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Lol slimak you remind me of myself. I tried all that stuff too and am by far not an expert. I am a trial and error research orientated geek (wifes word choice).

If you base your decisions on what is best for the plant you will generally get your best results.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Lol it's nice to know that that there are other people like that out there. I don't know why that is but when it comes to anything that I like I have to know how something is working or it will bug the heck out of me.

You should've seen me when I was choosing the lighting for plants lol. I've read studies of different type of lamps, how each type works and is constructed and of course studies, lectures about photosythesis :)

I'm sure MY wife has a different word choice for me hahaha.

Next step for me is to study about each plant that I'm growing and to understand fertilizing :)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 8:46PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Heh, yeah lights I did the same. Ended up with T5 HO.

Fertilizing, well now there is a topic with a bunch of schools of thought. I won't get started on that here, chuck an email if you want a discussion on that lol.

Next you need to research mycorrhizae. LOL could toss that in the discussion as well.

Well time to deadhead daisy's. Easier when then are closed.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 11:49PM
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I'll take you up on that offer for sure lol later on this week though, I have to do other things like work lol first, it always gets in the way

Yeah T5HO seem to be working very well and I just love it that the heat is not concentrated as in the HIDs. Besides that it was a real good choice because I want grow different varieties of veggies and as I'm finding out right now some have different light duration needs :) and temperature needs. No wonder that darn spinach didn't want to germinate under the lights! lol

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 8:31AM
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ohh wow there are way to many similar people in this thread. I have a couple books that have been very helpful on understanding Plants. ( I to have the same need for understanding) Particularly those of the edible nature

Botany for Gardeners; Brian Capon
American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation

The second is a fun book.

are you using a slow release fertilizer or feeding regularly? Seedlings dont need any food until there true leaves come out. Plus I dont see an issue with that fertilizer and radishes in the beginning stages. For my starters i use the following soil medium

equal parts
then a slow release fertilizer and garden lime

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 2:25PM
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I'm using a liquid fertilizer that the guy recommended in the hydroponics store and I feed them weekly other than the radishes due to the reason I mentioned above. What would you recommend for my radishes in later stages?

Thanks for the book recommendations! I was actually trying to find one that could explain in details how plants grow. All books that are in Barnes and Noble don't really go into much detail. I got more information out of a youtube lecture on plant hormones and photo synthesis than any of those books provided.

I was going to get a book that people raved about on some forum written by Eliot Coleman "The new organic grower"
Did you read that one by any chance?

For right now I just bought the seed starter mix, it contains peat, vermiculite, traces of organic fertilizer and micronutrients. Once I use those up I'll learn how to mix my own, I'm sure it will be less expensive this way :)
What is the garden lime good for?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 3:18PM
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That fertilizer should work great. I would go ahead and give that fertilizer to radishes also. I think they do fine with higher nitrogen fertilizers. If you are really worried add fertalizers to a couple different ones.

Botany for gardeners is great cause it is geared toward someone who isnt going to get a degree but wants what I think of as practical understanding of plant mechanics.

No i have not read that book. I would not consider myself an organic gardener though.

Yeah any seed starter mixes are great. Peat is fairly acidic and the lime brings that down a bit and also adds other trace minerals to the soil. Not needed with commercial seed starting mix. But thats why I make my own cause im poor ........ or cheap.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 3:39PM
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Thanks for the great radish article! I'll definitely read that Botany book because I do want to understand plant mechanics. I'll buy three of those books and see what I get out of them.

There is nothing wrong with mixing your own soil. In fact from what I understand some plants require different proportions of peat, vermiculite, soil and fertilizer so in my book that gives me more control of what to put the plants into. On top of that if you can save money by doing it yourself than why not? :)

Do you come across a list that would show germination temps for each type of vegetable plants by any chance? or a list of articles such as the radish one you just showed me?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 5:28PM
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Yeah this was my first year mixing my own soil. First few attempts where umm learning experiences but I think i have a good mix now. Pretty much all of your vegetable seeds can be started in the same mix. When you start cuttings and such its nice to be able to mix different things.

I have a few other books that may help.

Sunset western garden book is one of my staples.
another book i have come to love in understanding the more in depth of each plant is called "seed to seed"

Other then those two my other fav resource is google. It has a very divers plant selection.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 10:29AM
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I'm sure I'll have a blast mixing my own starting soil when the time comes. I'll experiment myself to see which one works best for each species :) I do have one question for now. Which one do you use in your mixes, vermiculite or perlite?

Thank you for the book recommendations. I think I'll have to start calling in sick to work lol.

If you want detail information on a particular plant , what search phrase would you use, that you found to be most successful, in order to get good search results?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 12:43PM
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For my seed starters I use vermiculite. If you find you need more drainage add some perlite.

umm searches are boolean based if need be. just use key words

eg. Radish fertalizer
or Radish feeding

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 3:07PM
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Please let me know if I understand this correctly.
PEAT MOSS- holds water and nutrients for plants, improves texture

VERMICULITE- hold water, nutrients and air, minimizes soil temperature fluctuations

PEARLITE-prevents soil compactation, improves drainage and aeration

COMPOST-provides nutrients as fertilizers do, contains micro organisms that help breakdown nutrients for plant consumption. It reduces need for fertilizer and acts as slow release type fertilizer

In order to create loamy nutritious potting soil, besides these do you need to add clay or sand??

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 1:48PM
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