Leggy seedlings?

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Leggy seedlings?

Postby Jessiebean » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:27 am

I am sure it is something simple but I ahve very rapidly sprouted some silverbeet seedlings in "mini greenhouses" AKA straberry punnets with lids.
The very warm weather has meant they have grown from seeds to about 4cm (2 inches-ish) in three days..and still growing before my eyes.. I am a bit worried as they seem to be growing up rather than developing properly...ha! I sound like a new mother- next year when I am on my second season for everything I will be more relaxed (like I am with second bubby!)...
anyway...what can i do to prevent/correct "leggy-ness" in seedlings?
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Re: Leggy seedlings?

Postby Millymollymandy » Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:58 am

The answer is something simple but isn't easy to correct - it is lack of light (assuming we are talking about growing on a windowsill indoors here? If so read on, if not go to para 2 :iconbiggrin: ). Some seedlings seem more prone to going leggy than others and they reach towards the light and even if you keep rotating them it just isn't enough. They are then weakened and never do as well as sturdy plants grown outside or in a greenhouse where they have full light from all directions. Courgettes and squashes are notoriously bad for going leggy and so are tomatoes.

But I'm a bit confused as you may have meant outdoors in which case they would have been too hot in those mini greenhouses and they think they are in the tropics instead of Tassie.... :lol: Maybe they still aren't getting enough light - I would take the lid off the punnet pronto and see what happens, and if they are still too leggy just sow some more direct in the soil, or in the punnets without the lids on.
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Re: Leggy seedlings?

Postby Millymollymandy » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:00 am

Oh bugger, I've just turned round, looked outside (it's just starting to get light here) and there's SNOW on the ground! :shock: :shock: :shock: Off topic I know but I just had to tell someone! :lol:
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Re: Leggy seedlings?

Postby Odsox » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:44 am

What you need is the indispensable light box, never been without mine.

Take a cardboard box big enough to take all the seedlings you're likely to be growing at any one time.
Cut one long side out, but just leave a border of about an inch on the three edges for strength, so that you end up with a 3 sided box.
Line the whole lot with oven foil shiny side out and that's it.
Place it on a south facing window sill and no more leggy seedlings, or at least not quite so leggy seedlings.

If that makes no sense to you let me know and I will take a photo of one of mine (yes I have more thn one !!)
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Re: Leggy seedlings?

Postby MKG » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:01 am

What a cracking idea, Odsox :salute:

Just shows - a simple idea that should be obvious but never is.

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Re: Leggy seedlings?

Postby Millymollymandy » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:31 pm

I've heard of that before and I really ought to make one! But now I just wait and sow most things outside in a cold frame.
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)


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Re: Leggy seedlings?

Postby Odsox » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:32 pm

Can't really take the credit for it Mike, I saw Percy Thrower do that ... he said it was the only way he knew to raise Geranium seedlings in January. I do believe Geoff Hamilton did the same as well.

I have taken it one stage further by adding an aquarium grolux tube for sunshine when the real sun doesn't cooperate.

Here's a picture of my beaten up one of several years, the lettuce seedling are leaning as I only put them in there yesterday but the brassicas are nice and straight.

lightbox.jpg
lightbox.jpg (86.58 KiB) Viewed 2815 times
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Re: Leggy seedlings?

Postby Jessiebean » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:37 pm

That is brilliant, yes the mini hothouses are in the shed and they have been getting all tropically hot- I took the lids off yesterday and now it has been raining for 24 hours on and off it is so much cooler.
I love that light box idea- one that is cheap and simple enough for me to make!
Thanks for all your prompt replies!
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Re: Leggy seedlings?

Postby marshlander » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:55 pm

Yes, I remember Geoff Hamilton making this. Don't remember Percy Thower except think he may have been Blue Peter Gardener (?)
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Re: Leggy seedlings?

Postby Odsox » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:39 am

I'm don't know if Percy Thrower was in Blue Peter or not. I remember him as being the original presenter of Gardener's World back in the sixties, then taken over by Arthur Billet and then Geoff Hamilton.
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Re: Leggy seedlings?

Postby MKG » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:49 am

For shame!!! Percy was the Blue Peter gardener for years and started the Blue Peter garden (which was then destroyed by vandals).

As famous as Valerie Singleton, he was. Or even wotsisname.

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Re: Leggy seedlings?

Postby Odsox » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:31 pm

Profuse apologies, my only defence is that my kids watched Magpie. :iconbiggrin:
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Re: Leggy seedlings?

Postby demi » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:43 pm

Thanks for the brilliant box idea Odsox! My tomatoes are very leggy and only have leaves on the top all the middle and bottom ones have withered and died off. I was worried it's got something wrong with it but maybe it's not getting enough light so i will make this box and hope it helps.
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Re: Leggy seedlings?

Postby marshlander » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:18 am

Whn you pot on the tomatoes plant them deeper than before, up to where the bottom leaves were, the stem will root.
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