Return to the Growing from Seed Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Brassica seedling problems in soil blocks

Posted by adodd67 5 (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 12, 12 at 0:29

This is my first year using soil blocks, and I love them. Tomatoes, peppers, herbs, squashes, melons, flowers, all have done very well. The brassicas, however, are driving me crazy. I've tried 3 separate attempts this spring. One was a mild success, and the others were total flops.

Here is what is happening. Germinating well, looking great until their first true leaves come out. Initially they look good, but then they seem to get stunted, and the leaves slowly start to turn yellow. Then the gradually shrivel up to nothing,

I'm growing them in a seed starting mix (Sunshine 360 or Pro mix) mixed with aged compost from cow manure (moo-nure from Home depot). They are definitely not too wet. After their true leaves emerge, I add fish emulsion weakly to the water. One fish emulsion I used was higher in P and K and N. The other I tried was maybe 4-2-1? I've tried inside and out, esp when the weather was cooler.

Any suggestions for me? I'd like to start another round for the fall. Maybe I should try some in soil blocks and others more conventionally?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Brassica seedling problems in soil blocks

Hiya '67. A couple of questions back at you: Have you used that moo-nure from Home Depot before in your soil blocks? If so, ok, check. If not, cow manure can stunt a plant in a compressed soil block due to the excessive nitrogen still needing to be broken down and unable to do so in a less oxygenated environment like a soil block. Then, maybe you're using the fish emulsions too soon, overfertilizing them and causing nitrogen burn. Also, maybe you're compacting the block too much, leaving no chance for a tap root to break free. Inspect the seedling: are the roots stunted too? Did they ever come out of the blocks at all? Were they brown when they did? Brassicas are quite fine in soil blocks really, but you don't need to fertilize them for about 4-6 weeks. If it was me, I'd skip the cow manure, or at least use much less, and try worm compost, worm castings, home-made aged compost, or even good rich garden topsoil. Let me know if this helps: don't give up!

Here is a link that might be useful: Soil Block Makers

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Growing from Seed Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here