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What happened? Spindly seedlings . . .

Posted by hoping4better 6a (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 17, 11 at 21:55

OK I started seedlings indoor (tomato, lettuce, radishes, beens, etc) in Los Angeles last year and it seemed to take forever (1-2 weeks) for the seedlings to break through. This year in TN I'm trying and I let them sit for two days not expecting to see anything and when I looked I already had two inch spindly things. What happened? Is this normal and will they survive if I get them plenty of sunlight outside during the day?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What happened? Spindly seedlings . . .

Did you start them inside?

Were they covered with a dome or other material?

This will help narrow down what happened and how it can be fixed.


RE: What happened? Spindly seedlings . . .

Yes, they were started inside at about 72 degrees air temperature, but the concrete floor they were sitting on is several degrees cooler. Yes, they were covered with a plastic lid. I bought a plastic 'greenhouse' thingie from a local store. It has a clear plastic lid, several small spaces for the soil and seeds and a bottom tray that you can water them with. The pots sit in it and they are watered from underneath.

To water them I gave them water that was about 1 Tablespoon of fresh worm castings in about a liter of water.

RE: What happened? Spindly seedlings . . .

Personally, I wouldn't add any form of fertilizer until most seedlings have 1 or 2 sets of true leaves.

What are your seedlings getting for light? Tall & spindly usually says "not enough light". Where I live (Pacific Northwest), I can't count on sufficient light next to a window, so I start my seeds close under a bank of fluorescent lights.

RE: What happened? Spindly seedlings . . .

Because you started them indoors you will need to harden them off before you set them outside (do a search on this forum for hardening off, there are a lot of great threads).

Radishs do not like to be transplanted and you should direct sow them. I would pitch the ones growing now and start new when the threat of frost has past. Same with the beans.

You will need shop light to keep the happy inside, just light from a window is not enough. There are lots of other threads on seedling set-ups, all include lights.

I hope that helps


RE: What happened? Spindly seedlings . . .

I can help you on the tomatoe. Just take a screwdriver and gently push the roots further down until the leaves are just above the soil. Then set them under lights for a min of 12 hours a day.

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