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How are my seedlings?

Posted by sintro 5 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 23:10

UPDATE: One of my original week old summer squash seeds has risen to the surface finally. Jeez is that thing HUGE!

^Those aren't all of them, but I can't find my cellphone charger and I have low battery. I believe I see the startings of true leaves also on about half my seedlings.

This is my first time gardening and growing from seed. I've got this burpee seed starting kit with the pellets. I sowed lettuce, spinach, summer squash, and parsley. Sorry, I don't know what varieties, threw out the top of the seed packets(burpee) before I thought to check.

I sowed on sunday and on wednesday I had two or three lettuce plots germinate and rise up, and then on thursday one spinach came up and the next day a few more and the next day one or two more. I had a heat mat under the seeds for until the lettuce germinated because I didn't want the seedlings to grow to fast. Thinned out the seedlings by cutting them off, but more came up eventually.

Unfortunately neither the parsley or summer squash has germinated yet, as I'm posting this on sunday(1 week in).

I used a dozen more summer squash seeds and nicked them(don't know if I went deep enough, only through that outer ring really). Next I left them in a cup of water for two days, during which I changed the water once a day. Then I planted them a half inch deep and watered more.

Also, I've been watering the unsown plots a few drops a day, and the germinated plants maybe 2 drops a day. The soil still looks moist, although the plants aren't a very vibrant green, more of a paler green. (I have some Schultz 101010 fertilizer if that might be needed)

The first 3 or 4 days during the day I kept the seed kit in direct sunlight in the window, they usually got about 4 hours that way, then I started sticking them under a kitchen light that is a 13 watt t8 19 or 21 inch florescent. The bulb puts out 875 lumens and it's spread over a 1.5 foot square area with maybe 3/5 of that landing on the seedlings. The seedlings have been under the light for about 16 hours a day. Fortunately tommorow I'm going to get a lights of america 17 watt florescent system which will probably be better(mom doesn't want to spend a ton on this).

At first my seedlings were a little leggy, but now the stems have thickened up a bit more and have those little hairs after I started running my hand through them a few times a day.

Here's that planter boxes I built for the summer squash if those darn things ever decide to sprout.

I have a couple questions:

1. Are my seedlings healthy? If not, what do you suggest doing?

2. Any ideas on why the summer squash or parsley haven't germinated(maybe I'm not being patient enough, it's only been a week)?

This post was edited by sintro on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 23:53

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How are my seedlings?

Hi sintro and welcome to GardenWeb!

Well, I don't grow veggies, just flowering annuals and some perennials. However, from looking around the web, it seems summer squash usually takes about 10 days or so to germinate. Yours should be popping up in a few days. As for the parsley, I've read that it's usually rather slow to germinate; maybe more like a month. I assume you have the parsley seeds on the heat mat; if not, that would no doubt be helpful. Heat mats should be removed once seeds germinate (any seeds).

If the Burpee pellets you mentioned are those made of coconut coir, I don't think they contain any plant food at all. Until the plants get at least a couple of real leaves, they shouldn't need any fertilizer. However, after that, I'd add a very diluted liquid fertilizer to help them along. The University of Massachusetts has a good webpage (link below) that suggest doing that and also a chart suggesting how many ppm at different stages of growth to feed. Several good ppm calculators can be found on the web.

Hope this is helpful,

Here is a link that might be useful: Fertilizing Seedlings

This post was edited by art33 on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 12:12

RE: How are my seedlings?


I have grown a lot of plants from seed in the past. I recall
parsley being very slow to germinate. I remember soaking the seeds in a container of water overnite before planting them. Be patient, they should come up.

I am not sure why one would nick the seedcoat on summer squash? Typically seeds with a very hard seedcoat need to be soaked in water, seed coat nicked
by file or sandpaper or treated in a weak acid bath before sowing to hasten the ability of water to penetrate the hard seed coat. I do not put summer squash seeds
in this catagory.

I find just the opposite when planting squash/pumpkin seeds. They are very prone to rotting when too wet so
I try to keep them a bit on the dryer side when trying to
germinate them. I would not soak them in water before

You ask about fertilizer. It might be the lighting in your photo, but the plants on the right side of the photo seem
very light green. I would think this to be a nitrogen issue.
Once they root in a bit, fertilize with a liquid fertilizer to green them up.

RE: How are my seedlings?

Thanks for the helpful info and link Art33. I'll have to go read that...

Also, the plants on the right(lettuce) are pretty pale green, good to know that it's a nitrogen issue! They are just starting to develop mini true leaves(.5 cm wide). I'll make sure to fertilize diluted once those unfurl.

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