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Ack! Help!! Leggy seedlings?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
How tall is too tall/leggy?

I planted broccoli last Saturday night, and not only did they all come up in less than two days, but they're getting tall despite two grow lights nearly touching them, me blowing on them and petting them every hour or so (my fan died) and putting them someplace about 9 degrees cooler at night. What am I doing wrong???

Is it too late, or can I salvage these?
post #2 of 23
I think if you keep the light source close you should be fine. They can take some pretty cool temps and that will help slow them down a bit as well.
Contrary to popular belief, I have had some luck with transplanting them a little deeper too.
Good Luck
Jez
post #3 of 23
eeks! good warning! i'll go adjust my lights and dig out a fan.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks!

This is my first try at growing broccoli. I wasn't going to chance it this year, but DS loves loves LOVES it, and I'd like him to experience what real broccoli is like, fresh from the garden instead of shipped across the country. I'm going to try to find another small fan, but in the meantime I guess I'll just relax and hope they don't fall over. It's not like I can't re-plant again in a week or two if things don't work out, right?.
post #5 of 23
What kind of soil are you using? Could be they need more of something. I try to remember to give mine worm juice every week, but you could use manure tea. Any nursery should have that.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerCathy View Post
What kind of soil are you using? Could be they need more of something. I try to remember to give mine worm juice every week, but you could use manure tea. Any nursery should have that.
I started them in Jiffy peat pellets : because it's what DH bought me. Since the seed info said 4-7 days to germination, I assumed they'd be ok for two weeks from planting, until I could get some good starter mix/soil to pot them in until transplanting outside. Apparently I was wrong.

I'll check the nurseries around here for that manure tea, but it'll be a few days before I can get anywhere to pick some up. Although, I do have some worm-casting-based "plant food" liquid that DH picked up a while back...would that work?
post #7 of 23
That'll work.
post #8 of 23
Hmmm... so what is the cause of the legginess, then? It's not just that they are reaching too far for the light too fast, but it's a nutritional thing? FarmerCathy, if you are still checking in here, do you think I need to supplement my seedlings that I planted in Rapid Rooter's Seed Starter Tray?
post #9 of 23
It depends on if the medium your using has enough nutrients in it. I noticed when I used the jiffy pots about 4 years ago, my sprouts became leggy right away as well. When I plant seed I just automatically give them something in the water once a week. So far the last two years my plants have been a lot healthier and stronger doing this unless I accidentally over water.
post #10 of 23
Good info, Cathy. Thanks. Do these guys look leggy for 5 day olds? They're broc seeds.

http://lh4.google.com/melodiestenger...jpg?imgmax=800
post #11 of 23
They look great! Not leggy.
post #12 of 23
Phew! Because mine look a lot like that!
post #13 of 23
Three cheers for my green (non-leggy) babies! thanks, FarmerCathy!
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Those look way better than mine did!

Speaking of my leggy babies...I cheated and repotted them into 4" pots a bit early. Of the 12 I started with, 6 were fine and 6 got too tall and were falling over. So, I only have to re-start 6 or so. The good ones are in my south-facing window sucking up the sunlight now.
post #15 of 23
ack! so gla di looked at this thread. my seedlings dont have a light - are they destined to become leggy?

do i NEED lights or does it just vary?

so far they look like Aletheias.
post #16 of 23
Yes, you need lights, otherwise they will be reaching for the nearest window soon.
post #17 of 23
You can do it without lights, if you have a bright-ish window to keep them in front of. I did it last year and the year before without any special lights. I brushed them with my hands and blew on them and rotated the trays to try to keep them from getting leggy, and transplanted them deep, and they did fine in the garden (and we had tons of great broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, and other good things.)
post #18 of 23
theyre in a south facing window getting a lot of sun, and i am in CA so it is getting warm.

why the blowing/brushing? LOL

newbie here!
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyamanda View Post
You can do it without lights, if you have a bright-ish window to keep them in front of. I did it last year and the year before without any special lights. I brushed them with my hands and blew on them and rotated the trays to try to keep them from getting leggy, and transplanted them deep, and they did fine in the garden (and we had tons of great broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, and other good things.)
Yes, it can work, you must have a bright South facing window. Most people don't have that or have the house next door shading that window. Plus you have to remember to do all that. Mine would die, because I wouldn't remember to do all that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by radish View Post
theyre in a south facing window getting a lot of sun, and i am in CA so it is getting warm.

why the blowing/brushing? LOL

newbie here!
That's to keep them strong and from going leggy and weak.
post #20 of 23
Forgot to add tomatoes and such need closer to 16 hours of light a day to grow.
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