Mothering Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have planted onion seeds directly in the ground - none sprouted (so I've bought sets now). I have planted tomato in starter pots. They sprouted lovely and have since withered away. My broccoli sprouted (as mentioned in another thread) grew too large for my little Jiffy greenhouse, and when I set them out in the air withered and died. I've sent around $60 on my garden which is a stretch for our budget. I am depending on this garden to supplement our food budget and supply us with organic food. I can't let it go to waste. I have gardened every growing season, but never food by myself. I always did flowers before, and they are simple to me.
Our ground has been too wet to prepare properly for direct seeding. It is going to rain over half of this week. It is the wettest time anyone can remember here in years! Some have even said we'll have to wait until the middle of may to do any kind of gardening. My dad - a more experienced gardener who grows corn, green beans, watermelon, squash, and tomatoes says I should be starting from plants because it is too hard with seeds. The only thing I have that is flourishing are my potatoes.
Can anyone offer advice on how to grow seedlings indoors, when to transfer them outside, and how to keep them alive indoors? I would so appreciate it. I am so worried.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,019 Posts
I replied in your other thread and just saw this...

A few thoughts:
Are you starting seeds in the ground at the right time of year for your zone? Are you beds prepared properly?
Are you over or under watering your seedlings?
Are you seedlings started indoors getting enough light?

If you describe exactly how you are starting your seeds we would be able to give you more specific advice.

In the mean time I would recommend checking out davesgarden and if you can get your hands on this book, it is a great resource http://www.amazon.com/Crocketts-Vict.../dp/0316161209
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
904 Posts
Are you hardening off your seedlings??? I try to expose my little plant babies a few hours every day or every other day before they get put into the ground so they can get used to the elements. Btw, I've been using the little jiffy seed starting kit,too.

I live in an area that can get pretty wet. My friend suggested I get French pipes for the yard.

When I did start my seedlings inside, I made sure to set them by a window, take them outside, and put some clear wrap over the pots-that helps as long as the plants can breathe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by honeybunch2k8 View Post
Are you hardening off your seedlings??? I try to expose my little plant babies a few hours every day or every other day before they get put into the ground so they can get used to the elements.
When I did start my seedlings inside, I made sure to set them by a window, take them outside, and put some clear wrap over the pots-that helps as long as the plants can breathe.
I am doing all of these things. I am starting the seeds in the Jiffy greenhouse with the peat pots. When the broccoli got too big for the green house, I transferred the peat pots to clear egg cartons and began conditioning them for outdoors. The day I set them out it was in the 50s and sunny. I did not sit them in direct sun. I water as I see things don't look moist. It was the day after I set them outside for the afternoon that they wilted and died. Both my tomatoes and broccoli. According to my state's gardening guide, broccoli should be doing just fine in the ground right now. It's just been horribly wet, and I don't want to rot the seeds by direct seeding in clumpy soil. So, I'm trying to get most of my more delicate things started indoors. Right now I have cabbage sprouts, onions, eggplant, and some broccoli left in the greenhouse. I don't want to kill them too. Oh, the greenhouses and the plants once out of the greenhouse sit next to a door and window in my kitchen. I think there is plenty of light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,019 Posts
Quote:
Oh, the greenhouses and the plants once out of the greenhouse sit next to a door and window in my kitchen. I think there is plenty of light.
Light from a window is not adequate you need artificial lighting in 12-14ish hours a day. If they don't get adequate light they will be thin and spindly and not do well in general.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't have the means for artificial lights. I've been thinking of transplanting to pots with dirt from the garden, and covering with elevated plastic wrap and leaving out of doors. Wonder if this would help?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
If you leave them outdoors with plastic wrap over them, they might

1) bake on a sunny day
or
2) grow fungus and die

I totally agree with the poster who said you *must* have artificial light, directly above the seedlings, if you are starting seeds indoors.

I'm a bit north of you, but I think it's going to dry out later this week. So maybe you *can* get out in the garden soon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
Not sure how large your broccolis were before you planted them out, but I like mine to get to be 4-6 inches tall with several sets of true leaves before I plant them outdoors. I am a little confused by your post about wilting and dying, however...wondering about soil pests, soil aeration, and also, as some other posters mentioned, about your hardening off process, though it sounds like you did that.

Regarding tomatoes, I don't know what KY is like at all, as I live on the west coast, but I am willing to bet it is WAY too cold to plant out tomatoes right now. You will want them in 4 inch or 1/2 gallon pots indoors under supplemental light, or outdoors in a cold frame, cloche, or mini-homemade greenhouse to hold them, and get them large enough for transplant. Here in my mild climate, I don't plant them out until late May at the earliest, first week of June is even better.

I live on a piece of land and am a skilled gardener, but at this point, I don't really have a very good seedling area/greenhouse type setup, and it is pretty difficult for me to get seedlings to do very well. Sometimes, I just bite the bullet and let the experts do the seed raising, and buy plants from my local farmer's market or garden store. When I do it myself, I stress out and worry about my little guys, and then am deflated when a mouse eats them, or a bird nips them off, or what not. Not sure if you can afford to do so, but sounds like it might be a little more cost effective in the long run to get the plants in a few more weeks when spring heats up, and you can have guaranteed success with store-bought seedlings.

hope that helps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,168 Posts
I never had any luck starting seeds inside. I always did pretty well direct seeding, even iif it was too early or too late or whatever. The seeding dates generally are for the dirt to be some average temp for sprouting. If you plant too early (after frost, of course) the seeds will just wait for things to warm up; its what they do in nature. If you plant a bit late as long as the grown plant can tolerate heat, you'll be fine.

I buy plants for some things, peppers for sure, sometimes tomoatoes, eggplant, and just seed the rest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,119 Posts
I've always planted with plants and this year I tried (and pretty much failed!) to grow from seeds. I notice that when I plant seeds outdoors the get their 2nd and 3rd sets of leaves while they are still short to the ground, only an inch tall. Indoors the they get leaves then grow really tall and thin and then get their second set of leaves (but now they are 5 inches tall and super thin) then they tip over and wilt. Putting them outside to harden them at this point just killed them. I guess they weren't getting enough light. Now it is a bit warmer and I have some things starting to sprout in the garden. I can get peas, carrots, basil, spinach, lettuce, radishes, beets, beans, green onions, epazote and thyme to grow from seed. Not much luck with other things. The rest I buy plants.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,086 Posts
I don't know if you mean "don't have the means" as in space, but I strung up some flourescant lights I got free off craigslist & added some high watt bulbs ($20 for four) & suspended them from a hook I used to use for a hanging plant in my kitchen. It faces south, so between the lights & the sun they're doing swimming.

Before I had this "set up" I used a regular lamp bulb. Point it down on those seeds.

Withered, dissapearing seedlings usually means rot, which usually means standing water, decomposing soil, poor ventalation (either in the soil or in the air) & cool temperatures. Try modifying all or one.

Depending on how much you're trying to grow, some things, like tomatos, are sometimes fun to buy in plants instead of seeds simply because you can choose several varieties without feeling like you need to plant 20 seeds of each, which I'm always guilty of


Think of food like flowers. They like attention. Fussing over plants almost always pays off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,571 Posts
i don't have lights either, i just put my seedlings outside every day from as soon as i get up until dark. they all have nice strong stems.

i will probably do this for another month and then attempt to put them in the ground, we get really late frosts here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,571 Posts
also, before they withered away what did the leaves look like? if they all turned yellow-ish you're over-watering. did they get too cold? i left mine out almost all night and thy totally wilted but came back by the next day, guess it didn't get that cold
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,012 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by eastkygal View Post
I don't have the means for artificial lights. I've been thinking of transplanting to pots with dirt from the garden, and covering with elevated plastic wrap and leaving out of doors. Wonder if this would help?
we have one of those aluminum clamp lamps, usually used for reptiles/baby chicks. they usually cost about $7. we threw in a 100 watt bulb and it works perfect for us. you can clamp it anywhere, on a curtain rod, side of a cabinet. it's easy to move around and super cheap. they also last forever and can be used in so many ways. they carry them at the feed store, home improvement stores and 'big box' stores. hth!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,012 Posts
oh, i also read on another thread, i think it was the food growers tribe, that it can be pretty crucial to have some sort of fan blowing on your seedlings. apparently, not enough breeze can be what makes seedlings long and spindly, not necessarily not enough light.

if you have your seedlings in your kitchen, can you open a window or possibly turn on your oven range hood fan? just a thought.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top