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How much growth should I be seeing in new seedlings?

Posted by chele519 5 (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 23, 11 at 14:21

1 week ago I planted lettuce seeds. 1 6 pack of Miracle gro seed starting mix, 1 6 pack of Jiffy seed starter, and 6 peat pellets. ALmost all of the seeds planted in the Jiffy mix and pellets have germinated and only 3 in the Miracle Gro. They all had the same light, temps, water, etc. Three days after planting, once most of the seeds had sprouted, I put them under lights in the basement. The ones in the Jiffy mix seem to be growing slightly, the ones in the peat pellets a little less, 1 of the Miracle Gro ones is taller.

They are under the lights from late afternoon until the morning but I'm thinking the basement might be too cool, it ranges from 50-55 without the heat on, so when I am home and it is 50, I turn it on for a bit. I know lettuce is a cool weather crop but I was thinking of moving them upstairs where it is a little warmer, 58-60 during the day. During the hours that they are not under the lights, do they need to be in the dark to simulate nighttime or can they be in a room that has light? They may be growing at a good rate, I just am too inexperienced to know. THey are as close to the lights as I can get them, without having the lights touch the 6 pack. I'm wondering if since they are so close to the lights they are not growing taller but the stems are just getting stronger? I can take some new pictures this evening to see how they compare to a few days ago if that will help.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How much growth should I be seeing in new seedlings?

Lettuce does not need a dark period. Hydroponics growers usually have the lights on 24/7. And 50/55 degrees should be just fine. (and its probably a little warmer right under the lights they do give off some heat). You dont say what kind of lettuce you are growing. And you dont say how long they have been growing since germination.

If you have planted a lettuce mix then certainly you are going to be getting a variety of germination and growth rates. Even if they are all a specific type, the seeds will not all germinate and grow exactly the same. I suspect you just need to be patient and let them do their thing.

My mixed leaf and baby romaine lettuce sprouted 8 days ago, almost all have at least the second set, some a third set of leaves,(the leaf is bigger than the romaine) they are still only about 2" or less. Its my first time with lettuce too but they look healthy and I am reviewing salad dressing recipes!


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RE: How much growth should I be seeing in new seedlings?

The ones that have sprouted are all Bibb lettuce and were planted on 3/15. The first ones sprouted on the 18th, the rest, at least the ones in the jiffy mix, have been up since the 20th. None of them have more than the initial leaves and they are about 1/4" tall, I've noticed some of the leaves have gotten bigger although they are not much taller. When determining how long it has been since they sprouted, do you count from when they first started to break thru the soil or once they have fully come up? The 1st and 3rd pictures are from the 23rd and the 2nd is from the 21st, the 1st and 2nd pictures are the same 6 pack. I also included a picture of my light showing how close it is.

I know it is early, I just want to make sure I'm doing things right. I'm not sure if I'm watering too much or not enough.

Bibb Lettuce 3-23-11

Bibb Lettuce 3-21-11

Bibb Lettuce 3-23-11

Photobucket


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RE: How much growth should I be seeing in new seedlings?

They look a little wet but otherwise they look GREAT!

Patients is the key now, something I, have little of : )

Give it about 2 weeks, they will really take off!

Keriann~


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RE: How much growth should I be seeing in new seedlings?

Good, thank you. I watered them this morning, still trying to figure out just how much they need. When I put the lights on in the afternoon, I turn on a small fan to circulate the air a little. I don't have much patience either. I go down in the basement multiple times to check them out. At such a small size, it is hard to see any growth so taking pictures every couple of days makes it easier to see the changes.


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RE: How much growth should I be seeing in new seedlings?

Yes - you are doing just fine. My only suggestion is to place those little peat pots in plastic pots if you have them, 3 or 4 to a pot. They will dry out pretty fast sitting out alone like that. When they are used in the trays that are designed for them they are all squeezed up against each other.

Of course if you are checking them several times a day, maybe having them dry out fast will give you something to do :)


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RE: How much growth should I be seeing in new seedlings?

Why worry about Growth. Short fat seedling is far better than tall thin one.


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RE: How much growth should I be seeing in new seedlings?

I did have them in the tray they came in but then they weren't as close to the lights as the others. I did think they were getting dry pretty fast. I will find something to put them in, thanks.

Well, I do go in the basement first thing in the morning while I'm waiting for my coffee :), in fact, I just noticed some of them look like they grew a little overnight! It's not as bad as it sounds. My basement is finished and it's my workout room that I use daily, plus storage, laundry, and a freezer so I go down there frequently anyway.

I planted peppers a week ago and put the tray on the heating mat, I'm amazed I haven't opened it every day to see if they are sprouting. LOL


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RE: How much growth should I be seeing in new seedlings?

hmm peppers on your heating mat and they did not come up yet? I would peak at them, they should be coming up any day now if they haven't already : )

I love my seedlings, the smell of fresh dirt.. it is long overdue and helps get rid of the summer blues!

Keriann~


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RE: How much growth should I be seeing in new seedlings?

Peppers are going to be pretty slow at the 70 degrees of most heat mats. If you have a thermostat you can turn up to 85 they will germinate almost as fast as tomatoes at 70 degrees. Al


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RE: How much growth should I be seeing in new seedlings?

I don't have a thermostat, maybe I will invest in one next year if I decide starting indoors is something I will do every year. The mats did get warmer once I put them on a piece of rigid foam insulation. Last weekend I took the trays off the mat and put them in a sunny window and the soil temp was almost 90. Planting time is still 10 weeks away for me and I planted a 2nd tray to better my chances.


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RE: How much growth should I be seeing in new seedlings?

Keriann, you were right, last night I could see some of the peppers starting to break through. Also the 2nd batch of lettuce I planted 2 days before had mostly all sprouted. The first batch that I posted pictures of are starting to show a tiny bit of something growing in between the 2 cotyledons.


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RE: How much growth should I be seeing in new seedlings?

My seedlings always grow twice as fast if I look at them half as often. My wife says I "worry" my plants by fussing with them too much. Al


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